Letters to the editor for the week of Oct. 17 to Oct. 21
To the editor:
The more I read about this proposed convention center the less I like what I see. Our mayor and councilors Ellingson, Petry and Daugherty family names that have been in this community almost as long as the post office vote for it after Hofmann and Petry have a private meeting with the Sidways and Jennifer Watkins to decide what would be done at the following day's council meeting. Funny how they didn't invite the rest of the council to their private meeting, but they weren't needed. Four votes beats three; the good old boys get their way.
The last time Watkins was in the paper she was being asked to schedule two more public meetings concerning the Sample Room, which she didn't. Who called her and told her the meetings weren't needed, the building was getting bulldozed? End of debate. Who was at that meeting? It certainly wasn't done in public. This whole thing really stinks.
And the Sidways, without a finalized or approved plan, are complaining about their pie-in-the-sky dream not being promoted first and most and have threatened to put a "For Sale" sign on the door and take their ball and play elsewhere.
Without approved plans, there is nothing to market. They have had the same five months to give the marketers something to work with.
How many conventions for 450 or 500 were held in Oregon last year?
So with their infinite wisdom and private meeting, the good old boys promise the Sidways $1 million of exclusive promotion, of which $900,000 they don't know where it's coming from. Watch your water bill or trust the good old boys to have another private meeting to decide how their majority vote shall rule.
The bottom line is without an approved plan the Sidways get the plum and every established business and attraction gets the crumbs.
This really stinks. I wonder if a recall of a mayor and three councilors isn't what's needed to get the stink out and some legitimacy into city hall.
Locker illustrates need for new school
To the editor:
My name is Ember Smith, and I am a student at Baker Middle School, and I am writing to support the idea of a new middle school.
I think that it is a good idea to get a new middle school because my locker is in the Central Building on the top floor, and most of my classes are in the other building. It is difficult, because I usually have to carry all of my books for the whole morning before lunch, and all my books for the afternoon after lunch, everywhere I go without a backpack! As crazy as this sounds, they don't let you carry your backpack with you because they think you may want to have a weapon in them!
I also have problems at lunch time because I bring my own lunch to school. Since my locker is so far away, I tried once to take my lunch box back to my locker but I was very late for class. That didn't make the teacher happy. I usually kept my lunch box right outside the lunch room so it could be easier for me and for my teachers. All that worked fine until my lunch box got stolen. Time for a new plan. I have given my locker combo to my best friend. From then on, I have had her put my lunch box in my locker.
Another reason why I think it's a good idea is that if we do decide to build a new school, the taxes would cost most people less than $2 a month.
Even if I'm not in middle school when it's finished, other people's education is just as important. So that's a few of the reasons why I think we should have a new middle school.
Market monster truck shows, too
To the editor:
Baker City business owners should be thankful they have such a big-hearted City Council. I assume that every business can receive $1,000,000 in free marketing over the next 10 years.
What are the qualifications and where do you sign up? Do you need to propose something that might bring in money to benefit the community? Do you need to threaten not to build? Does it need to bring in 500 people for three days a week all year long, or can it be realistic?
Maybe market a 500 car parking garage next to the Convention Center.
Maybe market a major rebuild to the airport so people could fly first class to the conventions in commercial jet aircraft.
Just so the marketing companies don't get all of the money, could the million bucks go to the business owners to make some needed repairs to make their place safe? Maybe install a sprinkler system and emergency lighting and make the exits and restrooms handicap accessible? I see a quick fix for the Eltrym Theater here!
I think business owners should draft a plan to present to the City Council outlining their use for $1,000,000. Businesses just starting up should apply. Market your idea!
Let's see I'll propose building an oval racetrack to rival Daytona Speedway. Races would happen all year long since it will be a covered dome! Fans could arrive via the new monorail from the airport after their flight on a jumbo jet. Yeah, this would bring in 50,000 screaming NASCAR fans every weekend of the year. Don't forget the monster truck shows and the tractor pulls during the week bringing 30,000 fans. 52 weeks times 80,000 fans comes to 4,160,000 people going through our little town every year. If every one of them spends 200 bucks a day and stays in town two days, that's $1,664,000,000. I'll bet they would stay over for a convention and spend another $200 for three more days. That would be ... hey, my calculator just had a meltdown.