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About East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current | View Entire Issue (July 19, 2019)
Friday, July 19, 2019
KATHRYN B. BROWN
WYATT HAUPT JR.
Founded October 16, 1875
Volunteering is a rewarding act that pays off
he incident had all the ear-
marks of a daring rescue.
A woman fell off a cliff. A
group of emergency responders just
happened to be near and quickly
deployed to save the day.
That scenario played out recently
when Jacki Mulhair fell from Indian
Rock Overlook near La Grande.
Mulhair stepped too close to the
edge of a cliff and then fell 86 feet,
suffering numerous serious injuries.
Luckily, just over 2 miles away,
personnel from the La Grande Rural
Fire Protection District and Union
County Search and Rescue were
wrapping up training when Mul-
hair fell. The search and rescue team
eventually rescued Mulhair. She is
now in a Richland hospital recover-
ing from serious injuries, including
broken ribs and nose and a broken
But she is alive, thanks to the
quick action of the search and rescue
personnel. Granted, a lot of things
had to go right in this incident and it
was very fortuitous that the search
and rescue squad was relatively
nearby and could react quickly.
The incident appears to be one of
La Grande Rural Fire Protection District Photo
Union County Search and Rescue and La Grande Rural Fire Protection District used illumi-
nation from car headlights to rescue Jacki Mulhair, who had fallen 86 feet at Indian Rock
Overlook on top of Mt. Emily outside of La Grande.
those “what ifs,” where a lot of things
could have gone wrong but didn’t.
The incident, though, also high-
lights one of those key facts about
our emergency service personnel that
often is overlooked. The members of
the Union County Search and Res-
cue team are volunteers. They were
not getting paid to go out and res-
cue an individual who was in a life-
and-death situation. They were there
because each one feels a sense of
duty to the larger community.
Volunteers are a key strand in the
fabric of all our communities. With-
out them many events and other com-
munity enhancement efforts simply
would not occur. Without dedicated
men and women who choose to take
time out of their own busy lives to
give back, someone like Mulhair
might have ended up in a far worse
Mulhair’s case is significant and
out of the ordinary. Someone trapped
and seriously injured after falling
off a cliff isn’t a day-to-day event.
However, when such emergencies do
occur it is up to people who volunteer
We are all busy and we all have
other priorities — jobs, children, etc.
But volunteering your time for any
event or agency — such as search
and rescue — isn’t just the right thing
to do but a noble endeavor.
Communities across the region
need more volunteers, more people
that choose to step forward and help
out their communities.
Sure, devoting a chunk of time to
the community isn’t easy. It takes
commitment and courage. But, in the
end, volunteering is a rewarding act
that pays off.
Don’t recall Gov. Kate Brown
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
La Grande office: 541-962-7691
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Pendleton office: 541-278-1129
185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
La Grande office: 541-624-2400
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.
Greg Barreto, District 58
900 Court St. NE, H-38
Salem, OR 97301
Greg Smith, District 57
900 Court St. NE, H-482
Salem, OR 97301
Bill Hansell, District 29
900 Court St. NE, S-423
Salem, OR 97301
ill Currier, chairman of the Oregon
Republican Party, wants to recall
Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. If
Brown showed contempt for limits of the
state constitution by abusing her power as
governor, who would be against recalling
But she has not. The recall is hare-
Currier’s argument for recalling Brown
has layers. He said she has “threatened
to usurp legislative power with executive
orders to implement her failed legislation,
deciding single-handedly what is best for
What has she actually done? Brown
was disappointed that cap-and-trade legis-
lation, House Bill 2020, died. She believes
it’s critical for the state to reduce green-
house gases to tamp down wildfires, pro-
tect the ocean from acidifying, prevent
declines in agricultural yields and more.
And what she said she would do is: “I am
also directing my staff and agencies to
explore alternative paths in case these col-
laborative approaches do not lead to suc-
cessful legislation. This includes the use
of my executive powers and direction of
We have editorialized against HB 2020
and believe it was flawed for a number of
reasons. But Brown has not actually done
anything to violate the state constitution.
Currier also criticized passage of a bill
that would enable the state to issue driver’s
licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Yes,
voters overturned a similar law when it
was put on the ballot just a few years ago
in 2014. But Brown did nothing to abuse
her power by signing into law a new bill
passed by the Legislature.
Currier criticized the state’s new hid-
den business sales tax, passed by the 2019
Legislature and signed into law by Brown.
We have editorialized against that tax.
Oregon taxes should be broadly based
and not hidden from consumers. Voters
rejected at the ballot a very similar tax just
a few years ago. Again, what did Brown
do that violated the state constitution?
Brown’s leadership of the state is
grounds for debate, criticism and some-
times even praise. She does things Currier
disagrees with. She does things we dis-
agree with. That’s no reason to go all hide-
the-children and recall her. It’s reason for
Currier and the rest of the GOP to con-
vince Oregonians they have a better plan
and, therefore, to elect their candidates.
I agree with radio show host Lars Lar-
son on this one — the Oregon Legislature
recently overturned a 25-year-old bill pre-
venting new schools, hospitals, jails, fire and
police stations from being built inside the
state’s tsunami inundation zone.
Passage of House Bill 3309 has given in
to construction and comp any interests in
spite of the certainty the Oregon coast will
suffer a devastating earthquake of magnitude
9.0 sometime within the next 40 to 50 years.
The truth is, this disaster is overdue now
and could easily occur tomorrow. The Cas-
cadia Fault is 600 miles long and is only 70
to 100 miles off the Oregon coast. When
this fault breaks, there will be a fast-moving
wave 100 feet high inundating every coastal
town in Oregon. Geologists tell us residents
will have “seconds to minutes” to evacu-
ate on those narrow two-lane roads leading
away from the coast. I would guess there will
be more deaths in wrecks than from the tsu-
nami itself as people panic trying to leave the
coast. The resulting devastation will mean
there will be no services or assistance for at
least two weeks after the event. There will be
billions of dollars of destruction and many
Building the listed facilities inside this
zone will guarantee the deaths of hundreds
of school children and staff, and complete
destruction of all rescue and fire agencies as
well as police departments. There will not
even be hospitals left for the injured to be
treated. We have witnessed a similar cata-
strophic event in Japan — this one will be as
bad or worse.
Coastal legislators claim their towns are
suffering economically because of the old
law. That is unfortunate — if true — but it
pales in comparison with the certain com-
plete and total destruction of every town and
every economy along the coast of Oregon.
The Cascadia Event is a mathematical cer-
tainty. Is it really worth that risk?
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 the editor to
or via mail to Andrew Cutler,
211 S.E. Byers Ave.
Pendleton, OR 97801