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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 7, 2015)
January 7, 2015
Wallowa County Chieftain
wage increased 15
cents on Jan. 1. The The voice of the Chieftain
new rate – $9.25 per hour –
remains the second-highest
in the nation, behind only our neighbor to the north,
Washington. Yet several Oregon politicians already are
ginning up support for a $15 minimum wage.
We’re pleased to read that Peter Courtney, president
of the state Senate, is lukewarm to the idea. He
cautioned fellow Democrats not to over-reach on the
issue, saying it could jeopardize their party’s new
majority in Salem.
Courtney’s advice is wise for more than reasons of
political power. A sharp increase in the minimum wage
in a state that is still recovering from a brutal recession
is risky. There is scant evidence that such a boost
The economic impact of hiking minimum wages
is unclear. There are dozens of research papers on the
Some argue that minimum wage increases boost
consumer spending. Others say the impact is short-
term, encouraging low-wage workers to take on more
debt for big-ticket items such as cars.
Much depends on how employers would react to
a large increase in the minimum wage. They could
hire fewer workers. Or raise prices. Or lay off higher-
paid employees. Again, economists disagree on the
Oregon’s minimum wage is adjusted each year for
wage for all Oregon workers. That is a sound level
for a wage for unskilled workers compared with
employees with years of experience or specialized
The $15 minimum wage appears to be the new gold
standard for activists, unions and others doing battle
in the name of economic equality. The city of Seattle
tempered the impact by phasing the increase over
several years. San Francisco soon followed suit.
Oregon legislators should at least wait to see how
those jurisdictions fare under the $15 minimum before
following their lead. As Mark Twain said: “Get your
Justice jackpot for longhouse
I’m feeling pretty good about a new
fund I’ve got set up for donating a lit-
tle bit of money. Emphasis on little.
But these particular funds were being
relocated out of my bank account in a
way that didn’t seem right and I decided
while trying to get them back that, if I
succeeded, I’d send those dollars back
out somewhere nice.
My phone company and I had a little
disagreement last year about one of the
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what we agreed on and charge me more.
I took the opposite stance. Fast-forward
through a bunch of being on hold and get-
ting nowhere, then an arbitration process
arranged by the shockingly helpful folks
at the Better Business Bureau. Turns out
the arbitrator also knew how to read, so
things went my way and I’m pleased to
announce the Rombach vs. Big Wireless
Provider Triumph For Justice Fund. Sadly,
all that hassle amounts to only ten bucks
a month. But it was the principle of the
thing. And, hey, that’s a hundred-some-
thing a year. Not to mention the fortune
I’ll save on blood pressure medication
now that seeing my phone bill doesn’t
make steam whistle out my ears.
land Project. They’re close to going ahead
on construction of a new longhouse that’s
been on the drawing board for years. The
bucks to the Wallowa Band Nez Perce
Trail Interpretive Center, Inc., which is the
Project. Actually, I just abbreviated it to
WBNPTIC. Much easier. See, giving is
easy. So here’s my plan. My check goes
toward matching funds and if you match
3,200-square-foot spiritual and commu- my match or come up with an even big-
nity gathering place will be at the site off ger match, then someone matches your
Whiskey Creek Road, where Tamkaliks match and so on, we put all these matches
and the Friendship Feast happen each in a box and call it: The Strike Anywhere
summer. Years ago I heard that thing about Fund. Brilliant, right? Because, you know,
how if the whole world could sit down and matches.
If you want to help ignite the Strike
eat dinner together we might just all get
along. So that Friendship Feast and gath- Anywhere Fund: Project Longhouse, you
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This longhouse will go a long way by shooting an email to tamkaliks@gmail.
toward furthering the Homeland Project com or calling 541-886-3101. Both of
goal of creating a place in the Wallowa those will reach Mary Hawkins. She’s real
country to celebrate Nez Perce traditions, nice. If you’re ready to roll, you can mail
where new generations of Nez Perce, local your match to WBNPTIC: Strike Any-
folks and visitors from all over the world where Longhouse Project, PO Box 15,
can get together and get along. I think the Wallowa OR – Our Fair City – 97885. I
world could probably use more of this would say to put a strike anywhere match
inside the envelope, but I bet the postal
type of thing.
So I’m dropping my little contribution service frowns on that.
Happy New Year to you. Hope 2015
into the bucket. It’s a pretty good-sized
bucket because this is going to be one is smooth and you never spend any time
spiffy longhouse. But the good news is on hold waiting for customer service. That
that over 90% has been raised and there’s should go a long way toward promoting
D ¿QDO SXVK WR FROOHFW DERXW LQ peace on earth.
Jon Rombach is a local columnist for
matching funds so construction can get
the Chieftain and board member of the
I just wrote out my check for a hundred WBNPTIC.
Role models in short supply
By Rocky Wilson
etters to the Editor are subject to editing and should
be limited to 275 words. Writers should also include a
phone number with their signature so we can call to verify
identity. The Chieftain does not run anonymous letters.
In terms of content, writers should refrain from person-
al attacks. It’s acceptable, however, to attack (or support)
another party’s ideas.
We do not routinely run thank-you letters, a policy we’ll
consider waiving only in unusual situations where reason
compels the exception.
You can submit a letter to the Wallowa County Chieftain
in person; by mail to P.O. Box 338, Enterprise, OR 97828;
by email to email@example.com; or via the submission
form at the newspaper’s website, located at wallowa.com.
see the relevant link).
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Contents copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction
without permission is prohibited.
football. A few memories, like playing
one game at the University of San Quen-
Let’s face it, Martin Luther and Win-
tin, never will be repeated nor forgotten,
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yet reality outweighed aspirations when
a second shoulder surgery was required.
quality role models to look up to is daunt-
The closest to a role model I experi-
mise that O.J. is my anti-role model.
Fortunately, sports have been ham-
The antithesis of O.J., in my mind, is enced in those days was a brash foot-
mered into my soul forever, hence the P\ DOOWLPH IDYRULWH VSRUWV ¿JXUH %MRUQ ball-playing dude from the University of
overall genre from which to choose a role Borg. On the tennis court, Borg was an ex- Alabama named Joe Namath. As quar-
hibition of poetry in motion. He never lost WHUEDFNIRUWKHÀHGJOLQJ1HZ<RUN-HWV
Years back I watched O.J. run up and his cool, simply wore out his opponents on January 12, 1969, Namath – after
GRZQ D PXGG\ ¿HOG LQ &RUYDOOLV ZKHQ by methodically returning each and every guaranteeing a Jets win three days before
his USC Trojans, rated No. 1 in the na- shot returned to his side of the net, and squaring off against the heavily favored
tion at the time, fell 3-0 to the Beavers. FRQVLVWHQWO\ZDVVPRRWKDQGÀXLG$ULJKW Baltimore Colts – backed his words by
Simpson ran for more than 200 yards, yet hander, his two-handed backhand looked engineering a shocking victory.
But that role model thing faded quick-
QHYHUFURVVHGWKHJRDOOLQHQRUÀLFNHUHG every bit as natural as his forehand and, if
any inklings about becoming my role memory serves me, his comfort anywhere ly when Namath tried to expand his hori-
zons as an actor. Simply stated, Joe was
model. Shortly thereafter O.J. made big along the baseline was awesome.
money hurdling turnstiles in airports, yet
A bucket list thing, I guess, I did see bad.
A piece of football trivia in regard to
my resolve to aspire to someone greater Borg play in person once later in his ca-
prevailed. Not even the fact that my ex- reer during a professional exhibition that Super Bowl III: Who was the Colt
tremely old dictionary has a thumbnail match held in Portland. He wasn’t much QB who came off the bench late in the
photo of O.J. in it (and notes in its text different then than the many times I’d game, when the Jets led 16-0, to drive the
that his football heroics were major) put watched him win Wimbledon and the Colts to their solitary touchdown?
Sorry, I’m not going to make it easy on
me in O.J.’s camp.
French Open on television, though maybe
As if he didn’t get enough press run- the headband and wrist bands were differ- you, but I guarantee if you know anything
at all about football that you’ll recognize
ning the football, Simpson next appealed ent.
to viewers around the world when cam-
Other than Bjorn Borg, there haven’t the name.
While you’re googling the answer,
eras in helicopters captured him trying to been many I’ve felt warmed enough by to
feel free to check out Luther and Chur-
elude the police at low speed on Califor- consider being my role model.
nia freeways. I’ve often wondered how
My best sport, as a participant, was chill: being dead doesn’t erase one’s
many bucks O.J. paid lawyers to get him football. I was OK in high school, but achievements.
Jabberwock II columnist Rocky Wilson
out of that pickle.
Anyway, it didn’t take me long to sur- were not up to the challenge of college is a reporter for the Chieftain.
Reader wishes new doctor well
To the Editor:
What a wonderful front-page story
announcing Dr. Laurel Witt’s arrival
(the 12-31-14 edition).
I suspect all of Wallowa County is
welcoming and wishing her a long,
Given her background, there seems
no doubt she will listen to patients’
stories and enjoy every moment, as
she weaves health care into one of
the most trusted of personal relation-
We should recognize, however, that
there will be a few cases (hopefully
very rare) where she will no longer be
of help to a patient, where one could
ps: Sorry; it’s genetic!
M. Boyd Wilcox
Where to write
The White House, 1600 Pennsyl-
vania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C.
20500; Phone-comments: 202-456-
1111; Switchboard: 202-456-1414.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D — 516
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ington D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224-
5244. E-mail: wayne_kinney@wyden.
senate.gov Web site: http://wyden.
senate.gov Fax: 202-228-2717.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D — 313
+DUW 6HQDWH 2I¿FH %XLOGLQJ :DVK-
ington D.C. 20510. Phone: 202-224-
3753. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org-
ate.gov. Fax: 202-228-3997.
Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St.,
Suite 1250, Portland, OR 97204; and
310 S.E. Second St., Suite 105, Pend-
leton, OR 97801. Phone: 503-326-
3386; 541-278-1129. Fax: 503-326-
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R —
(Second District) 1404 Longworth
Building, Washington D.C. 20515.
Phone: 202-225-6730. No direct
e-mail because of spam. Web site:
www.walden.house.gov Fax: 202-
0HGIRUG RI¿FH 1RUWK
Central, Suite 112, Medford, OR
97501. Phone: 541-776-4646. Fax: