Hartstirn: Disappointed by location of ADA parking spaces

To the Editor:

Recently, my boyfriend and I were excited to explore the new location of Miller’s Home Center. While we were impressed with the store, we were baffled and disappointed that the ADA parking spaces were not next to the entrance. In fact, when we left the store and passed the corner of the building where those spaces are located, we were hit with a strong blast of wind. 

Who decided on the location of these parking areas, and what was their criteria? I have looked up Oregon ADA parking requirements for a new business and parking lot and could not find regulations stipulating the proximity of the ADA spaces to an entrance. However, at this new business, it is not possible for people who have mobility issues or other types of vulnerability to make the trip from their vehicle to the store entrance by the shortest and most protected route. Not only must those customers travel, but their parking spaces are more exposed to the elements. Shame on you.


Ellen Hartstirn

La Grande

Journet: ‘Trumpers’ continue to enable abuse of power

To the Editor:

Trump campaigned on draining the swamp, but instead he surrounded himself with swamp creatures more corrupt than anything ever seen. He also demonstrates the greatest ever presidential abuse of office for financial and political gain. 

His soliciting help from foreign adversaries to aid his re-election campaign, in direct breach of the Constitution, is obvious and acknowledged. Yet, following cult-like behavior reminiscent of the mass suicide in Jonestown decades ago, Republicans continue to enable this insanity.

There is clearly no pro-life commitment in this president as he decrees deporting children in need of life-saving medical care. Meanwhile, our allies learn that he will sacrifice their lives and their families lives to a despot’s military assault. 

His defense team absurdly claims that the constitutionally defined impeachment process is unconstitutional and should be a judicial investigation, then simultaneously denies the right of any judicial entity to investigate a sitting president. They reveal themselves as incompetent as the president.

It’s difficult to identify a proposal emanating from this White House that a humane American could support. Notably, genuine conservatives are as outraged as liberals and progressives at what is unfolding before our eyes. 

Local Trumpers offering their opinions might reflect on the obscenity they support.

Alan Journet


Varney: ‘I go into the forest to … find my soul’ 

To the Editor:

Naturalist John Muir said that between two pine trees is a doorway to a new world. It was the forest, the world of nature.

In all the places I’ve lived over the years, I soon discovered that I missed the pine trees. I soon realized, like Muir before me, that the pines were the symbol of the forest and mountains, the rivers, streams and canyons.

I missed them all. I missed their world. Now that I’ve returned to Northeast Oregon, I find myself reveling in the beauty of this special place. Each time I see another vista it seems worthy of the artist’s paintbrush or the photographer’s lens.

No matter where I’ve lived or traveled, this was always “home.” Whether I’m hiking along Catherine Creek with the thunder of its raging current echoing all around or I’m standing in the stunning stillness of a grove of Ponderosa pine on the slopes of Mt. Emily, I can identify with Muir’s feelings when he wrote: “I go into the forest to lose my mind and find my soul.” 

Civilization has given us many benefits yet there is something in nature, in the wild places and in the changing seasons that resonates within us. It’s something many have felt and a few have tried to express. Thoreau said that in nature he always had a room to himself.

There is in nature that sense that no one has ever been where you are right now and no one has ever seen the view you are beholding. During the change of seasons it can feel even more like nature is putting on her show just for us.

Ansel Adams, the photographer of nature, wrote of his first experience with nature: “The splendor of Yosemite burst upon us and it was glorious, one wonder after another … and a new era began for me.” He was 14 at the time and that moment cemented his commitment to become a photographer.

Whatever it is that the forests and mountains and rivers give us, I’m thankful that we are rich in these transcendent places. 

Jan Varney

La Grande

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