Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 20, 2016)
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Tragic events in Hermiston
Sending my love to all involved. I know
you are hurting so bad right now, just know
I’m hear if you need me.
— Tonya Abbott
I knew (JJ) from school. He was always
so polite and nice, very handsome young
man. He was too young to be taken. Prayers
for the family, so tragic.
— Kathy Moore
This just makes me sick to my stomach.
How heartbreaking. He is just a child.
Condolences to the family and friends. As a
mother, I can’t even begin to imagine.
— Jennifer Bush
RIP JJ. We love you and will miss you.
Condolences to all families involved.
— Carla-Pancho Atilano
Know, please, that an army of strangers
are sending love, prayers of strength and
hopes of peace to the family and friends of
— James Cluck
R.I.P JJ. You were an awesome friend
and very fun to be around and to joke around
with. Prayers go out to his family and him.
— Darius Peterson
Praying for all involved in care giving
and responding. Families of all.
— Virginia Salter
One of the great lessons of the Twitter age is
that much can be summed up in just a few words.
Here are some of this week’s takes. Tweet yours
@Tim_Trainor or email editor@eastoregonian.
com, and keep them to 140 characters.
Pendleton goals may take time to develop
goals, let members of the public into
his is an open letter to
Pendleton mayor-elect John
But there is a middle ground
between letting discussion go on to
The irst meeting of your goal
ininity or cutting it so short that many
setting committee, on Monday,
things go unaddressed.
was kind of breathtaking: some 20
Pendleton is not just any town.
invitees greeted with the task of
Its classic reputation stems not just
agreeing on 10-12 goals to guide
from Pendleton Woolen Mills, the
the 2017 city council, trying to
decide how general or speciic to
Forrester Round-Up or colorful history of
tribal members and pioneers but
write a goal, Art Hill struggling to
from a community personality
record key thoughts and categories
that has spawned leadership in the
for the electronic committee
region and in the arts and many individual
success stories. Many of us love this town
After an hour, you called a timeout
and care about its economy and its future.
and summarized as chairman that you had
Many of us would like to see storefronts
wished to be able to write the goals in just
and classrooms illed to levels of, say, the
one hour-long meeting. But all the hands
1980s. At the same time, many feel strongly
raised and the volume of material was
forcing a second meeting, set for Monday, 4 that whatever new investments or new
jobs come, we would oppose changes in
p.m., at City Hall.
Pendleton’s basic character.
In the meantime, you told committee
It is just as important to set community
members to see if some worthy goals were
goals with care as it is to adhere to an
left out of the irst meeting and be ready
arbitrary completion date. Getting off your
for Monday to accept or reject goals in the
fast track on goal setting needs to be done in
my view for a few reasons.
“I expect the meeting on the 22nd to be
▪ Members of the public need to be able
our last meeting,” you said. “After that, I
to give their views while the goal setting
will ask you to help me present these goals
is going on — rather than taking the inal
so we can get Pendleton’s taxpayers and
document to the chamber or service clubs
voters to weigh in.”
later and saying, “What do you think of
With your experience at the Pentagon
what we’ve done?”
and in heading up Blue Mountain
This town belongs to all of us, not
Community College, I can understand your
just to the 20 members of the goal setting
desire to expedite decision making. Setting
committee. Pendleton residents need
goals for a community can and should
a few ways to register their proposals
entail lots of work and can go on forever
electronically and otherwise. In addition to
if the chairman fails to move things along.
presentations to the service clubs, a public
Let people speak, take notes to help future
event is needed for citizens to testify and
meetings, guard against duplication, tell the
ask questions. I know that idea gives you
difference between strategic goals and task
the heebie-jeebies, Mr. mayor-elect, but
the people of Pendleton deserve it. With a
skilled moderator, a public event can work.
• Several of the goals that are to be
discussed next Monday relate to boosting
the Pendleton economy. That’s good. We
need more and more diverse jobs and
investment. But some questions need to be
answered before the committee’s goals go to
the city council.
Steve Chrisman has so many
responsibilities at the airport, expanded
airport services and the Convention Center
that the bases are not covered adequately.
City Manager Robb Corbett knows that, but
a way has to be found to lighten Chrisman’s
▪ Speaking of Chrisman, I believe he
has never been told what kinds of business
investment or jobs he should favor in
trying to build Pendleton’s economy. Some
city fathers and mothers favor attracting
whatever investment or jobs are available
while others feel the community should
favor jobs that pay $20 and more an hour.
Gary Neal says the Port of Morrow requires
new companies to pay at least family wages
in order to operate at Boardman.
▪ Pendleton city government has so many
committees that it intimidates some citizens
who might otherwise volunteer. Could some
committees be merged with others?
Pendleton negativity needs to be
addressed. Some of the complaints — not
all of them — stem from poor decision
making at City Hall, or poor customer
service attitude or citizens feeling shut out
from city decision making.
Mike Forrester is a former editor of the
East Oregonian. He lives in Pendleton.
Combating mental illness Biking bill is a smokescreen
for opening up wilderness
and drug addiction
cross Oregon, I’ve talked
be boosted around the country.
with many families who
With our bill, we can ensure
are struggling with mental
better access to treatment, we
illness and drug addiction.
can reduce the number of legally
These touch every segment
prescribed pills that shouldn’t be
of our communities, no matter
out there and save lives.
where you live or what you look
Meanwhile, the Helping
like. Tragically, they often carry
Families in Mental Health Crisis
with them a major stigma in
Act would be the irst signiicant
society, and help is hard to ind.
Walden overhaul of the nation’s mental
Fortunately, Congress is working
health system since the Kennedy
in a bipartisan way to help solve
these problems and offer relief to
Our bill reforms the 112
those who need help.
federal programs that address mental
The size of the crisis is staggering.
health, ensuring they effectively
Nearly 10 million Americans have
coordinate and streamlining the
a serious mental illness, and yet 40
bureaucracy currently creating serious
percent of them aren’t receiving the
barriers to care. It allows families to
treatment they need. In Oregon, more
better work with health care professionals
people are dying from drug overdoses
to care for loved ones, and helps ix
than car accidents, with our state ranked
the shortage of 100,000 psychiatric
consistently at the top for non-medical
hospital beds in this country. Our bill also
use of prescription pain relievers.
advances tele-psychiatry to help mentally
I’ve heard the heartbreaking personal
ill patients in rural and underserved areas.
stories from people who are most
According to the National Institute of
affected. At roundtables in Medford,
Mental Health, those patients with severe
Bend and Hermiston, I spoke with
mental illness who do receive care are
parents whose children experienced
15 times less likely to commit, or be the
homelessness, violence, and worse due
victim of, violent acts than those who go
to mental health issues or drug addiction.
I’ve heard from law enforcement
While the vast majority of people
oficials about how the default place for
with mental illness are not violent, the
the mentally ill is often the local jail.
Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis
Local physicians and caregivers told me
Act works to make sure that those who
how they severely lack the resources to
are struggling do not go on to harm
effectively help patients suffering from
themselves or others.
Both of these bills addressing mental
The good news is recently the
health and opioid abuse have passed the
U.S. House passed two key pieces
House with overwhelmingly bipartisan
of legislation: the Helping Families
support. I’m proud to say that the drug
in Mental Health Crisis Act and the
addiction plan has also been passed by
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery
the Senate and signed into law by the
Act to tackle this crisis head on.
President. And I hope that the Senate will
The Comprehensive Addiction and
soon pass the mental health reform bill so
Recovery Act focuses on improving
that we can deliver help quickly to those
drug abuse treatments, addressing the
who need it.
underlying causes of addiction and
Mental health and drug addiction
helping those most at risk. Our bill
issues do not discriminate based on age or
expands access to care and prevention
gender or where you live or what political
services in our communities, and
party you belong to. They impact our
establishes best practices that will help
neighbors, our friends, and our families in
prevent lawful prescription use from
Oregon and across the nation.
spiraling into abuse. It gives new tools
For the sake of our children, our
to law enforcement and prevention
safety, and our society, we must ix this
advocates to combat the epidemic of
broken system that allows those who are
painkillers and heroin.
suffering from mental illness and drug
Importantly, we’re increasing irst
addiction to fall through the cracks.
responders’ access to the potentially
lifesaving anti-overdose drug naloxone.
Greg Walden represents Oregon’s
While some states, such as Oregon,
Second Congressional District, which
have already broadened its availability,
covers 20 counties in southern, central,
I believe the use of naloxone should
and eastern Oregon.
By JOHN KELLEY
Writers on the Range
re you ready for mechanized vehicles
on every wilderness trail in the United
States? That’s what you’ll get if a
deceptive piece of federal legislation becomes
law. Portrayed as a “modest” proposal for
mountain bike access, the legislation is a
Trojan horse that would throw open all
designated wilderness areas to bikes and
prevent federal land managers from later
The “Human-Powered Travel in
Wilderness Areas Act” was introduced into
Congress by Utah Republican Sens. Orrin
Hatch and Mike Lee, both known for their
efforts to roll back environmental protection.
You can read it online at https://www.
Hatch calls the legislation “a reasonable
approach to allowing the use of mountain
bikes on trails.” Lee says it would allow local
land managers to decide whether to allow
mountain biking in wilderness areas. Both
statements are smokescreens designed to hide
what’s really going on.
How would this legislation open all
wilderness areas to bikes? It would give
federal land managers a two-year deadline to
determine whether bikes should be allowed
on wilderness trails. If the deadline passes
without formal decisions, bikes automatically
would be allowed.
Problem is, the deadline is rigged for
failure. The two-year window would be
consumed with federal agencies developing
rules to guide the process, not with land
managers rendering decisions. Federal
actions can’t be arbitrary. Decision criteria
would need to be established and a lengthy
rule-making process would ensue to igure out
what makes one wilderness trail acceptable to
bikes and another one off-limits.
Even assuming an unrealistic timeframe
of one year for establishing criteria, the
environmental review process required by
federal law for the decisions would devour the
second year, and most likely take longer.
With the deadline blown and all wilderness
areas automatically opened to bikes, federal
land managers then would be in the position
of deciding whether to remove mountain bikes
from wilderness areas, rather than determining
if they should be allowed in the irst place.
Here, the legislation contains another
trap: It predetermines a decision in favor of
mountain bike use by making mountain bikes
“rebuttably presumed to be in accordance
with the preservation and maintenance of the
wilderness character of a wilderness area.” In
other words, the legislation would not only
open wilderness areas to mountain bikes, it
would lock in their use.
Further, in a reality-warping maneuver
that reads like something from an Orwell
novel, the bill would enable mountain bikes
to sidestep the 52-year-old prohibition on
mechanized transportation in wilderness areas
by declaring bikes a non-mechanized form of
travel. The bill states: “The term ‘mechanical
transport’ does not include any form of
human-powered travel, regardless of whether
the travel is mechanically assisted, in which
the sole propulsive power source is one or
It escapes comprehension that a machine
with gears, derailleurs, wheels, bearings, disc
brakes, cables, gear shifts, a whirling chain
and pedals does not add up to “mechanical
Also worth noting: The legislation’s
contortion of “mechanical transport” would
leave wilderness areas open to whatever
pedal-powered contraptions emerge in the
future. Seem far-fetched? Fifty years ago, who
would have imagined bikes could penetrate
the farthest reaches of nation’s wildest lands?
And what if there are “undue conlicts” (in
the words of the bill) on trails between people
biking and people walking? The legislation
would allow federal land managers to separate
the two uses by day, time of day or season.
For example, bikes in your favorite wilderness
area from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; hiking from 2 p.m.-8
p.m. Or, bikes on Mondays, Wednesdays,
Fridays and Sundays; hiking on Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays. Or: Summer’s for
biking! Fall’s for hiking!
Is anyone looking forward to all this?
The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness
Areas Act is a sham. It would undermine one
of the most farsighted conservation laws in the
world, the 1964 Wilderness Act, which was
enacted to protect the nation’s wild areas from
the “growing mechanization” — to quote the
law — of American culture. And if there’s a
symptom of growing mechanization on public
lands, it’s mountain bikes.
The bike industry may frame the activity
as “human-powered” in an effort to obfuscate
any difference between walking and riding.
Advocates may employ the dark arts of
But deception and sly tricks shouldn’t
deprive the American people of a uniquely
American heritage: The opportunity to wander
through the nation’s most highly protected
lands at a truly human-powered pace, step-by-
step, free from the machines and speed of an
ever-urbanizing, ever-industrializing society.
John Kelley is a contributor to Writers
on the Range, the opinion service of High