Milbert: Won’t renew subscription due to Observer’s content and increasing cost

To the Editor:

The Observer used to be a decent newspaper. Now it is a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

A newspaper should serve as an example of, and set a standard for, literacy, especially since public education systems are failing miserably. The Observer also fails miserably in this. The writing is full of illiteracy, egregious grammatical blunders and factual inaccuracies.

There is obviously no proofreader or copy editor. Complaints have been met with “Well, you could always volunteer to come in and help.” Even if you can’t afford to pay a real proofreader, the paid “professional” staff should be able to edit its own copy adequately. The frequency with which this does not happen indicates that you really don’t care.

In an effort to save money, you’ve taken your publication from six days per week to a mere three. While your service was cut in half, your fees remained untouched. Buy one, pay for two. At the same time, the quality of content has continued to deteriorate.

Now, for the second time in nine months, you’ve raised your prices without bothering to warn your subscribers. These two increases in less than a year have boosted your prices another 25%. For what? Do you really believe you can stave off bankruptcy with this approach? Even our legislators are smarter than that.

I had been maintaining my subscription simply because a community needs a resource to publish community dialogue, legal notices and obituaries. However, continuing to do so would only promote the ridiculous notion that your performance is somehow acceptable. My subscription ended May 18. I do not choose to renew.

It’s really too bad there isn’t another newspaper here. Then, your eventual closing would be no loss to anyone.

John B. Milbert

La Grande

Preston: Wood-burning stoves a better option than fireplaces

To the Editor:

A big thanks to Gust Tsiatsos for building beautiful little houses for veterans. We can only hope there will be little houses following for other people in the community. There is a great need.

A thought for homes in an area where power outages happen: In a disaster, homes can be without power for a long time and a wood-burning stove you can cook on is a far greater need than a fireplace. You get heat and a cooking option. Maybe the predicted tsunami will not come as soon as expected, but we will be without power for a long time if it does.

Becky Preston


Shea: Revamped downtown grocery is a delight

To the Editor:

After visiting the Market Place Fresh Foods grocery store Thursday with my wife, I decided to compose this letter to the editor. When the news originally broke that La Grande’s Urban Renewal Agency approved funds for this establishment, I shook my head in amazement: $500,000, for a grocery store, really? If someone wanted to open a business in town, fine, but it’s usually with their own money, right?

When the store finally opened and closed shortly afterward, I thought my first impression was correct. Statistics show most new business fail because of lack of long-term funding. Well, I have changed my mind completely after my recent visit. The store is a delight. Friendly, engaging staff, bright cheerful atmosphere, beautiful produce displayed outside as you enter, very attractive pricing in general, and a killer Cuban-style panini for lunch to boot. To say that I have changed my mind is an understatement.

Based on conversations with other folks, visiting for the first time also, it seems fair to say that the present management team has created a perfectly situated little grocery haven.

I wish them much success moving forward.

John P. “Jack” Shea

Cricket Flat