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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (March 3, 2017)
Friday, March 3, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
KATHRYN B. BROWN
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Business Office Manager
Tip of the hat;
kick in the pants
A tip of the hat to the purchase of well-traveled land along Hurricane
Creek in Wallowa County, which will keep it
in public hands in perpetuity.
The 470-acre property along the stunning,
salmon-populated Hurricane Creek included
access to the popular Falls Creek trail as well.
The parcel had been owned by the Hofstetter
family and, when it came time to sell, there was
the possibility it could fall into private hands
who would lock out the public.
That won’t happen thanks to the Land and
Water Conservation Fund with help from the
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, who was able
to make the purchase and convey the land back to the national forest for
We tip our hat to that, and the protection of some of the coolest land in
Eastern Oregon, which all Americans can continue to access and enjoy.
And speaking of public lands, we tip our hat to a new mountain bike
trail on city land in Pendleton, near the airport.
The volunteer-driven effort is a great use of land that had little
development potential, and was used most
recently to provide a few scraps of scrub brush
to grazing cattle.
A bike trail is a much better use of the land,
and we look forward to watching it gain more
mileage and signage in the coming years.
As for now, with the first couple miles open
for hiking and biking, Pendleton residents are
already turning out to check on the turns and get
in shape for cycling season.
In general, giving locals fun and healthy
outdoor activities so close to town is great for Pendleton’s livability. And
the possibilities of hosting future races at the site is great for economic
development potential, too.
At little to no cost to the city, the benefit is clear.
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.
What’s to believe about Russia,
and how it affects Oregon
t was the second questioner at Sen.
Ron Wyden’s recent town hall
meeting in Oregon City that hit the
nerve. A woman stood amid at least
1,000 people packed into the city’s high
school gymnasium and said:
“The elephant in the room is the
relationship with the
Russians. This feels
like the most dangerous
time we’ve been in
for decades.” Amid a
roar of approval, she
asked: “What can you
do to get information
Wyden, a Democrat
who ended a statewide
Saturday, paced about
the basketball court in
sneakers as he went
straight to the elephant.
In addressing it, he unmasked himself
as something of a zealot — no surprise
to Oregonians who’ve watched his
persistent questioning of officials on
Capitol Hill about the federal collection
of metadata on unwitting citizens,
cybersecurity in a world of terrorism, the
erosion of personal privacy from technol-
ogies that include drones. He pledged to
the Oregon City crowd, as he did in other
town halls: “I am committed to making
sure this is not swept under the rug.” And
then he characteristically went large in
shouting above the cheers, “This goes
right to the heart of the legitimacy of the
Oregon has plenty of federal concerns.
Dam and wildlife management in the vast
Columbia River Basin, whose hydro-
electric output drives much of Oregon.
Logging on federal lands, covering more
than half of Oregon. Water brokering in
the Klamath Basin. Boatloads of national
taxpayer money funneled annually to
Oregon agencies in support of health care,
public education, highways that connect
everyone and everything. Meanwhile,
President Trump has placed everything in
In an interview with The Oregonian/
OregonLive Editorial Board following
his Thursday town hall in Ashland, a
hoarse Wyden was plain: “Yes, Russia. It
comes up every time. I get asked about
it when I’m buying a chicken at Fred
Meyer.” He paused. “Oregonians want to
be heard on this.”
Concern over the potential President
Trump-Vladimir Putin association has
escalated nationally over several months,
from a presidential election in which
Russian tampering was alleged and
during which Trump flippantly invited
Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.
More recently, a spy-novel cast of char-
acters comprising Paul Manafort, Roger
Stone and a fired Gen. Michael Flynn
lends intrigue, and in
some case outrage.
has refused to release
his tax returns, which
would likely reveal
any business interests
last year that would
require presidents to
release tax returns,
which he characterized
for the Oregon City
audience as representing “the lowest
ethical bar.” And he has since hammered
the message home that Trump has a lot of
explaining to do. More than most, he is
the voice associated with holding Trump
Wyden is right to consider the U.S.-
Russia relationship of peculiar pertinence
to Oregon. It’s what his bosses, the public,
want him to focus upon. And, in a vital
display of democracy, his bosses have
shown up in great number to say so. “It’s
just extraordinary,” Wyden said. “I have
never seen anything like this before.”
Significantly, Wyden opens his town
halls recalling the fabled “Oregon Way,”
which has no book, no code, no statute to
neatly define it.
But historically the “Oregon Way”
is about cutting through public clatter
on complex challenges and quietly
finding solutions — as if democracy can
work rationally and by consent of the
governed. The names Vic Atiyeh, Tom
McCall, Mark Hatfield get tossed about
as “Oregon Way” leaders who bettered
the state through steady advocacy while
devising clear measures to be taken to
achieve agreed-upon goals.
Wyden has a shot at bringing the
“Oregon Way” to Washington in a dark-
ening time: for Oregon, for the nation.
On behalf of Oregonians first, Wyden
can’t do enough to lay bare whether the
nation’s president has engaged improp-
erly with an adversary, shattering trust
so deeply that folks in Oregon City and
across the state wouldn’t know whom to
Wyden is right
We can’t bomb ebola
efore he became defense
other countries to tackle the problems
secretary, Gen. Jim Mattis once
pleaded with Congress to invest
That’s also true of terrorism. The
more in State Department diplomacy.
RAND Corp. examined how 648
“If you don’t fund the State
terrorist groups ended between 1968
Department fully, then I need to buy
and 2006. Most were absorbed by the
more ammunition,” he explained.
political process or defeated by police
Alas, President Donald Trump took
work; only 7 percent were crushed by
him literally but not seriously. The
administration plans a $54 billion
On balance, terrorists are probably
increase in military spending,
less threatened by drones overhead
financed in part by a 37 percent cut
than by girls with books. That’s why
in the budgets of the State
extremists shot Malala, threw
Department and the U.S.
acid in the faces of Afghan
Agency for International
schoolgirls and kidnapped
Nigerian schoolgirls. Terrorists
That reflects a
understand what most
threatens them, but I’m not
the world — that security
sure we do.
is assured only when we’re
The U.S. just lost a Navy
blowing things up. It’s
SEAL in Yemen, and it’s
sometimes true that political
useful to compare Yemen
power grows out of the barrel
with its neighbor Oman.
of a gun, as Chairman Mao
Until 1970, Oman was more
said, but it also emerges from
backward than Yemen, for
diplomacy, foreign aid and
Oman banned radio as the
carefully cultivated goodwill.
work of the devil, locked the gates to the
Military power is especially limited when
capital at night and offered no education for
threats come from new directions. More than
girls and almost none for boys. Then a new
four times as many Americans now die each
sultan took over and focused on education,
year from opioids as have died in the Iraq and
of girls as well as boys, and Oman is now
Afghan wars combined, but warships can’t
a boring, peaceful place, while Yemen
defeat drug traffickers. To beat traffickers, we
floundered — and is torn apart by terrorism
need diplomacy and the goodwill of countries
and civil war.
like Mexico and Afghanistan.
One can’t help wondering: If U.S. aid
And we certainly can’t bomb Ebola or
programs had invested in education in Yemen,
might we have reduced today’s terrorism and
Even before Trump’s election, we
violence? One study found that a doubling of
underfunded diplomacy and aid. Consider that primary school enrollment in a poor country
the New York City police alone employ more
halves the risk of civil war.
than twice as many uniformed officers as the
Education is no panacea, but it is a bargain:
State Department has Foreign Service officers. For the cost of deploying one soldier abroad
The military is one of the strongest
for a year, we can start about 40 schools.
advocates for nonmilitary investments
I’m focusing on security interests here, but
— because generals know that they need
let’s also note that humanitarian aid is a matter
diplomacy and aid to buttress their hard
of our values as well as of our interests. Do
power. That’s why 120 generals and admirals
we really want to cut humanitarian aid just as
recently signed a letter pleading with Congress hunger crises are spreading in Africa and the
to fund the State Department and foreign aid.
Middle East, threatening 20 million people
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates
used to lament that the military had more
Our security is advanced not just by being
musicians in its marching bands than the
scary but also by winning friends. Trump
State Department had diplomats. As I do the
will face a crisis — maybe with North Korea,
numbers, that statement is no longer true,
maybe with China, maybe with some new
but it does reflect the continuing reality that
pandemic — and he will need not just a robust
Congress feeds the Pentagon while starving
military but also the cooperation of friendly
the State Department.
“Two brigades in the armed forces
Tanks can’t help when our president
equal our entire diplomatic corps,” noted
antagonizes Mexico or hangs up on the
Nicholas Burns, a former senior diplomat
Australian prime minister. Or when
who now teaches at Harvard. Burns said
immigration officials detain and humiliate
that he agrees with Trump that the military
to tears a beloved 70-year-old Australian
should get more funding but emphasized
children’s author on her 117th visit to
that slashing diplomacy and foreign aid will
make it more difficult to address crucial
“In that moment, I loathed America,” Mem
transnational challenges, from drugs to crime
Fox, the author, wrote. That’s one way nations
lose their soft power and undermine their own
“If you so dramatically underfund the State national security.
Department, you defeat the Trump agenda,”
Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for
One of the biggest security threats the
The New York Times since 2011, joined the
world faced in recent years was Ebola — and
newspaper in 1995. Over his years, he has
the next pandemic may be much worse — and worn a wide variety of hats, including chief
the only effective response was to work with
restaurant critic and Rome bureau chief.
is one of the
Bike Week a rare win for
Build more dams if you want
to save salmon
Congratulations to the founders of
Pendleton Bike Week on their affiliation with
This is real economic development that
does not require millions of tax dollars like the
road and pipes to a imaginary industrial park.
It does not require nearly a million tax dollars
to subsidize housing for imaginary workers.
It does not suck millions of tax dollars from
the city to prop up a failing regional airport
through sketchy interfund transfers.
It does bring many great people with
disposable income to our town.
Welcome bikers and ride safe.
If you want to keep the water temperature
in the Snake and Columbia rivers cold, a good
way might be to follow the example shown
by what has happened to the Colorado River
below Glen Canyon Dam. The Colorado
River historically had a summertime
temperature of 80 degrees F and a wintertime
temperature near freezing. Now the average
temperature is 46 degrees F year-round. That
is really a “shock to the system” when the air
temperature is 120 degrees F in August. I have
done that several times.
Instead of re-fighting the same expensive
battles over how to keep the rivers cool
enough for our salmon, maybe it is time to put
on our “thinking caps” and come up with a
solution that might really benefit the salmon.
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 phone number. Send letters
to 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.