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Guest Editorial: New leader equals new beginning

From The (La Grande) Observer:

There is usually always a certain degree of optimism when a new leader steps into the top slot of an organization, whether it be a local civic club, military unit or the presidency. A new leader carries the connotation that a new beginning is now at hand and the future will be a bright one.

Guest Editorial: Advisory councils need a fix

Editorial from The (Bend) Bulletin:

Oregon’s coordinated care organizations, charged with delivering medical care to residents who qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program, are charged with listening to those they serve as they spend the state’s money. They do so with advisory councils which, by law, must include members who are OHP clients.

Or at least they try to include OHP clients on the councils. Finding willing participants has proven difficult, even though some councils pay their client members to take part.

Guest Editorial: Forest Service stifles the public

Editorial from The (Bend) Bulletin:

You’ll be pleased to know that Oregon will spend some $300,000 of your tax dollars in the next two years to study moving the state to a single-payer health care system.

You’d think we’d learn.

Reminder to Baker parents

The announcement Monday by Baker City Police that a predatory sex offender has moved to town prompted a predictable response.

People are worried about their kids.

We understand.

A little boy’s legacy

Michelle Ryan’s story is tragic, and we can’t conceive of the level of courage she needed to tell it.

But the story of Michelle’s 5-year-old son, Jordan, who was killed by a pit bull in Baker City on Sept. 27, 2013, a story we published in the July 17 issue, also reminded us that Jordan’s needless death resulted in something that Baker City needed.

A dangerous dog ordinance.

Enriching schools’ offerings

When it comes to teaching high school students how to weld metal or replace a cylinder head on a diesel engine, which attribute is the more important for the teacher to have — experience in welding and replacing cylinder heads, or a diploma?

We’ll take the experience, and we’d venture that almost all of you would as well.

And so we’re pleased that the Oregon Legislature has passed House Bill 3166. It starts a three-year pilot project which allows the Baker School District and two others to hire experts in certain technical fields to teach courses, even if those experts lack academic credentials that the state normally requires for public school teachers.

Rain can’t stop the bike rally

Motorcycle riders are accustomed to a certain level of deprivation.

Wind in their hair.

Sun on their arms.

And of course, bugs in their teeth.

Teaching vital skills

The question belongs to that category of queries so common that they’ve become clichés.

“What are you going to do after high school?"

Let’s start saving our water

Baker City, in this year of severe drought, is fortunate compared with many towns in the West.

We have a watershed in the nearby Elkhorn Mountains that not only has reliably delivered copious amounts of water for more than a century, but has done so through the elegantly simple means of gravity.

But we’re not immune to nature.

Copycatting California? On vaccines, we should

The Oregon Legislature hasn’t completly failed to address the state’s dangerously low childhood vaccination rate.

But almost.

Our lawmakers’ lack of gumption seems especially galling when compared with our neighbors in California.

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