We have an election coming up this November, and I would suspect the most important thing on the ballot would be the county board of commissioners seat. As of this writing, we have three people entered in the race, and I think any of the three would be OK.

I can remember when Jackson in Wyoming and Steamboat Springs in Colorado were towns about like Enterprise and were also in beautiful areas. What they have become now makes me sad. The last time I was in Jackson I looked at where I remembered hay meadows and saw hundreds of condominiums.

Every corner looked like what you saw in all other cities. Jack-in-the-Box on one corner and MacDonald’s on the other. Steamboat was even bigger and even had a Wal-Mart. Now that is progress.

We live in one of the last best places, and I would sure like for it to stay that way. We have unsurpassed beauty and very little of the blight that most places live with. Our population is of the size that most people know or know of each other.

We know whose check is good and whose husband isn’t. I don’t see homeless people begging on the corners, very little crime and so far no graffiti. My hope is that whoever lands on the county board will work to keep this pristine corner of the world the paradise we enjoy.

Don’t let the farmland be chopped up into ranchettes, and I would welcome a county ordinance that would fine anyone who gives money to someone sitting with a sign on a corner. That should not be tolerated.

TRAVELING THROUGH Bend, you see a lot of corners with people begging for money to feed their addictions and laziness. Arresting them or fining them is futile since they don’t pay the fine or quit anyway. The only way to be rid of them is to make it futile for them to clutter up the corners begging.

The county is now in court because they wanted to raise the tax on lodging rooms on specific properties in the county. This would bring the tax up to what the city of Enterprise levies.

The money raised would be used, and is needed, to help out the Sheriff’s Dept. and the fairgrounds. I doubt that this would adversely affect the vacancy rate in any of the businesses involved. I know of no one who checks their motel bill for the tax bite before they book.

The owners of these businesses make a lot of money from the out-of-county people that are lured here by advertising, and I am happy for them. I hope they all succeed and do well.

While they are working hard and making money off the tourists that invade the county every summer, there are a lot more residents who have to endure the increased traffic and other inconveniences caused by the huge influx of their customers. They are an added burden on law enforcement, public parks and restrooms.

It seems fair to me that the people that come to visit us and use our infrastructure should pay a small amount in lodging taxes to help maintain the county.

I HAVE been thinking about Colin Kapernick and the NFL. A lot of people who like football have been boycotting watching the games. If you want those guys to act respectful, what you should do is enjoy the game and announce to the sponsors that you will be boycotting any company that sponsors an NFL game.

If enough people threaten to boycott the products in NFL commercials, the funding for the league will dry up, and when the overpaid players start getting pay cuts, I predict a wave of patriotic fervor will engulf the league and the players.

It seems as if those guys want a different set of laws for minorities where they are not required to obey police orders. They have had affirmative action laws that favor them in hiring even if they are less qualified, and they are given preferential treatment when it comes to getting into medical school and other colleges.

How is this fair or equal? I agree that some of this was needed to give these guys a leg up, but there should be a sunset on some of this legislation someday. There also comes a time when you have to put out a little effort to improve your lives instead of expecting the country to continue or increase legislation favoring a special ethnic group. Anyway it doesn’t seem to be working.

Kapernick grew up in Turlock, Calif., five miles from where I lived. He was a black kid adopted by a middle class white family, lived a charmed life and I am pretty sure he suffered few hardships. He was a standout athlete and was a local celebrity.

When his football career headed south, he developed a new plan. I am sure Nike has researched its customer base well and figures to enlarge market share by attracting people sympathetic to his cause. In California, they now have more people receiving assistance than are working.

Nike does not make work boots. Nike also owns Converse and a couple of other shoe companies. I think their strategy is to get a bigger market share of the sympathizers and the people offended by Kapernick’s taking a knee will buy their sneakers from Converse or one of their other companies.

However I am glad I didn’t own any Nike stock the day after the announcement, it dropped dramatically. Kapernicks’s ad talks about giving up everything for what you believe in. It appears to me that he has given up nothing and profited greatly.

Barrie Qualle is a Wallowa County-based cowboy and author.

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