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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 13, 2014

Defend 2nd Amendment, elect Dennis Richardson

With all the scandals and wasting of money that keep hitting the news about current Governor John Kitzhaber, it’s sometimes hard to get a clear and simple message out to the voters of Baker County.

In just a little over 20 days the voters will determine Oregon’s future. We are truly blessed to have a candidate of Dennis Richardson’s caliber running for governor. 

Dennis has been endorsed by National Rifle Association and Oregon Firearms Federation. He has met both of these organizations’ stringent criteria to earn their endorsement.  Protecting the Second Amendment is more important today than ever. Please, cast your vote for the next governor of Oregon.  

Lorri Speelman

Baker City

Electing Richardson will help get Oregon back on track

I believe we need a new governor for Oregon. In a 10-month period, current Gov. Kitzhaber took seven weeks of paid vacation, and he took a trip to Bhutan to attend a conference on “Gross National Happiness.”

All of this while over half of the state was experiencing extreme drought conditions. Kitzhaber missed key deadlines to finish reports required to implement the Water Supply Fund, which delayed the fund. Reports not finished and he failed to appoint the taskforce to develop the program he signed into law.

Now we have the unofficial first Lady of Oregon, Cylvia Hayes, who has a dual role in Kitzhaber’s personal life and political life. Hayes has accepted contracts from the state of Oregon with payment going to her. This appears to be a very big breach in Oregon ethics laws. Records show Hayes signed consulting contracts worth at least $85,000 for work that overlapped with her work in the governor’s office.

Former Oregon Supreme Court Justice William Riggs has said, “In effect she’s selling her special relationship with the governor to clients from whom she’s getting a fee. It smells bad.”

This election, we can elect a new governor, Dennis Richardson, a good solid family man. Dennis can hit the road running in January and get Oregon back on the right track. I urge all Baker County voters to cast their ballot for Dennis Richardson.

Terry Speelman

Baker City

Re-elect Walden to U.S. House

Greg Walden has been representing Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Baker County, for a decade and a half, but we don’t see any evidence that Walden is getting complacent.

Indeed, the Republican from Hood River has used his increasing clout in Washington, D.C., to become an even more effective representative for our county and region.

We urge voters to reward Walden with a ninth two-year term as our congressman.

Wehby for U.S. Senate

Here’s a hypothetical, but hardly implausible, scenario: Let’s say that during the next six years a federal action will threaten to significantly reduce the supply of irrigation water to the farms and ranches that make up the nearly $100 million in annual sales backbone of the local economy.

Would you trust U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, or his Republican challenger, Monica Wehby, to best defend Baker County’s interests under that scenario?

We choose Wehby.

And we encourage voters to send her to Washington, D.C., in Merkley’s place.

The gift of a good book: The magic never ends

The words hand-printed in blue ink on the inside cover of the book have faded some over the 35 years since they were written, but their magic remains.

There is at least a dollop of magic, I believe, in every book.

But this particular book, a paperback copy of “The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford which looks not so much dog-eared but as though an actual dog had given it a couple of half-hearted chews, is more magical than most in my library.

It was a gift, given to me at Christmas 1979 by my cousin, Leanne.

She recorded these facts with the blue ink I mentioned earlier.

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 8, 2014

No dynasty for Kitzhaber; elect Dennis Richardson

Do four terms make a dynasty? Governor Kitzhaber has ridden the political bandwagon for too many years already. If he had made a significant contribution to the welfare of the entire state rather than to just the high concentration of “sheeple” who follow with blind faith everything he promises, maybe it would be understandable. But he hasn’t, taxes go up and incomes go down.

 To quote Sarah Palin, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” Hope and change? Not what I expected. Higher unemployment, only low-wage jobs, if there even are any jobs.  

The choices are Kitzhaber, more of the same, or Dennis Richardson.

Since we all know the record of Kitzhaber, I will leave him to your imagination. I’d rather discuss the reasons why you should look to a major change in the way our state will be doing the business in the future.

Dennis Richardson, besides being one heck of a nice guy and a fine family man, has had a distinguished career. Not many folks can say they flew helicopters, over 1,000 hours, in a combat zone, and received 19 air medals for his valor. That’s true dedication to duty.

He has made 10 trips to China as an international trade delegate to enhance relations in trade between China and Oregon. As governor, Richardson vows to continue to focus on stimulating Oregon’s economy through international trade.

In 2005 he served as Speaker Pro Tempore in the Oregon House, then in 2011-13 was co-chair of the Joint House/Senate Ways and Means Committee. He has worked for Oregonians for many years and has been able to establish a fine record while doing so.

If you want a closer look at the man and his accomplishments just go online to see his bio at www.dennisrichardson.org/biography.htm

This man deserves our support, and it is truly past time for Governor Kitzhaber to move over for a new face.

It’s time to vote for Dennis Richardson.

Peggie Longwell

Baker City

Local money supporting Richardson, Wehby

Recent letters to the editor are filled with misinformation that must be addressed. 

First, the signs for Dennis Richardson for governor and Dr. Monica Wehby for U.S. Senate were bought and paid for by the local Republican Party and not some BIG money from somewhere else as was stated.

I believe and support a different direction we so badly need in our state. That is why I joined in with several like-minded people and got involved with local Republicans to help raise money in Baker County to support both Republican candidates.

Second, Governor Kitzhaber and Senator Jeff Merkley are destroying our economy and our country. These men do not represent the common people of our state and our country. The far left believes there is an endless supply of money and then mismanages what we do have and this must STOP! The result from their actions is that every opportunity for job creation is made impossible and our lives are taken over by government control. 

We can work with Dennis Richardson as our governor and Dr. Monica Wehby as our senator. They both strive for the betterment for the state of Oregon and have both spent time in Baker County (your county) on several occasions. 

I have one question: When was the last time Governor Kitzhaber came to visit with you in Baker County?

Please join me in doing everything possible to make Oregon better by voting for Dennis Richardson for governor and Monica Wehby for senator.

Bill Harvey


Democrats are the real party of billionaire backers

Mr. Ramon Lara’s letter to the editor seemed concerned about billionaires taking over Republican politics. He needs to look inside his own party before casting the first stone. California billionaire Tom Steyer (NexGen Climate Action Committee — a political PAC) just gave $100,000 to the Oregon Democratic party for funding ads targeting Oregon legislative races, in an attempt to keep Oregon blue. Steyer is helping Oregon Dems try to unseat State Senator Bruce Starr and Betsy Close — both Republicans. 

The Democrats also have Mr. George Soros. Soros’ political PACS include the infamous “Moveon.org” and “League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund to name a couple. Former Enron billionaire John Arnold gave $500,000 to help pass Ballot Measure 90. Why is an out-of-state billionaire trying to change our election system here in Oregon? And, don’t forget Michael Bloomberg who donates heavily to his own Super PAC, which concentrates on gun control issues among other Democratic causes.  

Nearly all of the materials for a candidate come from their own election committee. This includes signs, fliers, car magnets, bumper stickers, buttons, etc. For example, Dennis Richardson, who is the Republican candidate for governor, provides to his county committee materials to help rally the vote in Baker County. 

 The Baker County Republicans seldom purchase these materials. But we do have fundraisers (raffles, banquets, etc.) which allow the local committee to raise money to donate to individual candidates and help promote them locally. All candidates rely heavily upon personal, grassroots contributions.

This year the Republican Party has the unique opportunity to change Oregon. The Republicans can take back the governor’s office by electing Dennis Richardson. We have many great state senator and legislative House candidates running statewide. We can take back the Oregon House and Senate.   We have the opportunity to take back one of our Senate seats with the election of Dr. Monica Wehby, who can help retire Harry Reid. If you want to learn more about this election, please call me at 541-519-5035 or stop by our office at 1923 Court Ave.

Suzan Ellis Jones

Chair, Baker County Republican Party and county chair for Dennis Richardson for governor

Richardson for Oregon governor

John Kitzhaber’s second stint as Oregon governor has not gone well.

Two of the signature projects during his third term, which started in 2011, were debacles.

Kitzhaber advocated for building a new bridge across the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. The plan died when Washington lawmakers balked, but by then Oregon had spent at least $93 million in federal money.

The feds, not surprisingly, want their money back.

Approve food label measure

Food packages are larded with labels, many of which employ nonspecific adjectives — “wholesome” and the like — rather than plain fact.

Measure 92, which Oregon voters will decide on in the Nov. 4 election, deals with the factual kind of label.

It would require packaged food to include a label if the food contains genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Don’t give illegals driver cards

To support Measure 88, which would allow Oregon to give “driver cards” to people who can’t prove they have the legal right to be in the U.S., you have to believe, among other things, that most illegal immigrants in the state don’t drive.

We’ve not seen any compelling evidence that this is true.

Most generally, people don’t defy U.S. immigration laws unless they have a job here. Most people drive to work. Given that nobody denies that thousands of illegal immigrants are working today in Oregon, it’s beyond dispute that many of those workers, and probably most of them, are already driving, license or not.

Letter to the Editor for Oct. 3, 2014

Don’t let guard down on forest road access

As we move out of the busiest “recreational” season of the year, summer, it’s always good to reflect on what open access to public lands is really about, and the current actions to restrict that access.

Too often folks only look at their access through a narrow prism of recreation, and we need to broaden that view considerably. We always need to remember that each person that enjoys open access to public lands as a recreational opportunity must supply up in our small remote towns that are our lifelines when the rest of us are “recreating.” Those communities’ survival are dependent on their ability to openly access the resources around them.

From firewood to heat their homes, to supplementary foods to feed their families, to remembrance sites where they have laid family to rest, the list goes on and on, these communities are directly tied to the landscape and their ability to access it.

Please remember, open access is not simply a recreational fight, it’s a fight of basic human rights to openly and freely access resources to sustain individual local residents and communities now and into the future.

Right now the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest supervisors (WWNF) office staff is developing the Sub-Part A report for the travel management plan behind closed doors. This “report” will determine what “they” feel is the minimum roads systems needed to manage our mountains, and the access to them. They have seen numerous request to open up the report development process and allow the public input prior to development of the report and the forest supervisor has stated the public will only see the report after its development, which disallows public participation in the development of the report. It is important you stand up and call for the WWNF to allow for your input into developing that report.

Thank you for everything you all have done in helping keep our mountains open for being active in the road closure issue as I for one appreciate you for it, and those that resided from these lands appreciate you for it.

John D. George


Fine line between good Samaritan and tattletale

Distinguishing between a good Samaritan and a nosy buttinsky tattletale is not always easy.

Consider a recent case from South Sister mountain near Bend. This dormant volcano, one of a cluster of glacier-clad mountains that dominate Central Oregon’s western skyline, is Oregon’s third-highest peak at 10,358 feet.

South Sister is noteworthy not only because it’s tall, but because it’s easy to climb.

“Climb,” in fact, exaggerates the endeavor.

The trip to the top is more aptly described as a hike.

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