Page 4A East Oregonian Tuesday, January 2, 2018 KATHRYN B. BROWN Publisher DANIEL WATTENBURGER Managing Editor TIM TRAINOR Opinion Page Editor Founded October 16, 1875 Leading a newspaper in changing times Pamplin Media Group. You’ll see stories from Grant County or Wallowa County from our sister papers. Much of our Being in the newspaper business is agriculture news comes from reporters always fascinating, but 2017 was the for the Capital Press (including George most interesting and challenging in my Plaven, who moved from Pendleton to memory. Salem last month). In 2017, we heard the word “media” Our perspective is that we are used more frequently than ever before. fulfilling several roles. One is the Some people used it disparagingly, as newspaper’s most important role if much of the news as a watchdog over media — including public institutions, “What we’ve seen this year newspapers such as including city and is that ‘mainstream media’ ours — are part of has changed from a gener- county governments and some vast “mainstream al description into a term schools, to inform the of abuse. We’ve seen trust media” conspiracy. public about decisions The reality is that the in media ebb and flow over made that may affect many years but there’s been East Oregonian is an nothing like this before. There them for good or ill. independent newspaper, is now a completely different Another is our role as a part of the family- way of self-manufacturing and source of information owned EO Media distributing news outside of that helps our readers the mainstream. These new Group of publications know what is happening outlets can be very diverse in Oregon and in the community around and exciting, but they exist southwest Washington. them, including sports outside any conventional Over the last 110 coverage, entertainment, sense of journalistic princi- years, four generations local business news and ples – of fact-checking and at of my family have least trying to get it objec- human interest stories. published the EO and tively right.” We play a role in — Veteran media commentator over time invested helping local businesses Raymond Snoddy, as quoted in in other community succeed by advertising The Guardian, Aug. 6, 2017. newspapers in Eastern their goods or services to Oregon, around the a wide audience, through mouth of the Columbia display advertising, classified ads or River and down the Oregon coast. preprinted inserts. Our classified pages We also own the regional agricultural help connect buyers and sellers, and find newspaper, Capital Press, which is willing employees for employers. Legal produced in Salem and printed here in notices alert the public to hearings and Pendleton. other actions being taken by government The local news you read in the EO bodies. is written by our reporters who live in The national and international news Umatilla County. Much of the state news in the EO comes from the Associated out of Salem is written by reporters Press, which is a nonprofit cooperative from our Capital Bureau, which is a news agency that many newspapers joint effort between our company and and other news organizations around By KATHRYN BROWN East Oregonian Publisher EO file photo The East Oregonian newsroom in Pendleton, circa 1979. the country belong to. It is a long- established and highly regarded source of news. Our opinion pages are a mix of opinions from our editorial board (myself and two editors), nationally syndicated columnists, other newspapers and local citizens. This is a page anyone can contribute to, as long as you have a reasonably informed opinion and are willing to put your name to it. When the EO is accused of being biased — whether that’s too liberal or too conservative is in the eye of the beholder — it is usually because of something on our opinion page, which our editorial board may or may not even agree with. Because we do all this, we are recording the history of Umatilla and Morrow counties in every issue. This is a big responsibility, and one we take seriously. And we must be “mainstream” to accurately reflect what is happening around us. We check our facts, correct them when we get them wrong, and we try to get it objectively right every day. Our challenge in 2018 and beyond is to keep doing what we are doing — and do it better than ever, while adapting to changing technologies and news consumption patterns. The days of every household subscribing to their local newspaper are long over. The expectation that news should be free in the age of the internet has harmed and even killed many independent newspapers all over the country. Our financial reality is that we are constantly looking for ways to cut our costs as subscribers and advertisers migrate to Facebook and other online media sources. Our change to all-mail delivery in 2017 was part of that effort. In order for the East Oregonian to continue and thrive, we need your help. If you need to advertise your business or your organization’s goods or services, recognize that there is a cost to newspaper advertising, but also a significant benefit in reaching thousands of potential customers who live and shop here. If you depend on us for news, we need you to subscribe — in print or online or both, whichever works for you. We know it’s easy to share online login information with family, friends or work colleagues — but at $14.50 per month, a daily newspaper subscription is one of the best bargains around and is an investment in your community. Happy New Year to all! OTHER VIEWS How best to say thank you? T YOUR VIEWS Measure 101 keeps important services in place More than one in ten Wallowa County residents has health insurance because of Medicaid expansion. These are working people – ranchers and farmers, store clerks and contractors – who cannot otherwise afford health care coverage. These are the people whose access to health care, and whose health itself, could be severely impacted if Measure 101 fails. A yes vote on Measure 101 supports the assessment of a fee on large hospitals and health insurers in the State and brings in three times that amount in Federal funds. It is a way to maintain the State’s Medicaid program at its current level for two years, giving the Legislature time to work out a long-term solution. Here in Wallowa County, providers will continue to care for our families, friends and neighbors regardless of the outcome on Measure 101. However, a no vote may require cuts in services currently offered by local health care providers, including the hospital and the full range of medical, dental and mental health clinics in the County. Our local providers, due in part to Medicaid expansion, are working together to provide some of the most innovative health care in the state of Oregon. A yes on Measure 101 continues that good work. Please vote Yes on Measure 101 so that hard working folks in Wallowa County can continue to access essential healthcare for themselves and their families. Nick Lunde Wallowa County Healthcare District Liz Powers Winding Waters Community Health Center EDITOR’S NOTE Welcome to the newly redesigned East Oregonian opinion page. You’ll still find opinions from a variety of viewpoints, including the voices of the East Oregonian editorial board, local readers and community leaders, other newspapers and columnists, and cartoons from all over the world. But we hope the new look makes the wide range of opinion easier to read and consider, while at the same time differentiating this page from the news pages elsewhere in the paper. The opinion page is a place for all kinds of commentary, but shouldn’t be read as strictly news. While news and opinion have merged in some places, we aim to keep a clearly drawn line in our paper and website. As always, we welcome your letters and will dedicate as much space in this new format as we need to facilitate local discussion of local topics, which is our top priority. Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian. he Hermiston Police equipment from both their farms, Department and city of Troy Betz and Greg Juul of Bud Hermiston just concluded Rich Potato, and Alan Cleaver of the 48th annual Christmas Express Columbia Basin Onion. program. Each year since I took over We have other partners that in 2004 we have tried to fine tune donate services and equipment as and make the operation as efficient well. This includes the Walmart and effective as possible with the Distribution Center, Sanitary incredible amount of donations that Disposal, Living Faith Church, Jason come from the community. I have Edmiston Hammell Transport, and of course ensured a thank you note is sent to perhaps our biggest partner, Dave Comment everyone we know to have donated Hughes and his staff at the Agape money, equipment or services. House. This year I was approached by a Presents flood the lobby of the police community member who asked if I ever department and the overwhelming majority thought about recognizing those people who of those come from people unknown to donate to the program. I was a bit taken back us, at least by name. Altrusa International because I do try to recognize the people who consistently donates an incredible amount of make the machine run. toys, and the KOHU staff But the question itself is include sports announcer Despite being to Erick still a good one. Is there a Olson do a great job best way to recognize and born and raised of creating competition that thank people for the good goes for a good cause — a they do to make Hermiston here, it wasn’t until I child having the opportunity a welcoming and diverse started working on to open a present Christmas community? To be quite The tenants at Christmas Express morning. honest, my greatest fear in Desert Sage Manor spend attempting something like that I realized how all year making dozens and that is two-fold: one, some of beautiful quilts that generous our area dozens people may not want to be are given away during our recognized and two, I may program. We have received farmers are. forget someone. hygiene products from local Cash donations for dentists as we know there the 2017 program came in at a staggering is a direct correlation between hygiene and $15,651. This included a $9,000 donation self-esteem, especially with our youth. from the Hermiston Rotary International Lastly, I would like to thank Ric Club (the largest monetary contributor to Sherman, not only for his 30 years of the program each year) and other donations service as an educator in Hermiston, but ranging from $10 to $3,500. The gentleman the non-stop work he puts into this program who donated $3,500 this year, donated each year assisting and reminding me the same amount last year. We had an about various things. Ric is instrumental anonymous $500 cash donation this year in energizing the second group I’d like to and clubs such as the Umatilla Lodge of thank, that being the students and staff of Perfection for Scottish Rite, The Funrunner the Hermiston School District. The amount ATV Club, and both the Big River Men’s of food (nearly 14,000 cans) and presents and Ladies Golf Clubs each donated. I’m collected during the canned food drives going to opt not to name the individual ensures we are able to push out food boxes donors, but you know who you are and weighing nearly 100 pounds once all the you know if it wasn’t for each of you, our produce and turkeys are added. program would eventually wither away. I pray I have not inadvertently forgotten Each year when I give presentations and someone, but this is my humble attempt to talk about our program, I always say despite remind people that we here at the Hermiston Police Department know the silent majority being born and raised here, it wasn’t until I is out there doing good things for all the started working this program that I realized right reasons and we appreciate it. how generous our area farmers are. Make ■ no mistake, this program would not be Jason Edmiston is the chief of the successful if it weren’t for people like John and Skip Walchli with donations of food and Hermiston Police Department. 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. 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. Unsigned letters will not be published. Send letters to managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.