East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, January 26, 2018, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Friday, January 26, 2018
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Founded October 16, 1875
Tip of the hat,
kick in the pants
■ A tip of the hat to John Brenne,
who dedicated more than half his
life to the position of Pendleton city
Brenne, 73, died unexpectedly on
From the beginning, Brenne was an
advocate for the elderly and low-income
constituents. During his first campaign
in 1978, he rallied for access for disabled
citizens to public facilities and low-cost
public transportation for seniors.
As councils and mayors came and
went, Brenne kept winning the seat
and serving in the volunteer position.
Along the way he gained the respect and
admiration of many of his colleagues,
many of whom remembered not only
his integrity and principle but his deep
understanding of the issues facing
■ A tip of the hat to the new
Umatilla County website, a cleaner
and more direct portal into the inner
workings of the local government.
For starters, it puts agendas and
minutes of the Board of Commissioners
front and center. The bi-monthly
Wednesday meeting typically doesn’t
draw much of a crowd, but the decisions
and actions are worth review by any
citizen paying taxes in this county.
There’s also a link to video from
recent meetings, in case you want to
hear the testimony for yourself.
A drop-down menu at the top of the
page will direct you to all the important
information the county maintains —
from the jail roster to election results
to daily burn restrictions — and scroll
all the way to the bottom to peruse the
current and past budgets.
All this makes it easier for a curious
citizen to get an answer on matters of
Our one criticism is the mobile
display. While the main page looks just
fine on a smartphone, getting to specific
pages like election results, most wanted
lists and more, have no direct link.
It appears the site is a work in
progress, and we applaud the effort.
■ A kick in the pants to the already
contentious politics of a gubernatorial
campaign taking a toll on the
upcoming legislative session.
Knute Buehler, a state representative
from Bend and the likely Republican
Staff photo by Kathy Aney
We also tip our hat to those honored at last week’s Pendleton First Citizens Ban-
quet. In this photo, Tim and Jennifer Guenther, owners of Prodigal Son Brewery,
speak after their brewpub was named 2017 Business of the Year by the Pendleton
Chamber of Commerce.
candidate for the governor’s race,
has asked Kate Brown, the current
Democratic governor, to put off
campaign fundraising during the
six-week session beginning Feb. 5.
After all, Buehler must follow
an Oregon House rule that prohibits
fundraising while the body is in session,
and he’s just hoping to keep the playing
field level.
Brown’s campaign manager Thomas
Wheatley snapped back, according
to The Oregonian, saying their camp
wasn’t interested in taking advice from
Buehler, who himself was accused
of a ethics violation in 2013 for not
disclosing $12,500 received for work
done on a Bend hospital board. The
manager also mentioned that Buehler
has plenty of money already —
$500,000 from Phil Knight.
According to The Oregonian, the last
short session was a profitable time for
Brown; she raised $222,000 toward what
ended up being a winning campaign.
We wish there was a way to
better separate money and politics,
campaigning and governing. But in the
current climate, we’d settle for a little
more civility and fair play.
Davos Man meets America First
Brenne helped senior citizens
throughout Eastern Oregon
I was stunned to read of the sudden
passing of John Brenne in the Jan. 23 East
My wife is disabled at 61 years of age
from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and
is homebound. She remains home alone
while I must work from 8-5 and is in real
need of companionship during those hours.
John’s incredible non-profit agency, Senior
Companions/Foster Grandparents, came
to my rescue and provided a few caring
individuals to visit my wife for a few hours
a couple of times a week and it has really
helped us. My wife receives nice visits
from a caring volunteer, free of charge,
and it has been a lifesaver for us. Not to
mention John’s excellent and thankless
service on our city council.
Our community should be thankful for
men like him with such compassion for the
left-behind and forgotten. God bless you,
John Brenne. You will be missed.
Matt Henry
Umatilla County
commissioners saved the fair
The Umatilla County Commissioners
should be lauded for being a partner
in building EOTEC. They, the city of
Hermiston, Farm City Pro Rodeo, and Fair
Board saved the Umatilla County Fair.
Around eight years ago the County got
an estimate of $8 million to $10 million
to simply bring the decrepit downtown
Hermiston fair site up to code. The county
did not have the money and if the money
was spent the site was still inadequate with
absolutely no parking. The commissioners
asked other county communities if they
wanted the fair and if they could provide
facilities. There was no interest.
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.
Because of this, the staggering cost
to bring the old fairground up to code,
and a 30 year interest in Hermiston of
moving the fair out of the middle of town,
EOTEC was conceived as a home for
the fair and much more. This was agreed
upon by the unanimous approval of the
Umatilla County, city of Hermiston,
Farm City Pro Rodeo, Umatilla County
Fair and Hermiston School District. An
intergovernmental agreement was signed
by the county and Hermiston with EOTEC
to be built and jointly owned.
After years of daunting work, a new
$17 million facility was built, giving the
Umatilla County Fair a wonderful home
and providing 95 acres of grounds for a
trade center and the rodeo — $12 million
of that money coming from the state of
Oregon — money which would have gone
elsewhere except for EOTEC being built.
In building EOTEC, the commissioners,
city, rodeo and fair went “where no one has
gone before,” to use a phrase from an old
space series. But they got it built — with
no real bonded debt.
But when you “go where no one has
gone before,” sometimes you have to
adapt to conditions when you arrive at
your destination. That is what the county
commissioners are doing. They realize that
the ownership, operation, management
and liability of EOTEC would be better
placed with just one entity — the city of
While much county money has been
spent on EOTEC to date, with more to be
spent in the next few years, those sums
pale when you look at the $8 million to
$10 million cost of renovation the county
was faced with — or the loss of our
county fair.
We should applaud the commissioners
for their realism and for saving the fair.
George Anderson
best reader, you know I went to
onald Trump will attend the
Wharton? — and I know this is all
World Economic Forum’s
annual conference in Davos,
supposed to be about how you’re all
Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday.
Davos Men and I’m Mr. America
The New York Times has obtained
First, and it’s, you know, never the
a copy of the president’s remarks.
twain shall meet.
Check against delivery.
Whatever. We’re businessmen.
Fellow plutocrats!
We think the same way. You
I know you’re as glad to see
want to turn a profit and beat the
me as I am to see you. No, really.
Stephens competition. You don’t want to get
Like, I know you voted for Trump.
crushed. And you’ll do what you
Or maybe you didn’t vote for me,
need to do and say what you need to
because your wives, if you had voted
say to win.
for me, they’d withhold sex. But, when I
That’s the way the world is, folks. You
won, in your hearts, you were very happy.
think China doesn’t know this? You think
And now you’re all so much richer, and your Russia — and you know this Russia story,
wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever —
collusion, there was no collusion, none —
I’m a very tolerant person — they aren’t
doesn’t know? Why do you think they keep
withholding, probably.
winning? China is getting bigger, stronger,
Am I right? I’m right.
while Europe just gets smaller and weaker.
It’s been an amazing, amazing year. The
Angela Merkel, sorry, but she’s a total joke.
New York Times, such losers! Right after I
Lets in a million Muslims, illegals, terrorists
won, they predicted the stock market would
probably, in one year, and the German
never recover. Every week, it’s Trump is
people don’t like it at all. Remember, a year
destroying this, Trump is blowing up that,
ago, how it was like, “Merkel is the real
and has the world ended yet? Yet here we
leader of the free world”? Now she barely
are, folks. No. 1 in fake news, the failing
leads her own government.
She should have built a wall. Not smart!
As I said, you’re all doing very, very
Anyway, China. Last year, Xi — we
well. The markets are up, up, up, like never
have a terrific relationship, by the way, Xi
before. Seven, eight trillion dollars in market and I, but he could be a lot better on North
cap since Trump was elected. Biggest tax
Korea, believe me — Xi was here in Davos,
cut in history, believe me. Apple, Google,
saying he was, like, Mr. Globalization. And
Microsoft, all these companies bringing
everyone was like, ooh, ahh, China’s taking
home trillions in overseas cash. How’s your
over, and adios America.
share price doing? If you have a problem
You have got to be kidding me. Have
with it, let’s have a show of hands. No
any of you here had your trade secrets stolen
hands. Thought so.
by China? Any of you think the Chinese
I couldn’t help but notice on my way in
play fair? You like human rights in China,
how much snow you’ve got here in Davos,
pollution in China? Do some of you want to
five, six feet. Global warming, uh-huh.
live in a world run by Xi? Because, be my
When it’s hot, it’s global warming, and when guest.
it’s cold, it’s climate change. It’s like, heads I
But if you don’t, then things have to
win, tails you lose. But people aren’t stupid.
change. It can’t be, we’ll play by all the
That’s why I took the United States out of rules, like a bunch of little girls, and China
that terrible Paris deal. Rex Tillerson, who’s
gets to cheat, and pretend that that’s OK.
doing a terrific job as secretary of state,
Because, believe me, cheaters always win.
he said, “Mr. President, you just can’t pull
Nobody knows this better than me.
out like that! What about our allies?” OK,
So that has got to stop. That’s my
maybe Rex isn’t doing such a terrific job,
message to you people. Do you want
we’ll see about Rex.
America first or China first? I’m saying, it’s
Anyway, I know you all have your
your choice. But if it’s America first you
climate plans and corporate social
want, then you’re going to stop playing us
responsibility BS, but none of you believes a for suckers.
word of it. The difference between us is that
We aren’t going to pay your bills while
you keep quiet so that you’ll look good at
you take our jobs. We aren’t going to fight
Davos, but I don’t. I say all the stuff you’re
your battles if you aren’t going to buy our
too afraid to say. I say the truth, and people
products. We aren’t going to let you get rich
love me.
off of us, if we can’t get richer off of you.
I also say that Haiti is a, well, not such
We’re stronger than you and we’re going to
a nice place. Let’s have another show of
stay that way. We can leave the surrender
hands if you plan to move your wife and
stuff to our European friends. Got it?
kids to Haiti anytime soon. I didn’t think
You want America to be nice, we can
so. Wonderful, hardworking people, by the
be very nice, I’m very nice, isn’t that right,
way, the Haitians. Many of them work at
Klaus? But, we’re not stupid, believe me.
my properties in Florida as groundskeepers,
Enjoy your snow day, people.
maids, that kind of stuff. Ask them, they
love me, too.
Bret Stephens won a Pulitzer Prize for
So what am I doing here? I read the
commentary in 2013. He began working as
papers — believe me, I read, I’m, like, the
a columnist at The New York Times in April.
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 editor@eastoregonian.com.