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Letters to the Editor for May 2, 2016

Future of America might hinge on this election

It’s time to think long and hard about your future or the potential lack of one.

Our country is on the brink of an economic breakdown. When this happens your job or source of income will be lost or seriously diminished. This didn’t just happen, it is the result of 40 years of shortsighted, wrong-headed thinking.

Letters to the Editor for April 29, 2016

Nichols knows how to run the county efficiently

 I support Bruce Nichols for Baker County commissioner. He is smart. He has been an accountant for decades. He knows the math, and the numbers in a budget spreadsheet, to run a county efficiently. Because he has worked with these numbers for years, his business has been auditing city governments for years. He knows what it takes to have efficient government, a government that has a balanced budget.

This is so important. He has worked with local employees on these issues, for years.

I trust Bruce, he is an easygoing, and happy person.

He needs to be our next Baker County Commissioner.

Lisa Rimer


Nichols’ financial background vital for county

There is an unusually important primary election for the Republican Baker County Commissioner coming up May 17. We have only three county commissioners thus each can have a decisive role in county governance. All three candidates are conservative Republicans but there are unusually important differences. See the candid statements at bakercounty.org.

Bruce Nichols is of old family in the area and an accountant who has audited budgets of Baker County cities including Halfway where he is well-respected. Bruce spoke here and impressed me with his experience and ideas for dealing with county budgets, organization, and legal and personnel issues as they affect efficiency and business development. This background is so important to a council whose overwhelming mandate is to manage our $6 million budget and to promote local prosperity. He will advocate strongly for unnecessary regulation and has vowed to work toward advantageous relations with federal and state agencies.

Kody Justus is a community volunteer and rancher who has little small government knowledge. His candidate statement speaks to little other than pushback against the Forest Service, BLM and government overreach. He is a past coordinator for the Baker County Oathkeepers as he reported in his candidate statement. A fact that he did not acknowledge in last week’s Republican forum. If you don’t know what this fringe organization really represents you should. Their website features photos of militia activities with assault weapons. They vow to uphold the Constitution with a capital C. This is code for interpreting their own view of the constitution following the “intent of the founding fathers.” They do not generally support our Supreme Court. I would be more than afraid of their courts. Mr. Justus uses this quote and capital C constitution in his candidate statement. He supports local control of public lands. How would this work? He also reportedly brought food to the Malheur occupiers. 

Kody should put his efforts into effective organizations like the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association or the NRA, or Greg Walden’s efforts on forest utilization. They support a democracy that has lasted more than 200 years.

Steve White


Nichols will make sure tax dollars are spent wisely

I am writing this letter in support of Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner. In the years I have known Bruce I have found him to be  honest, fair and of high integrity. I think he is the strongest choice for County Commissioner and one who will question and work within the budget to ensure that the citizens are receiving the best value for their local tax dollars. He is aware of all the issues in the county and will work within the law to address them. He will also be committed to keeping Baker County a friendly and supportive environment where small businesses can continue to grow or be welcomed to start or relocate here.

Please join me in voting for Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner.

Mitch Southwick

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 27, 2016

Justus will protect our constitutional rights

I have had the pleasure of watching Kody Justus working behind the scenes for the past year and a half.....as a concerned citizen, without compensation, due to his dedication to the people of Baker County, as well as his desire to see that the Constitution, reigns supreme, in Baker County. Those who support this Constitution are NOT radicals, as those on the Left decry. When I was growing up, those who defended the Constitution were referred to as patriots, not radicals. 

Just consider how effective Justus can be as our next county commissioner, with the authority, power and desire to accomplish the real will of the people. I have witnessed his passion for Baker County and his dedication to the people of Baker County in dealing with abuses to both, when the Constitution has been ignored by the federal and state government.

Letters to the Editor for April 22, 2016

Troubled by Nichols’ answers; I’m voting for Justus

Tuesday night I attended the Baker County Republican forum for the County Commissioner candidates.

I found the inconsistencies of statements made by Bruce Nichols absolutely amazing.  Any questions about blocking government overreach, Nichols just rolled over — he would not stand up for Baker County or Baker County citizens on any issue.

The inconsistencies of his answers to other issues are also a concern. When asked about his involvement in a Baker County ranch issue regarding  range land and alfalfa fields being destroyed by two companies Nichols was CEO of, Nichols responded he was not CEO nor in a decision-making role.  Yet, Baker County recorded special warranty deeds (B10150075 and B10150076) clearly show Mr. Nichols’ signature on these deeds for these companies with the title of “CEO” in April of 2010.  

Nichols also skirted around the issue of and would not commit to his position on the consolidation of law enforcement in Baker County, which is contrary to his recorded event in Halfway on April 1 and other statements he has made.  

Nichols’ final comment to candidate Kody Justus was rude and arrogant. Is this really the temperament we need as a Commissioner? I don’t think so. Please join me in voting for Kody Justus for Baker County Commissioner.  

Suzie Dyke

Baker City

Justus would stand against federal overreach

At the April 1 meeting in Halfway for Commissioner Candidate Bruce Nichols, I asked if a similar situation as what happened in Harney County happened in Baker County would he consider it an “overreach” of the federal government.

Mr. Nichols was not sure what was meant by overreach, so I explained to him that, if the government is acting beyond the boundaries of the law, would you consider that overreach. Nichols stalled and kept saying this was a court issue.  I responded that courts can be swayed, which Nichols agreed this was true, but further said he would have to follow the law.

I again asked would you be willing to help an individual citizen in Baker County who was having similar problems as the Hammond Family had in Harney County with the BLM. Mr. Nichols responded, “Not that individual, no. Because they violated the law.”

My response, “That’s what I needed to know.”  I would just like to tell Mr Nichols that following illegal laws or ignoring illegal overreach is not following your sworn oath of office. My vote on May 17 is for Kody Justus. Baker County does not need another bureaucrat as a commissioner.

Tom Huff


Justus will stand up for Baker County residents

While living in Utah in 1996, I well remember when nearly 2 million acres were stolen by the Clinton administration in the Escalante land-grab. It cost the local folks their jobs, new business, and millions in lost taxes and future royalty revenues. President Clinton claimed not to support this, but he lied. Big surprise.

Backing this Utah land grab was David Hunsaker, then a BLM manager. This is the same man who now calls Kody Justus’ supporters “radical” in their support of states’ rights and local autonomy and economy. Mr. Hunsaker used the excuse of a “drought” to permanently rob ranchers of grazing rights in Utah. He has a long history of fighting ranchers, cattle associations, county officials, and local economy.

Secondly, it scares me that Mr. Hunsaker and others with ties to big government and liberal agendas are presently throwing political weight behind Bruce Nichols. I wonder why.  His platform seems to be nothing more than the status quo, and he presents zero ambition in defending this county from federal assaults on our lands and byways, even saying he wants to “soften the approach” regarding our access to forest roads. Do we want that?

Kody Justus has noble priorities. He circulates among the people, knows the people, and will work diligently to ensure that Baker County retains an equal footing with federal agencies like the BLM and Forest Service when it comes to our mountain roads, local resource management, and 2nd Amendment rights. Kody has lifelong history as a rancher; he’s carried certification from the Oregon Department of Safety Standards and Training and has worked for the corrections industry. Kody has a clean and honest record since making positive changes earlier in his life.  

Don’t let Mr. Hunsaker demonize and intimidate you by classifying you as a “strident vocal minority,” as if you are ignorant of a true cause and purpose. You are the majority. You are this county.  This election is about you, me, and our way of life. Vote Justus for Baker County.

Jake Brown


Letters to the Editor for April 20, 2016

I’m voting to continue the Baker County Library levy

Branch libraries in Haines, Halfway, Richland, Sumpter and Unity are the ties that bind far-flung Baker County communities together. The unique local buildings provide a gathering place, meeting space and learning center. The local librarians provide access to resources across the nation, programs to enrich the lives of Baker County residents from children to senior citizens and help to learn, expand and grow for all their patrons.

A yes vote in our May primary election to renew the library levy at no increase in your current taxes will continue this service to all of Baker County and provide a base to access grants and programs to keep our library one of the finest in the state.

Dotty Miles

North Powder resident,

 Baker County taxpayer

We’re backing Justus for Baker County Commissioner

We support Kody Justus for Baker County Commissioner because in our experience with Kody, he has always been insightful and considerate to our issues.

It is our feeling that Kody is a strong and responsible man who will meet the needs of the Baker County Commissioner position.

Linda and Bob Oelke

Baker City

Justus is the candidate Baker County needs

As I have looked at the different people running for County Commissioner, I have narrowed down my choice to the person who appears to best suit our needs, here in Baker County.

We do not need a transplant from other regions to tell us how to handle our local problems. We need someone who has lived and earned his living here and understands the needs of the people of the entire county, not just the townsfolk. Someone who graduated from BHS and served in the military to defend the rights of us all to be able to actually voice our opinions without fear of governmental retribution. That someone is Kody Justus.

If you check his Facebook page you will find the  quote “I used to pray for somebody to speak out, to stand up to defend our liberties, then I realized I am somebody.”  This is the kind of person I want to stand up to the folks who wish to destroy our way of life in Eastern Oregon.

I am quite upset over the slanderous opinions voiced in one newspaper. For that person just remember what the Bible says, “This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone ...”

On that note I suggest you look at the man he has become and cast your vote for Kody Justus, a man for us all.

Peggie Longwell

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 18, 2016

Justus responds to criticism about his criminal record

My closest supporters have asked that I make a comment in response to some of the numerous negative articles and editorials in which I have been the target for one newspaper lately. Those who know me know that like most people, I’m not lily white. I think what is most shocking to those around me is the eagerness of some to throw stones at a man and his family simply because they support a competing candidate or point of view.

I was admittedly wrong back in 1994. I did not seek defense then nor do I seek it now.  I own my mistakes. Over the years I’ve done everything Biblically outlined to reshape my life and make it right. I can do no more than what God requires to accomplish this — and yet it seems somehow the editor of a local newspaper feels she must require more of me even than God.  What can a person say in response to that?

Instead, I believe it far more productive to focus on my plans for Baker County. For some reason many seem to think I acted without thought and am regretting my decision to visit the Refuge in Burns. Though I regret my decisions from 1994, I do not regret this one. I value the insight I obtained from talking to those who were there as well as those who visited. That insight has added to the knowledge and wisdom I would carry into the position of County Commissioner.  

It has been nearly two and a half decades since that time of shaky judgment in my youth. Since then, I have gained skills, knowledge and wisdom. I have a beautiful family, deep roots in the community and a faith I wouldn’t trade for anything. I have worked hard to build a solid base from which to serve Baker County and all its residents — and if I know anything, it’s hard work. I ask for your vote for County Commissioner. 

Kody Justus

Baker City

Editor’s note: Justus is referring in part to a recent editorial in the Record-Courier, which referenced his conviction for domestic abuse in 1994 and a diversion agreement for drunken driving.


American patriots: a tradition 241 years strong

It was 241 years ago today — April 18, 1775 — that Paul Revere, William Dawes and a 13-year-old girl whose name escapes me at this time, made their midnight ride to warn Samuel Adams, John Hancock and the Boston Patriots that the British Army was coming to arrest them.

The next day, April 19, 1775, about 5 a.m., 700 British troops arrived at Lexington, Massachusetts, to find a 77-man-strong colonial militia. Soon after, the “shot heard around the world” was fired. Eight Americans lay dead and another 10 were wounded. The American Revolution had begun.

Citizens all, we must never dismiss the agony since that day until today, 241 years later, that our patriots have endured to secure and maintain our freedom.

May God continue to bless America.

Bill Hanley

Baker City

Nichols would bring needed perspective to county

My husband and I are supporting Bruce Nichols for County Commissioner. I had the pleasure of working with Bruce for three years on the Baker City budget committee.  As with all volunteers, the giving of his time, input and expertise was very much appreciated.

We are confident that Bruce Nichols will be a great addition and bring a needed perspective to our County Commission.  Please remember to vote, and please join us in supporting Bruce Nichols.

Gail and Ray Duman

Baker City

Nichols has tools to help make Baker County better

We are ranchers in Baker County. There are so many projects form fencing, keeping machinery running properly, irrigating, growing and harvesting crops and keeping livestock healthy. We learn by using the right tools so things go well.  As problems arise we use those tools and the knowledge we have to successfully take care of the problem and even make it better than it was.  

We have known Bruce Nichols for many years. We know that he has the right tools and the knowledge to help solve all the different problems that come up in the county and make Baker County a better and a great place for all of us to live and enjoy. We will be voting for Bruce Nichols and recommend you also vote for Bruce Nichols.

Bob and Marilyn Harrison

Baker City

Vocal minority is too radical; we support Nichols

When we as electors of our representatives exercise our right to vote, we freely choose to participate in a process guided by our Constitution…all of it…not just those pieces with which we agree. When our Founding Fathers divided our government’s functions into its three component parts, they presciently included processes for resolving disagreements that were surely to spring up through the years as the messy job of implementing a new form of self-government began.

We as voters retain the ultimate power of representing ourselves and of amending the Constitution if we deem it necessary. We as individuals may disagree as to the meaning of the language of the Constitution…thus the founders saw fit to include the legal process for redress: the federal court system. We may personally disagree with some of the Supreme Court’s decisions as well as ones from the lower courts. But we must recognize the legitimate role the legal system plays in this process.

We also recognize the only legitimate avenue for change is engagement in our process. When we see some of the outrageous acts committed by a loud, raucous and disrespectful minority, we are reminded of our commitment to act within the confines of our republic and remain hopeful that others will too. We are committed to electing thoughtful, open-minded, informed, honest and capable representatives at all levels who share our commitment to this country and its principles. That is why we encourage others to join us in voting for Bruce Nichols.

The candidate for Baker County Commissioner who is supported by the strident vocal minority is just too radical for us…and for Baker County.

Dave and Joyce Hunsaker

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 15, 2016

Justus wants to represent people, not govern them

It seems the Record-Courier is on the fight again, like the temperance ladies of old they rally the pitch forks to rail against the issues they despise. The cause then, alcohol, now it’s the abolishment of anyone that speaks out against a system that seeks to kill individuality. 

What scares the staff of the Courier so much, is it that a likeminded man like Tim Kerns won’t be re-elected? Is it that Baker County might finally have a working commission that is willing to stand up for its residents as individuals, instead of laying down like a whipped dog?

It simply boils down to this, are you going to elect people that will represent you, or are you going to elect people that are going to govern you? Kody wants to be your representative, a strong voice for the individuals of Baker County. A voice of the people who worked at the mill, and who worked in the woods. 

The staff at the Record-Courier would stand for those that govern you, who would treat you as children, to simple minded to make your own decisions, as they are the only ones adult enough to know what is good for you.

If I had a vote Kody Justus and John Hoopes are who I’d vote for. Men of integrity, men that know we are capable of living our lives, and making our own decision. Baker County has a clear choice in May when voting. Are you going to toe the line of the old guard’s “go along to get along” policies or do you work to take back your county? Anything short of a vote for Kody Justus and John Hoopes is a vote to stick with the misery you know, and I don’t think that’s where the majority is at.

John D. George


Editor’s note: Hoopes is running against incumbent Sheriff Travis Ash. That race will be decided in the Nov. 8 general election.

Disturbed by writer’s ability to discern where liberals live

 I found Kasey Wright’s April 4 letter to the editor, “Kody Justus is the conservatives’ choice,” disturbing, if not downright scary. Somehow Kasey Wright knows who most of the liberals are in Halfway and even more in all of Baker Valley. What is even more frightening, she knows where they all live! I am not sure of what political label Kasey Wright would attach to me but to be safe I am shopping for a big cloak to wear. 

On a different note, but equally disturbing, is the veiled innuendos linking legal marijuana to increased illegal methamphetamine use. I fail to understand how methamphetamine has become more socially acceptable in certain circles. I’m not sure what that even means or how legal marijuana entered the discussion? While law enforcement has much more insight, connection and knowledge on the meth epidemic, my unprofessional personal observation is that there is only one circle of meth users — most likely no job (unless thievery or illegal drug-dealing counts), no money, no teeth and, eventually, no beating heart. Certainly nothing new nor anymore of an acceptable social circle than it always was. My heart is saddened that this addiction has become so prevalent and crushed so many potentially productive lives but to in any way suggest legal marijuana as a reason for its increase ... ?

I applaud and sincerely thank our lawkeepers for their focus and success in attacking the meth problem but as respected public servants there should be some restraint in voicing unsubstantiated blanket opinions. Because you say something over and over does not make it true. What it does is scare and confuse, a tactic best left alone. My understanding is that the unproven theory of marijuana being a gateway to harder drugs is no more valid than, possibly, personality, childhood abuse, low income, poor education, personal and mental disorders, plain stupidity ... or mother’s milk. If I was asked to guess at a common denominator in the gateway to harder drugs theory I would choose alcohol, a more logical choice, but that would only be another unproven unsubstantiated personal opinion. 

Mike Meyer

Baker City

Election crucial in county’s effort to restore public forests

This coming Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at the Sunridge Inn, the Baker County GOP is sponsoring a forum for the candidates running for the Baker County Commissioner seat being vacated by Commissioner Tim Kerns.  There will be a Q & A time, followed by a chance to meet and greet the three candidates, whom all appear to be honorable men.

I strongly encourage the voters of Baker County to be at this forum. Baker County is truly at a crossroads. Since 1986, over 25 percent of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has experienced stand-destroying crown wildfires. Since 1994, lawsuits by the environmentalist groups have essentially shutdown the federal land management agencies, the BLM and USFS, from conducting common-sense forest health restoration activities. This resulted in the loss of one of Baker County’s largest private employers, if not the largest, Ellingson Lumber Company.  Since the closing of this family owned sawmill, the wildfires have not grown smaller, but larger.  In the 1980s and 1990s, a 10,000-acre wildfire was considered huge. Today the 100,000 acre wildfire is the “new normal.” The proliferation of lawsuits by enviros has resulted in reduced funding for our public schools and the deterioration of Baker County roads. Both the supervisor and district ranger have stated that their hands are tied regarding conducting commonsense forest health restoration activities. At every turn the enviros litigate rather than come to the table to discuss forest management activities with the federal land management agencies and private forest industries.

Under former County Commissioner Fred Warner, and continued on by current County Commissioner Bill Harvey, Baker County has designed and put in place the Natural Resource Management Plan where Baker County is beginning to come alongside the federal land management agencies, the BLM and USFS, to embark on a program to restore forest health and retain the remaining wood products infrastructure to accomplish this important task for the residents of Baker County. Please consider coming to this forum to hear the candidates, ask your questions, and help elect the best candidate to accomplish this crucial task of forest health on federal lands in Baker County.

Arvid Andersen

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 13, 2016

I’m excited to be voting for Kody Justus for commissioner

I support Kody Justus for Baker County Commissioner. If elected, Kody will fight for your rights to access and enjoy your local forests and rangelands, which are threatened by increasing regulation from unelected bureaucracies. He is committed to working alongside Bill Harvey in the lands coordination process, which stands against the road closures and access limitations being proposed and pushed by out-of-touch federal agencies.

As a current member of the Baker County Natural Resource Committee, he is actively involved in developing plans to identify and utilize our natural resources in profitable and sustainable ways, thus rejuvenating local industry and growing our resident economy. It is very refreshing to see someone who believes in the potential of local people managing local resources to create local solutions, rather than defaulting to big central government for the answer to all our problems. I am so excited to vote for someone who shares my values and concerns, and is committed to standing up for the Constitution and the liberties it was meant to secure.

Joseph Brown


Nichols will use sound judgment as commissioner

As the upcoming election process unfolds it is interesting to read letters to the editors in our local papers. Usually the authors draw on their own experiences to convey support or opposition of a candidate. Other times the letters are written in ways that display the writer’s anger or frustration over the process or what they perceive to be a fight between “us” and “them.”

One writer recently suggested that the reason the Democrats did not submit a candidate for Baker County Commissioner is that some Democrats (or former Democrats) are now supporting Bruce Nichols. How wonderful is that? To know that some of our Democratic friends and neighbors can now support a man like Bruce Nichols is great. They recognize that men of his caliber, honesty, integrity, and life experiences make him the man to support that they did not, in this instance, find in their own ranks. It is not that Mr. Nichols has changed in character or beliefs. He is still a very strong supporter of our Constitution and will not swerve in his defense of it. He will execute sound judgment in all his dealings whether the circumstances are pleasant or not, whether the outcome is pleasant or not, or whether the establishment wants to hear it or not.  

So here is my letter to the editor and when all is said and done my hope is that the “us” and “them” folks become “we.” We can vote, we can choose, we can go through this election process without anger and we can unite to elect Bruce Nichols as Baker County Commissioner.

Anita Nelson

Baker City

Nichols will keep residents up to date on county budgets

Bruce is a super candidate for the commission. He is familiar with local businesses, ranchers, farmers, schools, budgets and accounting in all types of operations that need his talents. Bruce is locally raised, educated and works as a Certified Public Accountant.

He graduated from Baker High School and has lived most of his life in Baker County.

He has directed several people to donate some of their large and small funds and time to the Oregon East-West Shrine Game held here in Baker City each year. Which are then passed on to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland.

He has been a large supporter of the Baker County Shrine Club and the fundraisers that we do for the benefit of getting kids who need specialized treatment, care and travel; to receive the care they need at no charge to them, yes I mean at no charge. Any of the children who go to our hospital are not charged for any of their care and operations.

Bruce is always cordial and courteous to whoever might ask for his input in everyday problems that might come their way.  

Bruce is a Certified Public Accountant and the person we need as a County Commissioner that will keep all of us in Baker County better advised to help us and let us know what is happening with the county budgets and financing.

Vote for Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner, position number 1, for results and confidence.

Dick Kirby

Baker City

Only Justus is committed to county’s constitutional rights

Everyone can see what is happening to our world and our economy. Who among us is not burdened with reasonable fears for the future of ourselves and our children?  We local people haven’t much hope to change the world or national policies, but we CAN salvage the rural lifestyle and local economy by controlling our county leadership!

Individual counties have tremendous constitutional power against intrusive and costly federal agencies and programs. It is only those leaders who absolutely rely on that constitutional power who can withstand the federal bullies.

Who among the commissioner candidates has a platform for local control of public lands and resources and commitments to defend Second Amendment rights?

Only Kody Justus. He is well-qualified and absolutely committed to restoring Baker County to its rightful role in the community. Constitutional government is LESS government!

Our future hinges on this upcoming election. Elect an honorable and dedicated man to fight for what is true and right. Trust Kody Justus to never let us down when the going gets rough.

Ed Hardt

Baker City

Justus will work to get county control of land

Kody Justus understands natural resource issues because he lives them daily and these issues are not just words for him. Justus understands how our public lands need to be managed correctly to avoid further catastrophic wildfires which devastated our county last summer. The Transfer of Public Lands (TPL) issue promotes local control of our resources. Many get lost in the weeds wanting the details of how this could happen. If you look at history, most of the Eastern and Midwestern states had their public lands turned over to the state for local control. Hawaii had its public lands turned over to their state as part of the statehood deal. The Western states are the only states who are being treated differently. Recently both Utah and Idaho passed bills which define how this transfer will happen. Canada just spent 10 years transferring their public lands to their provinces and it has worked well. The federal government is trillions in debt. How long can this spending rate continue? What will happen when the counties quit receiving the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) money or the schools quit receiving the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) money? Local control of our natural resources is better management and would provide a strong base for our local economy. The economy in Baker County is based on agriculture and natural resources, not federal agency jobs as some may say. The federal government should not be landlord to the Western states. Grassroots change begins at home and with county officials who understand the concept and know how to make it work. Please join me in voting for Kody Justus for County Commissioner.

Cindy Frazier

Baker City

Local media need to uphold a higher standard in campaign

Years ago, I had an outstanding English professor, who impressed upon me the need to critically examine all aspects of a story in order to be a responsible writer.

Yesterday, I read a local newspaper editorial that displayed a real lack of responsible writing.

This editorial was written in regard to a Baker County commissioner candidate. Now, I fully understand that when you throw your hat into the political realm, your life seems to become an open book to the media. But when does campaign reporting go too far?

To me, when a reporter uses personal opinions or comments about a candidate’s children and family to “sway” the audience’s emotions, and hints of wrongdoing by use of false innuendo, the writer and publisher have lost all credibility. Even more so, I find it highly insulting that reporting equivalent to that of a supermarket tabloid is coming from a Baker County newspaper. There is enough trash coming from the mainstream media; Baker County reporting should be held to a higher standard.

Our local media represent ALL of Baker County. If they didn’t, advertising and subscriptions wouldn’t be vitally important to their existence.

I hope that, as the political season progresses, our local media will step up to the challenge to stay focused and write responsibly. You represent all of Baker County, not just yourself!

Carole Dyke

Baker City

Justus has flawed interpretation of parts of the Constitution

Voters should visit Commission candidate Kody Justus’s campaign website (http://www.justusforbakercounty.com/#!the-issues/c1flq), where he expounds on Tenth Amendment limitations of the federal government. His website makes clear that he has no knowledge of the history of the Tenth Amendment or its present scope. I believe all Kody knows is what he reads on the radical “Constitutionalist” movement websites. 

The “Constitutionalists” have their own interpretation of the Constitution, as opposed to two centuries of legal court rulings that are the law of the land. That interpretation says that “we the people” created the federal government and, therefore, “we the people” have the final say about Constitutional interpretation, including disobeying any law or court ruling, including U.S. Supreme Court rulings, that “we the people” don’t agree with.  

I believe that it is extra-judicial nonsense that motivated Ammon Bundy and his armed militia to illegally take over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. And, I believe, that type of thinking motivates people like Baker County Commissioner Bill Harvey and Suzan Jones, chair of the Baker County Republican Central Committee, who believe Congress has highjacked land in the West that rightly belongs to states and counties. That claim ignores the history of U.S. expansion.

In the first week of the illegal armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in January of this year, Kody traveled to Refuge headquarters and delivered supplies to Bundy’s militants. And, according to an article in a N.Y. City newspaper, did so in the company of his nine-year-old daughter.

On Kody’s campaign website a stated goal, if elected, is to pass a “Second Amendment Ordinance for Baker County.” I have asked Kody via email what his proposed ordinance will say. No reply. 

Well, at the two scheduled community forums, Kody better be prepared to talk in detail about the Tenth Amendment and his proposed Second Amendment ordinance, because I’ll be there to question his knowledge and motivation, including asking just what supplies he delivered to the armed occupiers of the Refuge.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Vector district levy provides benefits for taxpayers

With the mosquito control local option levy up for renewal in the upcoming ballot, Baker Valley Vector Control District would like to let all of the citizens within the district know about the benefits of a well-funded mosquito control program, and what the funds are used for. The levy will be for the same amount that it has always been of $140,000 per year, so property taxes will not be increasing. This funding goes a long ways towards helping Baker Valley Vector Control fight mosquitoes and monitor the presence of West Nile Virus within the district. Here are a few examples of the many benefits this funding helps us provide for the citizens in the district:

• Setting mosquito traps throughout the district to monitor the prevalence of West Nile Virus and other vector-borne illnesses.

• Providing education to the public about mosquito prevention and information on vector-borne diseases.

• Providing the district with the ability to make treatments when necessary to decrease the chance of vector-borne diseases and nuisance mosquito populations for a better quality of life for both citizens and livestock.

• Allowing the district to test mosquitoes and birds for vector-borne illnesses.

• Providing inspections around houses for mosquito breeding sites and treating those sites for the citizens of the district.

West Nile Virus detection in the district has become a common occurrence in the summer months. 

Having these funds available is crucial to our efforts of monitoring and limiting the spread of vector-borne illnesses and keeping mosquito populations at tolerable levels so everyone can enjoy their summer. Baker Valley Vector Control takes a tremendous amount of pride in doing its part to serve and protect the citizens of the district. We thank you for your support throughout the years, and we hope everyone will take this into consideration when filling out your ballots this spring.

Gordon Colton

Martha Jane Spratling

Ralph Morgan

Fred Warner Jr.

Rex Nelson

Board of Directors

Baker Valley Vector Control District

Letter to the Editor for April 8, 2016

I’m no liberal, and I’m supporting Bruce Nichols for Baker County commissioner

I support Bruce Nichols for Baker County commissioner. I believe that he has the experience, knowledge, values and ethics that the county needs.  And, Kasey Wright, I am no liberal, not even close. And I think.

Sig Siefkes

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 6, 2016

Nichols’ financial background vital for county

Bruce Nichols should be considered by all the voting public as a great choice for a County Commissioner.  I have worked with Bruce for the last decade as secretary for the Haines Cemetery District. 

Bruce is the accountant for the Haines Cemetery District.  When Bruce became the accountant the District was in dire straits financially.  Now the District is financially secure thanks to Bruce.  Bruce is very helpful with explanations to the budget committee when budget time comes around.  

I believe Bruce would be a good addition to the commissioners as a strong financial background is essential for a strong financial Baker County.

Carl Proebstel


Justus will do more than recite the Constitution

Our country is in trouble. It is in trouble because we have allowed our government to encroach into areas historically the government was never meant to be. We see a great divide between people who do not understand the founding documents which formed this country and those that do. 

There is a grassroots movement to get back to a Constitutional government. But now there is a faction of society which thinks if you are for upholding the Constitution you are now a terrorist, a bad person, someone who wants anarchy…well no, we just want our government to follow the law.   

My Uncle Kody went to Harney County to support the Dwight and Stephen Hammond families, as did most of the people who went to Burns. The Hammond family has been pushed to the brink of losing their family business by abusive BLM employees.  Some federal employees are out of control. Combine this with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who has slapped a first right of refusal (to BLM) on the Hammonds’ property should they have to sell the family business — how crooked is this?     

Change begins at the grassroots level, the county level. When elected, Kody will more than recite the words of the oath of office; he will mean them with every fiber of his being. If the voters of Baker County truly want someone who loves the custom and culture of this county and will manage the county business fairly, vote for Kody Justus.    

Katy Davilla


Nichols’ experience would be asset to county

It was a pleasure to learn recently that our longtime friend and ranch accountant, Bruce Nichols, has filed to run for the County Commission position that Tim Kerns now holds.

I would like to thank Tim for all his years of service. I know it wasn’t for fame or fortune, but for his commitment to the betterment of Baker County. Thanks, Tim. Great job.

As with Tim, I know Bruce has the desire to serve for the betterment of our county. Bruce and his family have deep roots in Baker County. One of Bruce’s ancestors was an original homesteader on Burnt River in the Bridgeport area.

Over the years, Bruce has had many ag producer clients such as ourselves. Because of that experience he knows very well that agriculture is the backbone of Baker County’s economy and how important it is to do what can be done at the county level to support the county’s ag industry. The majority of ag income goes back into the local economy in the form of wages, the purchase of goods and services, and property taxes. Bruce’s experience in the budgeting process will be a real asset to the Commission.

Bruce has also shown his interest in the community by serving on a number of local boards. I know Bruce to be a man of honesty and integrity. I believe he is the best man for the job. I encourage my fellow Republicans not only to vote for Bruce Nichols on May 17, but to encourage others to do the same.

Lynn Shumway

Baker City

Nichols would represent all of Baker County’s interests

I am supporting Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner because he is not a one-issue candidate. He does not have an agenda. All he wants to do is serve the people of our county by tackling a breadth of issues that matter to us all.

Many of us have checked out electbrucenichols.com and bakercounty.org to learn about his broad range of interests in things that matter to most voters, such as economic development, fiscal responsibility, public land and natural resources.

We discovered that he is fiscally conservative and favors continued partnering with education to build a body of citizens with the skills necessary to serve business and industry.

Bruce Nichols wants to focus on small and start-up businesses and mid-size manufacturing,  and court retail and wholesale grocery stores and warehouses to determine what they need to locate in our county.

He believes that using natural resources, such as grazing livestock on public lands, will yield economic benefits for years to come if managed properly, and that forest practices to avert and control wildfire must be improved. He does not believe we have the resources to manage our public lands without help from state and federal agencies.

Bruce Nichols has a well-educated understanding of the role of the Baker County Commission and views his role as being a strong team player. His background includes municipal auditing as a Certified Public Accountant, more than three decades of governmental auditing, nonprofit and private business auditing and governmental budgeting, managing and consulting.

A vote for Bruce Nichols is a vote for a well-qualified candidate who will represent the broadest range of issues in our county, not just the agenda and narrow interests of a few.

Carla Inman


Baker’s grocery monopoly should not be accepted

The antitrust laws are a collection of federal and state laws that regulate the conduct and organization of business corporations, to promote fair competitions for consumers. Essentially these laws prohibit business practices that unreasonably deprive consumers of the benefits of competition resulting in higher prices for products and services. Also these laws protect the consumer from monopolies and price-fixing. A monopoly occurs when a company owns all or nearly all of the market for a particular type of product or service.

Well guess what. This is exactly what we presently have in Baker City. We are stuck with one grocery store where the prices are ridiculously high and keep going up. This is because they have no competition and they have a monopoly here in Baker City. Consumers are forced to go out of town to have a choice for groceries, that are competitive with other grocery stores. This behavior is unacceptable from a responsible company who should be a good citizen in the city they operate in.

How long is this situation going to be allowed to continue here in Baker City? Is there anything in the works that is going to eliminate this problem?

Let’s all hope so.

Charles Neal

Baker City

Justus the best choice for Baker County

Baker County is very dear to my heart. That is why I am asking you to support Kody Justus for Commissioner.

I grew up and graduated high school here. It was my honor to have served on the Baker 5J School Board. I continue to serve in the Army National Guard based here in Baker City. I will always consider Baker County home.

I was very involved in local politics as an elected official, and in the Baker County Republican Party.

That is why it saddens me to see the unfair and vicious attacks on Kody. Once again the local Democrats and the status quo are attacking the conservative guy.

Why? Well, that’s what liberals do, the drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and inaccurate information. Then a smear campaign attacking conservative values at hopes of allowing their candidate to win.

If the Democrats wanted a liberal candidate as a commissioner so bad why didn’t a Democrat run? Once again, they have their candidate. Bruce Nichols.

What really worries me about Nichols is not who supports him. It’s his past government experience.

One of the most important job duties as commissioner is budgeting and management. Nichols once served on the Baker City Budget Board and touts his budget experience history. Nichols does have a history, a history of being absent. Most of the meeting minutes show Nichols as “absent” and in 2014 he skipped the whole year altogether.

The budget is very important and should be taken seriously. Skipping an entire year and over half of the meetings is unacceptable. This is not the type of budget experience Baker County needs.

The minutes are available at (www.bakercity.com/DocumentCenter)

It seems these local boards or committees get filled with people to fill slots to prevent opposition or change. A filler or a no show would not make a good commissioner.

It is clear that Nichols is a businessman. Nichols might be good at minding other people’s business just not the county’s business.

Kody will show up, and is the conservative choice.

Vote Kody Justus for Baker County Commissioner.

Kyle Knight

La Grande

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