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Letters: Aug. 29, 2018

This week’s letters to the editor.

Published on August 28, 2018 4:31PM

Slow down in Dayville

To the Editor:

Our little town of Dayville loves our visitors, be them from near or far. We only ask one thing of our visitors, and that is to respect us and ours by driving the speed limit.

I witnessed what could have been a tragedy today, had Dad not been quick enough. A little one had wondered out into the highway with a car quickly (over the speed limit) approaching. Just thinking back on it makes the heartbeat speed up.

We may be just over a mile from city limit sign to city limit sign, but what is extremely important to us is what is found between those two boundaries. We have children, grandchildren, moms, dads, grandparents, even great grandparents, aunts, uncles and animals of all shapes and sizes. We have walkers, strollers (both kinds), drivers, runners, joggers and riders, which are of different sizes, age and speeds.

Those of us who live and work on Highway 26 are amazed and shocked at the speed that some people choose to travel. It’s not just cars. It is also pickups with trailers of all kinds. All sizes of trucks hauling all sorts of supplies and goods.

Please slow down, enjoy the sights. You can even stop and give us a visit so we can show you why we “love our little town!”

Ilah Bennett


‘The uncooperative co-op’

To the Editor:

Someone once noted that “the whole point of good propaganda” is that “you want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against ... Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything. It’s crucial that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something...”

Which brings me to the recent issue of Oregon Trail Electric Co-op’s Ruralite. Nestled amongst articles on county fairs and funerals was an article offering slogans aplenty and another highlighting the D.C. Youth Tour. These were meant to burnish the reputation of OTEC as a community-minded entity, but careful reading reveals just empty slogans and half-truths.

The article “It’s a Matter of Principles,” contained seven warm and fuzzy headliner slogans, but I’ll concentrate on the first: “The Power of Membership,” with translations along the way.

“Local members call the shots” — if you can get through all the obstacles for getting elected as a well paid director, they will have to listen to you; otherwise forget it.

“We are accessible. You can call or email us and know someone here is listening.” — of course they listen, but they don’t have to respond, especially if you ask essential questions pertaining to rate studies or employee compensation.

Directors “have only two things in mind: ... keeping the lights on and keeping costs affordable.” — except for bloated administrative salaries and pet projects like sending well-heeled teens to lobby in D.C., which despite OTEC’s repeated statements, does affect rates. Every penny spent on pet projects could have been spent on capital projects like substations.

Speaking of rates, OTEC’s were not raised but Idaho Power’s residential rates decreased by 3.27 percent recently, so many OTEC members would still be better off with Idaho Power.

As for my inquiries, OTEC would not even provide crucial information needed to understand whether they are treating all classes of ratepayers fairly or whether total compensation for various positions is adequate or extravagant. So, no, as a member you don’t call the shots — your power is very limited. Looks like the uncooperative co-op to me.

Christopher Christie

Baker City

Walden is working hard

To the Editor:

What does a United States representative do? I can tell you what Greg Walden, the U.S. representative for Oregon’s 2nd congressional district, does.

He finds lost Social Security checks, helps get funding for economic development projects and cuts through red tape to secure veterans’ benefits. He is working on legislation that addresses forest health and managing our rampant wildfires. He has worked to expand rural broadband and roll back regulations that have hurt small towns. He is fighting to fund crucial rural health care for the Children’s Health Insurance Programs and Community Health Centers.

I am amused at recent letters to the editor from folks who say they can’t find Greg. Let me tell you why. He is working! He is busy addressing the needs of his Oregon constituents.

It is the plot of a made-for-TV movie that a new, fresh-faced person from California, who has just been elected to Congress from Oregon, goes to Washington, D.C., and convinces all the seasoned and experienced legislators to immediately join her and endorse her ideas. It is a great fantasy for the campaign trail, but the reality of the job of representative involves years of hard work, study of the issues and experience working with other legislators. It is not an instant process, like mixing a Cup-o-Soup.

Real life involves gaining experience, trust and making friends and allies on both sides of the aisle. Real life involves representing Oregonians since Greg was first elected in 1998.

Congressman Greg Walden is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. That prestigious honor only comes by virtue of knowledge, experience, being bipartisan and working hard. We need to keep that experience and knowledge working for Oregon.

We need Greg Walden.

Zee Koza

La Grande

Protesters fail to mention profits

To the Editor:

Rosie O’Donnell recently led a protest by Broadway actors and actresses in Washington, D.C., protesting the policies of President Trump. What they didn’t say and what we need to know is that in 2017 Broadway’s gross revenue shot up to an all-time high of $1.673 billion (yes, that’s billion with a “B”) — $270 million above the previous year’s record. As of this spring, Broadway box office receipts were up 20 percent above last year’s record. This, the result of President Trump’s economic policies. Usually people are thankful for a strong economy and low unemployment that allows people to buy expensive tickets while visiting New York City. It seems “Trump Derangement Syndrome” can blind people to what is really important.

Reg LeQuieu

Mt. Vernon

School can be scary for stutterers

To the Editor:

It’s back to school time — new clothes, new backpacks, new schools and new friends. But for some children, old fears arise.

For the student who stutters, the beginning of the school year is a time fraught with anxiety and doubt. Will my classmates like me? Will the teacher understand I may need a few extra seconds to get my words out? Will I be bullied?

One in five children may experience issues with fluency during early development. The Stuttering Foundation has help for students, parents and teachers. For practical help and up-to-date information, visit us at StutteringHelp.org.

Jane Fraser

President, Stuttering Foundation

Drinking water versus irrigation

To the Editor:

As you may know, Prairie City has nearly run out of drinking water. The city of John Day is providing water from our wells, at no cost to Prairie City. I think that is a good idea. Yes, it is costing the city of John Day to pump the water into trucks that are hauling water to Prairie City. Prairie City is paying for hauling the water.

I was at a community meeting and Jim Hamsher, the mayor, made a remark that some of the people in the community were still using more water than was permitted.

The next day I met Chris Camarena, the public works manager. I asked him if there were still people using high volume of water. He said, “Yes.”

I do not have a problem with John Day providing free drinking water to Prairie City. I do have a problem with providing irrigation water.

Prairie City will need John Day’s water until the area gets enough rain to start the springs and creeks flowing again. There is no quick fix to this problem.

Tom Sutton

John Day


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