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Guest Editorial: Forest legal brawls can be avoided

Editorial from The (Bend) Bulletin:

Forest collaboratives are a bid by the Forest Service to keep whatever it does in the forest from becoming a legal brawl.

But some environmental groups, including the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project from Fossil, have already declared they have had enough and won’t be a part of them. They wrote pages of criticisms, summarizing by saying, “In essence, collaborative groups are backroom decision-making processes disguised as feel-good endeavors which aid agency decision-makers.”

Summer suddenly heats up

Until this week the fire season, for Baker County residents, had mainly been something that happened elsewhere.

We saw pictures of smoke clouds from Southern Oregon and California and Idaho.

We read about fires blackening tens of thousands of acres in other counties, states, regions.

But except for the Lime Hill fire last week near Huntington, not much of an incendiary sort had happened close to home for quite some time.

Power plan neglects nuclear

The Clean Power Plan that President Obama unveiled recently was the sort of ambitious idea we expect from a president who’s pondering his legacy rather than his next campaign.

The plan’s centerpiece is a call for the U.S. to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent, based on 2005 levels, by 2030.

That’s not exactly revolutionary — we’re nearly halfway to that level now, before the president’s plan is even in effect.

But it’s certainly a worthwhile goal.

Get a jump on Rally changes

The Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally is an economic boon for Baker City.

But not for every business.

We’re pleased, then, that business owners, Rally organizers and others got together last week, just a couple weeks after this year’s event, to talk about ways to address concerns that some merchants have expressed.

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.

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