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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for April 8, 2011


Letters to the Editor for April 8, 2011

OPB TV, radio available too
To the editor:
Within the last year or so (including last Monday the 5th) you’ve published quite a few articles regarding the reception of TV broadcast signals in Baker City/County. The signal sources that have been identified have been cable (Charter), satellite, and Blue Mountain Translator District.

I think that there are probably many Baker folks that are not aware of another excellent alternative local source of programs — Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). There are six OPB channels/stations — three video channels (one HD TV, two standard definition TV), and three radio FM stations (OPB Radio, OPB Music, KMHD Jazz Radio — these are heard on TV speakers). These signals are available free from a rebroadcast facility that is also located on the same Beaver Mountain location as the Blue Mountain Translator. (For a program schedule see http://www.opb.org/digital/channels.)
To receive these you need a digital TV (or converter box for older analog TV) and a very low cost antenna. A catch is that when one sets up the required antenna for OPB one can’t help but also receive the Blue Mountain Translator signal. It is my belief that if one watches only the six OPB digital signals from Beaver Mountain that this is not illegal (as was stated by Spence in the Monday article quote).
Viewing just the OPB signals does not require, even ethically so, the paying of $100 (I pay my dues yearly to OPB).
Woody Hauter
Baker City

A united effort to save energy
To the editor:
Your lengthy column on the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs (March 25) gave us a heads up to properly dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), since they contain a small amount of mercury. Those of us served by OTECC can save up used CFLs and take them to the nearest OTECC office for safe disposal.
Increased energy efficiency for light bulbs is just one part of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act that President George Bush signed in 2007, to reduce energy use and to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The phase-out of incandescent bulbs is only one facet. It requires increased energy efficiency in cars, in buildings, in lighting, in “smart grid” electrical transmission and distribution, and in much more. It has two vital objectives: 1) Achieving energy independence will enhance our national security by greatly reducing our dependence on foreign oil. 2) Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will help minimize profound changes to world climate that might otherwise occur. 
The Alliance to Save Energy, a coalition of light bulb manufacturers, electric utilities and conservation groups, estimates that lighting accounts for 22 percent of total U.S. electricity usage, and that eliminating incandescent bulbs completely would save $18 billion per year, equivalent to the output of 80 coal-fired power plants, including their attendant mercury emissions. (The new law does not specify CFLs. There’s lots of room to develop even more efficient bulbs, and some are on the way.)
By moderating global temperatures, rising sea levels will do less harm to coastal cities and farms, climate change will be moderated, and extreme weather events will be less frequent The impact will be worldwide. This is an excellent example of our government performing a key stewardship role in preventing harm to our nation and to our fellow travelers on Spaceship Earth.
Is this comprehensive act an isolated leadership step by our government? No, indeed. It links us with a worldwide network of climate scientists and inventors and manufacturers of energy-efficient technologies. It’s a united effort.  And, perhaps most importantly, it links us with our fellow human beings around the globe.
Marshall McComb
Baker City

 So much for ‘mature’ adults
To the editor:
On Saturday, March 26 we closed our cafe to enjoy a rare day off from the hustle and bustle of owning a restaurant. When we returned on Monday we found that someone had pulled down the lights that adorn the awning in front of the cafe, knocked down the fencing that surrounds our tree on the sidewalk, and made a mess of the dirt around the tree. Thinking it was probably kids who had nothing better to do, I grumbled and spent an hour or so re-hanging the lights, hoping they would still work, repositioned the fence, and cleaned up the dirt from the sidewalk. Thankfully, the lights worked once I plugged them in. I then wondered how long it would be until another group of bored teens came along to be destructive again.
Then on Tuesday, a neighboring business owner came by and told me that she had witnessed who had vandalized our cafe. Disturbed by what she had seen, she thought I should know who did it. Imagine my surprise when I was told it was not in fact a group of teens as I had suspected, but rather two grown men. To say I was shocked and disgusted by what I learned would be an understatement.
So, to the teens in Baker City, I apologize for assuming you were responsible for an act perpetrated by two “mature” adults, who need to desperately grow up.
Debbie Fisher
Owner, Baker City Cafe

End the wars to save money, lives

To the editor:
Shutting down the government will not fix our financial problems. But getting to and correcting the source, called overspending, will.
Unless we put a stop to those who are guilty of causing this terrible deficit, we will not recover. I t should not have been allowed to continue as long as it has.
Often the lust for power by a nation’s leaders can result in dangerous consequences. Also, misuse of our military, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, can demoralize our troops.
At this time we cannot afford the billions of dollars it is costing us, plus the needless loss of precious lives. It’s time to bring our troops home, Mr. President, and also get out of Libya.
Our government needs to stop squabbling and work together to help our country or resign.
McDonald’s is hiring, with new restaurants being created all across the country. Just a thought!
Joanna Mollert
Baker City


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