No headline.


Just saying ‘no’ to illegal aliens

Illegal is illegal and “no” is a complete sentence! Crossing the border illegally is a violation of the law.

Those who cross illegally are known as illegal aliens. Look up the definitions. Those who harbor law-breakers are complicit in violating the law.

I believe in following the law. Most illegal aliens are on the public dole. For those in Rio Vista, that means you and I are paying for them.

If that’s OK with you, contact me and help with my husbands cancer and dialysis treatments. This would be much more rewarding than knowingly letting a law-breaker pick your pocket.

So, join me in supporting Measure 105, and just saying “no” to illegal aliens leaching from our system and being complicit in a losing codependent relationship.

Jennifer Ballard



Walden supports reality in timber

I am writing to encourage you to cast your vote for Greg Walden for Congress. My husband and I have a small business in the natural resource industry, the timber industry.

We truly appreciate that Greg has been relentless in the uphill battle to get real change in the federal timber policies, which include active and consistent management plans.

The northwest must be allowed to actively manage our forest resources so that they don’t continue to go up in smoke each summer and clog vital fisheries with mud, soot and silt every spring, not to mention the health consequences of breathing thick smoke for six months a year.

Active management means jobs and and pride in community, so what’s not to like!

Please join us in voting for Greg Walden, the continuing voice of reason and integrity for the natural resources industry.

Gina Birkmaier


He is a supporter of wildfire sanity

I want to thank Rep. Greg Walden for the work that he has done for the people of Oregon. It seems that much of the good work that he has accomplished has gone unnoticed.

I spent a good portion of my Forest Service career working as a wildland firefighter. I have seen the benefits of proper forest management and know from first-hand experience how important it is to have the tools and ability to manage our forests before fires even begin.

Additionally, when fires do start, it is so important to have the resources to properly and efficiently suppress them.

Walden has been leading the fight when it comes to giving wildfire suppression forces the resources they need as well as working to give communities the tools they need to reduce impacts from and prevent wildfire.

A major win from Walden, over this last congressional session was fixing the way wildfire suppression is paid for –– so the money allotted for fire prevention efforts is used for that purpose!

Most recently, Representative Walden secured aid funding for farmers and ranchers impacted by the Substation Fire, showing once again that he is aware of the needs of the district, and works hard to represent the people of Eastern Oregon.

Walden’s effort has also been instrumental in other key pieces of legislation that will help rural Oregon:

• A bill to protect Crooked River Ranch –– Crooked River Ranch Fire Protection Act aims to reduce risk of wildfire for local community.

• Securing key priorities for Oregon –– House passage of government funding measure which includes Forest Management Reform; Klamath Basin Drought Relief; Combating the Opioid Crisis; Funding Critical Mental Health Programs; Ray Baum’s Act (insuring that rural communities get broadband); Brownfield’s Re-Authorization (development of old industrial sites).

Nancy Rencken



She is reliable and has integrity

I have known Ginger Goebel-Burns my whole life and had the pleasure of working with her in the past. Being the county treasurer, I am sure, requires the person to have a thorough understanding of fund accounting (which is its own beast!).

Fund accounting requires an understanding of the different funding sources, allowable expenditures and limitations to each one of these sources. Each one usually has different time frames as well as reporting requirements.

Ginger has a strong math and accounting background and has served the county in different capacities. Currently she is serving as our county treasurer due to the position being vacant.

Ginger is reliable, functions from a place of high integrity, is open-minded and quite approachable. Join me in voting Ginger for treasurer – she will serve our county very well.

Wendy McDaniel



West says Mona is best candidate

As a former judge of Union and Wallowa counties, I had a unique perspective to observe both candidates for Circuit Court Judge. Because of ethical constraints, judicial candidates cannot take positions on legal issues.

Consequently judicial races are filled with pabulum about being fair and often turn into personality contests. I believe it is helpful to look at the experience of each candidate.

In my opinion Mona is clearly the more qualified candidate for the job. She has experience both defending and prosecuting criminal defendants. She has extensive experience in handling civil cases including custody matters before she became Wallowa County District Attorney in 2007.

She was a strong advocate for victims rights and for holding defendants accountable for their crimes. She is a strong believer in drug court where addicts and alcoholics are given an opportunity to recover and lead productive lives.

Mona is a team player who knows how to collaborate with community partners to improve the justice system. She obtained donations to fund a child abuse assessment center in Enterprise. This assessment center allowed victims of child abuse to be interviewed in Enterprise within 48 hours rather than having to wait up to four weeks to be interviewed in La Grande.

A child abuse assessment center is an objective agency not affiliated with the police where victims of child abuse are interviewed and examined so that an objective decision can be made as to whether to prosecute the suspect.

Mona is fair. In her position as DA she wielded considerable power. In my opinion, her plea offers were fair but she was not afraid to go to trial. She demonstrated a strong knowledge of the rules of evidence. Her integrity is beyond reproach; her work ethic impressive.

Russ West


West is retired presiding judge of Union and Wallowa counties and now serves as a senior judge.

Baker judge supporting Mona

I am writing in support of Judge Mona Williams and her bid to be elected to continue as a circuit judge for Union and Wallowa Counties. I am finishing my third term as the circuit judge for Baker County.

As a circuit judge I have presided in Wallowa County. Mona has practiced law in front of me many times.

As an attorney and as the District Attorney for Wallowa County, Mona was always prepared, knowledgeable and fair. Defendants trusted her to be honest and fair with them. I often told Mona that she would make a really good judge and encouraged her to run for that office.

When my oldest son returned to Oregon to begin the practice of law, I encouraged him to apply for the deputy district attorney position in Wallowa County. Why? Because I knew that Mona would teach him how to be an ethical, hardworking attorney and would be an excellent mentor to him.

She did employ my son and he worked as a deputy district attorney in Wallowa County for approximately two years.

I strongly encourage the citizens of Union and Wallowa Counties to vote for Mona for she truly is a person of integrity and compassion. She will continue to serve you with all of her heart.

Gregory L. Baxter


Baxter is a Circuit Judge in the Eighth Judicial District.

CASA volunteer voting for Mona

I was a Ccourt Appointed Special Advocate for almost 20 years. I was able to observe Mona Kay Williams firsthand. She was always prepared, fair and extremely knowledgeable of the rule of law. I will be voting for Mona Kay.

Ramona Phillips


Mona has ideal experience level

A judicial race should not be determined by the quantity of campaign signs or letters. Rather it should be determined by the quality of character and experience of the candidates.

Mona K. Williams, in the months she has served as judge, has demonstrated high personal integrity, discipline and the ability to work with people from all walks of life.

As I observed her as a private attorney and as a district attorney, she was a lawyer whose word I could trust and whose preparation and knowledge of the law were deep and appropriately applied.

She is a fifth-generation Wallowa County citizen who has served the public in many ways, including 11 years as the Wallowa County District Attorney.

She built coalitions that benefited victims and defendants. In private practice, she calmly and decisively handled difficult divorces. As a prosecutor, she has been a strong advocate for victims, including sexually abused children, battered women and even puppies.

Prosecution is not an easy job. Five days a week the DA evaluates police reports, interviews witnesses and directs investigations. Mona has proven that she can balance the competing interests of protecting the rights of both crime victims and defendants to best serve the community. She has the ideal experience and character to continue to serve as judge for all of us.

Eric W. Valentine

La Grande


Letterwriter was wrong on judge

I worked as a forensic scientist for the Oregon State Police for 23 years, including running the forensic laboratory in Bend for 16 years. Additionally, I have worked on behalf of criminal defendants for nearly 20 years.

I know the system very well from both sides.

In his letter to the editor, attorney Cory Larvik accuses judicial candidate Wes Williams of being “a crusader for criminal defendants” who has taken “extreme positions” on behalf of his clients. Coming from an attorney, that charge is astonishing.

Every first-year law student is taught that one of the basic ethical obligations of an attorney is to represent his or her clients zealously. It’s not optional. It doesn’t depend on whether you like your client or how you feel about their actions or about the charges against them.

It’s a fundamental ethical obligation. It’s what lawyers do. As a former defense attorney himself, Larvik must know this, and should be ashamed to suggest that any defense attorney should do anything less. What Larvik is really accusing Wes of is doing his job very well.

Larvik also claims that much of the support for Wes comes from attorneys who view his election as favorable to their criminal clients. In reality, his support from the legal community has come primarily from retired attorneys, district attorneys and judges who have no clients with a stake in the outcome of this race.

The outpouring of support for Wes shows that people from every background support him and believe that he has the ethical qualities to serve as our judge.

Michael Howard

La Grande

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