City should revisit burn rules
It’s Friday, May 3, a gorgeous day.
I’m home, thinking about the attention the yard needs. I plan on grabbing my shovel and doing a little flowerbed maintenance.
The house is stuffy, also a great day to open up the windows and air out the winter doldrums.
I head outside to get busy and I’m hit by the smell of burning garbage. You know that smell is not just a pile of leaves, but someone burning their trash.
Call the fire department?
Well, the wind is blowing, so all I can tell is the smoke seems to be coming from the north and since I live on the south side, it could be coming from anywhere.
I have to go back inside, close up the open windows and forget about working in the yard today.
When is Baker City going to ban burning within the city limits? I would love to see the City Council take up this issue again.
We are but a few cities (last I knew) in the state that still allow people to burn and it’s not just yard debris they are burning.
And, I think we all know the health risks involved to everyone.
Next time you see a City Councilor, let them know how you feel about burning inside the City limits.
We need to get to work making Baker City beautiful
We’re ready! We’ve all donated our dollars — you have more coming! But enough of articles, pictures and city council discussion of the issue.
Talk is cheap and we’re not getting the job done as the city we love and care for is not moving along.
Some people can and will, while others can’t and won’t, so it’s on our backs to step up and do it all. Since we’ve “all” donated to this task, then I want my money put to work on any and all repairs whether they chip in or not.
Our beautiful city is an eyesore to us and our visitors. Shame!
Elect Ogan and McKim to the Baker School Board
This upcoming school board election is incredibly important. With two open seats, our votes will either put members in place who will continue the board’s longstanding problems, or greatly improve 5J for our children.
After attending this week’s candidate forum, it seemed to us that two very qualified new voices have emerged from pack: Mike Ogan and Rich McKim. We need to elect both, not just one of these candidates, in order to see a substantial change at 5J.
Both men are independent thinkers. They have young children in our school system, unlike most of the other candidates. The decisions they make will affect their own children, just like they affect our children. Mike Ogan has a particularly strong financial and business background, and has attended five times more board meetings than his competitor. Our school board desperately needs his kind of conservative values and analytical intelligence. Rich McKim has organizational and leadership skills from his years in the military. Like Ogan, he also stated distinct fiscal and organizational goals.
We’ve also been impressed to see both these candidates reach out to the public at community events instead of just attend obligatory candidate forums. They’re busy talking with parents rather than lobbying the district. They aren’t personal friends or recruits of current dysfunctional board members or 5J administration. We’ve had the opportunity to speak with them both, and believe them to be the most focused on representing and involving the public they would serve. They have the clearest ability to handle serious educational issues. They have the courage and honesty to solve the problems at 5J.
Ballots will be mailed out this Friday, May 3. Please join us in voting for Ogan and McKim.
David and Kerry McQuisten
Cassidy, Abell are my choices for Baker School Board
Two new 5J School District Board members will be elected on May. In a typical special district election in Baker County, only about 30 percent of registered voters exercise their right to vote. I strongly urge you to vote for the candidates of your choice!
My choices are Kevin Cassidy for Position 3 and Rosemary Abell for Position 4. Kevin Cassidy’s candidacy was inspired by the legacy of his grandfather, Duane Cassidy, who loved serving on the 5J School District Board in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Kevin told me that he always knew that he wanted to follow his grandfather’s example, and realized that “now is the time.” Kevin’s voluntary service on many boards and his professional ODOT budgetary and contract negotiation skills provide a rich background in listening to and working with others whose viewpoints vary. Kevin is a quick study and a conscientious worker.
Rosemary Abell has a long career in education, working at all levels from classroom teaching to working in testing and special assessments for cognitively disabled students at the state and federal level. Rosemary has worked as a trainer for Baker County’s the Ford Institute for Community Building Leadership Program. Also, with her husband Larry, she continues the ongoing restoration of the historic Pythian Castle building, which provides a home for additional thriving downtown businesses. Rosemary’s skills provide invaluable resources for the improved education of all Baker 5J students and best use of our existing facilities.
Voting for Kevin Cassidy and Rosemary Abell will help ensure that our board will contain two dedicated, experienced members who are anxious to listen to their constituency and to collaborate with the other board members and staff of the 5J School District.
Republican Committee backs Ogan, McKim for school board
Nothing is more important than the education of our children. Therefore, the Baker County Republican Party is pleased to announce our official endorsement of conservative candidates Mike Ogan and Rich McKim for position numbers 3 and 4 on the Baker 5J School Board.
As Republicans, we embrace and promote conservative values at a grassroots level within our community. Mike Ogan and Rich McKim clearly embody these values. We are convinced their blend of fiscal experience, leadership skills and honest desire to serve the public is sorely needed at 5J. They are dedicated to public transparency, parental involvement, decisions that benefit teachers and students, and financial common sense.
It is time to stem the liberal tide that has flooded our school system, and return to strong, traditional American principles.
We look forward to joining with fellow Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Tea Partiers, non-affiliates, and all voters of a conservative mindset to create the best educational environment possible for our children. Please cast your votes for Mike Ogan and Rich McKim.
Submitted by Suzan Ellis Jones, chair, on behalf of the Baker County Republican Central Committee
Abell stands head and shoulders above other 5J candidates
As a resident of Baker County I am well aware of the importance of the upcoming 5J School Board election. Educating the young people of our community is such a critical issue. In reading the information provided by each candidate running for the two open positions, in the May 1 issue of the Baker City Herald, one thing really jumped out at me. There is one candidate who stands head and shoulders above the rest because of her qualifications in the field of education. Our school district would be so enriched by what Rosemary Abell would bring to the table. What a missed opportunity it would be if Rosemary were not elected to the school board! I know that she is going to get my vote! A vote for Rosemary is a step in a very positive direction for our children and our educators.
Rosemary Abell would greatly benefit Baker School Board
Rosemary Abell did not grow up in Eastern Oregon so she does not have the connections some of the other candidates for 5J school board have. What she does have is an outstanding record of leadership and involvement in education.
Besides her own impressive educational background, she has worked in several positions at the state level, including a science assessment specialist for the Oregon Department of Education.
On the national level, she has worked as a peer reviewer of state plans addressing both the Approving America’s School Act and No Child Left Behind. Since 2001, she has worked on national, state, and district projects as an educational consultant. I have known Rosemary for several years, but the more I have learned about her involvement and hard work, the more I am amazed that we have a local person with such a record who is willing to serve our community on the local school board.
Baker 5J would benefit greatly by having Rosemary Abell on our local school board.
Food and farm guide benefits growers, consumers
As a small farmer in Baker County, I have really benefited from the Eastern Oregon Food & Farm Guide. This guide helps connect consumers to local food producers like me. It helps connect farmers, ranchers and gardeners to the local products and services they need. The guide is a print and online directory and guide to local eating and good living and this year there will even be an interactive PDF for iPad!
Oregon Rural Action publishes the guide each year in June to promote local food production and consumption. This year, with funding support from the Oregon Department of Ag Specialty Crop Grant program, the guide is expanding. Now folks from across Eastern Oregon (not just NE Oregon) will be included.
ORA is hoping to reach at least 100 listings of farmers, ranchers, food processors, bakers, canners, restaurants, wineries, schools, hospitals, community gardens, farmers markets, grocery stores, farm stands, caterers and others who grow, make, sell or serve locally produced food and farm products. Dedicated volunteers and interns are calling, visiting and contacting folks to sign up. Anyone can be listed just by joining ORA at a basic membership of $30 per year. This membership supports the over $3,000 printing cost for the guide and the organization.
Sign up online to be listed in the farm guide at www.tinyurl.com/oraffd2013 or call 541-975-2411. More info is at www.oregonrural.org.
Obamacare: Propping up the paper industry all by itself
Obamacare is now the law of the land, we are reminded. From its inception, it has been remarkably controversial, with some people swearing that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, while others demand its immediate repeal. But Obamacare has had one positive effect, one which no one else seems to have commented on.
Think it through. In its final form, the legislation setting up Obamacare ran to well over 2,000 pages. But the Department of Health and Human Services probably issues 100 pages of implementing regulations for every page in the legislation. So thousands of copies must be printed and distributed of the thousands and thousands of pages of Obamacare regulations. Now think about how much paper is used to publish all of this. And think about how many trees must be grown to provide the wood pulp to manufacture all that paper! So how much carbon is being removed from the earth’s atmosphere every year from the printing of all that regulation? Tons of the stuff! Obamacare is obviously helping in the fight against global warming!
This is why we need more Democrats in government, for they are the ones who love to churn out regulations by the ton, arranging all the aspects of our lives in mind-numbing detail, from the greatest to the least. The more regulations our Democrats produce, the more paper is consumed in printing them out, and the more carbon is taken out of the earth’s atmosphere.
We only need to take care that they don’t overdo it, and remove so much carbon that it will trigger another ice age.
Proposed smoking ban smells of government overreach
If the phrase “government overreach” means anything to our city councilors, they should decline to take up smoking-in-the-park as an issue.
I’m not a smoker. But this isn’t about smoking. It’s about the city not being able to keep its nose out of anything.
There’s no financial benefit to the city in taking up the issue. Smoking is on the decline these days, and there are already (unenforced) littering laws on the books to deal with smokers who toss their butts on the ground.
The new councilors probably think it’s a great “feel good” issue to get behind. Someone needs to remind them that, in government, doing nothing is always better than doing something for no good reason.
One of the councilors has opined that simply banning smoking seems too harsh. So the idea of marking off designated smoking areas has been floated. Now, common sense says that these areas will have to have signs and there will have to be butt cans and the dumping of same, and clean up on a regular basis. This “feel good” issue becomes a dead loss to taxpayers.
If not for the make work project of an intern, this issue probably wouldn’t have been brought up. But now it has the dreaded momentum. It’ll probably become an ordinance. Of course, enforcement is another story. Chief Lohner won’t have his officers do anything extra, so it will be left up to citizens to confront other citizens. That conversation will probably go something like this: “Hey, jerk, you can’t light up here! It’s the law!”
The current conversation, by the way, is probably something like this: “Excuse me, sir. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t smoke here. My pregnant wife and kids are picnicking, so if you don’t mind....”
In the end, nothing will have changed except that Baker residents will have become a little less tolerant of each other. And the council will have wasted time and money to jump on the anti-smoking bandwagon (the parade for which passed a couple of years ago, in case you weren’t paying attention.)
It has a name: It’s called government overreach.
Everyone deserves clean and healthy city parks
I am writing in response to the April 26 opinion piece “No need for ban on tobacco.”
Baker County is currently ranked last among all counted counties in the 2013 National County Health Rankings. With nearly one in four Baker County adults smoking, we should be compelled to act. With over one third of 11th-grade boys using smokeless tobacco, we should be compelled to act. With birth mother smoking rates double that of the state and national rates, we should be compelled to act.
Prohibiting smoking indoors is a great first step, but a 2007 report from Stanford University shows comparable air pollution and health risks from outdoor and indoor smoke. Therefore, not only does outdoor smoke exposure pose a health risk to park users, but smoking and using tobacco in public places generates unsightly litter and gives children the impression that smoking and tobacco use is an accepted practice.
Tobacco free parks are consistent with the mission of the City Parks and Recreation Department to “… enhance its natural resources, parkland, and recreational opportunities for current and future generations.” Our parks are full of people who choose to enjoy our natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and small town life. Isn’t it then the right of every community resident to be able recreate and gather in public spaces that are clean and healthy? With a town surrounded by such physical beauty, we should be in support of community values and begin to take the necessary steps to reverse Baker County’s health trajectories. The policies and environmental change, such as the one under consideration by the City Council, will help do this.
In the next month the city council will hold meetings to discuss tobacco free parks. Voicing support through attendance, emails, or letters will assure them that the community supports decisions that enhance shared spaces in Baker County and healthy environments for our future generations.
If you are ready to quit tobacco please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or go to www.quitnow.net/oregon/.
Tobacco Prevention Education Coordinator
Baker County Health Department
I’m supporting Richard McKim for school board
The election for school board position 4 is upon us. There are several candidates. I believe Richard McKim is the most outstanding candidate and deserves my vote and yours. Richard is highly qualified and comes from a family line of school board members. Please mark your ballot for Richard McKim.
Two votes for Cassidy, McKim for school board
Kevin Cassidy and Richard McKim will get our votes for Baker School District 5J board of directors.
They each have a child in the Baker schools. They are very concerned with the quality of education for our students. They have no hidden agendas. We are very pleased that they will devote their time and energy to improve and enrich the education of our young people.
John and Frances Burgess
U.S. action on climate change is essential
On April 10 the idea that “If the U.S. shows leadership (on climate change) other nations will follow” was scoffed at because the majority of the poor world will not be able to act and it is expensive. Apparently since big poor nations can’t act, we should dismiss the issue too. The idea that the United States should not spend money on solving a global issue we created is terribly myopic.
I offer one reason why U.S. leadership can make a difference. Publicly funded American research provides affordable and often life-saving tools the entire world enjoys routinely. In fact, publicly funded research and engineering projects are a hallmark of American prosperity. Examples include the Panama Canal, modern hydroelectric and nuclear electricity, the space program, the Internet, and the human genome project. These assets paid for by the American taxpayer, continue to pay dividends today the world over. Even the extraction of the very oil that causes climate change is subsidized!
Public funding for renewable energy is an essential investment that already offers exportable technology poorer nations cannot replicate. Technological solutions researched by America will become cheaper and more enticing once the legwork has been done. We are still known as an innovation economy. There are riches to be made and a planet to be saved in this endeavor. In this ever-changing society, I find it odd that the technologies that threaten our long-term prosperity are the same technologies that we hold so dear.
When ecosystems can no longer provide the necessary water and air filtration, food and natural resources we are accustomed to, we will see economic collapse. I urge the reader to trust the science which has long been in. Energy and emission solutions are a responsibility that comes with the privilege to exhaust an entire planet’s worth of cheap energy in 200 years. This is not a political issue, but one of equity. We are right to be concerned about our children and grandchildren. But their economic problems will stem from ecological and environmental deficits, not simply monetary ones.
Rebuttal on background checks
I’m writing this because the editor of the Baker City Herald made a grievous mistake in his April 19 column: “Sad, perplexed watching Newtown’s survivors.” After saying he was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment he goes on to say that the right to keep and bear arms is not sacrosanct. I beg to differ.
A little information first. I’ve been writing to the local papers on the Second Amendment ever since Bill Clinton decided to go duck hunting. You see when a Democrat goes hunting or picks up a firearm you know as a gun owner you are in for it. John Kerry tried to show his love for guns on his wild goose chase and Mr. Obama was recently shown killing clay pigeons at Camp David.
The value of media attending executive sessions
The editorial that appeared in the April 12 issue, “Secrecy from Salem,” makes a reference to the presence of media members at executive sessions of public meetings — “who normally are allowed to attend executive sessions to gain valuable background for reporting...”
I believe this is not wholly accurate, and your readers should know just a little more.
A media member at such meetings may not share with other persons what they have heard, or report it.
OTEC omitted Dalton's previous experience in Ruralite profile
Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative inadvertently omitted the previous experience portion of Mr. Doug Dalton’s profile in the April issue of our Ruralite Magazine. Mr. Dalton’s previous experience portion as stated in his submitted candidate profile should have stated that he held positions of “Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Controller for Idacorp, Inc. – a subsidiary of Idaho Power Company, as well as IdaComm Inc., and IdaCorp Energy, Inc.”
As was stated in the April edition of Ruralite, OTEC has not independently verified the accuracy of any of the candidates’ profiles and submits this correction in order to remedy a clerical omission. Please see our website for complete candidate profiles as well as information on the Annual Meeting coming up on April 27 in La Grande. Our website is located at www.otecc.com
Communications and Government Affairs
Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative
Daugherty is conservative leader OTEC needs
The OTEC board needs a conservative leader with experience in the private sector. Randy Daugherty is that leader.
Randy was born and raised in Baker City and understands and believes in the values of the citizens of Eastern Oregon. Having served on the Baker City Council, Budget Board, Planning Commission, School District Efficiency Committee, and countless other positions shows his dedication to the community. Never have I met anyone who serves his community so tirelessly than Randy Daugherty.
The recession has put a greater emphasis on having a candidate who understands how the economy works and someone who has actual business experience, something Randy Daugherty has. His 30 years’ worth of experience in the private sector gives him an insight no other candidate has. Managing a successful business celebrating its 100th anniversary this year shows his track record of success. Randy Daugherty is without doubt the best candidate for the OTEC board, providing stability for the future.
I strongly encourage you to vote for Randy Daugherty for OTEC position 9.
Daugherty won’t disappoint on OTEC board
The position of a Board member of OTEC is not just an honorary one. It will demand time, flexibility and commitment. A person would need to have the time to spend, not just locally, but also on the road to represent the members.
It would be almost like having a part-time job. It will need a person who has a flexible schedule to spend that time and effort to be successful at it. As a person with a successful business in Baker City, there is one who is capable of handling the demands of the position at OTEC.
The candidate I feel that fits that profile better than the others here locally, is Randy Daugherty. Our children used to compete in swim meets in Oregon and Idaho together, and I got to know the family on this basis. I admire him for his commitment to anything he does.
Vote for Randy Daugherty for Position 9 on the OTEC Board of Directors, he will not disappoint you.
Chase would bring fresh perspective to OTEC board
OTEC would benefit greatly by the election of Charlene Chase to its board of directors. Chase brings her proven organizational skills as a career administrator to the table and promises the full commitment of her time and energy to fulfilling this responsibility. She has successfully served on many boards over the years. Chase has a deep interest in serving OTEC’s membership and the goals of the Cooperative’s administration. Charlene is an intelligent and experienced team player who would bring a strong creative energy to the board. If you haven’t voted, I urge you to seriously consider Chase as new blood and fresh perspective for the OTEC board, and cast your vote for her, as I have.
U.S. acting alone won’t do much about climate change
Catastrophic climate change advocates tell us that terrible things will happen unless global warming is stopped. What if they’re right? Let’s think through their solutions for stopping global warming and see how they work out.
The United States never adopted the Kyoto Treaty. But suppose we did, and met all of the targeted goals for reducing our CO2 production (something which no other nation did.) Then in 2040, the world’s temperature would be reduced by 0.07º.
The President’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy for the auto industry is set for 55 mpg by 2025. If this goal is achieved, the atmospheric CO2 concentration anticipated for January 2040 will be postponed until … February 2040. Note that in both cases, global warming is not stopped in its tracks; it isn’t even slowed significantly.
The United States is not the only nation producing CO2; we are not even the largest — China is. Any step which we take unilaterally will have only the most miniscule effect on global warming.
“Ah, but if the U. S. shows leadership, other nations will follow,” we’re told. But that’s not likely. Between them, India and China have well over a billion people living in abject poverty. One of the best items of recent news is that the growing economies of these countries are beginning to lift some of their people out of such extreme deprivation. Will these nations abandon their present energy policies which bring such immediate benefit to their people? No, they’ll take their chances with something which may or may not take place decades down the road.
Even though green energy policies completely fail to stop global warming, they do benefit some people. Liberals can feel good about themselves; they are reducing their carbon footprint. Al Gore’s wind farms will make him even richer. President Obama’s cronies will go on getting bushels of government money for creating green jobs. So they’ll most likely continue.
But our children and grandchildren will have to reconcile themselves to a steadily declining standard of living as energy prices skyrocket (President Obama’s own term for the consequences of his energy policies).
Pick up fishing line, cut up plastic to save animals
Earlier this spring I saw a young deer in our yard with a nose completely wrapped in fishing line and the plastic can holders that act as carriers for cans of soda and beer. I am sure by now that deer died for lack of water and food as the noose around his nose would have grown tighter as he grew and would have made it impossible for him to eat or drink at some point.
Please, this summer, while you’re all out and having fun with summer activities, pick up any loose fishing lines folks have left laying about and cut up those can holders so no noose is possibly formed with them. Take it all to your house and put it into your garbage can; don’t leave it on the ground. Safe a life. It only takes a minute of your time.
Daugherty would be a benefit to OTEC board
My name is Ron Williams. I am a Harney County resident, local business owner and have been a customer of Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative for many years.
I am writing this letter in support of my dear friend, loyal customer of mine, and a Baker City native, Mr. Randy Daugherty. Randy is the owner of Baker Garage, Inc., and this year, he has been nominated as a candidate for a position on the OTEC board of directors.
I personally believe that Randy is a highly qualified candidate for this position.
His work ethics, outstanding accomplishments, and professionalism that he has acquired through the success of his own business would be direct attributes to the OTEC board of directors, which effects all of us residents in Baker, Grant, Harney and Union counties.
As a business owner myself, I believe that the key to success is consistency (along with hard work and dedication, of course), which Randy so effortlessly demonstrates. With this consistency, he also has the knowledge and talent of working with the public, and would truly be a benefit to this board.
You can read more about Mr. Daugherty in his profile in the April edition of the Ruralite. Please contribute to this election for the best interest of our communities.
Join me in voting for Randy Daugherty OTEC board, Position 9.
Dalton’s experience makes him ideal for OTEC board
I endorse Doug Dalton for the vacancy on the OTEC board of directors. We are very fortunate to have an electrical cooperative in Union, Baker, Grant and Harney counties, keeping resources created in Oregon administered by citizens of Oregon, and not some multi-state or multi-national company. Our cooperative is a success in large part because of the determination, hard work and knowledge of the board of directors.
OTEC board members must be knowledgeable, experienced and competent. Add to that integrity and hard work and you have Doug Dalton. He has previous experience as chief financial officer, controller in the utility industry. That experience cannot be understated. His understanding and experience with utility companies gives him an edge as it eliminates the learning curve of any new board member. It is that type of experience that an OTEC director needs to be effective from the beginning.
I have worked with Doug in his role as chief financial officer of the Baker 5J School District. He was a sound money manager. When Doug told us what we could expect fiscally, we as a board were able to plan effectively because he was always so accurate in his predictions. When faced with a drastic and sudden shortfall in district revenues attributed to the recession, Doug led a fiscal restructuring of the district that had minimal impact on student learning time and class size. He will bring that financial knowledge along with his experience in the utility industry to the OTEC board to benefit all the members.
Doug has always exhibited the utmost integrity, honesty and directness. I trusted his advice completely. As the former school board chairman my experience with Doug was that he was never one to “beat around the bush.” He had the enviable ability to see through multiple scenarios and provide appropriate analysis. In doing so he was direct, gave us the facts, laid out our options and gave his recommendation — which always seemed to be the best choice.
I urge all OTEC members to vote for Doug Dalton for the Baker County board seat.
Government wants more power over citizens
In a letter a while back I wrote about the difference between being a citizen or a subject. It’s even closer today both physically and spiritually. The government wants more power over us and the atheists want to take God from us. Oops! I almost forgot, according to them there is no God. Explain to me then why are they in fear of any symbol of Him? Thank God there’s more now waking up to this danger. God’s real, folks, and He’s not going away.
Let me tell you my story, my testimony, my witness to a true and real God. But first I want to give acknowledgement to six men who give up their time to us ex-G.I.’s to drive us from Baker to Boise five days a week in all kinds of weather to our VA appointment. I rode with them 40 times in a row and still go from time to time. These men are unsung heroes but should be noted and thanked for their service. Thank you, Bob, Karl, Alan and Alan, Phil and John.
There’s not enough space to explain my full testimony so I may write more than one letter on it. Grew up in California, went from building hot rods to motorcycle groups. Not knowing then but knowing now, God already had His hand on me. He kept me from many things that would lead to prison or worse. Then He put me into the service for the next four years. Still not listening, ended up in the USAF hospital for three months in terrible pain, about to lose my right leg. Walk out three months later, I know now because of God’s power, right leg healed. Back in California, married with kids, back into motorcycles when a fellow I knew came all the way from Colorado, walks into my house, sticks his finger in my face, tells me God has sent him to me God wants. I know this may, and thought maybe I should pay attention. Will fill in blanks next.
Double standard on school district budget issues
Although I saw Mr. Munn’s letter to the editor from last week as a bit offensive, I have to say that it nonetheless provided me with some comic relief. Here’s why:
It appears that Mr. Munn attempted to submit a complaint anonymously, assuming that the victim of his complaint would never know who filed it. Unbeknownst to him, the response is cc’d to the petitioner, and then Mrs. McQuisten obviously was able to see who had done it. When Mrs. McQuisten’s letter to the editor named him, it must of have been embarrassing for him.
Secondly, Mr. Munn asserts that the $10,000 paid for the recall effort was an unjust victimization of our children, but let’s put things into perspective. The district has a multi-million dollar budget. I find it ironic that they are able to budget tens of thousands of dollars for administrative raises to salaries that are already over $100,000 annually, but somehow rationalize that the $10,000 to pay for the recall effort was somehow unfair. In fact, they even threatened to support a recall effort against Director Knight if he did not either rescind his remarks or resign. So essentially, what Mr. Munn is saying is that it is okay for the district to support a recall effort against Mr. Knight and victimize our children (by way of $10,000), but a citizen who believes the board overstepped its bounds is not allowed to do the same. It seems to be a huge double standard. I’m curious as to whether Mr. Munn would have filed a complaint against the board majority if they would have followed through with their threat.
Mr. Munn’s letter came across to me as angry, and quite frankly, desperate of saving face. I’ve honestly heard better rhetoric coming from the “Dear Leader” in Pyongyang recently. My advice to him would be simple: just own it. You got caught!
Chase has the leadership experience for OTEC board
I’m asking all OTECC members to join me in electing Charlene Chase to fill Board Position 9. We need another woman to replace the remarkable OTECC founder, Peggi Timm.
We are fortunate to have three good candidates for the position, but I’m supporting Charlene Chase as the candidate most deeply grounded in consumer and community values, as evidenced by her work as a CASA advocate and as chair of two local school boards. Charlene has the leadership experience, the time, and the dedication we need to energetically represent us, as demonstrated by her initiative and follow-through to become a petition candidate, and her lifelong record of active public service.
Jobless ‘figures’ influenced election in Obama’s favor
Six weeks before the last election we learned that the unemployment rate had dropped by two-tenths of one percent. The timing was designed to influence the election. Many thoughtful persons thought that the figures were contrived due to the nearness of the election, but this did not deter the Obama boosters for one moment. They had Obama on TV many times daily and every single day for the six weeks until election day. Even when the unemployment figures worsened to just one-tenth of one percent for the last week, he kept at it. His message was always the same: “The unemployment figures were the best since he had been elected.” This statement was a monstrous exaggeration of the facts. There was virtually no improvement in the unemployment rate. It was still 8 percent minus that pitifully tiny fraction.
Opponents missed a golden opportunity. They should have had as many people as they could afford on TV every day explaining that Obama’s proclaimed “improvement” was so tiny that it was very close to zero.
Experienced propagandists believe that you can make people believe anything if you repeat it often enough. I believe this is what took place last November and it influenced the election a good deal.
OTEC committee member backs Daugherty for board
I’ve served with Nelson Clarke and Lynne Burroughs on the OTEC board nominating committee for the last two years. They honored me by asking me to chair, and in the course of this service I’ve gained a deep understanding of the enormous burden that is held by an OTEC board member. They work such long hours on difficult issues that might be considered largely uninteresting to many of us. Truly, we should heartily thank every one of the OTEC board members for their service to us! Successful board members have a long history of service on other board and civic organizations, and have held leadership roles with distinction, have lengthy and deep ties to this community, and are accessible to community members.
Randy Daugherty exemplifies these qualities, and is, in my opinion, the best board candidate. He successfully operates a century old family business, has a strong education in business/accounting. He’s served with distinction as a leader on the Baker City Council as well as the tough city budget board and the 5J facility committee among countless other civic positions. A Baker City native, he’s available to all of us every day. Sitting at his office with the big window looking over Washington Street, he just couldn’t be more accessible.
I would like to take the opportunity to clarify the committee’s nominating process. Randy Daugherty applied in a timely manner for the board position. He was our committee’s sole nominee, in addition to our beloved incumbent Peggi Timm. Mr. Doug Dalton did not apply until the last minute after learning that Ms. Timm was about to resign. The committee found him to be a viable candidate and added his name to the slate. I’ve learned that Mr. Dalton’s nomination has been described as being “hand selected by the OTEC Nominating Committee.” That is simply not true. I want the record to be clear that Mr. Dalton was never the Committee’s sole candidate.
Rebuild our land and economy
I read the story about Sen. Ron Wyden in the March 22 issue. Sen. Wyden stated some things that seem to go against the actions he normally takes when voting on issues concerning natural resources. He described it as: “pursuing this on a dual track: boosting timber cuts and providing a safety net that provides for schools, roads and police in resource dependent communities, and then our bipartisan coalition will also support reauthorizing the (Secure Rural Schools) payment program.”
On the other hand, in February Wyden introduced three bills that will add thousands of acres to wilderness areas and national monuments and a lot of miles of Oregon rivers to the wild and scenic rivers system. Wyden said: “Each of these parts of the bill aim to protect natural treasures in Oregon, preserve them for use and enjoyment and build upon the economic opportunities they provide for their local communities.”
As chairman of the Energy and Natural Resource Committee, he also warned that returning to the logging practices of the 1980s boom to replace county payments is not a viable solution because: “Experts tell us it is not possible to cut enough trees to produce historic levels of funding in rural counties and comply with the multiple uses of our federal forests that our communities want and meet our bedrock environmental laws.”
I say that may be true about “not possible to cut enough trees,” especially if you continue to introduce legislation that keeps removing more land from natural resource production, which includes mining. Even now, since there has been years of devastation to these industries, there may not be enough trained loggers or miners around, since they also had to move from the area to find other jobs.
Wyden’s proposals are more like finishing off already struggling economically deprived communities. The tourist and recreationist opportunities cannot compete with jobs that support families from resource production. Wilderness is supposed to be lands that do not have evidence of man. Therefore, trading with private landowners to remove them from access to the water for cattle and farming, or limiting that access so that recreationists can float by is ridiculous and does more harm to the economies of the communities.
As fuel loads increase from overgrown forests that are now considered wilderness, should there be a fire (from natural causes) it will burn hotter and more complete. This has been known to sterilize the land, such that it takes even longer to come back. There will be no pristine beauty or treasure afterwards, because those fires are unstoppable.
We have more trees growing now than in the early years. It is because there was a point when we understood we needed to plant more trees than we harvest. In the 1980s it was standard practice to plant seven trees for every tree cut; some places did more.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that Secure Rural Schools was supposed to be temporary, to provide rural counties with time to rebuild their economies. I think it is misunderstood that everything we have comes from the earth: It has to be grown or mined, there is no other source. The more land you take out of production and remove evidence of man from, the more you take out of the economy and risk a devastating destruction of the land, because man is not there to tend the land and take from it the resources we need.
So how does a community rebuild its economy? The news article said that Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell “identified up to 83 million acres in need of treatment... 12.5 million acres require treatment using large machinery.”
Well at least we have a start of recognition for part of the problem. There are less and less people able to produce because of too high restrictions on land use, and our government spends way too much on pet projects that frankly do not create family wage jobs. Maybe some are starting to see the light.
Guy Michael is a Baker County miner.
Chase has a strong commitment to OTEC
My husband and I are new Baker City residents. Many things brought us to this area — a thriving arts community, beautiful country, and plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation. We also found out pretty quickly how wonderful the people of Baker City are. And one of the people we’ve been fortunate to meet is Charlene Chase, who is now running for the vacant spot on the OTEC board.
Charlene Chase’s background as an educator, principal and school board member show that she has the background to qualify her for this position. Her community involvement, including being a CASA volunteer, shows that she has a genuine interest in the quality of life in our area.
One of the reasons Charlene Chase has said made her want to run for a position on the OTEC board is that she wants to preserve the original, strong commitment to have OTEC be a true cooperative — a utility that well serves all its members. Having such a utility is just one more reason my husband and I are so pleased to now live here. And that is why we are voting for Charlene Chase for the OTEC board.