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Volunteers transform playground

The new playground equipment at Geiser-Pollman park will be installed this week.

The Playground Improvement Project was the brainchild of two Baker City moms, Lisa Britton Jacoby and Megan Fisher, who thought it would be a good idea to have upgraded, safer playground structures at Geiser-Pollman Park.  After asking about how to make that happen, they found that there was no money in the Baker City parks budget for the equipment.

So instead of shrugging their shoulders and walking away, they started doing some research and created a plan for the playground, and researched ways to raise the money and community support needed to buy new play structures.


Mayce, Brian’s legacies

Last week was a tribute to how Baker County residents strive to make something positive from tragedies.

Both examples happened at Baker High School.

On Wednesday, April 30, BHS students and others brought their cars to the school for the annual Brian Sorensen Car Rally.

The event honors Sorensen, a 2000 BHS graduate who died from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, on June 30, 2000.

The car rally that bears Brian’s name raises money for the Ronald McDonald House in Boise, where Brian’s family stayed while he was undergoing treatment.


Letters to the Editor for May 9, 2014

Regardless of party, I think Warner’s best for the job

For the life of me I don’t understand why the county commissioner’s position is political! This person represents all of the people of the county, regardless of party.

I am a Republican, but during the last election I supported Fred Warner, even though he was a Democrat, because I felt he was the best man for the job. I support him this time, not because he changed parties but because I still think he’s the best man for the job.

Colleen Brooks

Baker City

Carpenter most qualified for County Clerk

I am voting for Cindy Carpenter for County Clerk because she has the experience and the “know-how” to run the office from the get-go. She has nine years experience in the office, is currently ranked Management Assistant II, which delegates to her the responsibilities of running the office in the absence of the county clerk. She could step into the job of county clerk without missing a beat...and she’s a hometown girl! I urge you to vote for her as the most qualified candidate for the job.

Alberta Bailey

Baker City

Negative letters miss the mark with Warner

Wow! The negative letters about Commissioner Fred Warner would leave one to believe that he is either the devil in disguise or a communist. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.


Faith-healing book alternatively angers, saddens

I made it five pages into the book before I got so mad I had to put it down.

I figured the library wouldn’t appreciate it if I returned the book with half the pages dangling from the binding like rotten shingles from a neglected roof.

I picked up the book a few hours later, determined to finish it without so much as dog-earing a single page.

Over the next several days I read the remaining 445 pages with emotions ranging from anger, which never totally dissipated, to bewilderment to sadness.

I’m grateful to Cameron Stauth for writing “In the Name of God.”

But that he was able to write it — although it seems to me that he felt he had to write it — is a tragedy.

The subtitle for Stauth’s 2013 book explains the topic: “The true story of the fight to save children from faith-healing homicide.”

Except most of the children Stauth writes about weren’t saved.

They died.


Letters to the Editor for May 7, 2014


Pleased to cast my vote for Warner

I have lived all over this country for 80 years, serving her with love and honor. However, in the past eight years our national leadership sails a very slick ship on rails lubricated with greed. We need Baker County to become a bellwether for the rest of mid American and its people. Toward that end, Fred Warner, I will be pleased to cast my vote for your proven leadership.

John Duke

Baker City

Warner is focused on all issues vital to Baker County

This is an emotional letter to write, as I personally know both candidates, but feel that one is much more qualified to lead our county.  Fred Warner has proven himself over the last several years as a leader that can successfully work with the local, state, and federal governments on several issues. He has done so with professionalism while keeping the county’s best interest in focus.


Supreme Court right on prayer


The Supreme Court weighed in more than a decade too late to have much influence on Baker City’s controversy, but the nation’s highest court has finally endorsed, albeit by the narrowest margin, the City Council’s longtime practice of opening its meetings with a Christian invocation.

In a 5-4 ruling Monday on a case from Greece, N.Y., the Court decided that invocations made during local meetings, including prayers that are explicitly Christian, are constitutional.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, concluded that “the inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledged religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers.”

We agree with Kennedy’s conclusion.


Letters to the Editor for May 5, 2014


Republicans will welcome newcomers with open arms

I read with interest the article regarding the number of Democrats that have switched to the Republican Party over the last few weeks. I am sure the Republican Party will welcome these new members with open arms both in Baker County and those that also switch parties across this great nation of ours. It is heartening to see so many leaving what today is more a liberal Democrat Socialist Party than the true Democrat Party of the past.

R.B. Erwin

Baker City

Warner has experience to guide county into the future

County Commission Chair is a big job with many challenges and responsibilities.

Fred Warner Jr. has accepted this position and has done a good job for Baker County. He has the ability and knowledge to continue to guide Baker County into the future. He is a proven leader and manager for Baker County business and interests. With Fred’s guidance, Baker County has been able to operate with a balanced budget and maintain necessary services, while other counties in Oregon have had to cut services.

Fred represents all of Baker County, traveling to all communities, listening to and discussing concerns and ideas of the citizens. Fred was born and raised in Baker County and cares deeply for the people and their future.

Fred has the ability, knowledge and experience to guide and direct Baker County into the future.

The voter would be wise to re-elect Fred Warner Jr. as Baker County Commission Chair.

Gerald Hopkins

Baker City

Don’t always agree with him, but Warner is best choice

We did not support Fred Warner in his first term for head commissioner, but since that time he has certainly gained our  confidence and trust. We believe strongly that he has encouraged decisions that have been in the best interests of our County.  Our theory is, when things are running smoothly it is not the time for change.

We have lived in Hereford on our Century Ranch for our entire lives. We value the rural/conservative quality of life  that Fred and the commissioners have tried  to protect and enhance. Granted, there are some decisions made  by the commissioners that we do not totally support, but realize their choices were made in the best interest of the majority. We can’t let disgruntlement unseat a man who has worked very hard and accomplished much for the best interest of Baker County and its residents.

Of course, we all know that campaign promises can be made, but what really counts is what happens in office. Fred has an admirable track record in dealing with county budget, wolf de-listing, natural resources advisory committee, sage grouse recovery plan, Idaho Power transmission lines and more. He strongly opposes creating additional wilderness and closing additional Forest Service roads, two issues which greatly concern our family.     

Fred, over the past three terms, has developed and nurtured many relationships with both individuals and entities on the county,  state and federal levels. These relationships will help enhance his effectiveness in leading our county in the future. Please join us in voting for Fred Warner, the one who has experience, knowledge and ability to continue to move Baker County in the right, positive direction.

Allen and Bev Duby

Hereford


Letters to the Editor for May 2, 2014


Don’t let temporary Republicans win; vote Harvey

The political party changes just for the primary election just seems wrong. But then having a candidate change parties just because he thought it would be the easiest way to be reelected was also a judgment issue and possibly following very bad advice. We now have the daily paper instructing Democrats becoming Republicans just to vote in the primary and then register back again. What has happened to personal ethics?  Doesn’t anyone stay true to their convictions and beliefs? Is everything for political expediency?


Dandelion defense, and edging toward trouble


The clouds and the sunshine have finally worked out their customary spring schedule, and my grass is greening nicely.

Not so nicely as the dandelions, of course.

I despise dandelions, and have employed all manner of weapons to eradicate them from my modest expanse of turf, yet I can’t help but admire their tenacity.

This war I wage, like almost all wars, is a needless conflict.

My disdain for dandelions brands me as the product of a culture which venerates some vegetation and abhors others for reasons which aren’t altogether rational.


Letters to the Editor for April 28, 2014


Warner leads with results, not promises

This is a letter of support for Fred Warner for County Commissioner.   

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Fred on several issues the past few years and have found him to be very solution-oriented in every case. An example is when the Anthony Lake Ski Resort was going to be closed.  Fred and the Baker County Board of Commissioners brought in some local business people, crafted a low-risk business model and agreed to take the ski area as a gift from the previous owners.  At the time, $30,000 was sitting in a Transient Room Tax fund generated by a fee that local motels collect from overnight stays and dedicated to economic development. The county allocated that money to fund startup operations for the ski area.  The county did not commit any funding, has never been asked for other funding nor has it given any funding to Anthony Lakes.  Since that startup four years ago, Anthony Lakes has made local payroll of over $1.7 million and spent almost $1.8 million on goods and services from local businesses. In 2013-14, out-of-town skiers at Anthony Lakes spent over 425 nights in local motels — and this number grows yearly.  This translates into huge increased business for local restaurants and shopping at local merchants. This has been an extraordinary and sustainable return to Baker County at no cost to the county taxpayers.


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