By Observer Upload April 11, 2014 07:25 am


Bowman: Observer needs to focus on building community

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on the April 2 story regarding the dislocation of the Shelter From the Storm site. 

It seems to be a “let’s you and him go fight” story, starting with the headline. I was saddened by that approach. Actually, the newsy bits are that there is an allocation driven displacement of a vital service happening, and that both parties are trying to figure out what to do but are being driven by finances and deadlines in making their decisions. There was an opportunity here to cover the needs of our community for a courthouse and the shelter services, and to describe options for the future and options to contribute, for that matter. 

Instead, the story is about conflict that doesn’t even exist yet — and incidentally highlights the location of the office, endangering staff at a minimum and possibly clients. Speaking as someone who has benefitted directly from their help who is now safely away from domestic violence, I urge you to do another story — one that focuses on options. I’m off to donate to them, such as I can. Will you take a second run at this story, with a focus on building community?

Kathy Bowman




Sprenger: Barreto seeks to restore balance

To the Editor:

What do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to have a Republican state representative with an honest and principled, common-sense approach to solving problems? Well, Greg Barreto is that person, and we can have him as our state representative. 

Greg knows what it takes to create jobs. He knows that when and only when the business sector is strong that jobs are created. Governments do not create jobs. When businesses can trust the government not to kill jobs with excessive taxes and regulations, they feel free to grow and create jobs. Greg believes in a smaller, more efficient government. Not the bloated wasteful government we have now that struggles to get anything done. Greg has 30 years experience of owning and managing a successful business based right here in Union County. Barreto Manufacturing is both a national and international business.

Some of the other areas that Greg is eager to tackle are limited government, following the Constitution, more local control in our schools, restricting the wolf population and returning federal lands to the counties to bring our timber industry back. In other words, restore balance.

I said we can have Greg as our state representative, an honest man with a principled, common-sense approach and also bring the District 58 position back to this side of the mountains. All we need to do is vote and remind your friends and neighbors to vote. The only way we can change things is to vote.

John and Betty Sprenger

La Grande



Boyd: Barreto is a man of his convictions

To the Editor:

We have had the pleasure of knowing Greg Barreto for almost 15 years, and he is one of the most honorable men we have ever met. He is truly a man of his convictions. 

Being a small-business owner has provided him with an understanding of fiscal responsibility. He supports local control of our natural resources to provide a stable economy and protect our way of life. He believes that less government means more jobs. This primary is very important, and we need to get the best man to represent us. 

Please vote for Greg Barreto for state representative.

Jack and Jennifer Boyd

La Grande



Anderson: Changing party affiliation to vote for Turner

To the Editor: 

After deep soul searching, I am changing my party affiliation to vote for John Turner in the May primary. That’s how important it is to have a representative in Salem who actually can get legislation passed on behalf of rural Oregonians. 

It may sound nice during the campaign for the other Republican candidate to stand tall for being an entrepreneur and imply that there’s something wrong with being an educational leader if it’s in public education. For the record, John represents traditional Republican values. 

It doesn’t take much to be too far to the right to accomplish anything in Salem. We all know that Oregon’s government is dominated by metro Democrats. Our representative must be able to work with them, not antagonize them. 

When it comes down to the real world of Oregon politics, there’s no way anyone alone can get anything done in the Legislature. A single vote among 60 in the House of Representatives accomplishes nothing. 

As a community college president, John Turner wasn’t a politician but rather a smart and dedicated educator who has worked with the Legislature. He is committed to providing the kind of representation that Greg Smith did for us before redistricting. 

Smith was and is someone who frequently worked across the aisle to get important things done on our behalf. Smith took a lot of flak for some of his vote swapping. But that’s a major part of how state government works when it comes to our rural regions. I think it’s important to note that Smith endorses John and so does our current representative, Bob Jenson. 

Chuck Anderson 

Wallowa Lake



Gilbert: Let’s move on to more important issues

To the Editor:

I am tired of all this talk about who is or is not the most supportive of veterans. 

I support Greg Barreto for the position. My relatives on both sides of my family can be traced back to the Civil War. My dad and mom were both veterans. One of my brothers was a West Point graduate, and the other earned the Bronze Star in Vietnam. I would not support a candidate that was not supportive of veterans.

I first heard of this veterans issue when canvassing in Pendleton. One of the residents of a house I stopped at said, “No, I do not support Mr. Barreto as he doesn’t support veterans.” When I asked her where she got such an idea, she said that she was a friend of John Turner and that is how she knew. I have no idea why that came out of her mouth, but she said it.

It is fair to say that the veterans will be well represented by either candidate. Let’s move on to other issues like jobs, who will assure that taxpayers are getting a good return on their money, and which candidate will do the best job of supporting legislation that assures our children will get a quality education, not just an expensive one. 

I made my decision based on these other issues, and I am putting my time, money and vote in support of Greg Barreto. I hope others will focus on the areas where the two candidates are different, not on issues — like veterans — where they agree.

Irene Gilbert

La Grande