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Don't pay, Council

Former Baker City Manager Steve Brocato is not legally entitled to severance pay.

But he thinks he deserves it.

The City Council should not oblige him.

Not with the taxpayers’ money.

By negotiating a severance deal with Brocato, whose lawyer recently sent the city a letter demanding compensation for the former manager, the Council would set a potentially costly, and possibly permanent, precedent.

Wolves had to go

These two wolves had to die.

Which is too bad.

We’d call them sacrificial lambs except that seems inappropriate given the circumstances.

A just denial

The word “compassion” seems misplaced in a discussion about a person who stabbed a pregnant woman to death and then used her blood to scrawl “pig” on the front door of the victim’s home.

Yet compassion is what Susan Atkins’ lawyer, who is also her husband, pleaded for when he spoke to a California parole board last week.

Wiser use of water

Here’s an idea: Let’s help local farmers and ranchers use less water to irrigate the same acreage, leaving more water in the river for fish.

Oh, and these new irrigation systems will take less time, and money, to maintain.


The debate over America’s healthcare system has been focused on the 47 million people who lack insurance, and on the various proposals designed to shrink that number.

Trouble is, the number almost certainly will grow, at least initially, regardless of whether the foes or the fans of a government insurance option prevail in this political tussle.

Hang it up, Oregon

The news that Oregon state government spent $450,000 more than it should have in one year might not, of itself, raise anyone’s hackles.

After all, the state spends several billion dollars each year.

Council needn’t rush

We can scarcely envision a worse time for the Baker City Council to make the vital choice confronting its seven members.

Councilors need to hire a city manager.

Pay more, get more

Nobody enjoys paying more when they fill their car with gas or register it at the DMV.

But neither ordeal seems quite so onerous when you know the extra money will pay for something you use.

That's compassion?

Scotland, it turns out, has “rules of compassion.”

But apparently the Scots not only pronounce “compassion” in a way that sounds foreign to our American ears, but they define the word quite differently as well.

Last week the Scottish government released Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from prison. He is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270.

Scottish officials justified their decision by pointing out that al-Megrahi has advanced prostate cancer and likely will die within months. Scottish “rules of compassion” compelled officials to release the terrorist.

Sound advice

Having a wildfire destroy your home is bad.

But this is worse: You don’t have insurance.

Fires burn more rural homes than they used to. This is hardly surprising — there are both more fires and more rural homes.

Nor has this trend slipped unnoticed past the probing eyes of insurance adjusters.

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