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Letters to the Editor for August 23, 2013

Community should work together to fix water issue

Thank goodness that we are finally out of a very difficult situation with our water.  Fortunately, our community came together, as we usually do, to make the best of things. 

I heard no complaints, only commiseration for those who became ill. Thanks to the quick response of the people at the City, County, and State to this emergency, we avoided a worse crisis. Now, let’s all work together going forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

We are blessed with wonderful water here.

Barbara Johnson

Baker City

Early Learning Hub is not what Baker needs

President Barack Obama has found a devious way to skip Congress and spend money on his obsession with early learning programs. Obama bypassed Congress using the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) to temporally Fund Universal Preschool, and birth to 5 Early Learning Hubs. Oregon HB 2013 gave communities an “option” to apply for these Hubs but left them unfunded and solely reliant on grants funded by ObamaCare. Following in the President’s footsteps the Baker 5J School District then bypassed the governing school board and submitted an application requesting a hub to be placed at the North Baker Building.

During an interview with The Daily Caller Rick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, cautioned about accepting Obamacare grants. “But if they do, they will find themselves having to raise the funds for preschool programs themselves after the grants run out,” Hess said.

One of the disturbing requirements about an Early Learning Hub coming to Baker County is the requirement of targeting “all” families in the name of ObamaCare.

 “(d) Target, at a minimum, all first birth families in the county prenatal families and families with children less than three months of age and provide services through at least the child’s third birthday” Oregon HB 2013 Section 6(3)d.

I am confident that families in the county do not want to be “targeted” by Obamacare, DHS and Baker 5J through an Early Learning Hub. Families are quite capable of raising their kids without government intervention.

As a retirement community with a low-birth population, we simply cannot afford services that are redundant to the services we already provide, and that are not in demand. We already have adequate private and public services for families that need extra assistance.

Bringing a hub to Baker County will damage our locally owned preschools and church programs by replacing them with a universal one-size-fits-all system under the shadow of the Obamacare. As a community we should encourage our local representatives to reject an Early Learning Hub from coming to Baker County by withdrawing the application to the state.  We can stop this. 

Kyle Knight


Baker 5J School District

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Letter to the Editor August 21, 2013

It’s a shame that plantings were allowed to wither

In the spring a group of individuals spent a goodly amount of time and money planting shrubs along the Leo Adler Pathway between the Kirkway bridge on up to the Hughes Bridge. In walking this route the past few months I’ve noticed that these plantings have not been taken care of. The cages that were to support the new growth have been overtaken by tumbleweeds and other weed invaders. A goodly percentage of these plantings have completely withered, turned brown and died. I have not seen evidence that these plantings have been watered or cared for in any way. It is such a shame to think of the dollars spent on plants and supplies only to be forgotten or left to their own devices.

 The only signs of healthy plantings are along the river at the park where watering is done on a regular basis. 

 Perhaps the money spent on this project could have been put to a better use  such as cleaning up our water supply.

Marcia Cook

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for August 19, 2013

Don Phillips has always offered to help others

Don Phillips is not a child molester! He should have gone on to the trial but felt enough time and money had been spent.

Don is a kind father and grandfather. He has always been a civic-minded businessman and family man, volunteering, donating and helping others always — not the cunning predator the “appalled” woman would have you believe.

June Bowen

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 14, 2013

Drinking tap water not the norm in the world

First of all, most of the world never drinks water directly from the tap. This is because it proves more economical to drink bottled water rather than treat, filter and chlorinate water that is going to be used for the garden, flushing toilets, washing clothes, etc. and of which only a small percentage will be consumed. If one doesn’t have sufficient cash for bottled water, one can boil water either to set aside or make tea or other beverages.

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 9, 2013

Appalled by Herald’s story about Don Phillips

I am appalled by the story on Don Phillips!  

I understand that Mrs. Phillips requested this article be written and provided the Herald with the photograph. This piece is a flagrant attempt to rehabilitate Mr. Phillip’s reputation following the sexual abuse he was recently charged with committing, and the plea agreement he reached with the court. 

Don Phillips pled guilty to harassment and is currently serving two years probation. He must perform community service. He has been fined and is not allowed to have contact with underage females without the supervision of their parent or guardian. Your article very conveniently omitted these important facts. Does the Herald believe that this is the kind of individual who should represent the best of Baker City?

The child he hurt is still hurting. She has continual nightmares and will no longer go outside to play. She is fearful of going to the store in the event that she might see Don Phillips. Perhaps this is the story the Baker Herald should have written:  It could be titled “The Damaged Child, What One Man Can Do to Damage a Child For a Lifetime.”

The Baker City Herald should represent the entire Baker community. It should provide all the factual information about a person they are featuring. I am stunned that you would write an article like this without looking into this person’s agenda or into their personal history.

Mother of the child

Editor’s Note: The writer’s name is withheld because the Baker City Herald’s policy is to not identify victims of abuse, including not naming relatives, which could make it easier to identify the victim. The writer of the letter also was not named in news stories about Phillips’ guilty plea.

Climate change dissenters don’t get fair shake

Nearly a century ago, Trofim Lysenko, a Russian botanist, disagreed with Mendelian genetics, which explain how the characteristics of parents are passed on to their children. He believed that parents could pass on acquired traits- when a man develops his musculature, his children will be born with stronger muscles. This is pure hokum, but it did fit in with the then-dominant Communist ideology, which had Soviet New Man building a socialist utopia. This being Stalin’s Soviet Union, opposing scientists often had a black police van filled with goons pay them a midnight visit; they were never heard from again. Other scientists took the hint, and for several decades, Lysenko’s quack biology was “settled science” in that great nation.

Careful measurements have shown that the world’s climate warmed up during the 20th century. The theory of human-caused catastrophic climate change, however, is based mostly on computer models. But in a world where the flutter of butterfly wings in Tokyo can significantly impact Oregon weather, the world’s climate is far too complex to be reduced to a simple computer model. Yet this shakily based theory is helpful to big government advocates. After all, if we believe the fate of mankind rests in the balance, we’re more likely to accept the next governmental power grab.

This is not the Soviet Union, thank God, and so dissenting scientists do not disappear into black police vans. But Climategate e-mails revealed how opposing opinion has been squelched. Dissenting scientists do not receive grants to continue their research; they are not invited to speak at prestigious scientific conclaves; their papers are not published in scientific journals; they are publicly ridiculed, such as Al Gore’s quip that those who disagree with him “still believe that the world is flat.” So scientists have learned to “go along to get along.”

It’s ironic that in a recent letter, Gary Dielman brought up Galileo’s treatment, as Oregon has its very own Galileo: George Taylor was removed from his post as Oregon’s climatologist because he does not agree with the theory of catastrophic climate change. Trofim Lysenko would have been proud!  

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 7, 2013

We need more published proof of crypto

Dozens of Baker City residents have recently suffered from digestive illnesses, blamed on cryptosporidium.

The only way to confirm that cryptosporidium caused the illnesses, is by multiple lab tests of the people who got sick.  Most of these would then have to show a preponderance of the little beasties, in at least a majority of the affected people.  

Remember, those who have gotten sick represent a tiny fraction (roughly, less than one percent) of people who’ve been drinking city water without getting sick. Also, scores of other factors can cause similar digestive diseases.

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 2, 2013

Police Chief owes apology for cowboy comments

We read with interest the BCH article dated July 22, 2013, “Police Busy During Jubilee.” For Police Chief Lohner to blame the Bull & Bronc Riding Beer Garden and the rodeo cowboys as the main culprits for disturbances is totally absurd. Per Chief Lohner, “anytime you mix alcohol with confined areas and rodeo cowboys, you’re going to have some issues.” Police Chief Lohner owes the cowboys of Baker County and the USA an apology and if City Manager Mike Kee feels any responsibility for his employee’s statement, he needs to make sure the apology is given.

Mike and Glenda Purvine

Baker City

Can’t get church leaders to contribute to papers

I’m still on the same trail as of my last letter to the editor, and why? It seems no pastor or church leader has the time or interest to use open doors even when they are offered freely. I’m referring to the offer that both home papers are willing to re-open the “Devotion” page once a week! So far no takers. I’ve heard many arguments of which most hold no water.

The one that infuriates me the most is the excuse that some may be controversial. So be it. If it’s the truth but you are afraid to speak or print it, maybe you should not be a leader?

Now that I’ve made some angry I’ll go on with my stories about the one and only true God. Yes, the only one. Most people who deny the existence of God, his glory, his righteousness, are being led by the devil to destroy themselves whether or not for lack of knowledge. It’s his plan to stop you from entering heaven. Hell is real also, folks. Many kid about it, I did too until I became aware of the facts. I can tell you, you don’t want to go there. It’s forever and there’s no way out. One religion believes you can be prayed out. I have to go by what the Bible teachers, and there’s no basis for this teaching. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:8 teaches to be absent from the body (death) is to be present with your Lord. There’s only two Lords to serve. You choose, up or down. Jesus said “choose life” for He is the only life. Well, I didn’t get much of my story in this time, guess God has other plans. That’s all right, maybe next time he’ll let me tell about my trips. How he stopped me from murder, delivered me from many habits. Some say God never spoke to them, maybe you’re not listening. Some say the devil never bothers them, maybe you’re no threat to him, why waste his time on you. Become a threat, things will change.

Richard Fox

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for July 26, 2013

Volcanoes affect climate more than people do

This letter is in response to Gary Dielman’s letter of July 17.

As Gary does, I do so love facts, especially about global warming — oops, I meant climate change, sorry, forgot it’s getting cooler. That dreaded carbon dioxide that we all exhale and makes the plants grow is nasty stuff and the cause of global, sorry, I meant climate change.

Hate to break this to all of you people that cling to the theory that people can make a difference to our global climate by curtailing CO2 emissions. Not that it isn’t a good thing. I enjoy clean air as much as the next guy. Getting rid of existing coal- and oil-fired power plants and by installing expensive alternatives to fossil fuel is a fairy tale of epic proportions. Not that we don’t need clean energy, but on the backs of ratepayers by subsidizing wind, solar and battery power by demonizing CO2. No matter what the cost to the consumer and taxpayers.

The three biggest volcanic eruptions put more carbon dioxide in the air than man has through the entire Industrial Revolution. Just think what Mount St. Helens did to us. Every time we have a forest fire, the burning tree gives up all of the carbon dioxide that the tree took in during its lifetime. Ask Ash Grove if they’re thankful for CO2 . Volcanoes pumped millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, where it mixed with the inland seas that covered our area, creating limestone formations that are thousands of feet thick. Bet you thought that limestone was created entirely by sea shells.

Our climate is controlled by the temperature of the ocean currents and is in constant change. Solar flares from the sun and moisture in the air has way more effect than any CO2 ever did. Wonder who is making all this money off this climate change fear? Sure won’t be the ratepayers.

Chuck Chase

Baker City

A note to fellow travelers on Cancer Boulevard

It seems just the other day life was so carefree as I traveled life’s freeway, when a blowout sent me off onto a rough and rocky road. At the same time I was weighted down with a mighty heavy load.

Through no choice of her own, my wife was forced to join me on this road, and to share my heavy load. A sign says it’s Cancer Boulevard, and now the softest seats on which we travel seem lumpy and hard.

We cannot stop; we cannot get off; we cannot turn back. Days run together, and of time I cannot keep track. I face each turn with dread. A sign saying “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” lies straight ahead.

It’s dark and hard to find our way. O, how I wish there were some other way. Then I see a man standing by the road. He has scars in both his hands and feet, and with a smile he offers to carry our heavy load.

He tells us if we will take His hand he will lead us through this uncharted land. Now, with my hand holding His, or is His hand holding mine, suddenly I knew everything will be fine.

The way that seemed so dark before is now shining bright as day. Oh, what a difference it makes when He leads the way. Now I see the pathway of life leads right through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but I have nothing to fear, when this man named Jesus is near.

Off in the distance I see that this pathway of life leads right to heaven’s gate. He assures me I will not arrive a day too soon or a day too late.

Lynn Shumway


Denying wind farm permits will help businesses

We would like to thank the Baker County Planning Commissioners for their decision to deny the wind farm permits. We would also like to thank Bill Harvey and Tom Van Diepen for their work in getting information out to concerned citizens. We believe this decision will protect our tourism and agricultural base and help local businesses. Thank you all again.

Bill and Billie McClure

Baker City

Police chief should apologize for ‘cowboy’ comment

I read with interest the articles regarding Miners Jubilee and the Baker City Bronc & Bull Riding event. To be forthcoming, I am actively involved in the Baker City Bronc & Bull Riding Inc., which is a 501c(4) non-profit organization that has contributed over $350,000 to charities and the people of Baker County.

 I am writing to express my dismay at the bias that was shown to the Bronc & Bull Riding beer garden and the comment of “Anytime you mix alcohol with confined areas and rodeo cowboys, you are going to have some issues,” that Chief Lohner stated to the paper.  I take offense at this comment, as being involved in the event, the cowboys I have seen and been involved with are professional athletes who treat their sport with the utmost respect. They are not a “rowdy” bunch of people who consume too much alcohol and become a menace to the community but top rodeo athletes who are past world and current world champions. 

 That does not mean that there are not individuals, who wear cowboy hats, who consume too much alcohol and make fools of or cause fights within the community.  Some of the fights, from the overconsumption of alcohol, could also have come from the “K-Y Jelly Wrestling” event or the beer garden from the Baker Brewery, Bullridge, or Sunridge.  I just disagree that it is the “cowboys” that are the cause of it. 

 The Bronc and Bull beer garden is what allows us to contribute to the charities and people that we do. We do not do the beer garden to make money for profit, but to make money for charitable causes. We strive to make this event as least troublesome as we can. We have asked our city police to do a periodic walk-through to help alleviate any problems, but were told that they were not funded to help us out in that manner.  So we hired the Blue Mountain Security, approximately 15 people, to oversee our event, checking IDs and keeping order.  We follow all OLCC regulations and had an OLCC representative on Friday night. We agree that some changes need to be improved, but we take offense that the “cowboys” and our beer garden are the problem. I feel that the Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner needs to make a public apology to the Baker City Bronc and Bull Riding, Inc. for the insensitive comments regarding “cowboys” and our beer garden.

Dawn Coles

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for July 24, 2013

Worried about extending authority of executive branch

Concerning the guest editorial from Bend of July 15 about the unconstitutionality of Obama’s decision to extend the employer’s compliance with the employee insurance from 2014 to 2015. It is a valid point because the executive branch does not have authority to change a law passed by the legislative branch. Unfortunately for those opposed to Obamacare, the Health Care Bill contains a provision giving authority to the Secretary to make whatever decisions of an administrative nature necessary to facilitate the gathering of information for the implementation of the bill.

Letters to the Editor for July 22, 2013

There’s no need for wind power in Baker County

 How kind of Mr. Dielman to attack another person who he disagrees with. He implies that the “World’s Scientific Community” believes we have global warming or should I say climate change. They seem to use this term interchangeably. I would like to point out some well-known facts. 2,000 scientists who work with or for the U.N. have stated that we have global warming. 31,000 scientists have signed a petition rejecting global warming. One would have to believe that 31,000 scientist can’t be all wrong.

I applaud Mr. Dielman in his sharing of history which he does a great job of. Thank you! It would be beneficial for him to look back in history. He would find: 1930s: “Highest temperatures of the century.” The last 15 years: “no recordable temperature change.”

Let us look at wind power. There is no need for wind power in Baker County! Robert Kennedy Jr. states, regarding wind turbines off Cape Cod: “They would impoverish the experience of millions of tourists and residents and families who rely on the Sound’s unspoiled bounties.” Martin O’Malley, Maryland’s Democratic governor — in 2008 he banned wind turbines from state-owned lands claiming “that windmills would reduce the land’s recreational value, spoil the landscape and lower property values.”

It would seem that global warming activists don’t want wind turbines in their backyards — they want to put them in yours. Mr. Dielman, there are people who do not think like you, but they don’t attack you for your beliefs. They just realize that we very much disagree on these issues.

Bill Harvey


Disparaging religious faith doesn’t help argument

Gary Dielman’s letter of July 17, 2013, attempted to rebut Jerry Boyd’s argument against wind farms in Baker County. In doing so, Dielman engaged in an ad hominem attack against my husband — hardly a civil way to voice one’s opinion on a political issue.

Dielman unintentionally pays my husband a compliment in saying that “Jerry Boyd is a firm believer in showing obedience to Catholic Church doctrine.” Indeed he is! That is the nature of being Catholic! However, Jerry’s faithful adherence to the Catholic Church has no bearing on his letter about wind farms, nor with his assertions about the untruth of global warming ideology. In fact, a recent Forbes magazine article on the subject didn’t mention the Catholic Church once, but still put the lie to Dielman’s argument. There are many in the scientific community who acknowledge the evidence that “global warming” is in fact a scam.  See http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/07/08/as-the-earth-cools-obamas-still-distracted-by-a-fraudulent-warming-narrative/

In addition, Dielman, by playing the “Galileo card,” implies that there’s something wrong with the fact that Jerry practices his Catholic faith. Dielman implies that Galileo was a champion of scientific thought while the Church was hopelessly mired in the dark ages of non-scientific thought. WRONG, Mr. Dielman! The Church was more concerned with Galileo’s inadequate defense of his scientific theory than with the theory itself. Those who like to hold up Galileo as the poster child for anti-Catholic sentiment simply persist in promoting the myths, rather than the facts, about Galileo’s disagreement with the Church. Do the research!

Dielman’s blatant disparagement of my husband’s faith is inexcusable. Sadly, I believe Catholics will experience more of this, given the current political scene, and that it will be tolerated where demeaning comments about other faiths (and secular “lifestyles”) will not. I was hoping Baker City might escape the bigotry.

Jay Boyd

Baker City

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