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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 21, 2015

Many Sumpter people are kind and caring volunteers

With all the negative publicity Sumpter has received on the front page of the local newspapers of late, I am compelled to tell you my story of living in Sumpter.

Many people have asked me my impressions of Sumpter after eight years of being retired here. I always tell them that we have met more kind, caring people here than anyplace else we have ever lived. 

We have many, many positive-thinking friends who have enriched our lives and the lives of others around them. Many of these people are, for example, volunteers who have helped to build our beautiful Volunteer Park, which was constructed entirely with free labor provided by the supportive citizens of Sumpter. Other examples of people giving of their time and resources in order to make our small town an even better place to live are too numerous to list.

On the downside, I also tell people that we have met some of the most negative, vindictive people here that I can ever remember meeting. They never step up to help with projects that benefit the community, yet they are the first to criticize and complain about the people who do. 

We have all known people like that during our lifetime. They are less than 10 percent of the population, but, because of their inclination to sue people with whom they disagree, they still are quite successful at making life uncomfortable for folks who just want to live in peace with their neighbors.

Please do not let the opinions of a few “bad apples” spoil your opinion of Sumpter. The vast majority of us are very decent, down-to-earth, honest folks that you would love to be around.

Lila Young


Letters to the Editor for August 19, 2015

Opposition’s tactics go    ‘well beyond the pale’

We are truly blessed in this country that there is no penalty for ignorance or being uninformed. Otherwise our jails would be full. 

Of late there have been letters and blogs bombarding the citizens of Sumpter. Uninformed individuals choose to take worn-out gossip as gospel, instead of attending meetings. Many of these letters and blogs are being written by people who have never attended Council, Planning Commission or workshop meetings since I have been mayor. All they can rely on is the gossip distributed by their cronies. 

Last Tuesday’s (Aug. 11) Council meeting was attended by a group of people, including an employee of the City, wearing matching T-shirts with assault rifles imprinted on the back with “tight knit redneck group” written below. These 10 or so individuals came to harass and threaten those they disagree with. Shameful when our own City employees participate in this type of mob mentality and write on Facebook how they wish they could have smashed in some teeth. 

I don’t dispute anyone’s right to attempt a recall or have free speech, but to blatantly lie to those from whom you are attempting to gain signatures is disgusting. There are even rumors that some are trying to gain votes against me by offering financial gain. That goes well beyond the pale.

There is much misinformation surrounding the lawsuit. If the lawsuit causes the City to go broke, we will deal with the aftermath — with a new and better Council! And by the way, if too many of the Council are recalled to make a quorum, the County will appoint one (or more) councilors to form a quorum, and the Council can then fill the other vacancies by appointment. Don’t let the rumors frighten you. Baker County is not going to take us over.

I want only one thing, and many of you have never experienced it in Sumpter ... honesty in our City government. Please vote NO on my recall and YES to recall Oakley and Myers-Woolf. Together we can do what needs to be done. 

Melissa Findley

Mayor of Sumpter

Sumpter residents should be working to improve the town

Citizens of Sumpter,

Our town is in disgrace. Brawling in the streets, pulling out pipes to (beat up) those that oppose your way of thinking. 

This mess the city is in is escalating. Is this really the picture you want our visitors to the city to see? Are the upcoming articles in the papers really what you want people to read about Sumpter and its citizens. 

Hatred, anger, and childish gang shirt related images. Many of you blame those that started the lawsuit against the city, but the trouble here started long before their decision to file charges. 

Melissa was brave enough to run for mayor when this town desperately needed some adult guidance. She has been ridiculed, harassed and ignored. Citizens of the town, including a past mayor, have interfered with meetings and made it difficult for her. 

He would not have stood for the behavior he either sat and listened to or joined in. Can’t we all just work together to make a better Sumpter, to dig ourselves out of the hole this city is in? 

 There should not be two groups fighting in the streets, disrupting council meetings so business cannot get done and ridiculing letters being written and mailed with accusations being made without substantial evidence on both sides. Haven’t you all had enough of this?

Beverly Hale


Letter to the Editor for Aug. 5, 2015

Prohibition is ‘politics as usual’ for conservatives

Through the Herald I have been following our city council’s politically motivated approach to the legal marijuana issue. Their proposed prohibition of both medical and recreational sales is nothing more than a placebo, placating the abundant conservative attitudes of this corner of Oregon.

Letter to the Editor for August 3, 2015

Lawmakers did some good for rural Oregon in recent session

The Oregon Legislature currently holds a Democratic majority to the dismay and vociferous negative comments of many fellow conservatives. But, all is not bad and the system is not broken and Salem does not deserve extreme criticism for the 2015 session.  

Many good bills were passed, many were bipartisan, some remain yet to be resolved (transportation) and most all representatives and senators are honorable people just trying to do the best to represent their constituents. 

Not all bills were for the west side. Rep. Cliff Bentz and Sen. Ted Ferrioli did a fine job in looking out for Eastern and rural Oregon. One bill in particular, HB 2075 favored rural Oregon with equal support from liberals and conservatives, passing the House and Senate with a 90 percent majority.

HB 2075 was submitted by Oregon Aviation Industries to increase aviation funding by $20 million over the next six years by raising aviation fuel tax by 2 cents per gallon. Nearly all of the funds are focused on rural Oregon for aviation economic development, rural air service, grant matches, infrastructure, emergency preparedness and safety. 

Our team spent many months at the Capitol and we were all very impressed with the committee hearings, work sessions, citizen input and relationships developed with legislators. At least on this bill, rural Oregon was heard loud and strong and it was a big win for the east side. If you couldn’t be there in person to observe the process, the State provides video archives and the progress of bills. www.oravi.org/HB2075 is one good example of democracy in action for the benefit of rural communities. 

Gale “Jake” Jacobs

West Linn

Oregon Aviation Industries

Executive Director


Letters to the Editor for July 29, 2015

Registered sex offender expected a certain level of scrutiny

Since my release from prison in New Mexico on July 16, I have sought to remain in compliance with the law and to keep my behavior lawful and ethical. In good faith, I have been striving to do all that is necessary to put my life back into order after my wrongdoing sent me away five years ago.

  I was placed on the bus on Thursday July 16, in Las Cruces, to arrive in Baker late on Friday night. That was too late to accomplish anything before the weekend, but I was resolved to register with the State Police first thing Monday morning, which I accomplished.

Letters to the Editor for July 27, 2015

Mexican drug lord should be prime target for U.S. along with ISIS, Al-Quaida

On Sept. 11, 2001, some ignorant radicals flew a couple of jets into the World Trade Center and killed about 3,000 Americans. George Bush toured the rubble and promised retribution. He said Osama Bin Laden was “wanted dead or alive.”  Through a lot of diligent work by our intelligence people we found him. Our military people did a good job of eliminating him. We didn’t much give a damn about Pakistan’s borders when we did it.

Letter to the Editor for July 20, 2015

Walden helped Army veteran get his benefits

I want to thank Rep. Greg Walden for his help with the VA. As an Army veteran I fought for my benefits with the VA for over a year. They even told me “we don’t owe you anything.” When I shared my story with Mr. Walden, he was concerned and offered to help. Greg took my issue to the VA and it turns out they did owe me, and my benefits had been held up because of a silly computer error.

I received my full benefits in less than a week after I contacted Mr. Walden. I cannot thank him enough for what he did for me and I won’t ever forget it.

Gerald Teixeira

Baker City

Letter to the Editor for July 17, 2015

Harvey’s complaint ignores one-man, one-vote idea

The Baker City Herald (July 10) headlined an article “Harvey not happy with Legislature.” 

Baker County Commission Chair Bill Harvey laments legislation the Democratically-controlled Oregon legislature “shoved down our throats” resulting in “an abject failure,” so reported the Herald. “I’m sick with what the Legislature has done... when one party holds power.” (But I doubt that he laments the fact that since the last national midterm election, just the reverse is true with the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress.)

Letter to the Editor for July 15, 2015

But what if a warmer climate is good for the Earth?

Some of our local pundits continue to quote St. Al Gore as if his words were Gospel. But they’re not. Consider:

The ultimate test for a scientific theory is how well it matches the real world. If it does, then fine. If not, then it’s time to toss that theory and try something different. The Theory of Catastrophic Climate Change utterly fails that test with reality.

Letters to the Editor for July 13, 2015

Forest supervisor addresses status of travel management 

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is well into summer mode! And that means the usual increase in forest activities, forest visitation, and the opportunity to enjoy the seasonal splendor of the Blue Mountains. As we approach the bustling summer season, I wanted to relay the status of ongoing planning projects here on the forest.

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