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Letters to the Editor for June 20, 2012

Voters should look at Romney’s record, too

Pete Sundin tries to make a case (letters 6/13) for looking askance at President Obama’s accomplishments before casting our vote, drawing from major untruths perpetuated in the GOP/Romney platform. Perhaps Sundin doesn’t realize that far from being a big taxer, under Obama taxes are at their lowest level in decades. Similarly, Obama has spent less in new programs than any president since World War II, of course adding to the federal budget the cost of Bush’s two undeclared and unfunded wars increases our deficit, and his assertion that Obama is bad for jobs and business is refuted by the stock market going from 7,000 to 12,500 while business profits are the highest in history, and not surprisingly, any slowing of jobs growth coincides with the do-nothing 2010 GOP Congress blocking his policies.

Looking at Romney, who claims he ran a company which invested in struggling business without ever taking a bailout and touts his business acumen as the cornerstone of his campaign, we see a CEO (Bain) who sought and accepted a $10 million federal bailout (Boston Globe, Oct. 25, 1994) after making bad investments that he wanted the U.S. taxpayer to pony up for and in the tortured logic of the GOP, his dismembering and gutting businesses while stripping them of assets and laying off many thousands of workers is to be admired? 

Yes, indeed, do look hard before you vote.

John Harmer

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for June 13, 2012

Look at president’s deeds, not his words

Ever hear of John Wolfe? Don’t feel bad; not many people have. He is one of those obscure people who somehow get their name on the ballot and wind up with a few votes. But this year, this six-time loser from Tennessee ran in the Arkansas Democratic presidential primary against President Obama and got 40 percent of the vote!

What about Keith Judd? The name doesn’t ring a bell? He’s a convicted felon serving his sentence in a Texas prison. He ran in the West Virginia Democratic primary against the president and got 41 percent of the vote.

In Kentucky, an astonishing 42 percent of Democratic voters went for an “uncommitted” slate of delegates rather than vote for Barack Obama.

When four out of 10 Democratic voters in these states vote for an unknown, a jailbird and nobody in particular, respectively, rather than for the sitting president from their own party, they are sending a strong message: the nation is on the wrong track and has been for the past 3½ years.

At best, the recovery from the Great Recession has been anemic. Gasoline prices remain high. The administration has not made a dent in the high rate of joblessness among Americans. The budgets which President Obama has been submitting to Congress add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year. The Democratic-led Senate has failed to vote on any of these budgets since Barack Obama has been in office.  The list of Democratic failures is long.

President Obama is running for re-election, so pay no attention to anything he might say. Instead, pay attention to what he had done while in office, and at what he has failed to do. Then you will see why so many moderate Democrats are expressing their discontent with the man by refusing to vote for him.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for June 8, 2012

Suggestions for voters

As a member of the Election Board and before we vote in another election in November, I would like to make some suggestions to my fellow voters.

The job of the Election Board is to prepare the ballots to be sent out to the voters and when the time comes and they are back, we make sure that they are readable and correct so they can be counted and everything comes out right. It takes time to count all the ballots and we are dedicated to do the best job for the voters.

When you sit down to vote your ballot, it would help if you make sure that you read it carefully and vote the correct number of choices in each voting area. Also, do you realize that each write-in name has to be counted by hand? This means that when you write in Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto, we have to sit down and count every name. It takes at least eight people to hand-count write-ins. Since you, the taxpayers, are the ones that pay for this, I am sure you would like to make it as easy as possible for the Election Board.

The Election Board is a dedicated, responsible group and when the November election comes around, I hope we can all be dedicated and responsible voters.

Nancy Ferree

Baker City

Mayce Day No. 4 a success

Baker City, you did it again! The 4th-annual Mayce Day-Drink Pink was held on Friday, June 1, and wow, what a success. With each new year of Mayce Day-Drink Pink there also comes a time of sweet and sorrowful reflection. A time to consider all that has been done within our amazing community, all that has been fulfilled and all the ways we’ve made a difference in Mayce Collard’s memory.

Please take a moment to reflect on the wonderful opportunities we have been able to assist with through the J. Mayce Memorial Scholarship, which honors students not for how many touchdowns they make or their SAT scores but for their character, for who they are when no one is looking. Students are nominated by teachers who personify many of Mayce’s best qualities: a positive attitude, volunteer experience, and acceptance of others. We feel with Mayce leading the way we have found the perfect niche to fund the “inside” and not the obvious.

Thank you again for keeping Mayce in your thoughts and for your steadfast support throughout the past four years of Mayce Day-Drink Pink. We all are eternally grateful and continue to be in awe of the community support of the J. Mayce Memorial Scholarship Fund; it is a worthwhile endeavor.

On behalf of the Collard family and the BHS Learning Center’s Bulldog Blender, our hearts are filled with gratitude.

For more information or to make a donation to Mayce Day-Drink Pink, please contact Amy Powell at 541-524-2634.

Amy Powell

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for June 6, 2012

Crowded out at graduation

My husband and I were at the graduation last Sunday to see a few of our friends graduate.

We were seated in the wheelchair area of the stadium because of our disabilities. The ceremony started, and I rolled my walker closer to get a good photo of one of our friends graduating. By this time everyone coming in decided to make the wheelchair area their home. We couldn’t move and we couldn’t see because they were standing all around. I yelled, “everyone that is not wheelchair please leave.” Some took the hint One guy had a wheelchair mom there and was going to leave. I said, “no, you’re with her.” Asked these other people if they had family there and they said, out on the field, they were graduating. I asked them to leave and find a seat elsewhere and they refused and were quite obstinate about it. They were not going to leave at all. It ruined our day there and my husband came home with a terrible backache because he had to stand the entire introduction of the graduates. We never got to see the graduation, we left early and felt violated by these people. Part of me wants them to experience the same grief they caused us, but another part of me hopes no one would put them through being violated as we were.

I do think that the school should have someone to regulate the area seating so it’s fair for everyone.

Tammy Hadley

Baker City

Nice gesture at cemetery

I want to express my thanks to who ever placed the small bouquets of baby breath on each small grave in the Baby Hearts at the cemetery.  How thoughtful and caring.

Adele Ragsdale

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for June 1, 2012

Clearing up issue in story

To the editor:

I would like to clear up one point on the article on my family tree research (in the May 30 issue). I may have misspoken or been misunderstood, but what I meant to say was that one branch of my family tree has been researched to the “Time of Christ” not to Christ himself.

I in no way intended to presume Christ is in my family tree.

Bill Ward

Baker City

Working to wreck an industry

To the editor:

I hope everyone noticed a couple weeks ago the letter to the editor written by Loren Hughes advocating more forest road closures and further federal takeover of the land.

I just want to make sure that everyone realizes who Hughes is so that we can all recognize the damage he has single-handedly caused during the past 40 years to the people of this region. Hughes was given the nickname “Mr. Fifteen Center” several decades ago during the spotted owl controversy after he wrote a letter addressed with one fifteen-cent stamp to the Forest Service. His letter effectively shut down several large FS timber sales and helped deal a fatal blow to the timber industry. Hughes also has a long association with extreme environmental groups such as the Hells Canyon Preservation Council in La Grande.

So, I want to make sure and pay Hughes his due. First, Mr. Fifteen Center, thanks for killing an industry that will never return during my lifetime.  Thanks for changing the median age in Wallowa County from a vibrant 32 years old in 1982 to the current 50 years old today. And, because of your agenda, nowadays we harvest people’s lives with the prison industry instead of putting them to work harvesting the earth’s bounty. So, really thanks for that too, because that is the consequence of your life work.

And also, thanks Mr. Hughes for providing an example of a person who is willing to sell the economic stability of the region he calls home so that he can fulfill some theoretical environmental preservation agenda. Or, maybe Hughes has his sights on bigger fish. Maybe his environmental concerns are simply a front for a more clandestine agenda. Maybe he is actually interested in changing our form of government. Or is it just a coincidence that the work of his life has resulted in a weakening of fundamental American ideals such as freedom, liberty, and private property rights? Maybe.

Brian Addison


Letters to the Editor for May 30, 2012

Teachers deserve the raises

To the editor:

After reading an article in the Herald about salary increases for administrators in the school district, some would probably be in shock. However, even with the most laughable explanation that could be given for this decision, I can’t say I’m shocked at all. I did glean one important nugget of truth from the article: It’s good to know why they worked so hard to keep that budget balanced! I would believe that after this article was published, many put their paper down on their coffee tables and scratched their heads and said, “huh?” If so, they did with good reason.

Letters to the Editor for May 18, 2012

Judge candidate says thanks

To the editor:

I was one of the seven candidates for Baker Justice of the Peace. I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate the two winners of this week’s election. I also wanted to thank all of those that voted for me. Your support was greatly appreciated. 

I would also like to thank the community of Durkee for the opportunity to come and speak to them. I have learned a lot in the past few months. The support from my family, friends and local business has been great. Thank you.

Mike Downing

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for May 16, 2012

Let’s celebrate real food May 19

To the editor:

Best selling author Michael Pollan writes: “We need to stop flattering nutritionally worthless foodlike substances by calling them “junk food” and instead make clear that such products are not in fact food of any kind.”   

Join us at a celebration of real food:  Food Revolution Day on May 19.  This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Baker High School Commons. Come and see the biggest display of produce in the Northwest!  There will be raffles, giveaways, samples, cooking and gardening instruction and much more. Most importantly, there will be real food!

Kevin Lee

Baker City


No luck with Airlink refund

To the editor:

Regarding the May 11 article regarding AirLink Service:

I went personally to Baker Fire Dept. to inquire about the May 31 deadline coverage from AirLink (in Bend) which I have belonged to. Baker Fire Dept is changing to LifeFlight, so in order to have identical coverage, I’ll need to join that network.

 I paid by check Oct. 20, 2011, to AirLink, $108 for ground /air coverage for a year. Now I’m told they will no longer cover after May 31. 

My membership card has toll free number, which I used, anticipating a 6-month refund. I was told by the woman on the line, “it is non-refundable.”

So now, in order to be covered through Baker City Fire Med Plus, I’ll be required to pay another $110 (with no refund from AirLink to help with expense). Good luck to anyone else who approaches AirLink in Bend for a refund. I was unsuccessful. Phone information is on page 6A, Baker City Herald, May 11 issue. Or write to AirLink: Attention: Audra, 2500 NE Neff Road, Bend OR 97701 and airlink@stcharleshealthcare.

Phyllis Badgley

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for May 14, 2012

Ambulance crew gets an assist

To the editor:

Earlier this month the Eagle Valley Ambulance transported a patient from Richland to St. Al’s Hospital in Baker City. After we were done in the hospital, we got in the ambulance to return home to Richland. But, when the ambulance was started, the air was not filling the suspension.  We drove very slow to two businesses in Baker City who had done prior work for us on the ambulance. But neither had the time or would have the time to help us on that day.

So we went over to Grumpy’s — JR Streifel came out to the ambulance to see what we needed. It was explained and without hesitation JR stopped what he was doing and immediately went to work to trace down the problem. JR had the ambulance fixed and the ambulance was back on the road in service in less than an hour. 

JR: Thank you for your time, your commitment and we just could not be more grateful for your expertise and care that we could continue to provide service in our area without delay.

Tami Waldron, on behalf of the Eagle Valley Ambulance EMTs

Letters to the Editor for May 11, 2012

Board misses teachers’ reception

To the editor:

May 6, 2012, Sunday at Crossroads Art Center, was a time set aside to honor seven retiring 5J school teachers. Their combined experience must surely exceed 125 years. It was a lovely reception. The attributes and contributions of each teacher were highlighted and appreciated.

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