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Celebrating Oregon the best way I know — smelling the pine

We drove down the middle fork of the John Day on Sunday, searching for a snow-free hike and the early buttercup.

We found mud, mainly.

And although there were no buttercups in evidence we did see a few sprigs of that other yellow bellwether, desert parsley, its bright new blossoms about the size of a nickel.

We left the parsley.

Letters to the editor for February 13, 2009

Careful on cap/trade

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon Legislature need to tread carefully as they try to shrink the state’s carbon footprint.

Their goal is admirable.

Carbon emissions pollute the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change.

Less carbon is better.

Nonetheless, we urge the governor and his supporters to consider a couple of salient points related to the potential costs and benefits of Kulongoski’s cap-and-trade proposal.

Letters to the editor for February 12, 2009

A long-needed look at the state’s books

Amid the onslaught of legislation that has inundated Salem since lawmakers convened there in early January, one bill is conspicuous.

It is House Bill 2500.

Or, as we’ve taken to calling it, the bill that would let Oregonians take a look at the state’s checkbook whenever they want.

Letters to the editor for February 11, 2009

Good luck, YMCA

The Baker County Family YMCA seems to have found the right Baker City building for its proposed community and fitness center.

Now it just needs to find the money to buy and renovate the place.

We hope the organization succeeds.

Democrats’ plan not healthy for Oregon

Many Americans start the New Year with renewed efforts to count calories and leave behind the excesses of the holiday season. 

But Governor Kulongoski and Democrat leaders seem to think now is the time to add inches to government’s waist line. In the spirit of the holidays, Democrats are convinced that government spending financed by a borrowing binge is the key to economic recovery.

They are wrong.

The prescription for Oregon’s ailing economy is not a spending spree, but an aggressive plan to trim the fat — to shed excessive government spending and commit to a leaner, healthier, sustainable lifestyle where jobs and family businesses can thrive.

Letters to the editor for February 10, 2009

A tragedy, and a lesson

The tragic death of two-month-old Mia Roe can never be undone.

And nothing, save the passage of time, can lessen the pain which those who loved Mia are enduring.

Yet it may well be that because Mia died, other infants will be spared the same irreversible fate.

That’s because Mia’s death prompted St. Elizabeth Health Services to introduce a program designed to help parents safely deal with the stress of caring for a newborn who cries and can’t be consoled.

The program is called “The Period of PURPLE Crying.” PURPLE is an acronym, each letter representing one of the symptoms of the uncontrollable crying episodes that some babies exhibit.

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