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Letters to the Editor for March 11, 2013

Sequester cuts pretense for raising taxes

Your March 6 editorial, “Exaggerated Fiscal Crisis,” was correct. The rather miniscule budget reductions resulting from sequester shouldn’t result in any decline in essential services.  Your position, however, is based upon logic and reason. The author of the sequester, it must be remembered, is Mr. Obama whose track record is anything but logical and reasonable. Instead, Obama operates based upon an agenda.

Sequestration, which leaked White House emails make clear are intended to inflict public pain, is but another opportunity to use a crisis (real or manufactured — in this case the latter) for political purposes. Obama’s agenda is to increase government control and to do so requires increased taxation.  The sequester is the crisis Obama hopes will create support for increased taxation.

For anyone who engages in a serious study of Obama, his philosophy, and his game plan a reading of the Little Red Book and the works of Alinsky are essential. God save our republic.

Jerry Boyd

Baker City

Don’t change Broadway and Tenth streets

Leave Broadway and Tenth streets as they are.

Where has common sense gone? In the current economy monies are tight and scarce. The existing funds could be better spent repairing city streets and state highways we already have.

Automobile drivers pay a gas tax to maintain our streets and highways — bicycles don’t pay that tax. We aren’t Portland, quit trying to copy them!

The only time there is an abundance of bicycles on the streets of Baker City is during the summer bicycle tours/rallies, when streets in Baker City are closed to everyone but those bicycles. Our weather in Baker City isn’t conducive to bicycle use year ’round.

Maybe they are trying to create turning lanes to hold those snow berms each winter!

Judy Stultz

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for March 8, 2013

Baker City puts on a great basketball tourney

Most recently, having enjoyed attending the 1A basketball championships in Baker City, I feel the urge to express my appreciation for the outstanding display of friendly, efficient and professional manner displayed by those responsible within your community, as well as those assisting in the tournament — such as the security personnel and volunteers.

The deputy that I had occasion to speak with is a credit to his profession and to your community. He knows who he is, and hopefully reads this letter.

Fully recognizing that it is easier to be so positive in this communication when my son, David, was able to lead the girls from Damascus Christian School to a state championship win with my two granddaughters, Val and Ana, playing on the team; I still truly express my thanks to your community for such a rewarding experience. 

Jim Wakefield


Baker County is on the motorcycling map

I am writing to express my thanks and appreciation to all the residents of Baker County and supporters of the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally. Thank you for opening your homes to riders who need a place to stay. A friendly smile and place to rest. Baker City has been discovered. All over the USA, people are searching for adventure, discovery, and the real American experience. It’s right here. Baker County, Hells Canyon, the Geiser Grand Hotel, Main Street, Sumpter, Halfway, Elkhorn Mountains, Eagle Cap and the Oregon Trail.

I have to say it has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile, working to get this event recognized by the motorcycle community. Riders are discovering this great place. July 12, Baker City will take it’ place in American history as motorcyclists ride to the heart of America and find out what it’s all about. It’s a big deal. Veterans, Patriot Guard Riders, Christian Motorcyclist Association, and many more. We respect you. 

It’s an honor to be welcomed into one of the greatest places on earth.

Eric Folkestad

Camas, Wash.

Waterboarding will be used on Americans

Waterboarding prisoners has recently been discussed again because it was the subject in one of the movies up for one of the Academy Awards.  Some people think that it is torture and others think not. I think that it is torture and that it will not bring up any more information than a dose of sodium amytal before an interrogation.

The important fact is that the Americans apparently approve of waterboarding and so we can expect our enemies will feel free to waterboard any American they take as a prisoner.  They will feel free to torture them.

Carl Kostol

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for March 1, 2013

Thanks to volunteers who work in Special Olympics

I would like to give a big shout out to all the folks that work with the special people from the Special Olympics in the winter sports program.

That includes my daughter, Stephanie Tweit, and her husband, Bryan. Bryan took this task on about 20 years ago and Stephanie joined the program about nine years ago. They spend tireless hours teaching on the Anthony Lakes slopes every Saturday for a couple of months and then join them and lead the skiers in the Special Olympics program called SOOR — Special Olympics Oregon — at Mount Bachelor in Bend every year.

One of their students, Jamie McClaughry, recently competed in South Korea and returned with two gold medals in cross-country and finished sixth overall, and is riding a high from his accomplishments.

Stephanie has since set up a table for him downtown and invited folks to participate in an autograph signing. Can’t you just feel his excitement?

This is all accomplished with donated money from businesses and individuals from all over Oregon and volunteer instructors like Bryan and Stephanie.

Hats off to the volunteers. Nice job.

Mel Cross

Baker City

Budget cuts will be costly to many Oregonians

The impact of sequestration on Oregon this year along will result in a loss of over $10 million in funding for our primary and secondary schools; loss of funds for the education of children with disabilities; less aid for work-study jobs which help students to finance the costs of college; loss of funding for protections of clean air and water; furloughs for Department of Defense employees and less funding for Oregon Army base operations; loss of Justice Assistance grants; loss of funding for job search assistance; lost access to child care assistance; reduced funding for child vaccines; loss of funds to help prevent and treat substance abuse and fewer HIV tests; loss of funds to provide services to victims of domestic violence; and, a loss of funds for providing meals to seniors.

And then there will be the years to come. It gets worse.

What are our representatives arguing about? It’s simple. The administration wants spending cuts (other than from Medicare and Social Security) and wants to increase revenue by closing tax loopholes that favor corporate America. That position is supported by a majority of Americans.

Rep. Greg Walden and his party want spending cuts only, including to Medicare and Social Security.

What do we want? Is Rep. Walden representing you and Oregon by doing what is best for our state, its residents, or is this all about politics?

Carolyn Hill


Letters to the Editor for Feb. 27, 2013

Now we know what’s killing all the honeybees

Now we know, at least, what is killing them. All across America honeybees are dying. They are down about 90 percent. And Albert Einstein, more famed for other things, several years ago said that when honeybees go extinct we will soon follow.

For a number of years their declining numbers remained a mystery. Viruses, fungal infections, pesticides and even signals from cell phone towers were investigated. All inconclusively. But now we know positively, and specifically. (In These Times magazine, March issue, has the article I cite here.)

It is neonicotinoid (neonics, for short) pesticides that are exterminating them and other primary pollinators. You would think this discovery, by means of which we can know how to save ourselves from extinction, might be front page news, but it isn’t.

These neonics, which are systemic pesticides chemically related to nicotine, are applied to seeds (of corn, sugar beets, soybeans, wheat, sunflowers and many other crops). Being systemic means the treated crops then carry the neonics not on, but in their pollen and nectar and, indeed, in every fiber of each plant. This neonic stuff is deadly poison to honeybees as well as other bugs. If it is so toxic to bugs it surely can’t be healthy for humans. And it’s in all the corn syrup and other corn products that we consume in almost all our store-bought food. Poisoned corn syrup sweetens all those soft drinks we drink instead of plain water. Could it be that our kids who have so many allergies these days are allergic not to the corn products but to the poison in the corn products?

One-hundred and forty-three million acres, in the U.S. alone, are planted with these treated seeds each year so it’s no wonder the bees are being exterminated. Germany, where the Bayer company which makes this stuff is located, prohibits its use there. And also France, which evidently appreciates what honeybees mean to us. But here in the USA the EPA, which was created to protect us, has granted an unconditional permit for its use here, and continues to vigorously defend its sale and use.

Dan Martin

Baker City

Let’s build on our local history, not erase it

Having read with interest the recent letters of Phyllis Badgley and Joyce Badgley Hunsaker, I want to add my voice of support to their voices of concern regarding the proposed name change of our airport.

Our first/early settlers and businesspeople in this valley continue to be due the honor and respect of having their names not removed, but remembered and even taught in local history classes. Time should not diminish their memory and contributions. History is to be built upon, not replaced.

The Baldock Slough is named for my great-grand-grandfather, William Henry Baldock. Though the Baldock name has died out, there are hundreds of us who live and work here still, who are direct descendants of those brave, sacrificing, and original homesteaders. Their legacy lives on, and their contribution continues to filter into our lives yet today, 150 years later.

Campbell Street is named for my great-great-great-uncle, John Jackson Campbell. There was a move several years ago to rename Campbell Street to Adler Boulevard. I will forever be grateful to the late Baker City historian, Pearl Jones, for her wise, strong and successful intervention to save the name of Campbell Street.

Remembering is important. Let’s not erase the past to honor the present. There are many other options.

Linda Wunder Wall

Baker City

Why did GOP senators vote against this bill?

In the recent vote on U.S. Senate Bill 1925, to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, the bill passed 68-31. Some 14 Republican senators joined the Democratic senators to pass this bill. However, 31 Republican senators voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Here is a list of senators who voted against the bill:

Barrasso, R-Wyo.; Blunt, R-Mo.; Boozman, R-Ark.; Burr, R-N.C.; Chambliss, R-Ga.; Coburn, R-Okla.; Cochran, R-Texas; Cornyn, R-Texas; DeMint, R-S.C.; Enzi, R-Wyo.; Graham, R-S.C.; Grassley, R-Iowa; Hatch, R-Utah; Inhofe, R-Okla.; Isakson, R-Ga.; Johanns, R-Neb.; Johnson, R-Wis.; Kyl, R-Ariz.; Lee, R-Utah; Lugar, R-Ind.; McConnell, R-Ken.; Moran, R-Kan.; Paul, R-Ky.; Risch, R-Idaho; Roberts, R-Kan.; Rubio, R-Fla.; Sessions, R-Ala.; Shelby, R-Ala.; Thune, R-S.D.; Toomey, R-Pa.; Wicker, R-Miss.

Ladies, be careful who you vote for!

Bruce Raffety

Baker City

Where are our representatives on travel management?

Over the last year I have actively pursued local and state representatives of Northeastern Oregon on the matter of Travel Management. Wallowa County has been exceptional in returning correspondence. Very little to no correspondence has come from anyone else.

Baker County Commissioner Fred Warner Jr. attempted on two occasions to answer, but quickly faded away, with one exchange from Tim Kerns’ wife over his work email and no correspondence back from Carl Stiff at all. Mark Davidson wrote a very short response April of 2012 that they were working on the issue, but no response since, with nothing from the other two. And, well Grant County just flat out does not respond.

Our state representatives have been all but derelict in their duties from what I can see. I do have to give Rep. Cliff Bentz some recognition as I do know he contacted Ms. Schwalbach on the matter in the summer of 2012, but that’s about all I’ve heard. Neither Mr. Ferrioli, Smith, Nelson nor Jensen have returned any emails in the matter and seem to be intentionally avoiding the discussion with the public.

What are they doing? Where is the voice of our representatives in the matter? Representing from a desk is non-representation, plain and simple. We need men and a woman willing to do the hard work of contacting forest leadership to ask what is going on, and then report to the public on a regular basis.

Representatives, where are you and what are you doing to protect our individual liberties? As one Forest Service employee told me last summer, people shouldn’t be so selfish about travel management; you can’t always have what you want. She’s right, we can’t, but we do expect to keep our God-given rights to Life, Liberty (freedom), and Happiness.

John D. George


Letters to the Editor for Feb. 25, 2013

Harry Reid doesn’t deserve to be a U.S. senator

I attended Congressman Greg Walden’s town hall meeting and was favorably impressed with some of the bills that the existing House has passed. However, it appears that most of them are being ignored by the Senate and therefore just sit with no action taken.

Obviously it is Senator Harry Reid who is dictating this refusal to bring these bills up before the Senate. The following information about Senator Reid is compiled from the February 2013 Judicial Watch publication. Senator Reid has been the Chinese ENN Energy Group’s most prominent advocate. His son Rory Reid is a principal in a Las Vegas law firm that represents ENN. He helped locate a 9,000-acre desert site in Clark County where Rory formerly chaired the county commission. Rory then put together a purchase for ENN that good old Harry brought to town. Purchase price $4.5 million. Two separate appraisals were for $29.6 million and the other for $38.6 million! However, this project seems stalled because there is no current market in Nevada for the green energy ENN claims it could produce.

 However, this is nothing new for the Reid family. The Senate majority leader secured $21.5 million to build a bridge over the Colorado River to connect Laughlin, Nev., with Bullhead City, Ariz., where Reid owns 160 acres of land. Senator Harry Reid has sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefited one of his sons, Key Reid, who either lobbies for or is affiliated with these various organizations.

Whether one is a Democrat or a Republican, when is this political corruption going to stop? It is an absolute disgrace that one of the highest elected officials has all this power and continually flaunts it. Facts are facts.

He does not deserve to be a United States senator.

Gary McManus

Baker City

Letter to the Editor Feb. 22, 2013

Eighth-graders at BHS poses too great a risk

I read the Feb. 13 editorial in the Baker City Herald applauding Judge Greg Baxter, D.A. Matt Shirtcliff and me for raising awareness about the legal difficulties that could occur if a 16- to 19-year-old “has sex” with a 13-year-old eighth-grader. Allow me to further raise this awareness.

On Aug. 15, 2012, a Grant County grand jury indicted a man on a Measure 11 offense — sexual abuse in the first degree — for kissing a girl under the age of 14. Sexual abuse in the first degree is a crime that would require a person, if convicted, to register as a sex offender for life and go to prison for 75 months without early release for any reason. A colleague of mine is currently defending a man on a sexual abuse in the first degree charge for touching the knee of a 13-year-old. I frankly don’t know whether these charges will “stick,” but the fact that a prosecutor got a grand jury to indict a citizen on the charge is enough for me to want to further clarify that it does not require “sex” to face ghastly Measure 11 consequences and of the legal perils older high school students may face if we put eighth-graders in BHS.

The editorial points out that teenagers don’t restrict their socialization to school. While it may be true that relationships can develop anywhere — not just at school – I am pretty sure the vast majority of teen relationships start when the two meet at school.

Kids mature much quicker these days than when I grew up. If you don’t believe me, pay the Middle School a visit at take a look at the eighth-graders. Putting them in the same corridors where perhaps a third of the students they see are more than three years older than they are (and thus can be charged with Measure 11 offenses if they so much as kiss) is too great a risk.

J. Robert Moon

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 20, 2013

Don’t devalue sacrifice, but keep airport’s name

Thank you, Baker City Council, for delaying a decision on the name change of our local airport.

The bravery in battle, and the ensuing loss of Mabry J. Anders, touched us all, and I do not devalue in any way his sacrifice.

However, I prefer the name of Heilner Field to remain as is. Those of us that knew the Heilner family recall their donation of land and monetary assistance to develop this historic entity. Let’s keep the honor bestowed earlier.

Phyllis Badgley

Baker City

Superintendent puts personal spin on school proposal

The governor’s plan states that by 2025, Oregon will ensure that: (1) 40 percent of adults will have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher; (2) 40 percent of adults will have earned an associate degree or post-secondary credential; and (3) 20 percent of adults will have earned a high school diploma, modified high school diploma or the equivalent. Which means Salem will “ensure” 80 percent of Baker County residents will have a college degree by 2025, and 100 percent with a high school diploma. This requires an annual compact agreement from each of Oregon’s 197 school districts, 17 community colleges, and 19 education service districts. The compact is a nonbinding agreement with the state regarding our plans to accomplish the 40-40-20, and would carry no financial rewards or penalties.

I personally feel this plan has good intentions, but unrealistic goals. Oregon would have to send about 650,000 Oregonians back to school to reach 40-40-20 by 2025. Be advised the 40-40-20 plan is not funded or set in stone.

Sending eighth-graders to the high school for advanced high school credit is the superintendent’s plan, not the governor’s plan. Exploiting parents by encouraging them to send eighth-graders to the high school is completely spinning the 40-40-20 plan. Wegener saying “it’s part of the governor’s plan to reform education in Oregon” is spinning the truth. Eighth graders’ taking high school credit is not required by law, it is allowed by law. Sending numerous amounts of eighth-graders to the high school for advanced credit is unwise, unsafe, and unrealistic.

Our primary focus in the 40-40-20 should be 100 percent graduation from high school, not graduating high school with a college degree. Setting quotas and pressuring unprepared students to take college credits may be “financially” rewarding to the district, but damaging to the student.

The superintendent’s attitude in relation to these changes is disheartening, recently stating “I have a personal spin, of course, about cause, effect and results.” The community deserves honest information, not a personal agenda. I encourage the community to research the 40-40-20 plan, and not rely on biased information from the school district.

Kyle Knight

Baker School Board member

Baker City

Choose another local site to honor Mabry Anders

A proposal may come before the Baker City Council on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to rename Heilner Field (Baker City Municipal Airport)  to honor US Army Spc. Mabry J. Anders, who was killed last August while on active duty in Afghanistan. 

Baker County has had many soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom, including U.S. Army Cpl. Jessica Ellis in Iraq in 2008, and Medal of Honor winner U.S. Army Sergeant John Noble Holcomb during the Vietnam War. There are many others, as evidenced in the listing of war dead at the Baker County Courthouse and in our local cemeteries.

I wish in no way to diminish the sacrifice of Spc. Anders.  But I feel it would be more appropriate for our City Council to designate a currently unnamed street, grove of trees, or other site after Spc. Anders than to override the Heilner name which has deep ties in our community and our local heritage. 

Joyce Badgley Hunsaker

Baker City

Letter to the Editor Feb. 18, 2012

Letter writer attacks messenger, not the message

When I was in college, we were taught that when you are in a debate with someone, you should pay attention to your opponent’s points and show that what he is saying is incorrect. Recently I wrote a letter to the editor, discussing some of the inherent difficulties wind-generated electricity has to deal with. One fellow disagreed with me strongly enough to write his own letter. However, he did not use the above debating tactic.

My letter began with the statement, “Electricity from wind farms costs around four times as much as that produced by conventional electrical generators.” Now is this statement true or false? My critic never says.

A second statement was, “…once the towers are in place, their fuel is both free and inexhaustible.” My critic claims that I said, “once … the windmills are churning, the power is free.” He has misquoted me.

Another statement was that the wind is variable; sometimes it does not blow, and when it is blowing, it has both gusts and lulls. Anyone doubt that this statement is true?

My fourth point was that because the wind is inconsistent, a wind farm must be paired with a set of conventional generators. Again, my critic doesn’t say if that statement is true or not.

He does offer the example of acquaintances that depend upon wind and solar power. These “doughty pioneers” use batteries to smooth out their uneven generation of electricity. And this technique does work quite well for individual households. Unfortunately, it’s not an option for wind farms, as there is no practical way to store large amounts of electricity.

And so on.

The tactic my critic does use is ancient: If you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger. His letter is filled with unflattering comments about me. But how accurate are his statements? He claims, for example, that I own a rundown deli. Now my wife did operate a successful deli for a number of years, but it was sold when we retired in 2006. The building now is home to Canyon Creek Candle Company.

’Nuff said.        

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Cell tower could deface area, affect pilot safety

Coyote Peak has a cement foundation on it that is left over from a beacon that was secured upon it. This beacon is long since gone.

It lined up with the main runway No. 30 at the Baker Airport. Depending on how planes leave or approach the landing strip, any structure could affect their safety.

From this high point is one of the best views of Baker Valley that is easily accessed by car. This was/is old Baisley Elkhorn mine property.

Most important, the people of Haines and surrounding area should not have their area defaced by anything, let alone 199 feet of tower.

Keith Best

Baker City

Soroptimists say thank you to assistance programs

Regarding the article printed Jan. 30, 2013, we would like to say “hats off” to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program offered by the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center and Andy Micka. Those involved, including Baker County Parole and Probation officers, MayDay, and the Compassion Center have helped those struggling with outside influences, salvaging their lives.

As Soroptimist International of Baker County strongly endorses and supports these efforts, we would like to say thank you to the volunteers and supporters and all others involved who are not ever mentioned. You do so much for our little community.

Thank you all.

Holly McKim

President, Soroptimist International of Baker County

Honor heroes in a way other than renaming airport

I think renaming Heilner Field is a bad idea. He represents quite a large community of Jewish citizens and merchants from our past. If we remove all the reminders of them (with the exception, of course, of Leo Adler) I fear people will forget their history here, which would be a shame. I dealt with a good number of them and was always treated fairly and warmly. I’m sorry they are no longer a part of our community. I miss them and feel we should never fail to honor their contribution to our city.

 I suggest instead, that we name a school or park for our fallen heroes.  A school, in particular, would give teachers an opportunity to tell the children about them and what they contributed to our lives. There could be an annual “recognition day” to name several of our servicemen and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country. Their names are all posted on the memorial in front of the Baker County Courthouse. This could give a real chance to honor our heroes in a meaningful way.

Alberta Bailey

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 15, 2013

Citizens’ militia could be an invaluable defense

There is an argument against gun control that is largely being ignored and should be put on the table for serious discussion. Most of the current arguments focus on personal defense. The other position is, in the event of an invasion or loss of civil authority, weapons in the hands of a citizens’ militia is invaluable. Civilians could organize under the leadership of local law enforcement or the National Guard and provide for the common defense of the area. The value of this position far outweighs the danger of the occasional nut job shooter.

When the Second Amendment was written, it was musket vs. musket. Technology has taken us to a different level. Let’s not let the government limit us to single-shot or six-shooter technologies.

Jon Sallquist

Baker City

Renaming airport for Anders doesn’t diminish Heilner

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the regular City Council meeting, a member of the Airport Commission presented a proposal to rename Baker City Municipal Airport, Heilner Field, to Baker City Municipal Airport, Mabry J. Anders Field. The Commission wishes to do this to honor Army Spc. Mabry J. Anders of Baker City, who was killed this past summer in Afghanistan. Mabry’s mother and stepfather, Troy and Genevieve Woydziak, are the fixed base operators at the airport, where Mabry spent a lot of his time working and enjoying flying before joining the Army.

A concern was raised that a name change would diminish the legacy of hard work and dedication put forth by Mr. Heilner in the early formation of the airport. I don’t believe that would be the case. Mr. Heilner’s name is on the road at the junction of South Airport Lane and Heilner Road, which leads in to the hangars of the airport and the business offices of Baker Aircraft. There is a road sign at this junction, proudly displaying “Heilner Road.” The address of Baker Aircraft is 43769 Heilner Road. Literally thousands of pieces of mail go in and out of Baker Aircraft annually, all bearing Heilner Road on the address or the return address. Dozens of periodicals and magazines arrive at Baker Aircraft offices, all bearing the Heilner Road address on them. Parcel delivery and freight companies all bear shipments with Heilner Road as their destination. Letterheads, e-mails, business cards, etc., all give a testimony to the man who was instrumental in the early development of our airport. Oddly enough, there seems to be no outward sign anywhere at the airport designating it as Heilner Field. It may be somewhere, but I haven’t seen it.

Another concern was presented that why honor just Mabry, and not any other fallen heroes of our community. I believe the family of loved ones lost in the military deserve and have the right to have their loved ones remembered in the way they see fit and, if they so desire, will seek that opportunity when they wish to.

I don’t know any of the Heilner family, but from research done, I don’t think Mr. Heilner would object to honoring our Mabry.

Greg and Ellie Woydziak

Baker City

Editor’s Note: The authors are the stepgrandparents of Mabry J. Anders.

Letters to the Editor for Feb. 13, 2013

Explaining the middle class job drain

The Baker City Herald did us a great service by printing the first of three, Associated Press articles examining the relentless impact of automation on jobs and our economy (“Technology stems return of lost middle-class jobs,” Feb. 6).  Among its findings is the conclusion by economists that “the developed world may face years of high middle-class unemployment, social discord, divisive politics, falling living standards and dashed hopes.”

This is not a new issue. Automation, combined with union busting and off-shoring jobs to nations like China and Mexico, has made major inroads on good-paying jobs for about 35 years now, and the median wage in America has flat-lined since then. Until now, the drain in middle-class purchasing power was at least partly hidden by increases in the number of two-income households and the ability to obtain home-equity loans during the housing boom. But the “jobless recovery” from the Great Recession has made the true impact painfully clear, though not yet fully understood.   

A closely related issue is how our nation’s wealth has shifted from the middle class to the top one percent during this period.  Improved “productivity” stemming from lower wages and a smaller workforce has meant improved profits, even in a slowly-growing economy. The stock market is doing quite well, thank you, reflecting strong corporate earnings.  

This experience puts to rest the myth of the wealthy as “job creators.” Clearly, additional investment will be made in ever-increasing automation.  

Of course, it’s not all bad. We face a great opportunity for reducing boring, T.G.I.F. jobs and expanding human creativity.  This is not about calling a halt to the progress of technology.  But we must also face the increasingly urgent challenge to fairly distribute the benefits of the sharply increased “productivity.” 

I urge my fellow readers to dig out the Feb. 6 issue, read the article, do some research, and engage in a wide-ranging discussion about the implications for us and our future generations.  Additional information and resources, including links to the three Associated Press articles and a related segment on 60 Minutes depicting accelerating advances in robotics are available at www.progressivevalues.us/resources.html.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Thanks, McEnroes, for helping us out on the highway

My daughter and I just wanted to publicly thank a local man and his son, Clay and Taylor McEnroe from North Powder, for helping us when my truck hit a patch of ice and flew off the road on the evening of Feb. 4 between La Grande and Baker City. They pulled my truck out with theirs, changed my tire, and then followed us to make sure we got back on the highway okay. Talk about angels watching over us!

Mr. McEnroe also called ahead to the local tire store to see if they could take a look underneath to see if the rocks we landed on had damaged anything important. (Unfortunately, by the time we drove the 10 miles or so to Baker City, said tire store had closed). A nice young man at the Chevron station, however, did take a look for me and said it looked okay for us to keep going on to Boise with the spare. Thankfully we hadn’t rolled the truck and were just shook up some but not hurt worse than that. We were able to make it that night to Boise, albeit going 35 mph the entire way. It’s just nice to know there are some awesome, caring people out there. If you know these folks please give them a shout out for being so great! We certainly won’t forget their kindness. 

Heather Sears

Vancouver, B.C.

Kiera and Ari Sears


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