Letters to the editor for February 10, 2014

By Observer Upload February 10, 2014 10:48 am

Publication does disservice to local communities

To the Editor.

You published a 2014 “Reference guide to health and wellness for Northeast Oregon.”

I believe you did a disservice to the communities of Elgin and Union by not mentioning their acclaimed health clinics. Both are operated by special health districts and staffed with medical doctors and nurse practitioners. They see patients of all ages, take all insurances, and contrary to some rumors are accepting new patients.

I would appreciate one of your staff providing information similar to that published about other medical clinics for people to cut out and insert in their reference guide.

Susan M. Briggs



County meeting with Forest Service without notice

To the Editor.

You, born a free man or woman in America, are being told it is for your own good to not be allowed to travel into your mountains. You are told that once the United States Forest Service gets its way with road closures, aka “travel management,” that you may be fined $5,000 or be subject to two years in prison for doing nothing more than what your great-grandparents, grandparents and parents have done for generations that is travel freely into your mountains. Again, penalized for living your life and following your own order of life of pursuing your life, liberty and happiness.

The USFS and elected officials have “rules” to follow. In case of the USFS, they work under “the planning rules” of which they are picking and choosing from as to meet out their desired condition of  “may meet with objectors” using the 2012 planning rule, for a plan that is being developed under the 1982 planning rule that states the USFS “must meet with appellants.” And of which our current forest supervisor has admitted mixing of those planning processes would be inappropriate for them to do, and yet, they are doing it right now.

Our elected officials are currently meeting with WWNF staff in a quorum fashion, meaning a majority of the elected commission body is present (2 out of 3), and discussing the Forest Plan Revision, which constitutes a “public meeting.” However, they have failed to give public notice of any such meetings, even though the WWNF staff has been told the public wants notice of those meetings. Which gives just another example of officials breaking the rules/laws to meet out their own agendas.

You will be not allowed to travel down roads the USFS deems unnecessary, or that your elected officials negotiate away in collaborative groups, but when they find it uncomfortable to have you at a meeting, or more convenient to mix rules to meet out their desired outcome, bending and breaking the rules is completely acceptable. Will you be afforded the same latitudes when you’re caught not obeying? 

John D. George


Animal shelter something community can be proud of

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the Jan. 9 “My Voice” column written by Jane Sabin-Davis of Bend, in which she stated she wants to “reclaim our shelter.”

I strongly support John Brinlee and his operation of our Blue Mountain Humane Association/Animal Rescue Center. I applaud his successful efforts to make our shelter an open door, high save rescue place of safety and refuge for all the animals in their care.

ln 2010, my encounter with the animal shelter was disappointing to say the least. lt was outdated, obsolete, behind the times and ineffective in dealing with the animals and the public. Their high-kill rate was a sad situation; even adoptable animals were killed.

They treated me with “disdain” when I inquired about a trap/neuter release program for the outdoor cats, also known as “feral cats.” Not only were they not receptive to the trap/neuter release program, but they totally rejected the idea.

They told me they considered neutering the outdoor cats and returning them to their environment to be animal abandonment. Obviously, they were not well educated about the benefits to the community and to the cats, or how to implement the trap/neuter release program, which has been successfully used all over the country for many years to control overpopulation.

I questioned the competency of the previous (2006-2011) shelter staff to properly administer the controlled substance used to kill those animals humanely. If Jane wants a place to “dispose” of unwanted or unadoptable animals, open a municipal facility, but don’t call it a shelter. Call it a 

Keep up the good work, John Brinlee. I know you are supported by the community. I applaud your progressive changes to make our shelter one that we can be proud of. I volunteer daily. I have seen John give education classes four times a week along with people coming from out of state to adopt animals due to the high-save rescue. That’s money spent in our community because of BMHA and its high-save rescue. They can now get more grants due to their high-save rescue.

Beverly Winkle 

La Grande