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Home arrow Opinion

One day’s ‘losses’

The television commentator frowned as she dissected Monday’s carnage on Wall Street.

People with 401(k) retirement accounts, she opined, must be plain sick about all the money they just lost.

What money did she mean?

Certainly not the currency most of us spend every day.

More talk, not less

Baker City Councilors are elected to do three main tasks:

1. Supervise the city manager

2. Oversee the city’s budget.

3. Approve city policies.

Last Tuesday Councilor Gail Duman asked a legitimate question about Dan Van Thiel, the city’s contract attorney, representing City Manager Steve Brocato in a personal legal matter that didn’t involve his work as city manager.

Unfortunately, Duman, along with the rest of the council and city residents, received only a partial answer to her question Tuesday because Mayor Jeff Petry was so quick to bang his gavel.

Brocato said he did not spend city money to hire Van Thiel — a statement which Van Thiel’s billing records confirm. That answers the budget question.

Letters to the editor for September 16, 2008

Tired of adjective-toting pundits

Could I please read one story about Sarah Palin that does not describe her as either “gun-toting” or a “hockey mom” or both?

Thank you in advance, anonymous writer who eschews inane adjectives.

I mean adjectives.

Palin’s been all over TV these past two weeks and I’ve yet to see the butt of a revolver protruding from her jacket, nor the telltale bulge of a semi-automatic tucked into a shoulder holster.

Anyway it’s not as though reporters and pundits need to plunder a thesaurus to uncover descriptions of Palin that are more relevant than which weapons and which sports she prefers.

I don’t much care that she hunts, or that her kids play hockey.

Proficiency with firearms is not, after all, a prerequisite for the office she is seeking.

Not after Dick Cheney’s tenure, it’s not.

Letters to the editor for September 15, 2008

Click It or Ticket

On Sunday police agencies across Oregon started a two-week campaign to ensure kids riding in cars are properly buckled in.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will use federal dollars to pay for police overtime during the “Click It or Ticket” effort.

This is money well spent. According to ODOT, about one-third of kids younger than 8 who were killed or hurt in a car crash last year were either unrestrained, or were not sitting on a booster seat.

Letters to the editor for September 12, 2008

Letters to the editor for September 11, 2008

Weather foils best efforts

Jim Lunders’ job hardly changes from year to year but his approval ratings, for want of a better term, fluctuate as widely as a scandal-prone politician’s.

This is because Lunders’ performance depends largely on the weather.

Lunders gets paid to kill mosquitoes.

This is never an easy task in the 200,000-acre district that Lunders manages. But some years his duty is considerably more daunting than in others.

The past two years illustrate this point perfectly.

Closing roads: We don’t all get a vote

Let’s be clear on one thing: The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s road-closure process is not a democratic one.

Only one person will decide which roads on the Wallowa-Whitman that are now open to motor vehicles will be closed.

His name is Steve Ellis. He’s the Wallowa-Whitman supervisor.

But although no one other than Ellis will make that decision, everyone else has the right to lobby him.

This includes residents of the five counties across which the Wallowa-Whitman sprawls: Baker, Union, Wallowa, Grant and Umatilla.

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