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OUR VIEW: A tip of the hat, a kick in the pants

Published on October 19, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on October 19, 2017 9:38PM

A tip of the hat to Umatilla and Morrow county commissioners for making the time last week to sit down together in Heppner and discuss the current state of Eastern Oregon.

The agenda was informal and the goal undefined, but just like in a neighborhood, it’s important to have open lines of dialogue. Breaking some bread — or grilled chicken, as the case may be — is a good way of checking in.

The discussion predictably covered a lot of ground, from jobs to housing to agriculture to clean energy to health care and all areas in between.

Umatilla County is the big brother in many respects, with about seven times as many residents, but Morrow County has become an economic power in recent years. If the two can coordinate, it only makes our corner of the state a better place.

A kick in the pants to the Department of Homeland Security for ignoring requests by nine states — including Oregon and Washington — for data about immigration arrests.

If you’re worried about unaccountable government, this is what it looks like.

The states would like to know about immigration arrests made near courthouses, churches, hospitals and schools.

No matter where you stand on the issue of illegal immigration enforcement, it’s hard to account for the lack of accountability by a federal agency. Ignoring requests for simple information like the number of people arrested is not the way any government should function, and certainly not one that pledges to answer to the people.

A tip of the hat to local firefighters who are down in California helping quell the blazes that have ravaged the state this month.

Our own fire season has ended, though we’re seeing that flames don’t really take a vacation as local agencies have stayed busy even as the weather has cooled.

We know it’s their job, and those Umatilla and Union county firefighters will be compensated by other agencies for their effort, but we’re glad to share some of our brave and talented personnel for the cause.

The fires have been horrific, taking not just wildlands and homes but scores of human lives. It’s comforting to know there’s a network in place to bring in resources for that inevitable day when Oregon will need the back up.

In the meantime, we’re thankful for the rain in the forecast and hope to see our firefighters back home soon.


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