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Legislature needs to act on wolf plan

Somebody needs to remind Oregon’s Legislature that wolves have come to the state, and apparently they’re staying.

We understand that lawmakers have bigger problems to deal with — a budget shortfall that could exceed $2 billion over the next 2fi years, for instance.

But Oregon’s wolves are real, too. And the animals have proved, in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, that they’re not averse to snacking on calves and lambs.

Unfortunately, the Legislature has yet to make the changes in state law needed to ensure that provisions in Oregon’s wolf management plan that are vital to ranchers can take effect.

Letters to the editor for January 21, 2009

It’s soggy out, but the state’s sluggish

The budget news from Salem is bad, and getting worse.

But what worries us as much as the ever-increasing estimate of the state’s budget shortfall is what seems to be a reluctance among lawmakers and elected officials to make the hard choices that managers of private companies have had to make for months now.

That is, to lay off workers.

State officials say Oregon’s budget deficit, by the end of the fiscal year June 30, could total from $650 million to as much as $1 billion.

Yet according to his spokesperson, Gov. Ted Kulongoski will not try to trim the state’s 45,000-employee payroll.

Contrast the governor’s response with what’s been happening in the private sector in Oregon and nationwide.

Almost every day since late summer another company has announced that it was cutting hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of jobs.

Letter to the editor for January 20, 2009

Two boys from Baker

Barack Obama, as most of the world knows, took a historic oath today and became the 44th president of the United States.

Neither Bill Tebeau nor Bruce Klunder is anything close to as widely known and revered as is Obama.

Yet Tebeau and Klunder — Baker boys, both of them — each contributed something significant to the crusade for true equality in American, a quest for which President Obama’s inauguration is, in a sense, the culmination.

Tebeau, who is 83, graduated from Baker High School in 1943.

Tebeau wanted to be an engineer, so he went west, to Oregon State College (now University) in Corvallis.

He had been accepted to the school, which then, as now, was renowned for its engineering program.

Letters to the editor for January 19, 2009

Earning the money

For anyone who wondered why airline pilots make more money than most of us, the answer splashed down into the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey on Thursday afternoon.

The dilemma that confronted US Airways pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III is one few of us can comprehend.

Less than one minute after Sullenberger guided the Airbus A320 jet into the sky, with 154 passengers and crew members aboard, he radioed to LaGuardia Airport that the plane had struck a flock of birds and that both of the plane’s engines were disabled.

For a pilot, altitude is time. Sullenberger had very little of either.

And with both engines ailing, he also lacked options.

Letters to the editor for January 16, 2009

No one asked, but I’ve got a suggestion for that stimulus package

The federal government is getting ready to write another 12-digit check, ostensibly to benefit the taxpayers. Which is to say you and me, who will of course subsidize this endeavor whether we brand it as brilliance or folly. If I were a shopkeeper I’m not sure I’d accept this as legal tender, though, even if the feds can produce two pieces of ID.

So far as I can tell the account lacks overdraft protection. It certainly hasn’t any taxpayer protection, and yet I’m certain the creditors, in a pinch, will be able to acquire our addresses as readily as the IRS can.

I suppose I ought to feel thankful that the people we elected have decided it’s time to return to us, in some fashion, a portion of the money they’ve taken. But I can’t muster much gratitude.

Molding a reader, one story after another

“In the great green room there was a telephone and a red balloon and a picture of — the cow jumping over the moon...”

I’ll spare you the entire story of the classic “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown — but just know that I can recite it, word for word, from memory.

We received this book as a gift upon the birth of our daughter, Olivia. She didn’t really take an interest in it until she was about 14 months, and ever since we have read it before naptime and bedtime. (She’s now 19 months old and says “Moon! Moon!” when it’s time for bed).

It’s a wonderful book, and I haven’t yet felt the need to hide it or throw it away (by the number of books in our house, it’s apparent that we never throw books away).

That, however, is not the case with some other stories. One in particular is “Little Quack’s New Friend.”

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