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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 29, 2012


Re-electing Obama a threat to American gun owners

This nation is in real danger of forfeiting the basic constitutional rights that we take for granted if our president is re-elected.

Our continued freedoms depend largely upon a constitutionally oriented Supreme Court and our Second Amendment right to own guns for personal protection and the defense of our freedoms,  both of which are under siege by the executive branch of our federal government.

The two ladies who were last appointed to the Supreme Court both have histories of voting socialistic agendas and hold the belief that the Constitution means what they want it to mean, regardless of the historical intent. If elected to another term, the president will have an opportunity to appoint two more justices who are likely to have similar social values.

The president and his vice president, secretary of state, attorney general and most of his cabinet are right now attempting to find a way around the Second Amendment in order to destroy our rights to own and use guns. Prior to his election as president, the senator supported at least 14 bills restricting access to firearms and to criminalize their use, even in self-defense. Since election he has continued his assault on our Second Amendment rights. For a more complete picture of what the president intends check his web site — change.gov. Gun owners have won the last two Supreme Court decision by just one vote each. If he is re-elected there soon will be no more such wins.

The constitutional freedoms we have in this once great country are hanging on by a very badly frayed thread. Two of the mainstays of that freedom are under full attack by the people we elected to serve us, not enslave us. The Supreme Court is one vote short of becoming an enemy of freedom. Our right to keep and bear arms is being attacked by our own elected officials and the United Nations. Unless we reject our present leadership on Nov. 6 this nation will join Rome in its demise. Now it is truly up to YOU.

Jasper Coombes

Haines

Williams has proved himself in the courtroom

Don Williams is running for the office of Baker County Justice of the Peace and I am endorsing him as a candidate for this position. I have known Don for nearly 15 years. Don and my late husband, Keith, worked on many projects together when Don was the program services manager for Powder River Correctional Facility.

I am convinced that both candidates are fair and honest, and they both have established their credibility. However, if you have ever sat in a courtroom and listened to cases being presented and decided, it is very evident that a judge needs to have more than those attributes. Knowledge of the law and experience in administering it is a must. The courtroom is not a classroom, where learning is the primary purpose; it’s a place where justice should be fairly imparted, based upon one’s knowledge of the law. With 28 years of courtroom experience, Don is far and away the leader in that category.

As a judge, knowledge of and experience in interpreting Oregon law is indispensable. That’s why three past attorney judges: our retired Circuit Court judge, and the last two Justice Court judges (all members of the Oregon State Bar), are all endorsing Don. They have had a broad experience in seeing him function in their courtrooms.

I urge you to join with me and vote on Nov. 6, for the most knowledgeable and experienced choice for your Justice of the Peace, Don Williams.

Marilyn Shollenberger

Baker City

Utah paper’s endorsement of Obama no surprise

As a former resident of Salt Lake City, Utah, for over 30 years, I was surprised neither the article nor the advertisement concerning the endorsement of Barack Obama by the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned that the “Trib” was the liberal, non-Mormon Utah newspaper. Its endorsement of that candidate was only to be expected. The Deseret News is Utah’s conservative newspaper. Hmmmm — I wonder which candidate they endorsed.

Please vote for the candidates who value the sanctity of life including the pre-born, the elderly and the disabled.

Karel Anne Dyer

Baker City

Shouldn’t assume which side is stealing signs

I absolutely agree with Ms. Urey that we have the right to express our political views to include placing political signs in our yards. I also agree that no one has the right to go on private property and steal signs. Ms. Urey “assumes” that someone opposing the re-election of President Obama is stealing signs. It would do well for us to remember the very popular definition of the word “assume.”

Although Ms. Urey has the right to her comments she has no right without proof to accuse the opposing party. In regards to “current list of lies” maybe it’s about time the commander in chief admits his failures and tells the American public the truth about the terrorists’ attack on our consulate in Benghazi.

Brenda Holly

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26, 2012


Current Justice of the Peace endorses Williams

The last three people to hold the position of Baker County Justice of the Peace, myself included, worked as pro tem JP for a period of years to gain experience before being elected or appointed to that office. Only Don Williams has any appreciable prior experience as pro tem. His experience goes beyond the years he has worked in Justice Court. He started gaining experience long ago as a juvenile court counselor, juvenile department director and DHS branch manager.

It is that experience that led Lise Yervasi to nominate him for appointment as Justice of the Peace pro tem. A move which I endorsed and wisely continued after my own appointment to the bench. Only Don Williams has the necessary experience to be Justice of the Peace on Jan. 1, 2013. He is ready today with the experience, common sense and integrity for the job.

I endorse Don Williams.

Damien Yervasi

Baker City

Bogart has proved himself a capable leader

My choice for Baker County Justice of the Peace is Steve Bogart.

I have always been impressed with the commitment and common sense Steve has displayed in his management positions in Baker County and Baker City.

He has proven himself as a fair and capable leader in Baker County government and Baker City along with four other Oregon cities.

I believe he will bring the same level of dedication and skill to the position of Justice of the Peace.

Let’s elect Steve Bogart as an effective Justice of the Peace.

Barbara Sherman

Baker City

Citizens should take advantage of right to vote

We, as American citizens, have been given a right by our founding fathers. This right is the right to vote. Their idea was to give the citizens an opportunity to have voice in their government. We still have that right and we need to exercise this privilege at every opportunity.

I urge each citizen of this great land to exercise this privilege before Nov. 6. If we do not vote, we have no right to complain.

Judy Brazofsky

Haines

Bogart for Justice of the Peace: A ‘no brainer’

Rarely in an election do voters have the opportunity to cast a vote among two candidates with vastly different qualifications for an office. This year’s Justice of the Peace race is one of those rare occurrences. I have had the opportunity to work alongside Steve Bogart both when he served as Baker County Commission Chair and as City Manager. Steve has all the necessary skills and experience to bring fairness, respectability and honor to the position. I cannot imagine anyone better suited to the job. Your decision is, without question, a “no brainer.” Please join me in voting for Steve Bogart for Justice of the Peace. Baker County deserves no less.

Charles Hofmann

Baker City

Feds make it difficult,          to get public information

I recently submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is not “free” at all, in an attempt to gain more knowledge as to the management activities on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (WWNF). We, as a group, have been told repeatedly to “engage and participate” in the Travel Management plan “process” by congressional staff and leadership from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). My request to be able to garner more information as to historic management of our forest has been accepted, but at a cost, of nearly $1,000.  

This is not how to run an “open and transparent” government. When you limit the public’s ability to access knowledge based on their financial status you no longer have a democracy, but an elitist system where the ones that have rule over those that do not. While I have received other information from another FOIA request, it is hard to put together any kind of consistent knowledge base when I am not allowed access to the information I request from a public agency, which generated that data from taxpayers’ dollars.

I am asking my elected county, state, and federal representatives, that have or are in any way, shape or form supported the efforts of the USFS to lock American citizens out of public lands, to reassess that position.  I know that some of our congressional staff feels pressured by the environmental community to move in their direction, as they would “be all over our backs.”  When a government official finds it appropriate to send an American citizen a letter that states that they will have to pay $832 (estimated) to access information, something is terribly wrong.

My request for information in no way will ever be used to generate any financial gain for myself or anyone; I simply want to track trends of management techniques to elk population numbers.

I want to participate in the process, and I want to participate in it with a full base of knowledge. Limiting my opportunities to that information based on my ability to pay a public employee to do their job is wrong, and un-American.

John D. George

Bates

Bogart has deep local roots, wide-ranging experience

I have known Steve Bogart for over 25 years and he has earned my vote for Baker County Justice of the Peace.  Through his years of successful service to the people of Baker County and Eastern Oregon, I have observed his characteristics of honesty, good judgment and fairness –- great qualities for this judgeship position.

Steve’s years as a Baker County Commissioner, Baker County Judge (Chairman of the Board of Commissioners), city manager of Baker City, Vale, Madras, Union and member of the State Board of Education have given him experience in managing and listening to people, preparing budgets and using funds effectively and a legal background in local ordinances and state and federal laws.  Steve’s deep roots in Baker County give him a unique understanding of local issues and people.  I urge you to join me in voting for Steve Bogart for Baker County Justice of the Peace. 

Marilyn Dudek

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 24, 2012


Take care when voting; it’s a big decision

Please vote with care and wisdom for the positions of secretary of state and state treasurer. These are both constitutional offices, through the authority of Oregon’s Constitution. These two, plus the governor, make up the State Land Board, which not only manages state-owned lands to benefit the Common School Fund, but also votes on selling state land. Three individuals only.

In addition, the secretary of state serves as the chair of the Oregon Sustainability Board, which was established in 2000 by then Gov. John Kitzhaber (and renewed by former Gov. Ted Kulongoski in 2006). Its work is identified as “relating to natural resources enhancement; and appropriating money.”

Sustainability is defined therein as “using, developing and protecting resources in a manner that enables people to meet current needs and provides that future generations can also meet future needs, from the joint perspective of environmental, economic and community objectives.”

The seven citizen board members are appointed by the governor, with the intent of representing all geographic areas of the state in the areas of business, small business, natural resources, community health, economics, and experience in promoting sustainability and natural resource conservation.

I will be giving my votes to Gorrell, Bogart, Segers and Rosenblum, and am struggling with the fact that the competition for Brown and Wheeler seems weak against the positions’ responsibilities.

Also, please join me in voting for President Barack Obama, who has done his very best, considering the complex circumstances upon which he entered office and the times, who I believe continues to be a person of intelligence, integrity, forthrightness and honesty.

He understands Constitutional law, and does not attempt to take all the credit for the success of programs which he started in office, and many public employees carried out.

There’s a succinct New Yorker cartoon on my refrigerator. It is a classroom of school kids, studying civics, and on the board are the words Executive, Legislative, Judicial.

One boy raises his hand to ask, “What about business – which branch is that?” The teacher of course has a very worried look on her face.

Our decisions are not small ones.

Linda Bergeron

Halfway

Even Utah’s biggest paper endorses Obama

In an editorial titled “Too Many Mitts,” the Salt Lake Tribune, the largest newspaper in Utah, has endorsed President Obama for a second term. 

While praising presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney’s shifting positions lead the newspaper to ask, “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The Tribune answers its own question: “The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite.”

The Tribune paints a picture of Romney as someone who will say anything to get elected. If that “seems harsh,” the editorial says, “we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, ‘is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.’”

The Salt Lake Tribune has every incentive to endorse Mormon Romney in the Republican, business-friendly, Mormon state of Utah. Yet it passes on Romney and instead endorses Obama.

Endorsement of a second term for Obama doesn’t come any bigger than that.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Bogart has proved his abilities as a manager

Why would Baker County want to elect someone other than Steve Bogart as Justice of the Peace?

Bogart has done a superb job as both Baker County Judge and manager of Baker City. He has proven his abilities in personnel management, conflict resolution, local planning, ordinance development and all other duties of those positions.

He has local roots and understands the people and their issues.

We want him back in the Courthouse. Vote for Steve Bogart.

Ronda Kissire

Baker City

Editor’s Note: Kissire is Steve Bogart’s stepsister

I’m impressed by Steve Bogart’s integrity

I’ve known Steve Bogart since he was born. He was raised to be a hard-working and honest man. He has proved himself over and over in his volunteer appointments, hired jobs and elected positions.

I am impressed by his integrity. And now I support Steve in his pursuit for Justice of the Peace.

Dorthy Cassidy

Baker City

Johnson will balance city’s businesses, quality of life

We’re fortunate to be able to choose Barbara Johnson for our Baker City Council.

Barbara will keep in mind the needs of our local businesses and our quality of life. She has had extensive experience being part of a small business. She knows how important good communities are for businesses to thrive. And she knows how important thriving businesses are for the success of good communities.

Barbara will work productively with other council members and with our excellent city employees. She believes in the values that settled our West: honesty, hard work, commitment, old-fashioned collaboration, and respect for differences. She knows the importance of being a good listener, how good ideas come from many sources. And she knows the way honest differences can generate creative, sturdy solutions.

Barbara will contribute to a city council and community we are proud of. I hope you’ll join me in voting for her.

Diane Carlisle

Baker City

Bogart fully committed as Justice of the Peace

As his father, I will assure the people of Baker County that when Steve Bogart is elected to serve as Justice of the Peace we will have a public servant who is committed to getting the job done no matter how much time it requires, even if the position is returned to full time.

My family, including Steve, are also working to insure that the forest public roads remain public. He has worked to develop local ordinances and worked with state and federal laws in his various positions.

I ask that you help elect Steve Bogart as Justice of the Peace.

Wally Bogart

Baker City

Bogart has common sense and strong moral compass

I urge you to vote for Steve Bogart, the most qualified candidate in the race.

Steve’s roots are deep in Baker County going back many generations. Steve has been a community leader in Baker for more than 20 years. He has served as the City Manager and County Commissioner and has a proven command over the inner workings of local government.

Steve has many qualities that make him a suitable candidate, as does his opponent, yet Steve possesses two attributes that are often lacking in today’s political environment:

• Common sense:  Steve listens to people and will treat all citizens with integrity as he dispenses evenhanded justice.

• Steadfast:  Steve is honorable and has a strong moral compass that will pilot justice for the people of Baker County.

I have known Steve Bogart all of his life and make these observations with conviction and authority.

Kathleen Himmelsbach

Baker City

Southwick is a bargain for Baker County taxpayers

Some things in our government work really well and we only see, through the media, the bureaucratic bungling and wasteful spending.

Baker County is a master at giving the public the best buy for the buck. The Road Department marvels me with the work completed for its limited budget. The County Court truly has the public interest at heart. This works because we elect, by and large, our department heads. I come in contact with many of them through my business.

One of the crown jewels of Baker County is our sheriff, Mitch Southwick. His department is well-trained and very professional. They are responsive and knowledgeable at all levels when I’ve had dealings with them in civil matters. Southwick’s experience in law enforcement brings a professional expertise to Baker County that is a steal for the taxpayers. We the public should support this even-handed and responsive type of management and vote for Mitch Southwick.

Bob Black

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 22, 2012


Bogart knows the community and has lots of experience

I have known Steve Bogart for many years and highly recommend him for Justice of the Peace. Steve is  fair and knows the community.  He has worked as Baker County Commissioner, City of Baker City manager and many other positions within the county which gives him a wide range of experience and knowledge of the folks that live within Baker County.

 I am voting for Steve and I hope you will also.

Roger Coles

Baker City

Bull trout not a reason to stop logging project

I would like to comment on your front page story on a logging lawsuit possible over bull trout on the Forest Service’s Snow Basin project. In the first place, I don’t believe there are any bull trout in the immediate treatment area.

One of the first things I would like to accomplish before I pass on is to stop this ridiculous foolishness about bull trout being a threatened or endangered species. They are not. Years and years of expensive and concerted efforts by the state of Oregon to control them failed. It was never possible to get rid of the bull trout. I do not think it possible in the future.

I am very well informed about bull trout. I was for five years the president of the Oregon Steelheaders, headquartered in La Grande. I am convinced the bull trout are the worst predators on young salmon that ever existed. I have seen maps with bull trout streams marked in red. It looks like those maps are bleeding to death. Using bull trout for an excuse to destroy the economy of a region should be illegal.

This project is in my back yard and where I have hunted and fished for over 66 of my 80 years. I have been up and down every stream and every canyon in the Snow Basin project. I am convinced this project does not in any way have any negative effect on any bull trout.

I suggest these people looking for something else to sue the Forest Service over, look for something besides the Snow Basin project because as far as lawsuits are concerned, this one is a loser.

Carmelita Holland

Richland

Travel Plan can be a boon to elk and hunters

As the Travel Plan moves forward it is imperative that the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest renews its commitment to a plan rooted in scientific knowledge because a healthy environment is vital to all Americans, and brings substantial benefits to communities. Take elk for example. In economic terms, for which local county commissioners have great concern, elk are hugely important for a long-term sustainable economy. The Travel Plan EIS reports for the Wallowa Whitman National Forest “97,953 hunter days in 2007 were directly related to elk populations that depend on the Wallowa Whitman for habitat. These hunters contributed an estimated $7.7 million for their annual hunting excursions for elk on the WWNF.” So how do we make a Travel Plan Decision that protects elk?

Northeast Oregon boasts one of the leading elk research facilities in the world, the Starkey Experimental Forest. Key studies have been conducted right in our own back yard that clearly document the negative impacts of excessive road densities, and motorized vehicles on elk. The research from Starkey has helped land managers to identify 17 critical elk habitat areas where high quality elk habitat should be emphasized to protect this incredible legacy and sustainable economic opportunity in Eastern Oregon. If we do what’s right, these critical elk habitat areas will be great for hunting and great for elk. So if you love elk, get on board.

The science shows us how we can protect the land and water and safeguard the sustainable economic benefits that came along with a healthy environment. In the case of elk, we should support the Forest Service in making a very strong decision that emphasizes high quality habitat in the critical elk habitat areas, because we will also be emphasizing a healthy world for ourselves.

David Mildrexler

Corvallis

Williams best qualified for Justice of the Peace

We are endorsing Don Williams for Justice of the Peace.

Over a span of 20-odd years we’ve had occasion to visit with Don. Our conversations have hit on a vast spectrum of topics, discovering we have many common interests and views.

Our support is based not only on Don’s character. He was one of the only individuals to approach us when the Travel Management Plan was first proposed five years ago. He has supported our stand from the beginning with comments to forest officials. As a guest speaker at the Forest Access for All meeting in La Grande on April 6, 2012, again Don strongly voiced supporting the overwhelming view of Eastern Oregon, that we need to retain our open forest. Now and in the future our support for candidates will be decided as to their views on natural resource management and the potential impact to the local communities. Don spoke up early on, and this has made a lasting impression on us.

We ask you to join us at the polls and mark your ballot for Don Williams, for Justice of the Peace. He has Eastern Oregon values, plus he’s the best qualified.

D.M. and Wanda Ballard

Baker City

Bogart will restore Justice Court to respected status

Baker County is fortunate to have two capable men running for the position of Justice of the Peace. However, Steve Bogart has demonstrated beyond question his management abilities for 25 years. Baker County Justice Court has faced some serious problems in recent years. I think Bogart will help return it to the respected status it held under Judge Larry Cole.

Because of his experience, ethics and dedication to all the people of Baker County, I believe Steve Bogart is the right choice for Justice of the Peace.

Bob Waldron

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 19, 2012


We can’t afford four more years under Obama

Ever shop at Bronson Lumber out on 10th Street? Or Trader Rays on Broadway? Well, you won’t anymore, as both businesses are gone. So is Spence Industrial Supply and Tenth Street Market. There used to be a couple of antique stores on Main next to the Scrapbook Emporium. They’re not there anymore; neither is the Scrapbook Emporium, for that matter. It’s not unusual for a small business to fail, but usually another business comes along to make use of the space. But the buildings that housed the above businesses are empty, tenant-less.

My wife and I know what it is like to own a small business during a recession. You grit your teeth and hang on, knowing that in a few months, maybe a year, there’ll be a brisk recovery and things will get better again. That is the way recessions have always ended for the past 70 years … except for this one. It’s been four years now, and the economy is still painfully anemic; unemployment remains above 8 percent, not exactly the sort of change we were promised four years ago.

Business owners finally tire of the struggle, working long hours for little or no money. They’ve lost all hope for the future, so shut their doors, and another small business bites the dust.

President Obama was elected with a mandate to get things moving again. But he has his own priorities, and relentlessly pursues them with no regard for their effect on the economy.

The expensive health insurance policies mandated by Obamacare have already caused many small businesses to shed jobs. Once Obamacare is fully in place, 800,000 jobs will have been permanently extinguished.

President Obama admitted that his energy policies would necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket. But energy is the life blood of any economy, and high energy prices make our manufacturers less competitive against the world.

President Obama nixed the Keystone Pipeline project, which would have created thousands of good-paying jobs. His War on Coal is wrecking havoc in many states. And on and on …

We cannot afford four more years of President Obama.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Williams is compassionate, fair and professional

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter recommending Don Williams as your next Justice of the Peace.

I have known Don in both a personal and professional capacity for nearly 20 years. I first met and began working with him when he was in charge of Baker County’s Juvenile Department. As a deputy sheriff at the time, I observed Don in that environment and I quickly came to understand he was holding the kids involved in the juvenile system accountable, along with their parents. I knew right then I was going to like this guy.

Don then became the supervisor of the Children and Family Services office. We continued working together in the fight against child abuse.

When Don went on to work for the PRCF it seemed to be just a natural progression in his career. Since I had known him, he had always in some way been on the side of protecting the innocent while holding offenders accountable.

Don has a unique knowledge of the law, having been involved with it from the juvenile process all the way through the adult system.

For as long as I’ve known Don he has been a man of his word. He’s compassionate, fair and professional when dealing with the public.

So, when I say it is with great pleasure I write this letter about Don, it is because Don has lived and worked for many years in Baker County making it a better place. As Justice of the Peace he is well qualified. His calm demeanor and sense of right versus wrong will help guide him on the bench. His compassion and fairness will ensure that proper justice be delivered.

Troy Hale

Former Baker County Sheriff

Nampa, Idaho

We’re supporting Bogart for Justice of the Peace

We are supporting Steve Bogart for Justice of the Peace.

Steve has been involved in city, county and state affairs for many years and has been fair, honest and competent in all. He is qualified to be a good Justice of the Peace and what’s more, he cares!

Howard and Colleen Brooks

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 17, 2012


Political opposition shouldn’t include stealing signs

Our right to express our political views includes the right to put signs in our yards — pretty obvious as you drive around Baker.  But there is no right to go onto private property and steal the sign you don’t agree with.

 That is what happened at my house last Saturday.  Should I assume that those opposing the re-election of President Obama are adding this kind of illegal action to their current list of lies?

Maryalys Urey

Baker City

Support Johnson, Mosier    for Baker City Council

Support Barbara Johnson and Kim Mosier for City Council.

At the AAUW Candidates Forum, I was extremely impressed with the presentations of Barbara Johnson and Kim Mosier for City Council. Barbara Johnson’s warmth, willingness to listen, and many years of dedication to community leadership positions will contribute to the strength of our council’s decisions. 

Barbara and her husband, Ken, chose to move to Baker City eight years ago, cherishing the wonderful small-town atmosphere and community spirit of our town. Both immediately “connected,” and became active volunteers. 

I know Barbara to be a fair-minded, wise, unbiased woman, who will work to support the valuable work of the city staff and current City Council. Kim Mosier has served Baker as deputy district attorney and county counsel starting in 2003, then moved away for an Oregon Attorney General’s Office position. 

She and her husband returned in 2008 to raise their young children in Baker City, sharing their love of outdoor activities and passion for community values. Kim cares greatly about the issues that improve the livability of Baker, including community safety, parks, and public services. 

Kim’s experience combines logical decision-making with the fresh voice of young families in Baker City. I believe we need the perspectives of both these women. I urge you to vote for Barbara Johnson and Kim Mosier for Baker City Council. 

Kata Bulinski

Baker City

Vote for fairness: ‘Yes’ on Ballot Measure 84

Voters: We have a chance to strike a blow for fairness by voting “Yes” on Measure 84 this November. Measure 84 phases out the Oregon Death Tax (estate tax) over the next three years, and eliminates it entirely as of Jan. 1, 2016. 

The Death Tax is a double tax.  You work hard all your life, pay your income and property taxes, and then the state taxes your property, again, when you die and your heirs are left with the bill! And guess who gets paid first from the estate ... it isn’t your heirs!

Strike a blow for fairness and freedom and vote “Yes” on Measure 84. 

Peggie Longwell

Americans for Prosperity

Chapter Leader, Baker County

Segers would help us; Walden not so much

At the Baker candidates’ forum we heard repeatedly how our state and local governments are strapped for cash. But America is not a poor nation. 

The problem is that our wealth is increasingly going to a few exceptionally wealthy individuals who are paying historically low taxes. According to IRS records, the top 5 percent now take in about one-third of our total income. It’s starving consumer demand, and that hurts everyone. 

I believe we need a U.S. Congress that can counter this upward redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the rich that started decades ago. Without correction, life will continue to be sucked from the middle class, the economy will continue to stagnate, and only the wealthy will benefit from the American dream. 

If we re-elect Greg Walden, our economy will likely continue to be held hostage by right-wing extremists in the House of Representatives. Walden has gone along with them, rubberstamping a whole series of costly measures, including the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq war, the debt-ceiling crisis, the Ryan-Romney Budget which ends Medicare as we know it, and against Wall Street reform. 

Ryan-Romney are, despite false denials, also calling for even more tax cuts for millionaires and austerity spending cuts, both of which will lead to lost jobs as they have in Europe, and they don’t even start reducing the national debt for decades. And Walden will fall right in line and vote with them.

If, instead, we elect Democratic candidate Joyce Segers, we will have a chance to free ourselves from the no-new-taxes pledge that the Republicans have signed (oh, yes, including Walden, Romney, and Ryan) and adopt fair and sensible plans to recycle some of the trillions now sitting in Cayman Islands banks and elsewhere, currently unavailable to reduce our national debt and get the economy moving. 

The overriding issue here is not between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between the 1 percent “haves” and the 99 percent “have nots.” The stakes could not be greater.

Vote for Joyce Segers. We won’t get the help we need, if Greg Walden remains in office. 

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Pope’s guidance will be needed on City Council

Although I don’t live in the city of Baker, and accordingly am not able to cast voters in the City Council race, I would like to encourage those who do qualify to cast a vote, to do so for someone who is best qualified for the job. More importantly, one who has the integrity to always do the right thing, and to demand no less of his colleagues. That person is retired Circuit Court Judge, Milo Pope.

I had the privilege of working for six years, appearing frequently before Judge Pope in Baker County Circuit Court, on behalf of the public, and children, presenting cases related to juvenile offenders and abused children. Although at times I did not agree with his disposition of cases, I always admired him for his candor, wisdom, courtesy, and above all his brutal honesty. When I felt he had erred on a decision, he always did so on the side of compassion in his effort to bring out the best in people and to encourage them to become an asset to their community. Many times, he provided the encouragement and impetus for change in folks, who theretofore had no concept as to what it meant to be a valued part of their community.

Mr. Pope is one who truly cares for people, and for the welfare of this great place we call Baker City. He is always unerringly mindful of ethics and legality in his work, and uses his legal knowledge and needed background to interdict on council decisions which may prove costly to the city. With the number of newly elected folks who will be coming onto the council, his guidance will be greatly needed. I encourage your vote to retain a candidate that the future of Baker City badly needs: Milo Pope.

Don Williams

Baker County


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 15, 2012


Williams’ experience will benefit Baker County

I am pleased to write this endorsement of support for Don Williams as candidate for Justice Court judge.

Don has been a resident of Baker County for many years. During that time he has served our county as director of the Juvenile Department, local branch manager of Services to Children and Families for the Oregon Department of Humans Services and manager of the Alcohol and Drug program at the Powder River Correctional Facility/Oregon Department of Corrections.

I have known and worked with Don during his service to our community and county. He has consistently demonstrated his ability to work hard, and to serve impartially, objectively and professionally.

Don currently presides as interim judge for Justice Court. A vote for Mr. Williams is a vote for a candidate who already has shown competence and effectiveness as Justice Court judge.

I encourage you to join me in voting on Nov. 6 for Don Williams as our next Justice Court judge.

Patrick Braswell

Baker City

Williams can make the hard decisions necessary to serve

I support Don Williams for Baker County Justice of the Peace. He is well qualified. My experience with Mr. Williams dates from January 1994 when he began his service as director of the Baker County Juvenile Department. I was then circuit judge.

He was a godsend. And, according to the presiding judge in Clackamas County from whence he came, his coming to Baker County was a considerable loss to them.

Mr. Williams is a problem solver. He is smart, kind, and courageous. His abiding interest, as a juvenile director and later as the director of the Baker County Children’s Services Division was to improve the lives of people in difficulty. Mr. Williams always came to court prepared, both concerning the facts and the law. He has the temperament that is essential for a judge. He is entirely capable of making hard decisions.

Milo Pope

Baker City

Williams is best qualified to serve as Justice of the Peace

Dear friends of Baker County, on Nov. 6, 2012, we must make a very important decision. That is, who will represent us as the next justice of the peace.

The position is more difficult now than ever in the past, as hours have been reduced and funds have also been reduce. We have “two good men” running for the position; however, we believe Don Williams is the more qualified.

He has experienced varied levels  and aspects of the law, from police officer to juvenile counselor to Juvenile Department manager, to DHS branch manager, to Powder River Correctional Facility program manager, to Drug and Alcohol program manager, and finally to a 27-month period as pro-tem justice of the peace — the position which he is seeking in this election.

Aside from Don being a good friend, for several years we had the unique opportunity of working under his supervision. We were GED instructors and Transition Class instructors when he was the program manager at Powder River Correctional Facility. Don made us feel very confident, comfortable and safe as we did our volunteer jobs. Also, it was apparent that he possessed excellent critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Don was always very positive and presented a warm friendly working environment.

We are extremely fortunate to have a person of Don’s caliber seeking this position. First, please join us in voting. Secondly, we urge you to vote for Don Williams, whom we believe has the personality, integrity, and experience to do an outstanding job for Baker County Justice of the Peace.

Allen Duby,

Bev Duby

Hereford

Readers should check facts and not rely on opinions

Erroneous statements about “Obamacare” have appeared in a couple of letters to the editor over the last month, written by individuals who obviously have no idea what’s in the Affordable Care Act.

I thought everyone knew by now that Politifact named the “death panels” the 2009 Lie of the Year, and the “government takeover of health care” the 2010 Lie of the Year. One of your letter-writers claimed, “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over the next decade, Obamacare will add another trillion dollars to the national debt.”

The truth is the opposite: The Congressional Budget Office estimated the Act would reduce the deficit by $210 billion over those 10 years. The fact is that the costs of Obamacare are fully paid for through tax levies and cost savings, in sharp contrast to the Bush Medicare prescription drug benefit, which was a $395 billion stimulus to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, using 100 percent borrowed money.

Those who followed the Act’s lengthy progress through the Congress know that it was modeled after Romneycare in an attempt to make it palatable to Republicans and conservative Democrats. The majority Democrats gave up what they wanted (single-payer or at least a public option) and settled for an elaborate compromise that was negotiated with diverse interest groups. For example, the cost savings for Medicare were agreed to by the representatives of medical providers and insurance companies because they were willing to make that concession as long as everybody had health insurance. 

Now these same $716 billion of cost savings appear in Congressman Ryan’s budget, yet he vows to renege on the deal that brought these cost savings about, while dishonestly attacking the president for “raiding Medicare.” 

There are many objective, factual reports available on the Affordable Care Act. I urge your readers to review these reports or go to www.healthcare.gov, instead of relying on irresponsible opinions.

Craig Martell

Baker City


Letters to the Editor Oct. 12, 2012

Vote Yes on Ballot Measure 79

We, the Baker Board of Realtors, would like to offer some information on Measure 79. This measure, which constitutionally prohibits a real estate transfer tax, will appear on the upcoming ballot.

By definition, a real estate transfer tax is a tax imposed by one or more government entities when property ownership transfers from one party to another. It is usually paid at closing and typically is a percentage of the selling price.

Voting YES on Measure 79 will stop state and local governments from imposing a new tax on real estate in Oregon. It will amend the state constitution and prohibit state and local governments from imposing taxes, fees, or assessments on the transfer (sale) of any interest in real property, except those operative on Dec. 31, 2009.

Measure 79 does not negatively affect current school funding, local government funding, or state revenues. No government entity will collect less money through passage of this measure. It merely stops state and local governments from targeting property owners with a new tax.

Please join us on voting YES on Measure 79.

Sharon Rudi

Baker County Board of Realtors president

Vote for Don Williams for Justice Court judge

We have known Don Williams both professionally and personally for over 12 years. Unquestionably, he has the background, knowledge, experience for, and is the right person to fill, the position of Justice of the Peace. 

Other than the qualifications he has demonstrated in this position, there is a greater reason we are supporting him in this election, and it is a reason that should have importance to us all.

If you are elderly, disabled or a family with young children; or if you are baby boomers, love outdoor recreation, love to hunt and fish, are ATV enthusiasts, or business owners in Baker (as we are), there is another compelling reason to cast a vote for Don in this election.

It is this: He shares the same passion for the outdoors and our community as we. Don is an active part of Baker County, and wishes to see business and our economic health prosper. He knows that the current Travel Management Plan proposed by the U.S. Forest Service, if put into effect, will greatly and negatively impact the reasons that many of us live in Baker County, as well as devastate the business communities of Baker County.

Don Williams is not a bystander, but a strong voice to keep all road access open to our national lands, and he is the only candidate who speaks on our behalf at USFS public meetings at every opportunity.

We need more folks in public office of Don’s character and willingness to take a firm stand on these types of important issues. He has our vote and the support of our businesses.

We encourage you to join us and give him your vote, too.

Ed and Thoy Busciglio

Baker City

Americans face important decision in November

The people of America are faced with the most important decision since we decided to break away from England to become a free and independent nation. 

Our forefathers were faced with ever more oppressive, controlling and restrictive regulations that they could not live with so they risked their lives and everything they owned for the freedom to live and work without these controls.

The citizens of our country are facing similar conditions today. We can choose to go on like we are, with an ever more controlling, expanding socialist system that regulates all facets of ours lives and business or go back to the free enterprise system that our forefathers used to make this country the best, most prosperous place in the whole world.

If we choose to go on as we are, bankruptcy is imminent. Just remember that the government cannot give you anything unless the government gets it from all the workers who support it first.

All new wealth (money) comes from the ground; there is no other source. It is expanded by processing and manufacturing more useful products from the Earth’s resources.

Our government has regulated the basic industries that produce the food and resources out of business to the point where they can no longer support our country.

If we allow our country to go bankrupt, that means no government check will have much value. They will be backed by printed money that will be worth less every day.

That means we cannot afford any unsupported government jobs, government projects, military and military industrial industries, including their pensions, no grants or subsidies or health-care benefits or even Social Security and every other thing the government is involved with.

Give it a lot of thought.

Ken Anderson

Baker City

Williams will provide seamless transition 

I support Don  Williams for Justice of the Peace of Baker County because he has the experience to fill the job in a professional manner. His background and training give him the knowledge to fairly and correctly apply the law and render appropriate decisions. He has proven these abilities during his time on the bench as pro tem and in his many years of public service.

Over the last year there have been a number of significant changes in the operation of Justice Courts, which were brought about by changes to state law. Don has worked through these changes. This will mean a seamless and efficient transition into the position when he is elected.

I have spent over 30 years in law enforcement. Communities depend on local courts to provide a setting in which differences can be brought forward and resolved in timely and considerate fashion by a fair and impartial decision maker. Don Williams will bring these qualities to the Justice Court.

I support him for Justice of the Peace and recommend you cast your vote for him as well.

Nick Cooke

Baker City

 


Letters to the editor for Oct. 10, 2012

Economic recovery will require help from all

Economic recovery will come from all Americans. A recent letter to the editor stated that “Republicans want voters to believe: lowering taxes on the rich will lead to job creation.” I am not sure who he was talking about! As a Republican voter I believe that keeping taxes the same for the rich and lowering taxes for the middle class will lead to jobs. 

Sure there are independent tax studies here and there that will reflect whatever you want to read into them. If you increase the taxes on the top 3 percent (most wealthy) these companies will take their businesses to other countries to avoid what is already the highest corporate tax in the world or stop doing business altogether. 

As a small business manager/co-owner of 24 years with six to eight employees, we are considered rich by the Obama Administration because our company is taxed at an individual rate. More mandated taxes take away any possibility from hiring additional people.

The money just doesn’t go far enough. I am sure the author of the previously mentioned letter already knows how this works or has he never been a business owner employing local people and supporting their families as well as his own? A question worth pondering! 

I thank God that Mitt Romney is even willing to run for president! With his business experience and success he could do any job he wanted and yet he has the welfare of this country in his heart. 

Lorrie Harvey

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 8, 2012

 

Williams has the credentials to serve as Justice of Peace

When we learned  that a Justice of the Peace was not required to have a law degree in certain counties of Eastern Oregon, we were shocked. It made no sense to us, that one could hear criminal cases and determine the guilt or innocence of a person without having been trained in criminal law. Whatever the reason, it is a reality in the Justice Court system here in Baker County.

Both parties that initially filed for the position, who are practicing attorneys (one being the presiding Justice of the Peace), withdrew their names. We now have no candidate on the ballot who possesses a law degree. We have two parties to choose from, Mr. Bogart and Mr. Williams, for our next JP.

Logic dictates that we choose carefully, and elect a candidate who possesses the most education and experience in the interpretation and application of the law, if the job is to be done right. Between Mr. Bogart and Mr. Williams, one candidate is clearly the front runner.

Mr. Williams has achieved a master’s level in education, has decades of experience in the courtroom both in criminal law and presenting civil cases in circuit court, abundant administrative experience, and has served as a pro-tem Justice for over two years. Furthermore, he has earned the endorsement of someone who is licensed to practice law: the presiding Justice of the Peace.

That makes the choice an easy one for us. Don Williams is far and away the most experienced in the arena for which he seeks office. He is the best qualified, is proven, sensible and has given the citizens of Baker County exceptional service for 19 years. We also love the fact that he is actively engaged as a speaker in the effort to protect our access to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Victor and Linda Tate

Baker City

Williams uniquely qualified for Justice of the Peace

This is a letter of support for the candidacy of Don Williams for Baker County Justice of the Peace. My wife and I have worked for the Pine-Eagle School Distict since 1977 and it was during our tenure that we became acquainted with Don.

During this time, Don was the director of the Baker County Juvenile Department. In our experience he was the only director that took the time to travel to the Pine-Eagle School District monthly to meet with teachers and law enforcement to discuss our concerns about at-risk youth. We found that Don was a person that had a dedication and concern for our youth and his efforts were greatly appreciated.

Since that time we have had many conversations with Don about a variety of issues which among them included his knowledge of ordinances for Baker County and the laws of the state of Oregon. We have found over time that his knowledge of the law is extensive and fair as evidenced by his service as Justice of the Peace pro-tem for the court.

When we look at the candidates who have filed for this position, we feel that Don’s extensive work experiences with the county in a variety of different positions, which includes his work with the Justice Court, makes him uniquely qualified and the logical choice for the voters of Baker County.

Wayne and Karen Endersby

Halfway

 


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