East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, May 27, 2016, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Friday, May 27, 2016
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Advertising Director
Opinion Page Editor
Tip of the hat;
kick in the pants
A tip of the hat to the Hermiston School Board, who may rearrange
its weekly meetings so they no longer conlict with Hermiston City
Having the two most important boards
in a city in session at the same time for
each and every meeting is not a good
idea, and one that is long overdue to be
rectiied. Yet the school board could even
go a step further. Instead of just changing
their meeting time, they are considering
a liaison who would attend future city
council meetings and represent the district.
That would be a great step forward for
two groups that have been on conlicting
schedules. Being in the room can help
them keep both boards on the same page. Expect both the city and the school
district to beneit if the school district decides to make a positive change.
A kick in the pants to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and his absurd
response to news that his police chief drunkenly shot his friend in
Eastern Oregon back in April. And an
obvious kick in the pants to the police chief
himself — Larry O’Dea.
The Oregonian and Willamette Week have
each been reporting on this case, which looks
now like a dangerous lapse in judgment
followed by a clearly bungled cover-up.
O’Dea, who was allegedly intoxicated at
the time, misled a Harney County sheriff’s
deputy about what happened. What is now
being reported, by multiple witnesses: While
drunk and sitting in a lawn chair shooting
ground squirrels, O’Dea’s gun accidentally discharged and seriously injured
his friend, who had to be lown to a Boise hospital.
O’Dea made it clear he talked to his bosses about the incident — ahem,
Hales — but no action was taken until the story leaked to the media, which
only happened after Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward got to the bottom of
who was involved in the shooting.
After making a mistake of this caliber, O’Dea should have been honest
and humble and asked for forgiveness. He certainly should have been put
on leave during the course of the investigation. That neither happened is
For urban tourists who treat Eastern Oregon as their outdoor Las Vegas —
what happens here, stays here — let this be a lesson.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board of Publisher
Kathryn Brown, Managing Editor Daniel Wattenburger, and Opinion Page Editor Tim Trainor.
Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
No middle ground on forest management
The Yamhill Valley News-Register
or decades, the federal Bureau of
Land Management has been stuck
between the rock of Northwest
timber counties and the hard place of
environmental advocacy coalitions.
In matters of public debate, the best
solution is often somewhere in the
moderate middle. In the case of federally
owned O&C lands, that would entail
some sort of forward-thinking plan
providing increased logging on BLM
lands and establishing and enforcing
measures to better protect streams,
forests and the habitat they provide.
The problem is, opposing sides
become so caught up in their ideologies
they are unable to work toward a viable
solution. The battle over the BLM’s
latest draft plan to manage forests has
begun. Environmental groups have iled
an appeal, accusing the agency of failing
to protect the public trust, while the
Association of O&C Counties submitted
a legal challenge arguing that the plan
would fail to deliver mandated timber
harvest levels.
Yamhill County commissioners
loosed a deluge of criticism to BLM
representatives at a recent meeting and
took the “give back our lands” tone of
the movement — looking to force the
government to relinquish all western
Environmental groups are blinded
by their own ideology, of course, and
to no lesser extent. They keep repeating
mindless mantras like, “Clearcutting
kills ish” and “We don’t need more
clearcuts” — rhetoric designed to
convince the public that decades-old
practices remain in play.
In fact, the BLM is employing
ecological logging practices developed
by regional scientists. They include
clearcutting small patches and allowing
habitat to naturally regenerate. That
approach works better than thinning,
which creates a falsiied matrix of
wooded lands, scientists argue.
The private business sector has
been willing to meet somewhere in the
It’s too bad environmentalists are
willing to go above and beyond to
preserve the marbled murrelet, but refuse
to consider any measures to preserve
our rural communities and economy, the
demise of which lead to poverty, drug
abuse and child neglect. On the other
side, county representatives would be
better advised to avoid falling into a feud
dominated by trite arguments.
Sore, happy feet on
the Paciic Crest Trail
sometimes undertaken with the whole
TRAIL, Calif. — Every
family, sometimes just the two of us.
At home we’re all busy, but on the trail
spring or summer, in lieu of
we’re beyond cellphone coverage or
professional help, I ditch civilization
email reach and we’re stuck with each
for the therapy of the wilderness.
I’ve just been backpacking with my
So we talk. Even as we’re
18-year-old daughter on the Paciic
disconnected, we reconnect. And
Crest Trail in California, abandoning
our material world for an alternative
Nicholas on rest breaks and at night, camping
the stars, we read aloud to each
reality in which the aim is to possess
Kristof under
other: On this trip, my daughter and
as little as possible — because if you
I have been reading Adam Johnson’s
have it, you lug it.
brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning novel,
Our lives were downsized to 10
pounds of possessions each, not counting food “The Orphan Master’s Son,” and talking about
what it means.
and water. We carried backpacks, sleeping
No self-respecting teenage girl would
bags, jackets, hats, a plastic groundsheet, a
tarp in case of rain, a water ilter and a tiny roll normally allow her dad to read to her, but out
in the wilderness, it’s a bond
of duct tape for when things
we share.
It’s true that not
Few problems in life
everybody can get time
cannot be solved with duct
off, the cost of equipment
can add up and it can be a
OK, I know I’m
hassle to get to and from
supposed to use my column
a trail. (When I’ve tried
to pontiicate about Donald
hitchhiking out, drivers see
Trump and global crises.
a bedraggled, unshaven
But as summer beckons,
hobo and speed up!) Still,
let me commend such
costs are modest: While car
wilderness escapes to all of
campgrounds often charge,
you, with your loved ones,
backpacking in the great
precisely to ind a brief
outdoors is almost always free. And day after
refuge from the pressures of the world.
day, there is simply nowhere to spend money.
This isn’t for everybody; astonishingly,
I can’t pretend it’s glamorous. We’ve
some folks prefer beaches and clean
been scorched by the sun and chilled by rain,
sheets. But for me at least, a crazy jaunt in
hail and snow. Sure, in trail conversations
the outdoors is the perfect antidote to the
we bare our innermost thoughts, but we also
absurdity of modern life.
In the 21st century, we often ind ourselves spend plenty of time whining about blisters,
rattlesnakes and 20-mile stretches without
spinning on the hamster wheel, nervously
water. We curse trail designers for PUDS, or
jockeying for status with our peers — Is my
pointless ups and downs.
barbecue bigger than my neighbor’s? Is my
And let’s be blunt: I stink. When you’re
car lashier? — even as we’re too busy to
carrying everything on your back, you don’t
barbecue anything. We’re like dogs chasing
pack any changes of clothing. We bathe our
after our tails.
That’s why I ind it so cathartic to run away feet in creeks (hoping that anyone drinking
downstream is using a water ilter), and on
from home. My parents took me backpacking
this trip we luxuriated in the Deep Creek
beginning when I was about 7, and my wife
hot springs beside the trail. We commiserate
and I took our three children on overnight
together, and we exult together in America’s
hikes as soon as they could toddle.
cathedral of the wild, our stunning common
Don’t tell Child Protective Services, but
heritage and birthright.
when my daughter was 4, I took her on an
My daughter and I have now hiked across
overnight trip on Oregon’s Eagle Creek Trail,
Washington and Oregon and hundreds of
carrying her most of the irst day on my
miles of California, and eventually we’ll have
shoulders, on top of my backpack. The next
limped the entire Paciic Crest Trail from
morning, I bribed her: If she would walk by
Mexico to Canada. Nothing is as different
herself all 13 miles back to the car, I would
from my daily life, nor as treasured, and that is
buy her a spectacular ice cream in the nearest
why I suggest the wilderness to friends.
For members of my family at least, these
So we set off for the car. At every rest stop,
spring and summer hikes are a reminder that
we conjured that ice cream and how cold it
what shapes us is not so much the possessions
would be, and, fortiied, we trundled on down
we acquire but the memories we accumulate,
the trail beside glorious waterfalls. When we
that when you scrape away the veneer, what
reached the car, we were both proud of her
gives life meaning is not the grandest barbecue
heroism, and she beamed tiredly as I buckled
or the sportiest car. It’s each other.
her into her car seat.
When we arrived at an ice cream shop 20
Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New
minutes later, she was fast asleep. I couldn’t
York Times, grew up on a sheep and cherry
wake her.
farm in Yamhill.
Thus began our hiking partnership,
A crazy jaunt
in the outdoors
is the perfect
antidote to the
absurdity of
modern life.
We could all do with a
little more music
The evening of May 24, I attended
the year-end concert of the band and
orchestra programs of Pendleton High
School. As I enjoyed the excellent
performances, several thoughts went
through my head. I would like to share
those thoughts.
The quality of the music played by
those students was simply outstanding.
It had to take many hours of dedicated
practice on the part of the students and
their teachers, Andy Gary and Emily
Callender. Our community is fortunate
to have such quality programs.
The number of students playing the
inal piece, which was a combination
of both band and orchestra members,
appeared to be around a hundred —
amazing participation.
Equally impressive was the
diversity of the kids. I saw every ethnic
background from our area represented.
There was short hair, long hair, no hair
and colored hair.
All those kids from different
backgrounds producing such beautiful
sound. I guess that is the beauty of
music. It brings us all together.
Sitting there gave me hope for our
future. In these troubled times, maybe
we could all do with a little more music.
Ron Deutz (retired educator)
Small school track teams
deserve coverage, too
In the Tuesday, May 24 sports page,
the East Oregonian had a great article
about the Pendleton and Hermiston track
teams. Two pages, color photos and a
list of all local winners. It was nice. That
same weekend the Helix girls inished
second and the Pilot Rock girls inished
ifth at state. I must have missed the
article about those teams.
By the way, the Pilot Rock girls team
won ifth at state with only six girls.
Come and meet them, they’re great kids.
The kids in Helix and Pilot Rock worked
as hard as the kids in the big schools and
their family and friends buy newspapers
Loal King
Pilot Rock
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public issues
and public policies for publication in the newspaper and on our website. The newspaper
reserves the right to withhold letters that address concerns about individual services and
products or letters that infringe on the rights of private citizens. Submitted letters must
be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime phone number.
Send letters to 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email editor@eastoregonian.