Felley: Don’t lose sight of what great outdoors has to offer

To the Editor:

Talking to a local business owner recently, he mentioned their family’s Mother’s Day tradition is to take the kids to Mount Emily and pick wildflowers for their mom. What a beautiful tradition. I replied that our tradition is to go out bird watching at Ladd Marsh before attending a Mother’s Day brunch in town. This got us talking about what a wonderful place it is we all call home and how fortunate we are to have all the year-round outdoor recreational opportunities right outside our door.

Clearly people from far away appreciate these resources as well. While attending the annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival this month, I stopped to talk to folks with Utah plates on their car.

“Surely, you didn’t come all this way just to attend our little bird festival?” I asked.

They had indeed, specifically to take a tour to see the great gray owls up at Spring Creek. They were pleasantly surprised to learn that there was much more offered — other tours, a Friday night talk, interpretive stations around the marsh and activities for kids. Not only that, but they said they hadn’t traveled the farthest — they had met folks here from Arizona.

We really have something special here, not only for our enjoyment but also for the economic well-being of our community and the region. People coming here to visit and to live are a significant part of that economic well-being.

From Mount Emily Recreation Area and other county parks, Ladd Marsh, our growing Grande Ronde River Greenway Trail, Morgan Lake and Hilgard State Park to all our national forests, the list of what our area has to offer is really impressive. Let’s never lose sight of this and continue to care for and improve the great outdoors of Northeast Oregon.

Dave Felley

La Grande

Harsin: Perplexed by Wixom’s letter

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Wanda Wixom’s letter published on May 2.

In La Grande we have a local business that has a sign in its front window stating you’re not welcome in their shop if you voted for a certain person.

But Wixom is incensed about a barber’s sign stating they will only cut hair a certain way, male or female. I have seen both getting haircuts. How can a hairstyle or a type of cut be discriminated against?

I’m sure the barbers can do all types of haircuts. But why should they have to? This barber shop is busy and set up to cut hair a certain way. Why should the barbers and their primary customers be forced to wait or work harder?

You wouldn’t go to a doughnut shop to order a cake.

Doug Harsin

La Grande