Wright valuable asset for Pendleton

Bob Wright, executive director of the Eastern Oregon Alcoholism Foundation, announced that he is stepping down after seven years.

Wright has a long list of accomplishments at the Foundation but an even longer list from his time in Pendleton. Wright was the first superintendent of the Eastern Oregon Correction Center coming here in 1984 from the State Correction Center in Salem. He retired from EOCI in June of 1990.

Under his leadership, the transition at EOCI became a model for the state.

His crowning achievement at the Alcoholism Foundation would have to be the 16-bed center which is now under construction near the Umatilla County Corrections Center. The county donated land valued at $100,000 and Wright secured additional funding amounting to $768,000 to provide for a 12-bed detoxification center.

A grant from Mental Health will provide for an additional four beds at the Center to be used as a crisis center for mental health patients.

We salute Wright for his contributions to Eastern Oregon and for his many years of distinguished service.

Landmark agreement sets new standard

It's been a long and sometimes difficult road, but Threemile Canyon Farms and the United Farm Workers union finally ratified their collective bargaining agreement, which took affect Tuesday.

The culmination of the historic agreement came after nearly five years of negotiations, which sometimes were tension-filled and full of acrimony. Both sides struggled to agree on terms of the contract and finally brought in a neutral arbitrator.

Farm workers are exempt from federal bargaining laws, so the landmark agreement between the farm and the union is even more momentous. In December 2006, when the arbitrator certified the union to represent the dairy and farmworkers, Gov. Ted Kulongoski called the agreement "a framework for collective bargaining in Oregon's agricultural sector, providing stability for growers and fairness for farmworkers."

Most importantly, the contract protects the dairy's roughly 300 workers, while also promoting Threemile Canyon Farms' products.

Once again, Eastern Oregon is leading the way in the field of agriculture.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board, comprised of Editor and Publisher George Murdock, Managing Editor Steve Brown, General Manager Wendy DalPez, Deputy Managing Editor Dave Sager and East Oregonian Publishing Company Treasurer Kathryn Brown. Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not necessarily that of the East Oregonian.

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