East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, April 28, 2017, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Friday, April 28, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Circulation Manager
Business Office Manager
Production Manager
Tip of the hat;
kick in the pants
A tip of the hat to Hermiston’s downtown, soon to undergo a massive
makeover that we believe is for the better.
If there’s one thing Eastern Oregon’s largest (and fastest growing) town
needs, it’s a central hub. Growing up along
Highway 395 has been a boon for businesses
looking for a spot to set up shop, but it has
robbed the soul from the downtown core.
Projects like the festival street, Harkenrider
Center and remodel of the Carnegie library are
good steps. Starting the process with a livability
study was also a smart move.
It was also smart to find federal funding for
the senior center and build a facility that can
be used for additional purposes down the road.
And it was smart to create and urban renewal
zone to pay for the festival street.
When the dust settles on these projects next year, downtown will have a
new feel and a new place for citizens to enjoy their town.
A kick in the pants to sign thieves.
A couple examples of the sophomoric political action have taken place in
Hermiston recently, mostly targeting signs
in support of a $104 million school district
In this country, everyone is allowed to
signal their opinions in speech and writing
and signage. It’s part of the democratic
way, and part of every community. Public
proclamations help inform our friends and
neighbors, and hopefully spark discussions
of the real issues behind candidates and
This page of the newspaper is always
open to dissenting opinions. That’s one way to respectfully disagree. But it’s
the height of intellectual laziness to not come up with your own argument,
but instead try to silence someone else’s.
Oh, and it’s also illegal.
A tip of the hat to scientific endeavor, which has been a focus in the
past week specifically in the pages of this paper.
In Eastern Oregon it’s not just Earth Day
when we stop to think about the environment.
You can bet anyone with a job in agriculture
spends their day trying to get the most out
of Mother Nature. And with our wealth of
watersheds, forests, farmland and wilderness
areas, paying attention to the world around us
isn’t a hobby but a way of life.
And whether you took up a sign and marched
for science last weekend or simply took a walk
with your child and taught them the names of a
few birds or flowers, we tip our hat to you.
A kick in the fake mud pants to
Nordstrom, which is trying to sell
pre-muddied jeans for $425 a pair.
On its website, the luxury fashion
retailer is selling a pair of working class-
inspired jeans with what the company calls
“caked-on muddy coating.”
In the description of the pants, the
company states they “embody rugged,
Americana workwear that’s seen some
hard-working action” that show “you’re not
afraid to get down and dirty.”
These jeans perfectly encapsulate the sheltered,
rich urban ninnies who are very, very afraid of getting
down and dirty. How sheltered have upper-class
Americans become that they can’t find any mud to
roll around in? And that’s not even asking the most
obvious question: Who wants gross splashes of brown
mud on their $400 pants?
But, fashion being fashion, this stunt probably
qualifies as a win. Like wearing a flamingo on your
head, the goal is to get people to notice, and these
dumb jeans certainly did that.
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.
Commissioners need to stop
adding taxes to equation
I think the reckoning in the East
Oregonian’s headline might be missing
Looks like the Umatilla County
commissioners have forgotten an important
subtrahend. The difference might really
look like this: Jobs + People + Housing –
Infrastructure = ???? (Enough taxes).
Carl Culham
Scared Pendleton councilors
could have done right thing
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the
Trump administration from enforcing a threat
to take away funds from sanctuary cities.
So you see, councilmen John Brenne and
Neil Brown, you could have seconded the
motion regarding the ACLU’s nine “model”
state and local law enforcement policies and
rules at the last council meeting instead of
saying nothing, thus killing the request for
Oh, councilwomen Becky Marks, you need
not be scared either. The “sanctuary state”
of Oregon would have protected you and
Pendleton funding.
Thank you, Councilman Scott Fairley, for
wanting more information. You were the only
one thinking outside the box.
Sue Peterson
Renters, homeowners gouged
by Hermiston school bond
Regarding the proposed Hermiston school
bond on May 17, potential yes voters better
think long and hard. The facts are that the
current percentage of property taxes for a
county resident toward schools is already 65
percent of the total tax bill.
The proposed bond will increase your tax
by (at a minimum) one dollar per thousand,
and that’s just an estimate given by the
proponents of this bond. That it will be more
is almost a given.
Those who rent will pay for this through
higher rent. We believe the school district is
biting off more than they will be able to chew.
Remember bigger, newer and fancier
schools do not improve the quality of
education. Buildings just look nicer and
that’s all. Increased property taxes will most
certainly drive property values down and
lessen the potential for sales.
I say fix what’s there and move in a more
conservative manner, which should begin by
requiring the state to live up to the promises
made regarding lottery profits and a no vote
on the bond issue.
Bob Stanley
New station gives firefighters
safe place to work
I urge you to vote yes to build a new fire
station in Pendleton. The men and women
who risk their lives to save our homes and
property deserve a station free of carcinogens
and one that meets current fire and building
A new station would also provide more
space for expanded volunteer and rescue
programs improving services for those in
need. That’s us. You and me. Our families.
Our friends. Our neighbors. The cost is less
than the price of a fancy dinner for two. Per
year! It really is a no-brainer. Vote yes!
Cary Wasem-Varela, Pendleton
Old Pendleton fire station
has outlived its usefulness
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public
issues and public policies for publication . 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 edi-
I am writing in support of the bond for
the new fire station. To begin with, that
building was built in 1959 and has served its
usefulness. It is old and not big enough to
accommodate the new larger fire trucks. It also
was not designed to have both women and
men firefighters, which I believe we currently
have. Office space is tiny at best and was
never designed for computers, printers, etc.,
which is the office norm now. Paying an arm
and a leg for the muffler shop property will
not solve all the problems that are plaguing the
current location.
As we read in the paper within the past
month, a fire truck was involved in an accident
while it was exiting the fire station headed to a
fire. If the station had already been built on the
old St. Anthony location this wouldn’t have
been so likely to happen.
Part of the bond money, as I understand it,
will go for new equipment, which Pendleton
has needed for a very long time. It is time to
think of the comfort and safety of the men
and women who are employed by the city as
firefighters and EMS workers and vote for
the new fire station and new equipment. With
the retirement of two other bonds the cost
per $1,000 assessment will only be 14 cents,
not the 64 cents that some think we will be
Several years ago we lost a very good
firefighter/EMS person because of old rotten
hoses that blew apart under pressure and
tore up his shoulder bad. Let’s vote in the
new station and new equipment before this
happens again.
Barbara Wright, Pendleton
Don’t tread on native plants
Native Plant Appreciation Week is the end
of April. It’s a good time to learn more about
them and their importance. Native plants are
indigenous to an area and the ones commonly
seen (like sagebrush and bunch grasses). In
short, they’re wild, that is, they make it on
their own without any help from people — no
irrigation, fertilizer or pesticides. Native
wildlife — from the smallest insect to the
largest mammal — have evolved with them
and depend on them for food, shelter, etc. Did
you know that sage grouse and other birds eat
sagebrush and will die without it?
Many people think native plants are boring
and not important. Distracted with gadgets,
people are forgetting their connection to
nature. At epidemic levels is one malady
called plant blindness, taking plants that
provide so many services from feeding
wildlife to preventing erosion to simply
beautifying our world for granted. Worse,
plant blindness can lead to unconscious plant
murder as people tromp on them. Plants
can take some abuse. But they’ll die when
constantly trampled by bikes and people’s and
dogs’ feet when off-trail.
Show plants some respect. Stay on
designated trails when hiking and biking.
Keep your dog on the trail, as four legs can
significantly harm plants too. If we all did this,
trails would stay the width they were designed
and not grow increasingly wider, even
washing out when plants are no longer there to
hold the soil. We’d have more beauty to enjoy
instead of bare dirt.
Lynn Putnam, Bend
Ivanka Trump must separate
herself from business interests
One wonders where the issue of ethics
really lies when considering Ivanka Trump’s
role in business and her official role in the
White House. Retailers are moving carefully
in dealing with her business. Is business
making its merchandise decisions based on
someone’s political beliefs?
To address ethical concerns, Ivanka Trump
has shifted her assets to a family-run trust
valued in the millions of dollars and has
said she will recuse from issues that present
conflicts. She says she has shifted her business
responsibilities to employees.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, has
taken steps to distance himself from his New
York real estate business, divesting some of
his business interests, including his interest
in a major Fifth Avenue skyscraper. Both
Ivanka and Jared are deeply involved in
Chinese contacts and policy. This kind of
situation never occurred during the Obama
administration, according to Obama’s White
House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen, or any
other administration. Both Ivanka and Jared
have close business ties to China where
Kushner pursued hundreds of millions of
dollars in real estate investments, according to
As a government employee, Ivanka’s
involvement in trade with China does appear
to have a conflict of interest. She has a legal
obligation to refrain from interfering with
foreign trade policy. The United States
Constitution prohibits federal officials
from accepting anything of value from
foreign governments or individuals without
congressional approval.
Recently 3.4 tons of Ivanka Trump hand
bags, wallets, and blouses arrived in the
United States from Hong Kong and Shanghai,
according to global shipping records. What is
her legal status in this trade?
As a government employee is she
liable under the employment rules of the
We have no concept of the global trade in
which the Trump family is involved. Citizens
for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a
watchdog group, recently expanded the scope
of its federal lawsuit against President Trump
to include trademark approvals from China in
its list of alleged constitutional violations. As
a White House employee, Ivanka is subject to
the same rules, yet she has some 180 pending
and registered trademarks in foreign countries.
The actual structure of Trump’s domestic
and foreign business and trade is unknown and
complete disclosure has not been available.
Ivanka’s merchandising is a political
minefield. It is essential that she separate her
business from politics in her employment at
the White House. It’s a simple matter of ethics.
Dorys Grover, Pendleton