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Letter to the Editor for Jan. 27, 2016

Land line phone numbers are vital for businesses

Just a note to remind Baker City business people that I cannot call you on the phone if you do not have a land line phone that is listed and easy to find in the Baker City phone book. Businesses need customers, and customers need to be able to contact businesses. To those who care, thank you.

Mardelle Ebell

Baker City


Letter to the Editor for Jan. 27, 2016

Land line phone numbers are vital for businesses

Just a note to remind Baker City business people that I cannot call you on the phone if you do not have a land line phone that is listed and easy to find in the Baker City phone book. Businesses need customers, and customers need to be able to contact businesses. To those who care, thank you.

Mardelle Ebell

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 25, 2016

Don’t like feds managing land? Take them to court

In a recent letter to the editor, Neal Jacobson criticizes my suggested New Year’s resolutions for Baker County Commissioner Bill Harvey. I appreciate his letter, because it gives me another opportunity to point out the failings of Harvey’s leadership. 

Jacobson undermines his credibility as a serious critic by identifying himself as a climate change denier writing that climate change believers have “a rich fantasy life” and the science is “tainted and inconclusive at best.”  

So, he would have us believe that the overwhelming scientific consensus and the leaders of 195 countries who met in Paris a month ago are all just “fantasying” that there is a serious problem that threatens life on earth as we know it,  and that Harvey and he know better than all of them.

Jacobson asks who is “harmed by a short prayer” at the beginning of County Commission meetings. He left out “100 percent,” “sectarian,” and “Christian.”  That’s really not an answer he can supply as a member of the majority religion in Baker County, implying that persons of a minority opinion should just sit there and remain silent. Obviously, if Jacobson believes I’m going to do that, he’s the one “fantasying.” 

As for writing that I’m asking the county to “accept all (Federal) regulations without comment,” here’s my answer. Harvey and persons like Jacobson, and Cliven Bundy and his sons are all talk and no legal action. If the regulations need changing or if the federal government needs to “give back” federal lands to ownership and management by states, then let them quit bellyaching and do something legal like filing suit in federal court or appealing to Congress.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Bundy is not the sort of leader I would ever follow

Back in the ’80s I had to go over to Boise to treat PTSD at the Veterans hospital. My counselor, a Vietnam vet himself, once told me to go home and watch a movie called “Forrest Gump.” Pay special attention to a guy called Lieutenant Dan, he said. I guess he saw some kind of resemblance. I did use the phrase, “try not to do anything stupid,” a few times while raising children. The situation at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge brings the phrase to mind again.

Mr. Bundy: Get your butt off my land. Bundy and his crew are probably building bonfires on my ancestors’ wagon tracks. They were part of the Elliott wagon train of 1853. Helen Marny Stewart’s diary is at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.  Don’t expect me to run down there and fight to start the process of turning it over to the states who will very quickly start selling it to corporate America. This stupid move is going to play into the hands of the Democrats who will certainly use the issue to say that the Republicans want to privatize your national forests and rangelands. Get used to President Hillary.

I see lots of tough guys down there. I have seen them before. Back in the ’60s when we had a draft they were paying attention to Vietnam, right up to the time they got a good draft number. Many of those who didn’t pulled all the strings they could to get a deferment. Later when I took part in some Vietnam veterans’ groups we found out that some were lying about being vets, wannabees who cheapened the service. I see some of them at Malheur.

If this movement to privatize doesn’t stop then I’m going to wait for a lucky draft number or get a deferment if it ever comes to pushback time and most certainly will stay away from the polls next election. In the military you have to follow those in charge. I’m out and independent now and will pick my own leaders. Mr. Bundy does not qualify.

Steve Culley

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 20, 2016

A grocery allegory: What if occupiers showed up here?

The unarmed occupiers of the former Haggen/Albertsons have stated that they will not leave until either WinCo or Fred Meyer moves in. Many of these scofflaws are not even Baker City residents, some heralding from distant places like Huntington, Sumpter and Haines. In a statement by spokesman Abbon Mundy, “We are not leaving until the government looks into this Albertsons/Safeway monopoly and the shady dealings that brought the demise of Haggen.” “Until we have another grocery store, other than Albertsons, we are here for the long term.” Mundy then added, “And no Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, those puppet commercials freak me out!” 

The occupiers called attention to their presence with a huge parking lot bonfire fueled by tons of outdated worthless Haggens coupons. Local sheriff’s spokesperson Iwanna Storetoo said “It’s a good thing that fire didn’t get out of control, otherwise they’d be looking at some serious jail time!” She went on to add, “At this time we are monitoring the situation and have contacted other jurisdictions for additional support if things escalate.”

Local resident Igoto Boiseforfood said “Most of em ain’t even from here, they’re trespassing and just look at that asphalt damage! “They are nothing but common criminals that need to go back where they came from.”

Verilittle Tuchooz, a resident of Durkee, couldn’t disagree more, “It’s about time someone stood up to these out of control grocery conglomerates, thank God we still have people in this world that won’t just sit back and take it.”

When accused of being “nothing but a troublemaker” by local hecklers, Mundy responded by pointing across the road at the ever flowing sea of vehicles looking for a parking spot, at the crowds of people held hostage by whatever Safeway had to offer at whatever price and exclaimed “I’m not the problem, the trouble is right there in front of you!”

Only one government official responded concerning the occupation. Rep. Eylive N. Ontario said that there could be a federal case for defamation leveled on Mundy for his “racist comments against commercial puppets.”

Mike Meyer

Baker City

Grocery closure affects bottle recycling, too

I have been a bottle recycler for the past 10 years. It has always been a chosen responsible chore to recycle my bottle purchases. There have been times over those 10 years that I, along with many others, have become frustrated with the condition of the bottle recycle machines and areas offered to the local recycling citizens by the two local grocery stores.

Now with only one local grocery with the only bottle recycle center available, this frustration is an absolute mess. The actual designated recycle area size is state-regulated, as to the merchant building size plus the selling of deposit paid for designated bottles such as water, soda, beer etc. But, and here is the kicker, only if the merchant should choose to bother with providing a recycle area. The health maintenance of the area, the mechanical workings of the machines, the staff to assist the recycling citizens when the machines are filled to capacity, is strictly left to the store managers.

I recently contacted the Oregon Liquor Control Commission as to what happened with the recycle machines at the empty former Haggen storefront. I was informed those machines were owned by the Haggen corporation, and how and where they went was that corporation’s business and the state agency has no say in the matter of dealing with the lack of recycling opportunities for the 10,000 Baker City citizens.

I would like to suggest to the current grocery corporation that the policymakers who now most definitely have a local monopoly to please address the lack of an adequate recycle center for bottles purchased at the only local grocery business.

And to the Baker City Council and business development planners, please include this needed requirement into any new and incoming business developments.

In the interim, I will be looking for any nonprofit group, church or school team who would desire my bottles to aid in their fundraising endeavors. I realize that they must also be recycloing at the aforementioned center, but perhaps it would hlep to limit the number of frustrated citizens jamming up the area unsuccessfully.

Cheryl Gushman

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 18, 2015


We need to speak up for abused animals

It’s hard to witness animals being abused by lack of food in the winter. Summer is a hard time also, but winter there’s no grass growing for horses and cows to forage on.

I have been watching some horses with a small colt being abused by a lack of food. Not sure what the water situation is, but some days there’s very little food, other days they don’t get anything. This is winter, everything is frozen, nothing growing and they have no voice to say “we could use some hay, it fills us up and helps our bodies produce heat to keep us warm on these cold, cold winter nights.”

This individual who owns these horses needs to ask, “Do I need them? Can I afford to feed them properly?”

If the answer to both is no, then do the humane thing and sell them. The horses did not ask to be treated like this. This individual has been turned in to the local authorities several times but nothing seems to come of it. Do we have to wait for animals to die before the authorities do something? They need to take all complaints of animal abuse seriously, whether it be dogs chained up with no food, water or shelter, or stacked in carriers and living in their own poo, or cats living in horrible conditions with little or no food and water. Horses, cows, goats are trying to live on little or no food having to eat their own poop. I have seen this, not a pretty sight.

So I’m asking anyone that has or is witnessing these abuses to speak up, write letters, call the local authorities, maybe they’ll do something if enough people stand up for animals that have no voice to speak for themselves. It would be a great year if the animal abuse of all levels could be cleaned up and the abusers held accountable.

Linda Chandler

Baker City

Obama cries for Sandy Hook, but what about abortion?

I was quite impressed by Obama’s tears for the tragedy at Sandy Hook. It was a terrible tragedy, which could have been lessened a lot if there would have been a gun controlled by a responsible person that could have stopped this mentally deficient idiot.

It would be heartwarming to see Obama shed some tears for the millions of little babies that Planned Parenthood is killing. Of course it is a very thriving business, selling baby parts — the livers, hearts and brains are especially valuable if they can harvest them while the baby is still breathing. This is a fact, as the lady doctor was gloating about the good job she had done.

Obama will do anything he can to stop the defunding of Planned Parenthood. I do not want my money going to support these abortion mills.

This is the most pro-abortion president ever. And if Hillary gets elected she will continue this horrible crime.

Pat Culley

Baker City 


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 15, 2016

Refuge protesters are trying to protect local residents

The Malheur Refuge occupation is not focused just on the unconscionable and malicious federal assault against ranchers whose land is coveted by the BLM. The Hammonds are the tipping point, the final straw for these peaceful protesters. No other known remedies remain to stop the loss of private rights, land, jobs and resources for local inhabitants. 

Over 100,000 signatures from across the nation have supported a Petition for Redress of Grievances, which has been ignored.

Further adding to the unrest is the unconstitutional federal plan to take two and a half million acres from neighboring Malheur County to create a National Canyonlands Monument. This proposed taking will destroy the ranching economy there, and Malheur County ranchers are also at the Refuge occupation.

Representative Greg Walden addressed Congress about this incident and admitted that the Refuge was indeed “public land.” If the federal government owned the land he would say so.  They only manage it for us. The occupiers are part of the public, and have not harmed one thing. They have not yet been given any order to leave the premises, so they are not trespassing. Court documents must be produced to evidence that the United States Government has actual TITLE to the land, and I do not believe it exists. BLM employees have been reportedly shredding documents. 

WHY?

Under the terms of the Enabling Act that brought the State of Oregon into the union of several states, the federal government contracted to DISPOSE of public lands. And they have done so in all the eastern states.  But, because the western states are so valuable in natural resources, a huge federal bureaucracy has sprung up to permanently control these resources. Thus, our local economies have suffered. Mills have been shut down. Mining is overregulated. Ranchers are bankrupted. We can’t even enjoy the forests. So why are federal laws that simply DO NOT APPLY within the states tolerated?

These Refuge occupiers have pledged their lives and sacred honor to bring this perfidious federal scheme to the national stage.  Please seek the TRUTH.  Resist the lies.

James Iler

Baker City

Harvey should continue to do what he’s been doing

Since Gary Dielman was so presumptuous as to suggest New Year’s resolutions for County Commissioner Bill Harvey, I’ll be so presumptuous as to suggest how Harvey should react.

1. Ignore Gary Dielman’s suggested resolutions.  Mr. Dielman writes good historical articles but his political leanings are way too leftist.

2. Keep pressuring the USFS to coordinate with the County’s Natural Resources Plan. Every map shows the USFS to lie within county boundaries, not the other way around. The USFS should be working harder to be good neighbors with Baker County and all the counties it affects and working closely with them to develop mutually acceptable plans. Regarding planning rules, the Wallowa-Whitman NF needs to be pushing back against the Regional Office in Portland. The Regional Office needs to be pushing back against the Washington, D.C., office.  Local perspective is better than D.C. perspective.

3. Don’t get hung up on human-caused global warming/climate change. There are far more pressing problems to focus your energy on. Just because President Obama thinks global warming is the biggest threat to America, the rest of us don’t need to fall prey to his poor guidance. There are a number of other things the president is wrong about, too. Regarding climate change, everyone should have the opportunity to hear now-retired OSU climatologist George Taylor’s information on long-term climate data and interpretation.

4. Keep praying! I appreciated your speaking at the Fourth of July worship service in the park and I respect you for wearing your Christianity on your sleeve, whether at Commission meetings or generally in the community. Our country needs more Christian leaders and more honest prayer. Our county, state, and nation need to follow the Bible’s admonition of II Chronicles 7:14.

5. Keep pushing for as much local control, or at least influence, as possible on currently federal land. The folks in Washington, D.C., with their endless stream of rules and regulations, guided by the ever-present influence of eco-wacko groups, need to be balanced by practical people who understand the land and culture.

Carry on with the common sense leadership you demonstrate.

Jim Carnahan

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 13, 2016

Refuge protesters want new, tyrannical ‘government’

I am writing to warn my fellow Eastern Oregonians about a threat to our way of life.

On Dec. 15, 2015, Ammon Bundy and Ryan Payne met with about 40 residents of Harney County in Burns. Bundy said the local residents should create a “Committee of Safety.” The head of Bundy’s militia, Ryan Payne, warned the Burns residents that they needed a “Committee of Safety” to protect them from floods, crime waves, and even the “U.N. invading the U.S.”

Bundy and Payne also explained what the “Committee of Safety” is. It is an unelected replacement for your local democratically elected government. If the “Committee of Safety” doesn’t agree with how the local government is handling something, instead of holding politicians accountable, running for elections, or protesting, they can call in a militia to “take care” of the problem.

During this meeting, a local Burns resident asked if the creation of this shadow government needed to be brought to a vote before the more than 7,000 residents of Harney County. No, Bundy and Payne said, you can just tell the public about it after we create this new government.

Bundy and Payne explained that this government had the power to call in “militia” from all over the country to do their bidding, and that they could hold their own trials to convict and sentence people. The “Committee of Safety” is nothing less than treason, and it represents an attempt by a room of 40 people, encouraged by Bundy, to overthrow their local democratically elected government with the support of armed militia from out of state. The “trials” they talked about are kangaroo courts. There are no checks or balances, no ballots, no public participation. This is not democracy, and it’s un-American.

A “Committee of Safety” isn’t a way to address the legitimate concerns we have about land management issues, it is not about liberty, freedom, or returning power or land to the people — the “Committee of Safety” is about the tyranny of a few men over us all.

You can watch a full video of the Dec. 15 meeting here: https://youtu.be/64mkXIT76bk

Michael Oman-Reagan

Baker City

Call for diversity seems to lack that very thing

In response to Gary Dielman’s New Year’s resolutions directed to County Chair Bill Harvey in a Jan. 8 Herald letter to the editor I would like to focus on Mr. Dielman’s use of the word diverse. This word apparently means diversity of all thing things except diversity of thought.

According to Mr. Dielman, there can apparently be only one answer to such things as an invocation during county meetings, accepting all regulations from the Forest Service and BLM about our land, and of course there can be only one answer to anthropogenic climate change. Those answers according to Mr. Dielman are: no invocation, accept all regulations without comment, and we must all happily follow the climate change lemmings over the cliff.  So where is the diversity of opinion?

What I would like to know is who is being harmed by a short prayer to open a county meeting except the perpetually offended? And concerning Forest Service and BLM regulations why shouldn’t the county have a say? Finally to accept climate change one should cultivate a rich fantasy life and accept without question the “science” which is tainted and inconclusive at best.

The problem of anthropogenic climate change is that it has never been about science but only about politics.

Neal Jacobson

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 11, 2016

Baker City’s unfortunate grocery store situation

I think Alberta Bailey and Glenda Carter just about said it all except Baker should receive an award as the only town of 10,000 population with one grocery store.

We just moved back to Baker from the Coast where Lincoln City with 7,500 population had five large grocery stores and Newport, with population about 9,000 has seven large grocery stores, and all busy. Many people from Baker shop in La Grande and why not — there are two or three stores for any shopping needed plus an outing for the day and a return home with an extra buck or two.

Property taxes in Baker are also out of sight. Taxes in Baker are two times what they are in the Boise area. This is like living in New York City without a job. Maybe we need to call in the state to solve the dilemma.

William G. Mann

Baker City

Refuge takeover highlights federal agency abuses

The big blowup in Harney County over public lands is not just about the Hammonds or even the Bundy takeover of the Wildlife Refuge. It is about heavy-handed control of people on public lands that is happening throughout the West. The abuse of power by federal land managers, taking water rights, forcing grazers off the public lands, closing roads and stalling for years mining plans of operations has become onerous at best. It is the government’s answer to taking from the public and giving it to the environmentalists. Where else but in America could environmentalists sue the federal government and make money doing it, kind of like organized crime except legal.

 In Baker and surrounding counties it’s the sage grouse lockup on BLM and an attempt for a proposed major lockup by the Forest Service with a new Forest Plan. At the Forest Service proposed Blue Mountain Forest Revision planning meetings people were mad at this insane lockdown of our forests and expressed it. The proposed expanding roadless areas, more proposed national monuments, more de facto wilderness and proposed game corridors has no benefit except to lock it up for the environmentalists. Still the FS is going on with their plan to lock out the public by proposing to shut down and decommission almost 1,300 miles of roads on the WWNF. We have used these roads since they were built to harvest the timber. These roads are historic and are used by the public to gather natural resources and recreate and fight wildfires.  

The Forest Service has mismanaged the forest so badly, you can’t walk through them because of the undergrowth and downfall, and now the catastrophic fires burn hundreds of thousands of acres. Here in Baker County two fires joined to burn over 100,000 acres. The environmentalists get paid to sue to stop logging sales just to watch it burn a few years later. Environmentalists are not Oregon’s friend.

 I and most Oregonians do not support the takeover of the Wildlife Refuge except it brought before America the criminal abuse by land managers with an agenda to lock up the West for the environmentalists. 

Chuck Chase

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Jan. 8, 2016

My suggestions for Commissioner Harvey

With all the negativity against federal agencies in Harney County the past few days, and some of the same negative rhetoric right here in Baker County the past year, I have the following suggested New Year 2016 resolutions for Baker County Commissioner Bill Harvey:

I, Bill Harvey, resolve in the year 2016, as follows:

1. I will quit claiming that the USFS must coordinate planning on equal footing with Baker County concerning the County’s Natural Resources Plan. Thanks to a well-documented letter from Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya dated Nov. 19, 2015, I now realize that Baker County has only an advisory role and cannot veto actions taken by USFS.

2. I will quit denying that global warming/climate change is caused by human activity. I now believe that it poses an existential threat to the survival of humans and many other species; and I further resolve to work with county departments, commissions, and committees to see what Baker County can do to minimize pollution that contributes to global warming/climate change.

3. I will quit opening Commission hearings with an invocation, which is a religious practice I initiated upon taking office in January 2015. I agree with critics that, in a religiously diverse country such as ours, the practice discriminates against persons who are of a different religious belief, and that the practice broke a 160-year-old Commission tradition of just beginning meetings with the business County Commissioners are elected to address.

4. I will quit claiming that the federal government should “give back” state and county lands administered by USFS and BLM. After doing some research, I now realize that federal lands in the United States are owned by the federal government, which acquired the lands through purchase, treaty, or conquest, and that Oregon and Baker County may gain ownership of those lands only via an act of Congress.

This writer hopes that if Commissioner Harvey follows these suggestions, it will improve the Commission’s working relations with other agencies, will align the Commission with overwhelming evidence of the scientific community on global warming/climate change, and all who come before the Commission will be treated with equal respect.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Tribe has the best claim to Refuge

I read, with pleasure, the letter in Wednesday’s paper from Mr. Meis in Halfway. I would like to add some information I gleaned today from the interview of Nancy Langston, an environmental professor in Michigan. Ms. Langston has researched and written extensively about the SE corner of our state, including the refuge. Mr. Ammon Bundy says the government bought the land that is now the National Wildlife Refuge and in doing so overstepped its bounds. He claims to want that land given back to the ranchers in the area. In reality the president of the time, Theodore Roosevelt, bought the land from the tribe and moved them to Yakima and then declared the area a National Bird Refuge. It is vital for the birds flying south to rest and put on weight for the rest of their trip south.  

The land is actually the ancestral land of the Burns Paiute Tribe. The Tribe says the occupiers are desecrating their ancestral home and they want them to leave. That ought to end it right there.

Iva Mace

Baker City


Letter to the Editor for Jan. 6, 2016

Bundy Gang: Criminals who should be brought to justice

Right is right and wrong is wrong. I am sure the vast majority of Americans know this. 

 Either that, or our morals are decaying much more rapidly than most of us think. The Bundy gang are criminals, period. The illegal seizure of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge complex and the threat of armed violence against a duly elected sheriff, amongst others, is unacceptable.

 The Hammonds are convicted felons. They responsibly accepted the penalty.  The Bundys have committed many crimes and are unwilling to accept the responsibility for their actions. They and their gang are not responsible citizens, but criminals, and should be treated accordingly. The evidence is not circumstantial but brazenly open. 

 If any of the ranchers who leased my family’s land to run cattle had refused to pay their fees, they would have had liens put on their cattle and property and they would have been taken to court. For countless years, the Bundys have ripped off the honest, taxpaying citizens of this country for what they owe — which is an extremely large sum — and they should have taken responsibility for their contractual agreements like any honest rancher or citizen does. Oh, I forgot, they are not honest.

 Add to this the totally illegal, irresponsible and repeated threats of armed violence against citizens and law enforcement officers and the only conclusion is that it is time to crack down. I trust most ranchers, and citizens in general, recognize how truly wrong these people are and expect authorities to bring these criminals to justice. For these “spoiled child” delinquents to get away with this only is going to make it harder on the honest, hardworking ranchers.

It is time to bring these criminals to justice and let them stand trial before a jury of citizens. Shut off the power to the refuge headquarters and stop the supplies. Why are we, honest taxpayers, paying for the heat and lights of these criminals?

What kind of example does this set for our children when they see criminals brandishing firearms and threatening citizens and peace officers? 

Rick Meis

Halfway


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