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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters

Letters to the Editor for July 1, 2015

Pope Francis’ inspiring call to action on climate change

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”

There are many profound teachings in Pope Francis’ newly-issued, wide-ranging Encyclical on climate change, inequality, and justice. It is a truly majestic document. It’s lengthy, but I urge everyone to read it in its entirety with both mind and heart, and to go well beyond the words to the spiritual meaning they convey.  (A link may be found here:  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Franc/index.htm)


Letters to the Editor for June 24, 2015

Volcanoes as major CO2 source myth refuses to die

In a recent letter to the editor, Chuck Chase makes this completely erroneous claim: “Just the (volcanic) eruption in Iceland alone...put more carbon dioxide in the air than we (humans) have since we started cutting back on carbon dioxide.” Then he jokes that believers in global warming should “quit drinking Kool Aid and believing in fairy stories..."


Letter to the Editor for June 22, 2015

Forest Service trying to hide road plan from public

The U.S. Forest Service has sunk to a new low in Eastern Oregon, that is, they have decided that you are too dangerous a group of people to be informed as to what roads they plan to close in your mountains. How do I know that? Because I have received a response telling me so.

While they put out propaganda of how they want to engage with you on the national forest, but when I or anyone else requests documents to engage, we are told we may cause “injury to the quality of the agency decision.” Let me emphasize, we, the people of Eastern Oregon may cause injury because we received a document to educate ourselves with.

Much like the mullahs in the mosques of Afghanistan, the Forest Service means to keep you ignorant as to what is going on around you. Communities and citizens are easier to control if they are kept from the truth of what’s going on around them and the decisions a few are making for the larger population. See, you/we/I are too dumb, too backwards, too unenlightened to understand the complexities of such ecological process, or are we?

I have a college education in natural resource. I know that water flows downhill and that active management techniques play a greater role in meeting the public’s needs than exclusion of use. I know that there is a “tread lightly” campaign being pushed by a small minority on the upper echelons of the Forest Service where man is looked at as a disease on the landscape and not a part of it. But most importantly I know this. You and I are not dumb, backwards or unenlightened.

It’s a lie, and we are dealing with liars in the leadership positions of the Forest Service, from the supervisor’s office up. If you want to keep your mountains open you are going to have to dig in. 

John D. George

Bates


Letters to the Editor for June 19, 2015

Worried about carbon dioxide? There was more in the past

This letter is in response to Marshall McComb’s letter to the editor on global warming. I agree with Marshall to a point we have come a long way in controlling pollution. Our pollution expertise 50 years ago was leading the charge on polluting our planet. That is until the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act which stopped this insane practice of spewing nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and other polluting gases that hung over the cities like a fog.

 But it seems now it is fossil fuel, oil and natural gas that contribute to carbon dioxide gas. We as humans contribute by the air we inhale and remove the oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The trees and the vegetation love us because they need it to survive and thrive, and they give out oxygen so that we may survive and thrive also. Al Gore’s thinking on global warming could be self-serving because Al owns businesses building green energy equipment. 

 The Marshalls of the world want us to quit using carbon polluting oil and natural gas to cut down on the nasty old carbon dioxide. But even Marshall is a loss for words when you mention the volcanic fire chain in the South Pacific erupting several hundred times a year spewing out tons of carbon dioxide. Just the eruption in Iceland alone wiped out all of the Al Gore and Marshall McComb’s hard work and put more carbon dioxide in the air than we have since we started cutting back on carbon dioxide, that isn’t even counting the hundreds of eruptions a year. Not only that when a forest or even a grass fire burns it gives up to the atmosphere all of the carbon dioxide it has consumed in its entire lifetime.

 Back when Oregon was just an inland sea, volcanic eruptions, lava flows and mountain building were prevalent in Oregon. So much so the carbon dioxide levels were so high that it super saturated the inland see with carbon dioxide. This super saturation settled to the sea bottom and contributed to the limestone deposits that Ash Grove is mining today that are thousands of feet thick. I deal with fact and quit drinking Kool Aid and believing in fairy stories when I was a kid.

Chuck Chase

Baker City

Forest Service doesn’t manage land; it restricts public access

On June 3, Tom Montoya, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, submitted a community editorial lauding the USFS and its efforts to implement the Blue Mountains Forest Plan. He announced the best way to “re-engage” the community, the stakeholders and the USFS. He advocates public meetings, which will provide “opportunities to discuss and develop ideas that will help us to improve the final Revised Forest Plans, and provide clarity on our final decisions.”

If my memory serves me, the comment period is over. Why have “marathon” meetings when the general public has to attend, unpaid, while USFS officials naturally get compensated?

We have been going through this process or similar processes since 2009. Let’s review what has happened. At least five forest supervisors have come and gone, none could get the “plan” right. The citizens have commented, studies have been done, and maps have been tendered, and what is the result? The citizens’ ideas and input have been largely ignored. The USFS seems to receive input and then largely, in my opinion, just make an arbitrary decision.

Why doesn’t the USFS spend the money that they allocate to the Forest Plan to managing the forest? I speak from experience. I own land totally surrounded by the national forest. I have seen no forest management for the last 25 years. No thinning, no weed control, no serious logging. The forest is overgrown.

The question is, since no or very little forest management is taking place, where is the money going and why is the USFS trying to jam a plan down our throats that largely restricts any reasonable uses on the national forest? I see the way that they will implement their plan will be to use the Travel Management Plan to totally restrict and limit almost all vehicular use.

Years ago, the Wallowa-Whitman had a motto of “land of many uses.” Today an adept motto would be the “land of no access and no uses.”

Leave the roads and trails alone. We have enough wilderness and non-accessible land already. In the “Discover Your Forest” advertisements, the USFS encourages youth to go to the forest. Could be a little difficult with no or very limited road and trail access, couldn’t it?

Allan R. Chase

Union


Letter to the Editor for June 15, 2015

Global warming should be a bi-partisan issue

As a nation and as part of the global community, we are taking unnecessarily small steps toward moderating the overarching threat of global warming. What were once ominous warnings have now become in-our-face reality. For the sake of current and future generations, we must do better.


Local GOP response to allegations

I would like to put to rest the silly accusations that have been circulating about the Baker County Republicans. They are born of ignorance. Among the questions raised are that local Republicans have closed rather than open meetings, and that only the 46 existing Republican precinct committee persons (PCPs) are allowed to attend when the meetings are closed.


Letters to the Editor for June 10, 2015

LAMP travelers: Please turn on lights at Campbell

Please remind your readers, as pedestrians, when crossing Campbell Street at the river bridge, to activate the flashing light. On Saturday, June 6 at 1:30 p.m. I was driving west on Campbell when I noticed two adults on two separate bicycles aproaching the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway crossing. I stopped, of course. Without engaging the alert lights they crossed through both lines of traffic.


Letter to the Editor for June 5, 2015

County Commission has no hidden agenda

I would like to address the concerns submitted in a recent newspaper editorial about a public lands resolution, 15-01, presented to the county commissioners.

The editorial addressed the May 20 County Commission session and suggested there is an “agenda with the agenda."


Letter to the Editor for May 27, 2015

Forest Service playing shell game with road closures

It’s been described as a shell game, it’s been delivered as a saving grace for the “sustainability” of our nation, and it is so important that is has taken at least five forest supervisors and eight years to complete, but one thing is for certain, they don’t want you knowing what you’re getting in the travel management plan, and they surely do not want you having a true voice in the discussion.

Currently the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is working on Subpart A of the plan, this part is where the forest service decides how many and what roads are needed (or more importantly not needed) to manage the forest. One would think the supervisor’s office would hold meetings with the residents of the region to find out their specific uses and needs and work that into the equation, unfortunately that isn’t the case. I personally have a request in from September of 2014 for the draft document outlining those minimum roads numbers, as of today, I still have no document. 

Why, you might ask, well it’s pretty simple because they don’t want us to know. See, it’s pretty hard to sneak something thru when everyone knows what you’re doing, and so the Forest Service simply keeps us in the dark until they file the report with their regional office in Portland. They’ll say, we asked them to participate in the maps session and that should count for meeting their needs, but it doesn’t.

Currently in Eastern Oregon exists a draft document of the Subpart A report, and the roads it intends to identify for closure. And by the end of 2015 the WWNF will release that plan to the regional office for acceptance.

The question is, will you allow them to do it without standing up and saying no?

If you have time, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it requesting the draft Subpart A report and tell him travel management planning cannot move forward until all uses are protected in the Subpart A report.

John D. George

Bates


Letters to the Editor for May 15, 2015

No reason for commissioner positions to be political

I have yet to see any argument that convinces me the three local commission positions should be political. So why do we need a partisan election?

I’m voting yes on 1-63!

John Rohner

Baker City

Voters avoid nonpartisan elections: No on I-63

Time is getting short to mark and return your ballots in time to have your vote counted. The nonpartisan I-63 that the Democrats put together is another attempt by them to try to control by confusion. The Oregon counties that have tried nonpartisan voting are changing back because of lacking voter interest.

Case in point was their experiment in nonpartisan politics in Los Angeles. Last week there was another in a long series of Democratic nonpartisan catastrophes. The nonpartisan voting in Los Angeles dropped down to only 15 percent of registered voters who cast their ballots to fill municipal offices. When the two parties put forth candidates who compete for a municipal office such as in this last Commissioner’s race you want and get an informed choice. If there is anything good or bad about the candidate that would make you vote either for them or against them you will know it by election time.

Don’t be fooled by all of the hype that the Democrats are putting out on this nonpartisan I-63, it is failing from the simple fact that people lose interest and don’t vote, Los Angeles and other Oregon counties are a case in point. Let’s keep our two-party system and vote this I-63 down, stand with me and vote no.

Chuck Chase

Baker City

No on I-63, keep candidates’ core beliefs part of process

Many want to be elected into office, but what do we really know about them?

What are their core beliefs?

If they belong to a party at least we understand to a certain amount of degree what they stand for.

We have seen what has happened not only in our county, state and now even in our home base, Baker City, the consequence when liberal beliefs are in place vs. conservative principles.

We already have in place the ability for all individuals to vote if they want to vote in the general election, including those non-affiliated with any party. So why take away the ability to understand what they stand for and where they will lead us?

Take the time, check out what happened in other counties that implemented this.

Alaska voted yes to this and it was a disaster for them.

Maintain local control and keep core beliefs of candidates’ part of the selection process

Do not fix something that is not broken.

Vote no on Measure 1-63.

Ramona Creighton

Baker City


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