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Letters to the Editor for April 27, 2012

Knight should be ‘uncensured’

To the editor:

Our local politics are becoming more like the federal politics, which disregards the opinions of the voters. This is very disappointing.

My wife and I had the privilege of working with Lynne Burroughs in a play she directed. She is an excellent director of plays and no doubt was a very good teacher. Lynne has proved that she is a public-minded citizen and is willing to put herself out for our community; this I appreciate.

Letters to the Editor for April 25, 2012

Duman for Justice of the Peace

To the editor:

I am writing to encourage you to vote for Gail Duman for Justice of the Peace, Baker County. Gail has helped to lead our community as a City Councilor, as a Baker City Budget Committee member, and as the Historic District Design Review Commission Chair. In addition, she has given countless hours of volunteer time and resources to Historic Baker City, to our public schools, and to raising money for the Billie Ruth Bootsma Foundation. Gail is capable of making tough decisions. I know her to be careful, efficient, and fair. Please vote for Gail Duman for Justice of the Peace.

Kata Bulinski

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 23, 2012

Williams best choice for JP job

To the editor:

We are endorsing Don Williams for Justice of the Peace.

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

Letters to the Editor for April 20, 2012

Closing roads can save money

To the editor:

Much has been written about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Travel Management Plan. Most writers see this proposal to close 3,800 miles of road as a terrible thing. But maybe looking at the situation from another perspective would be worthwhile. The proposal would keep open approximately 4,300 miles of road.  This is a lot of road!

Letters to the Editor for April 18, 2012

Locking us out of our land

To the editor:

Of the people, by the people and for the people?

What is it about that statement that the Forest Service doesn’t understand?

Years ago, the F.S. made many, many acres of wilderness ground in the forest. Wilderness is used by less than 1 percent of the population of our country. Now they are determining that over half of the roads in the forest should be closed. Approximately 15 percent of the population utilize the Wallowa Whitman National Forest, and 14 percent of those that use the forest live within twenty miles of the forest.

Letters to the Editor for April 16, 2012

The high cost of cap-and-trade

To the editor:

Those defending the Democratic Energy Policy like to trot out that shabby old scarecrow Catastrophic Climate Change. The theory is somewhat shopworn since released emails showed more politics than science in its product, but let’s carry that scenario out and see where takes us.

The Democratic Energy Policy has two prongs: increasing the use of renewable energy sources and decreasing the use of fossil fuels. The latter goal is met through a program called cap-and-trade.

Letters to the Editor for April 13, 2012

Knight’s light on the school board

To the editor:

In recent months Kyle Knight has burst upon news of our school board like a shining light.   

Unfortunately, this week some dim bulbs have inserted themselves in the field and darkened the school board story.

Carl Kostol

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 11, 2012

Catholic position is crystal clear

To the editor:

The letter by Barbara Tylka in the March 30 edition highlights the profound differences between Roman Catholics and Catholics. The former believe what the Catholic Church officially teaches and the later mistakenly presume that the Church is a democracy and that the “church is a community of believers” and, presumedly, that said community can substitute their own views on matters of faith and morals. Dr. Tylka is absolutely wrong when she states that a position regarding contraception is not a part of Church dogma. The encyclical (document) of Pope Paul VI (“Humanae Vitae”) makes the Church’s position crystal clear.

Letters to the Editor for April 9, 2012

A new idea for North Powder

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Jim Smeraglio’s recent letter (March 14 Baker City Herald). We, too, have considered the value of developing a community that offers affordable housing with nearby conveniences. We have, in fact, proposed such a development in North Powder on our 25 acres just off the freeway, where the Idaho Timber mill site used to be.

Our  RV park development would feature our park model RVs which provide about 700+ square feet of living space. People would have the option to own/lease business/office space in the mini-mall, which would take the form of smaller versions of our park model cabins with false fronts and a wooden boardwalk, like something out of the Old West.  The complex would include a community events center which could host “old time” barn dances featuring local and visiting musicians. There would also be a community barn with stable spaces and an RV park for people traveling with horses.  There would be a shower house and laundromat as well. We also envision a community garden and greenhouse. A walking path would be on the outer perimeter of the property.

In other words, we would like to create a somewhat self-contained community that would have its economy bolstered by business pulled in from off the freeway.  The Old West theme is congruous with North Powder’s identification with the Oregon Trail, which originally went right through town. The shops could include quilt/fiber arts shop, log furniture, old-time photography, a gallery that features local artists, an iron worker, and the like. An old-fashioned soda shop would also be  a compatible addition.

We may also have some rental “cabins” that would provide additional lodging for events, skiers, and the like.

Please let us know what you think about our idea and if you would like to be a part of our project. We would welcome other ideas as well. We can be contacted at 541-856-3232 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This matter will be discussed at the next City Council meeting in North Powder at the Wolf Creek Grange (next to the post office) Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m.

Rich and Lori Daniels 

No change needed in the forest

To the editor:

An organization of four, Citizens for Open Forests, circulated a petition that shortly gathered over 6,000 signatures, stipulating “no more road closures in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.” We had help from committed individuals and organizations. Our message to the USFS remains the same.

“Open forest” has served Eastern Oregon very well over the years. Closing the forest will have the greatest impact on local residents. The remaining roadbeds from the heyday of logging are heavily utilized by all recreationists, most notable, gathering of winter firewood. Loss of an “open forest” is a significant change. If the new plan is implemented, motorized use of any of the deserted old roadbeds not on the Forest Service map will be illegal. The implication is, you are traveling cross country if the road isn’t on an official map. The historical, cultural and economic impact will be felt by everyone in Eastern Oregon.

I’m sure many people think all I do is sit on my four-wheeler and wreak havoc on public domain; quite the contrary. Roaming public domain on these miraculous machines comes with retirement. A good deal of our time is spent gathering 20 cords of firewood every summer. Historically, we have traveled about in various vehicles, horseback, and watched our feet trek into numerous high lakes. We struggled with a two-wheel drive pickup for many years; not much good during a winter elk hunt. Finally a four-wheel drive Scout. My husband spent as much time wrenching on that relic as we did enjoying the great outdoors. We pretty much, did and do, it all. I will not take a defensive stance for my enjoyment and enthusiasm where it concerns ATVs.

The USFS has a selected alternative for the Travel Management Plan. If implemented, this plan will practically destroy not only my lifestyle, but countless others’. Everyone needs to encourage strong opposition to the selected alternative that obliterates open forests and thousands of miles of roads. Nothing has changed, the only alternative is No. 1, “no change.”

Wanda Ballard

Baker City

Don’t increase the debt limit again

To the editor:

“The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means ‘The buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

The above quote is from Mr. Obama in 2006 while a junior Senator from Illinois.  He was correct in his assessment of increasing the debt ceiling.

Please contact your Congressional representatives and ask them to support the President by voting no on the next bill to increase the debt limit and to support a current bill to require the U.S. government to balance the budget this year. It may be the most important letter you ever write.

Tom Van Diepen

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for April 6, 2012

Court precedent and healthcare law

To the editor:

I would like to share a few quotes from the majority opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down two pieces of “New Deal” legislation in 1935. These quotes could have a direct bearing on the upcoming decisions on national healthcare.

The first comes from Schechter Poultry Corp. vs. United States (295 U.S. 495; 1935) striking down the “National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA):

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