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EPA needs to heed Congress

There is no more precious commodity than water for the agriculture industry, the nearly $100 million--per-year mainstay of Baker County’s economy.

Congress, at least, seems at times to understand this.

But as we remember from government class, there are three branches in the U.S. government.

PERS saps economic recovery

Most times, and in most places, a growing economy means more tax revenue for schools, fire and police departments, and other public services.

But that’s not always the case in Oregon.

Nonaffiliated voters stayed away from Measure 1-63

Two groups of Baker County voters who might have benefited from making the three county commissioner positions nonpartisan didn’t take advantage of their opportunity.

At least not many of them did.

Letter to the Editor for May 27, 2015

Forest Service playing shell game with road closures

It’s been described as a shell game, it’s been delivered as a saving grace for the “sustainability” of our nation, and it is so important that is has taken at least five forest supervisors and eight years to complete, but one thing is for certain, they don’t want you knowing what you’re getting in the travel management plan, and they surely do not want you having a true voice in the discussion.

Currently the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is working on Subpart A of the plan, this part is where the forest service decides how many and what roads are needed (or more importantly not needed) to manage the forest. One would think the supervisor’s office would hold meetings with the residents of the region to find out their specific uses and needs and work that into the equation, unfortunately that isn’t the case. I personally have a request in from September of 2014 for the draft document outlining those minimum roads numbers, as of today, I still have no document. 

Why, you might ask, well it’s pretty simple because they don’t want us to know. See, it’s pretty hard to sneak something thru when everyone knows what you’re doing, and so the Forest Service simply keeps us in the dark until they file the report with their regional office in Portland. They’ll say, we asked them to participate in the maps session and that should count for meeting their needs, but it doesn’t.

Currently in Eastern Oregon exists a draft document of the Subpart A report, and the roads it intends to identify for closure. And by the end of 2015 the WWNF will release that plan to the regional office for acceptance.

The question is, will you allow them to do it without standing up and saying no?

If you have time, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it requesting the draft Subpart A report and tell him travel management planning cannot move forward until all uses are protected in the Subpart A report.

John D. George


Better to be ready for worst

No place is immune to natural disasters, but Baker County’s level of inoculation is quite high.

Hurricanes are very nearly a meteorological impossibility around here. And even if we had to endure such a storm, we’re well-protected from the most dangerous aspect — a storm surge off the sea — the Pacific being a safe distance to our west.

A robinís construction zone, outside my window

A major construction project is happening three feet from my bedroom window, but the only sound so far has been an occasional tweet.

And I don’t mean Twitter.

The builder is a female American robin.

At least I think it’s a female.

It’s definitely a robin — any 4-year-old can distinguish one of those from other songbirds — but my grasp of avian anatomy is too weak to confirm gender.

Take just a moment Monday

You could stroll between the rows of headstones, each graced by an American flag.

You could leaf through a picture album and see the faces of loved ones lost.

But you don’t need to go anywhere.

Allís well that ends well

The episode was fraught with danger.

A man flees police during a traffic stop in Baker City, first topping 100 mph on Highway 7, then heading into the forest on gravel and dirt roads.

The suspect, who’s a convicted felon suspected of having a gun he’s legally forbidden from owning, leaves his pickup and runs away but then returns and starts driving again. In all he covers 28 miles.

Jihadists pose no threat to our freedom of speech

I would have thought, with 9/11 more than a dozen years gone, and the word “beheading” enjoying a renaissance that would please Robespierre, that everyone recognizes the reality regarding certain radical Muslims.

They don’t have much of a sense of humor, for one thing.

Specifically, they tend to get their hackles up when Muhammad gets the caricature treatment from a cartoonist.

Letters to the Editor for May 15, 2015

No reason for commissioner positions to be political

I have yet to see any argument that convinces me the three local commission positions should be political. So why do we need a partisan election?

I’m voting yes on 1-63!

John Rohner

Baker City

Voters avoid nonpartisan elections: No on I-63

Time is getting short to mark and return your ballots in time to have your vote counted. The nonpartisan I-63 that the Democrats put together is another attempt by them to try to control by confusion. The Oregon counties that have tried nonpartisan voting are changing back because of lacking voter interest.

Case in point was their experiment in nonpartisan politics in Los Angeles. Last week there was another in a long series of Democratic nonpartisan catastrophes. The nonpartisan voting in Los Angeles dropped down to only 15 percent of registered voters who cast their ballots to fill municipal offices. When the two parties put forth candidates who compete for a municipal office such as in this last Commissioner’s race you want and get an informed choice. If there is anything good or bad about the candidate that would make you vote either for them or against them you will know it by election time.

Don’t be fooled by all of the hype that the Democrats are putting out on this nonpartisan I-63, it is failing from the simple fact that people lose interest and don’t vote, Los Angeles and other Oregon counties are a case in point. Let’s keep our two-party system and vote this I-63 down, stand with me and vote no.

Chuck Chase

Baker City

No on I-63, keep candidates’ core beliefs part of process

Many want to be elected into office, but what do we really know about them?

What are their core beliefs?

If they belong to a party at least we understand to a certain amount of degree what they stand for.

We have seen what has happened not only in our county, state and now even in our home base, Baker City, the consequence when liberal beliefs are in place vs. conservative principles.

We already have in place the ability for all individuals to vote if they want to vote in the general election, including those non-affiliated with any party. So why take away the ability to understand what they stand for and where they will lead us?

Take the time, check out what happened in other counties that implemented this.

Alaska voted yes to this and it was a disaster for them.

Maintain local control and keep core beliefs of candidates’ part of the selection process

Do not fix something that is not broken.

Vote no on Measure 1-63.

Ramona Creighton

Baker City

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