By Observer Upload June 16, 2014 08:56 am

Nelson: Not everything has a yes or no answer 

To the Editor:

This week’s survey is not appropriate. Every American deserves a fair trial. A survey asking if Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter or not, is way ahead of charges and a potential trial. 

We, the everyday citizens, do not have access to the facts. Would we want to be charged in the media? Do we pick a media of 12 as in 12 jurors? Who decides? 

I served my country for 22 years. I’m proud of that service and never ducked or ran. However, I saw some who did, under very unique circumstances. It was not my place to judge them. If Bergdahl is charged, a military law office will make that determination, not us. They need to get all the facts first. 

Perhaps the La Grande Observer should take a serious look a how their surveys are presented. Not everything has a yes or no answer. Provide some options.

Bob Nelson



Hawkins: Barreto’s reasons not rooted in racism

To the Editor:

This is in response to Virginia Garcia’s letter to the editor in the Thursday, May 29, East Oregonian, titled “Barreto’s attacks on illegal immigrants shows ignorance.”

During the election campaign, Greg Barreto was targeted as being a racist. Most of these attacks stem from a question that was presented to him and John Turner at a forum in Pendleton that I attended with Greg. That’s right, as Lars Larson would say, “l have a dog in the fight.” 

At the forum, Morrow County Sheriff Ken Matlack asked where each candidate stood on the driver card law coming up for a vote. Greg Barreto answered by saying he opposed driver cards for immigrants and John Turner said he supported them. As a result of Mr. Barreto’s opposition to the driver cards, the media and a lot of other folks, including Ms. Garcia, have labeled him a racist, which is far from fact. 

Greg Barreto’s stance on the driver card issue is based on legality and not racism. If an immigrant is here legally, then, fine, get your driver’s license and be totally legal. 

I find it interesting that the Barretos have tried to present some facts to the media regarding this allegation of him being a racist. Up to this point, the media has neglected to set the record straight.

Fact one: Greg Barreto’s dad, Jacinto (Tom) Barreto, was 100 percent Hispanic and his mom is 100 percent German. This tells me that Greg is half-Hispanic and half-German. How can his stance on an illegal immigrant driver’s card issue be a racist one?

 Fact two: Greg’s paternal grandparents moved to California from Mexico at the turn of the century. Again I ask, how can Greg Barreto be labeled a racist?

So, Ms. Garcia, here are the facts; I am sure if you have further questions or concerns for Greg, feel free to give him a call. His contact numbers and email addresses are on the Barreto campaign website or you can reach him at the state Legislature after the first of the year.

Fred Hawkins



Smith: Time to hold state government accountable

To the Editor:

I suppose the Oregon Department of Forestry has been watching the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as it carries out its plans to control game and introduce dangerous species into the Oregon forests and grasslands, without any accountability and responsibility, mostly against the wishes of the local populations.   

And so ODF decided that they could do anything they wanted to do as well, and that if ODFW got away with it so could ODF.

Today, without any prior public notification or discussion, the ODF implemented a no-notice statewide fire season, leaving a great number of Oregon residents outraged, privately and publicly calling into question their ancestry and private interpersonal practices.

Today, I spoke on the telephone with ODF, whose representative said they were all surprised that no notice was given to them either.

When is the Oregon public going to stand up to the tyranny of Oregon state government departments and hold them accountable, force them to obey state law and regulations, and actually serve the Oregon public they are paid to serve?

Nicholas L. Smith

La Grande