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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.


Kudos to the county

For more than a decade the specter of the sage grouse has loomed over Baker County.

Concern about this bird has focused on the potential restrictions on livestock grazing, recreation and mining that could result from the federal government conferring threatened or endangered status on the species.


State lets down students


Here’s the new excuse for Oregon students:

“I did my homework, but Gov. Kate Brown vetoed it.”

Last week Brown signed House Bill 2655. This legislation, on which proponents bestowed the egregiously misleading name “Student Assessment Bill of Rights,” allows parents to exempt their kids from standardized testing starting next spring.

And they don’t have to give any reason for skipping the tests, which are given to students in third through eighth grade, as well as 11th grade.

That’s a substantial change from current practice.


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