An encounter with Ali

Former East Oregonian editor Mike Forrester is pictured here in his early news career as a reporter for the Associated Press in Los Angeles. Oh, and that other fellow on the left? That’s legendary world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

A tip of the hat to stalwart Pendleton and Northeast Oregon residents Mike and Pam Forrester.

Longtime East Oregonian readers will recall that Mike served as editor of the EO from 1973-1990. He is also a member of the multi-generation family that has owned and operated the EO for more than a century.

Mike followed closely in the footsteps of his father, J.W. (Bud) Forrester. He grew up here in Pendleton, graduated from the University of Oregon, served in the military, and spent his early journalism career working at newspapers in Eugene and Coos Bay. Prior to taking an active role in the family business, he also worked for the Associated Press in Los Angeles.

In retirement, Mike has remained actively engaged with the newspaper and his hometown, much to the appreciation of subsequent editors and publishers who benefitted from his wise counsel.

The couple is now moving to Bend to be closer to family. We are sad to see them leave but we’re thankful for Mike’s passion and commitment to community journalism, and will most certainly forward his subscription to the new address.

Best of luck on the new adventure, Mike and Pam!

A tip of the hat to those who showed up last week to the Hermiston City Council meeting to voice concerns over water rates.

Some residents are frustrated about the rates — they believe they are too high — but instead of swallowing their anger or lashing out in other negative ways, they used their rights as citizens to face their elected leaders for redress.

The meeting, and the frustrations expressed, are what democracy is all about.

A kick in the pants to Oregon lawmakers who — at the request of the governor – will return to the capital for a special session to refine a new death penalty law.

The new law — passed during the last session — places limits on how the state utilizes its death penalty law.

But the bill is haunted by questions regarding its implementation and how it impacts existing and past death penalty cases.

The governor’s wish to call a special session is well within reason, but it’s unfortunate the bill wasn’t modified and clarified long before now. It should have been.

A tip of the hat to the more than 400 people who swarmed the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds recently to do a bit of brush-up on the renowned area. The volunteers repaired, painted and put up signs to prepare for the area’s biggest event of the year.

A kick in the pants to President Donald Trump for his comments regarding the U.S. wheat industry in mid-August. Trump, while on a campaign stop, told a crowd of supporters that Japan doesn’t really want to buy American wheat but does it to make us “feel good.”

Japan is the No. 1 market for American wheat and the No. 2 market for soft white wheat grown in our region.

As anyone who lives locally or drives through our area between August and September knows, wheat is a pretty big deal here.

U.S. wheat growers have built a nearly six-decade relationship with Japan.

The president was, as usual, most likely speaking off the cuff. That’s fine. But at some point — especially when it concerns our agriculturists — the president should think out his words before speaking.

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