Two-parent family remains best option for society
Sociologist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, “Much of the social history of the Western world … has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” We have inherited from our ancestors something which works: the two-parent family. A man and a woman marry for life and provide a home for their children. It’s not perfect; we humans aren’t perfect. But numerous studies have established that this is the best environment for raising happy, healthy children — it works.
Then a generation ago along came no-fault divorce and the sexual revolution. Both sounded good at the time, but once adopted, they have led to the single-parent family. Single parents want to raise happy, healthy children, of course, and many do. But they are laboring under a handicap. They are trying to do by themselves a job best done by two people.
Mr. Sowell, a black man, was appalled at the destructive effect this change has had upon the people of his race, particularly the young men. Huge numbers of them spend significant amounts of time in jail, and all too many are murdered in gang violence. They make the neighborhoods in which they live hells on earth.
Some claim that this is evidence of racism in our society, but it’s not. The rate of out-of-wedlock births in our inner cities is around 70 percent. The refusal of these young black men to marry the mothers of their children deprives them of the civilizing impact young women can have on them, and significantly increases the odds that their sons will share their unhappy fate. For them, the single-parent family most decidedly does not work.
We whites should not feel complacent. As the rate of our out-of-wedlock births continues to increase, our young men are sharing the same pathologies afflicting young black men. We’re just not as far down that path as they are.
Western civilization has tinkered with the institutions of marriage and of the family, and the results have not been good. But we have not learned from our experience, and continue to replace what works with what sounds good.
We need to organize to fight global warming
A small group has been meeting to discuss the changing climate and the global warming that is causing it and what we can do about it. Soon we are going to call a public meeting of people seriously concerned about global warming who, like us, feel that we should be organized.
When I approached my nieces about joining such a group each declined, saying in effect: “My plate is too full already.” These are young women with young children who will be adults, doing the world’s work 40 years from now. That is, they will be only if enough of their parents come to realize that efforts to save the habitability of the Earth is the most important work of their entire generation. No other generation ever had a more important task.
Many disbelieve “all this global warming stuff,” citing evidence of one-time rivers and forests in the Sahara and palm trees and crocodiles in North Dakota as proof that the present warming is but one more normal variations of Earth’s climate. However, there is one critical difference between now and then. This time the warming is caused by 35.6 zillion (however many that is) tons of carbon we have put in the air, and which we must slow down adding to until the Earth’s various carbon traps catch up. This we do by such things as switching from gas to electric autos, from coal to solar power, and greatly reducing the number of jet flights. We must somehow get the coal and petroleum corporations to leave in the ground $20 trillion worth of coal and crude that they would like to have us buy and burn.
Sooner or later we must have the government in our struggle and on our side. For this we must be organized, for being organized we are a movement, and movements move governments as nothing else does. Enough people concerned with global warming can keep the Earth habitable for when your kids are running it. You young parents, we need your talents, your energy and your numbers.
I’m a veteran who received excellent care from VA
I am a veteran. I receive all of my medical care since 1999 at the VA medical facility at Boise. My experience with this VA medical facility is quite different than that reported in a recent editorial which appeared in the Herald and which is being reported in most of the major news media.
I have received excellent and timely care consistently during this time span. While under the care of the VA medical system I have suffered two events which could have been either life devastating or fatal. One involved prostate cancer and the other a blockage of a carotid artery. Both of these events were dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
I believe that the news media has a duty to investigate and report a complete story, not just what gets people’s attention. There is a bright side to the VA medical facility story that should be addressed. I know. I’ve been there.
Writer didn’t mention effectiveness of vaccines
In a recent guest opinion published in another local paper, Baker County resident L.E. Castillo criticizes a new Oregon Health Authority vaccination requirement that parents who opt out of having their children vaccinated watch a “vaccine education module.” Castillo bolsters his objection by citing several studies showing that some children suffer adverse effects from vaccines.
Based on these studies Castillo advises parents “not to vaccinate your children until you’ve done some homework.” As an alternative to vaccination, Castillo recommends “homeopathic vaccine alternatives.”
Castillo makes no attempt to present the overwhelming evidence that vaccination prevents deadly epidemics that used to plague the world.
Parents magazine has this to say about vaccination: “The odds of experiencing a vaccine-related injury are greatly outweighed by the dangers of catching a vaccine-preventable disease. The measles vaccine, for instance, can cause a temporary reduction in platelets (which control bleeding after an injury) in 1 in 30,000 children, but 1 in 2,000 will die if they get measles itself. The DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis/chicken pox) vaccine can cause seizures or a temporary ‘shocklike’ state in 1 in 14,000 people, and acute encephalitis (brain swelling) in 11 in 1 million. But the diseases it prevents are fatal in 1 in 20 cases, 1 in 10 cases, and 1 in 1,500 cases, respectively.”
Bottom line is that Castillo leaves out of his guest opinion the most important information that parents should have in making the decision to opt out of vaccinating their children.
Harvey reflects on campaign, thanks voters
I would like to say thank you to Baker County for the vote of confidence you have shown in the primary election as your next Baker County Commission Chair. As I reflect on the following:
• Interview with Super Talk Radio Eddie Garcia
• Input with Lars Larson
• Participating in two different forums
• Mass mailing
• Radio ads on local stations
• Weekly Round Table meetings
• Placement of over 300 signs
• Attending the Rural Area City Council Meetings,
I am still amazed and greatly humbled that it was the individual person who took the time to learn about the issues and made the choice to cast their ballot. That is what really made the difference.
I would specially like to say thank you to the many volunteers who spent countless hours, providing me with documents, legal information and input on the many different areas that affect our county as a whole today. I am also grateful for those that provided the leg work getting the word out regarding my campaign.
Finally, a great big hug and thank you to my wife Lorrie who encouraged me, supported me, prayed with me and took on the role as my campaign manager.
After the November general election, it will be time to get to work and I am looking forward to January 2015.
Anyone following the Baker School District knows we have been through a lot in the past few years. Boards of directors are comprised of people with different backgrounds, temperaments and agendas and go through periods of peace, as well as dissent.
Yet every board member provides clear thinking in some area of expertise. For the past three years, Mark Henderson has given the Baker School District board a strong orientation in practical business sense and clear thinking. While he is now leaving the board for new business opportunities, it is worth reviewing his good record of service on the board, since a review would not only say something about Mark, but also reveal important things about the board.
Mark came to Baker County in 2005 and read the newspaper stories about the Baker District facing decreased funding and increased expenses. He was concerned about his two boys, at the time in pre-K and first grade. Many people would just grumble and not do anything. But Mark decided to see how he could help.
He emailed Doug Dalton, financial manager for the district, to learn more and find ways to help. Mark soon found himself on the budget committee, a group of residents that goes over the district’s proposed budget and makes recommendations to the board. Even at that early stage, Mark showed he was knowledgeable, applying the common sense of a business owner combined with the compassion of a parent with children in the district.
Editorial board wrong on same-sex marriage ruling
In its editorial article, “Judge gets it right on marriage,” the Baker City Herald editorial board gets it wrong in my opinion. By its own admission, the editorial board supports federal Judge Michael McShane’s ruling to overturn Oregon’s approved Measure 36 which defines marriage as “between one man and one woman.” Judge McShane, who is an openly gay federal judge, singlehandedly disenfranchised 1,028,546 Oregonians who voted to approve Measure 36 back in 2004.
The editorial board quoted Mr. Mike McLane, minority leader from the Oregon House, saying, “... today’s ruling is a logical extension of the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer ...” His statement implies that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was rejected; however, this isn’t completely true, only part of it was rejected. It’s my understanding that the USSC didn’t consider Section 2 of DOMA in the United States v. Windsor case, which essentially declares that U.S. states and territories may deny recognition of same-sex marriages originating from other states and territories. Prior to Judge McShane’s ruling, a same-sex couple’s marriage in New York would not have been legally recognized in Oregon under Section 2 of DOMA, which is still in effect today.
The editorial board may have had it right when they said, “...we expect that were the matter put to Oregon voters today, the outcome would be different than it was a decade ago.” A recent SurveyUSA poll conducted for KATU showed that about “52 percent of the 600 adults surveyed said voters should vote on the issue while 45 percent said the issue has been decided.” However, in that same poll, “66 percent said a judge should not have the right to ‘in general’ overturn the will of voters.”
Dan Brooks’ feat would have pleased Leo Adler
One of my most vivid memories of Leo Adler was how ecstatic he was when any Bakerite achieved a notable accomplishment. He wore a grin a mile wide and told everyone he contacted. He simply felt his beloved Baker was enhanced by the accomplishment of one of Baker’s own.
I can assure you Leo is beside himself with the news of Dan Brooks and his Duke ladies golf team capturing its sixth NCAA golf title. And well he should be. This is a feat unmatched in golf annals. Dan has brought great credit to Duke University, his ladies golf team and to golf as a sport. And at the same time he has done it with humility and grace.
We should all take a page out of Leo’s book and share the great pride we all have for Dan’s accomplishment. He has done his university, himself and his entire Baker family well!
Baker Heritage Museum is in good hands
We attended the spring meeting of the Friends of the Baker Heritage Museum and were very impressed. Chris Cantrell is doing a wonderful job as the director of the museum. The exhibits are so interesting and tell the story of life in Baker County for so many years. The Museum Commission and the Friends officers are well-organized. The Museum is in good hands.
Alice Warnock, By Brinton, Caroline Sherrieb and others who had the foresight to rescue the old Nat and see its potential as a museum would be so proud!
John and Frances Burgess
Forest Service ‘designates’ where you can go
The U.S. Forest Service is currently taking comments on the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision (BMFPR). This plan will serve as the “zoning ordinance” for the three national forests found within the Blue Mountains. One particular phrase should be of grave concern for any member of the public that enjoys motorize access into “The Blues,” as most locals lovingly refer to them. That phrase is “Designated routes.”
Designated routes sounds like a harmless enough phrase that you simply designate uses of current roads and move on. Unfortunately it’s not that harmless. Designated routes are the cornerstone of how the Forest Service has successfully closed hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands throughout the West, and it has also been successfully stopped in regions where the public has actively engaged in the process and acted against it.
To understand designated routes one need look no further than their home. Envision your home as it is now, with the freedom to move through it as needed, accessing every resource you need to have a complete home.
Now let’s “designate routes” through your home and see how that works. Lay a piece of tape down the middle of all your floors, you are only allowed to be 3 feet from the tape at any time. You may not touch any items outside that 3 foot buffer.
You now have “designated routes” — fun, isn’t it?
Your yard has been deemed needed as a “wildlife corridor” area and now is off limits to any big wheel, tricycle or lawnmower activity. You may walk into your yard, however, you may not utilize any motorized tools.
Does this make the picture clearer as to what the BMFPR really is? It’s Travel Management (road closures) with a different spin on it.
The USFS will tell you it’s not about road closures, and that is a true statement. This document is even more sinister, as it sets the foundation for the USFS to close roads as it states it is YOUR DESIRED CONDITION to see routes designated.
Do you really want your access “designated” away? If no, you had better get to commenting on the BMFPR.
John D. George
Mayor misses mark with personnel cost comments
The Mayor’s comment that city personnel costs need to be cut suggests to me that he has less than the desired level of understanding of municipal government. Labor costs, in every city, represent the greatest percentage of a city’s budget. Baker City’s ratio of personnel costs to non-personnel costs is not out of line with other cities in Eastern Oregon or elsewhere. “We need to cut personnel costs” is the mantra of the politically correct, but uninformed. It also fails to take into account the professionalism and competence of the city manager and department heads all of whom know and support the concept of asking only for what is needed to provide appropriate levels of service to the public.
It would be one thing if city departments were overstaffed, but they are not. There is no department of city government which has “excess” personnel. The staffing levels which exist are no more than needed to meet the responsibilities to and expectations of the public served. In fact, if one looks at public safety staffing in particular (both police and fire) and applies accepted staffing formulas developed by experts over a period of decades those two departments are actually understaffed.
If the Mayor seriously believes that the budget needs to be reduced perhaps he ought to look at the many “nice to have” programs he has supported and put some of them on the chopping block. Cutting essential, not “feel good,” services is a disservice to the public the Mayor was elected to represent.
Park playground project proves dreams come true
Thank you Lisa Britton Jacoby and all your cohorts, for coming up with a plan to update the city park playground equipment. It looks wonderful. I walked over yesterday to check it out. The park was full of young parents and children doing the same thing. We are so fortunate to have people who are willing and able to put forth the effort to make dreams come true. I will add this to the long list of why I love living here in Baker City.
Geiser-Pollman Park keeps getting better
What a wonderful, fun gathering place Geiser-Pollman Park is becoming! The new playground equipment is already drawing crowds of young kids and parents — at all hours, in all kinds of weather. Kudos not only to Lisa Britton and Megan Fisher, but also to all those volunteers who rolled up their sleeves and “got ’er done.” The park’s horseshoe pits have been completely revamped and brought up to tournament code by the Baker City Lions Club. Great job, Lions (ROAR)!
We look forward to the day when the Bandstand project is completed and becomes yet another jewel in Baker City’s treasure chest.
David and Joyce Hunsaker
Warner is the commission chair I’ll hire on May 20
I am voting for Fred Warner Jr. for Baker County Chair.
Every four years, the residents of Baker County use their vote to hire the job applicant they believe is best suited to manage the business of Baker County.
This election year, we have two applicants for Commission Chair. So, we have to ask ourselves: Who is best qualified to fulfill all the job requirements?
Fred Warner Jr. understands the entire job description. He has the proven management skills to handle the county’s budget, roads, emergency services, infrastructure, and public health systems.
Fred has proven he can successfully negotiate with city, state and federal agencies on all county issues — not just a few single-interest agendas. From the private property rights of landowners to the access of public lands, Fred Warner, Jr. protects Baker County.
In many job vacancies, there is more than one candidate. The employer or voter must examine the experience, the achievements and the reliability of each applicant as it relates to the actual job requirements.
Fred Warner Jr. has my vote. He is level-headed. His management of the county’s business has been excellent. His county staff is professional. He has kept this county in strong financial shape. He will not isolate Baker County from the decision-making table.
I am a Baker County Republican and I am proud to be voting for Fred Warner Jr. He is the job applicant who will keep this county moving forward on all fronts!
Warner has worked hard to make the county better
We believe it is time to step up and question the lies and half-truths that have been coming out during the County Commission election in Baker County.
We believe that if the only way one can run a campaign is to slam your opponent with innuendo and false statements, then shame on all of you who are pushing this propaganda. All one needs to do is look at Fred Warner’s record as County Commissioner to see that we have an effective and efficient government.