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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (April 25, 2017)
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
KATHRYN B. BROWN
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Business Office Manager
Wolf plan hearing
should be in
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife
Commission has scheduled two
public hearings on an updated
wolf management plan.
Many ranchers in wolf country
would counter that state wildlife
officials have in reality updated their
plan to manage cattle producers.
And it seems they’re doing it a bit
far from where wolves and people
most often interact.
Oregon’s wolf population has
grown steadily in the decade since
the first wolves migrated from Idaho
into Northeast Oregon.
In 2011 there were only 23.
The state visually documented 112
wolves at the end of 2016, according
to ODFW’s annual report. At the end
of 2015, Oregon had 110 confirmed
ODFW officials have described
Oregon’s wolf population growth as
a biological success story, and the
state commission took wolves off
the state endangered species list in
They remain protected under the
federal Endangered Species Act in
areas west of U.S. highways 395, 78
and 95. That’s most of the state.
We have generally agreed that
wolves have a place in Oregon’s
wild country. Oregon is a big place,
with room for native wildlife and
But we’ve been equally adamant
that ranchers should have reasonable
leeway to take action against wolves
when non-lethal actions aimed at
keeping them away from livestock
don’t work. That’s not the case in
the current plan, and less so in the
Instead, ODFW has proposed
raising the bar.
The commission plans hearings
on the updated plan at its next two
regularly scheduled meetings. The
first is April 21 in Klamath Falls, an
area of the state that only recently
started to report some wolf activity.
The second will be May 19 in
Portland, where there have been no
wolves for decades.
The commission has received
quite a few letters from Portlanders
who write passionately about their
desire that wolves go completely
unmolested in the state. They argue
that the wolves, as property of the
state, belong just as much to them as
Eastern Oregon ranchers.
That’s true. But while the
Willamette River belongs to
all Oregonians, discussions on
its restoration are never held in
It seems to us that commissioners
would want to make it easier to hear
from people for whom wolves are
not an abstract attraction. We can
assure them that there is no lack
of diversity of opinion on wolves,
even in the far reaches of Wallowa
County, where livestock depredation
Paraphrasing a member of
Oregon’s wolf management team,
the ultimate success of wolves in
Oregon requires their widespread
acceptance in those areas where they
most come in contact with human
activity. For now, that’s ranching
That’s where the wolves will be
managed. Perhaps that’s where the
plan should get a hearing.
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.
“A Crow Looked at Me” is a
musical work of devastating depth
and sadness created by Northwest
musician Phil Elverum as he copes
with the death of
his wife and tries
to move on raising
Recorded under the
name Mount Eerie,
Elverum reflects in
specific detail on the
last days of Geneviève
Castrée’s life and the
days and months that
followed her death. In
the liner notes, each song is dated
by how many days after her death it
was written, from the incredibly raw
11 days of the opening track “Real
Death” to the more sober “Crow,”
penned four months after.
Death touches us all, and
Elverum doesn’t take much time
to describe the emotions. Instead,
he chronicles the day-to-day over
sparse instrumentation. Finding a
package at the front door ordered
by his wife before she died. Getting
rid of her clothes. Realizing it hasn’t
rained since she died as forest fires
burn the forest near his Anacortes,
Washington home. Emptying a
can filled with the last
trash left of her life.
It also reckons with
the idea that art is no
match for mourning.
When death comes,
song and poetry are no
help. When explaining
loss to a child, clichés
do no good. Whether
creating the album
helped Elverum is
unclear, and he establishes early that
he is not looking to learn a lesson.
It’s not a record anyone would
set out to make, and truly absorbing
all 41 minutes takes emotional
endurance. The reward is an honest
exploration of loss crafted by an
artist with the ability to present a
heartbreaking family story free of
— Daniel Wattenburger is
managing editor of the East
Food, sex and silence
ames Beard was large. His
of people’s existences, and that’s as
obituaries told you so. “Portly”
cruel and mistaken “as it would be to
was how The Associated Press put
leave out someone’s life work or what
it. The Los Angeles Times said that he
country they lived in,” said Nathaniel
was nearly 300 pounds at his apogee,
Frank, the author of “Awakening,”
though The New York Times clarified
a history of the marriage-equality
that a diet at one point “divested him
movement that will be published this
of some of his heft.”
Nature divested him of his hair.
The erasing of Beard’s sexual
He was bald, as all of those obituaries
was first brought to my
attention by Ted Allen, an alumnus
He was also gay. Good luck finding
of the TV show “Queer Eye for the
a mention of that.
Straight Guy” and the current host
Oh, there were winks. “A lifelong
of “Chopped,” on the Food Network. In
bachelor.” “An Oregon-bred bachelor.”
2012, when he won two Beard Awards, he
Oregon-bred? Makes him sound like a dairy
looked into Beard’s background, and was
cow. Or maybe a mushroom.
surprised and enraged that the gay part wasn’t
But there was nothing in those
accurately told in real time.
remembrances about his 30-year relationship
Allen thought about all the LGBT kids
— at first romantic, then less so — with Gino
back then who were denied a role model.
Cofacci, who was provided for in Beard’s
He thought about how the editing of Beard’s
will. Nothing about Beard’s expulsion from
life shortchanged a minority group’s major
Reed College in the 1920s because of his
contribution to U.S. gastronomy. Claiborne,
involvements with other men. This newspaper’s too, was in this minority, as writer John
obituary simply called him a “college dropout.”
Birdsall pointed out in a 2014 essay for
It was published in 1985. The world has
the magazine Lucky Peach that was titled
changed. And that progress is reflected in a
“America, Your Food Is So Gay.”
new documentary, “James Beard: America’s
But Allen said that he thought in particular
First Foodie,” that PBS will air next month as
about all “the well-known people whose
part of its American Masters series.
homosexuality was buried along with them,”
Like Beard’s obituaries, it shows how he
and how that distorted and continues to distort
towered over the country’s culinary landscape, our sense of the contributions that LGBT
pioneering the kind of food television that
Americans have made.
Julia Child would later do and doling out
Some obituaries of Claiborne in
advice in newspaper columns much like Craig 2000 — though not The Times’ — left
Claiborne’s. He towers still. One of the great
out his gayness. Some obituaries of writer
honors that a chef can receive is an invitation
Susan Sontag in 2004 failed to mention her
to cook at Beard House in Greenwich Village, romantic relationships with women, including
previously his home and now a shrine. The
photographer Annie Liebovitz. Some
annual Academy Awards of the restaurant
obituaries of trailblazing astronaut Sally Ride
world are called the Beards.
in 2012 made scant, ambiguous reference to
The documentary also goes where the
the fact that she was lesbian.
obituaries didn’t, describing him as an
The list goes on. The reasons vary. Maybe
exuberantly gay man. Anyone who knew
a person’s survivors gave signals to obituary
him well knew him that way, but during his
writers that they didn’t want this subject
lifetime, there was typically a difference
broached. Maybe those writers were in the
between what was privately understood and
dark. Maybe they couldn’t ascertain by
what was publicly said. A cloud hovered over
deadline what the deceased person would
gay people. And if we’re honest about much
have wanted, and they erred on the side of
of America and about many Americans today,
saying nothing, a decision born of courtesy but
that cloud hasn’t entirely dispersed.
steeped in prejudice.
The discrepancy between accounts of
All of this adds up to an incomplete picture
Beard up until his death and posthumous
of our society and who shaped it. It adds up to
assessments like “America’s First Foodie”
remind me of how often oppression is an
When Beard died at the age of 81, he was
act of omission rather than commission: not
working on a memoir in which he planned to
letting people give voice and vent to much of
make his sexual orientation abundantly clear
what moves them and to all of what defines
to his fans. He tape-recorded reminiscences,
them; not recognizing and honoring that
used in 1990’s “The James Beard Celebration
Cookbook,” that included the statement: “By
I’m struck, too, by the nature of lies.
the time I was 7, I knew that I was gay. I think
They’re not just statements. They’re silences
it’s time to talk about that now.”
that fail to confront bad as well as beautiful
Beard wasn’t especially troubled by
things, often with grievous consequences.
his sexual orientation, either, according to
We once turned a blind eye to child sexual
Birdsall, who is finishing a comprehensive
abuse and rape, so we believed they rarely
new biography of him. But the mores of his
happened and weren’t adequately on guard.
day — the mores for so long — purged that
We once didn’t acknowledge the loving,
part of many people’s lives from the official
nurturing relationships between two men or
two women, so we deemed them freakish and
He received tributes galore. They took
weren’t sufficiently accepting. Our denial and
ample stock of his dimensions. But they didn’t
ignorance kept bigotry in business.
come close to rounding him out.
One of the many arguments — no,
imperatives — for recognizing same-sex
Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for
marriage is that it’s the only telling of the
The New York Times since 2011, joined the
full truth. Otherwise we erase whole chunks
newspaper in 1995.
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. Submitted letters
must be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime phone
number. The phone number will not be published. Send letters to 211 S.E. Byers Ave.
Pendleton, OR 97801 or email email@example.com.
Coalition the real
owner of the Rivoli
I write to respond to the recent
letter to the editor regarding the
Rivoli Theater project. The letter
was incorrect in a variety of ways.
Perhaps the most important
error was the passage referring to
the “owner” of the Rivoli Theater
and “his” efforts to raise funds for
the project. Who is this owner?
Well, in fact, the Rivoli Theater
is not owned by an individual;
rather, the property is owned by
the Rivoli Restoration Coalition,
an Oregon 501(c)3 non profit
The Rivoli Coalition Mission
is “To restore the historic Rivoli
Theater while transforming it
into a regional, contemporary
performing arts and cultural center,
to create a point of destination
which contributes to the economic
viability of the area.”
The coalition is grateful for the
community’s ongoing support for
Andrew Picken, board president
Rivoli Coalition, Pendleton
I support the Hermiston School
District’s bond to build/replace
three elementary schools, add
to the high school and update
Sandstone Middle School.
I was a member of the School
District’s facility master planning
committee and later a member
of the citizen review committee.
We spent months and months
reviewing reports, data, and
opinions from experts before
making recommendations to
the Hermiston School Board.
Therefore, I fully understand the
immediate need of our school
district and how this bond levy will
positively affect our community.
There has been much said
by others about why this levy is
needed: the district’s large student
enrollment growth, fixing student
safety issues, and need to repair/
update aging infrastructure.
Hermiston also gets a large positive
economic impact, not only during
the time of building but a lasting
benefit from use of these facilities
through activities in the future. Any
combination of these would likely
justify what is being requested but
when all are combined, from my
perspective, the decision to support
this bond levy becomes easy.
My support is not only based
on the above, but what I learned
from my 90-year-old mother in
2008 when the Hermiston School
District last requested funding. I
asked if she was supportive and
with no hesitation, she said yes.
She went on to say others had
supported and provided facilities
used by her kids and now it was
her turn to support those who had
children in school.
She obviously was on a fixed
income but clearly understood her
obligation as well as the value of
having adequate facilities to support
education. While all of my children
have long since graduated from the
Hermiston High School, I like and
agree with what my mother said.
Let’s be honest, a $100-plus
million bond is a lot of money, but
understand if we do not approve
this bond next month, there still
will be an immediate need that
continues to grow. Either way we
will have to provide these schools.
Will it be today or tomorrow? The
longer we put this off the more
expensive these projects become
and the further behind we get in
providing the facilities needed for