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Letters to the editor for September 19, 2008

Buster makes an appearance in Baker

A famous visitor walked into my office the other day and he came right over and licked my hand.

I have so few famous visitors, and no previous one had ever licked me, and so this incident, despite the saliva, made a routine day mildly interesting for me.

My guest was Buster. He is the most heavily publicized English bulldog I know.

He’s also the only English bulldog I know.

This is not of course any fault of Buster’s, and I don’t believe my inability to get acquainted with multiple bulldogs ought to diminish Buster’s celebrity.

Buster, as you might recall, was the subject of several headlines around here during late May and early June of 2007.

Buster’s owner, Forrest Keller of Vashon Island, Wash., rode to Baker City during a Memorial Day weekend motorcycle tour.

Unlike most motorcyclists, Keller doesn’t mind riding with a bulldog strapped on the gas tank.

Who’s out of order?

Baker City Resolution 3407 states in admirably blunt language how city councilors are supposed to behave during their meetings.

Based on what transpired during the Council’s Sept. 9 meeting, it seems to us that some councilors ought to re-read that resolution.

Section 5(a) of the resolution includes this sentence: “All members of the Council shall accord the utmost courtesy to each other, to city employees, and to public members appearing before the Council and shall refrain at all times from rude and derogatory remarks, reflections as to integrity, abusive comments, and statements as to motives and personalities.”

Section 7 of the resolution reads “A member shall confine discussion to the question under debate, avoid personalities, and refrain from impugning the motives of any other member’s argument or vote.”

Compare those sentences with what Councilor Terry Schumacher said near the end of the Sept. 9 meeting.

Letters to the editor for September 18, 2008

Letters to the editor for September 17, 2008

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

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