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The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are limited to 350 words and must be signed and carry the author’s address and phone number (for verification purposes only).

We edit letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish poetry, consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged.

Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks.

Email your letters to news@lagrandeobserver.com or mail them to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850.

My Voice

My Voice columns should be 500 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships.

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to acutler@lagrandeobserver.com .

Patterson: Public library is ‘cradle of democracy’

To the Editor:

Andrew Carnegie said, “There is no such cradle of democracy upon the earth as the free public library.” He founded many libraries in the United States. The Union Carnegie Library is one.

He, along with Microsoft’s Bill Gates, believed in funding projects to direct the use of their money and to see their projects to fulfillment. Bill Gates enhanced our community by donating the first two computers to our Union Library.

I urge you to vote YES to pass the Union library district. Yes, it will raise your taxes, but this is one tax where you really get a bang for your buck.

You will get unlimited use of more than thousands of books via Inter
LibraryLoan (ILL) plus our local collection, including large-print books; videotape and DVD checkout; children’s summer reading program; electronic databases; computer use; and much more. Were you aware that the library has an open connection? You can sit in your car outside the library and download books to your Kindle or read your email on your own laptop.

We are fortunate to have an active library board, an active Friends of the Library group and an exceptional librarian who goes the extra mile in helping people find what they need. Our library is one of the busiest places in town. If you haven’t used it, you need to stop in and take a look for yourself.

There are three things that make for a successful community: a post office, a school and a library. Union has all of this. Let’s work together to keep it that way. Please vote YES on Union Levy No. 3195

Ralph Patterson

Union postmaster, retired

Patterson: Libraries help us sort truth from fiction

To the Editor:

This is a message to my friends, neighbors and former students in Union.

In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote, “The libraries of America are and must ever remain the home of free, inquiring minds. To them, our citizens — of all ages and races, of all creeds and political persuasions — must ever be able to turn with clear confidence that there they can freely seek the whole truth,
unwarped by fashion and uncompromised by expediency. For in such whole and healthy knowledge alone are to be found and understood those majestic truths of man’s nature and destiny that prove, to each succeeding generation, the validity of freedom.”

In this troubled modern day of “social media,” libraries are more important than ever to help sort out truth from fiction. We need our library!

Please exercise your right to vote YES on Union Levy No. 3195

Donna Patterson

Union school librarian, retired

Vigil: Clean Energy Jobs Bill is win-win for rural Oregon

To the Editor:

It’s great that some Republicans are accepting science. Federally, the 50-member House Climate Solutions Caucus, half of whom are Republicans, proposes legislation. But in Oregon, our Republican representatives still sit on their hands. Many of them claim to accept the science, but talking the talk is totally inadequate; they must walk the walk.

After a season of national hurricanes and wildfire disasters almost certainly made more severe by human-induced emissions of climate pollution, the urgency of action should be hitting home. Alas, it is not.

Facing a legislative proposal that places a cap on our contribution to this global warming problem, Oregon’s Republicans grope from reason to reason to oppose meaningful action. While a few Oregon Republicans stick their heads in the sand, tout the denier hoaxes and claim not to believe the science, others claim to accept the science but still do nothing.

We’ve had purely voluntary pollution reduction goals in place for 10 years and are nowhere near the trajectory of reduction we need to be; voluntary goals have failed. It’s time to support the Clean Energy Jobs bill — a win-win solution for rural Oregon with funds allocated to supporting renewable energy projects in economically depressed areas.

Trisha Vigil


Van Naerssen: Walden should vote to restrict firearms

To the Editor:

Rep. Greg Walden: I am a Bronze-Star-awarded, surviving veteran of the Vietnam War.

When will you take responsibility for the congressional inaction that enables killing of others? When will you vote to drastically restrict weapon ownership?

Only after thousands more are
innocently murdered?

Only after the National Rifle
Association stops funding your

I hope you have the guts to say no more to innocent killing, to vote for restricted weapon ownership, and not for continued murder.

Hans (Henri) van Naerssen