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A bill with real pork

Feral pigs aren’t a major problem in Oregon.

Not yet.

But wild swine, which reproduce with disturbing rapidity, have the ability to wreak havoc on the state, including its valuable farm and ranch ground.

“They can tear up crops and rangelands overnight,” said Rick Boatner, invasive species coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

GOP bright ideas

Republicans don’t have an abundance of influence in Salem these days, but the minority party’s leaders have floated some ideas that the majority Democrats ought to consider.

At the top of that list is the GOP’s proposal to trim income tax withholding tables by 4.2 percent.

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli, who represents Baker County, estimates that change will boost Oregonians’ income by $100 million this year.

Letters to the Editor for April 1, 2009

Letter to the Editor for March 31, 2009

Reasonable changes to state ethics law

Oregon legislators haven’t forgotten last spring’s rash of resignations by mayors, city councilors and other officials in rural areas.

Several dozen officials, including more than a dozen in Northeastern Oregon, quit in protest of the Oregon Ethics Reform Act.

That law, which requires officials to fill out forms describing their sources of income (but not the amounts), is designed to ensure that mayors, councilors and others don’t abuse their positions for financial gain.

Letter to the Editor for March 30, 2009

Saying it well, in a few words

To the editor:

Iva Mace’s letter in the March 24 Baker City Herald was one of the best items I have seen in the Herald for a long time.  I have to admit, I stop reading some of the editorials and columns after the first few sentences.

She said it well, she said it succinctly. 

Maryalys Urey

Baker City

Ethanol optional

We understand that the Oregon Legislature has multibillion-dollar dilemmas to deal with, but we’re glad lawmakers have gotten around to another problem: Ethanol.

Last year a state law took effect that requires service stations to sell gas that contains 10 percent ethanol.

Ethanol is a plant-based fuel that doesn’t produce as much pollution as gasoline.

But ethanol is not without faults.

Letters to the Editor for March 27, 2009

We need to protect our borders

To the editor:

Re: drug war. The problem is the customers of these drug terrorists, who supply money to keep them in business. The root of the problem is the answer. Bring our troops home to protect OUR borders not someone else’s.

Sign compromise

The Baker City Council struck a good balance with the new sign ordinance.

First, councilors paid attention to people who complained about the original version of the ordinance because it banned new LED signs, which are becoming more popular.


Lots of people are ticked off about taxes, but why waste a bunch of tea?

When I think about the income taxes I pay — and I do so as infrequently as I can manage — I feel a peculiar mixture of patriotism and regret.

On the one hand I know I’m contributing, albeit in a meager way, to the most generous country on earth. I know the modest fruits of my labor help to heal and feed kids who are sick and starving in some wretched place.

On the other hand I’m also paying for manure odor studies and Barney Frank’s salary.

Ponder that for a few seconds and see if you can still smile.

Still and all, my disdain for certain of the federal government’s spending habits is not so great that I think it’s appropriate to compare Barack Obama to King George III.

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