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Our endorsements for City Council

Voters can change the roster of the Baker City Council a little or a lot in the Nov. 4 election.

We recommend the latter.

Nine candidates are vying for four vacancies on the seven-member City Council.

Three of the four members of the Baker City Herald’s editorial board had half-hour interviews with eight of those candidates during the past few weeks (Bill Todd declined our invitation).

Editorial board members who attended those interviews are: Kari Borgen, the newspaper’s publisher; Jayson Jacoby, the editor; and Chris Collins, the police and schools reporter. The board’s other member, reporter Mike Ferguson, did not attend candidate interviews because he writes news stories about the City Council and so, in the interest of preserving his objectivity, he was not involved in the board’s decision about endorsing candidates.

We urge residents to give their votes to this quartet: Aletha Bonebrake, Clair Button, Jeremy Gilpin and Milo Pope.

Voters will quickly notice, we suspect, that we are not endorsing any of the three incumbents: Sam Bass, Gail Duman and Terry Schumacher.

Letters to the editor for October 21, 2008

Letters to the editor for October 20, 2008

Letters to the editor for October 16, 2008

Letters to the editor for October 15, 2008

Letters to the editor for October 14, 2008

Economy of the future

The future of Baker County’s economy is already here.

We just need to start tapping it.

The term you hear most often is alternative energy, but why don’t we just delete the “alternative?”

Energy is energy.

Your light bulbs don’t burn brighter if the electricity was generated by burning coal rather than flowing water or gusting wind.

Semantics aside, energy sources such as wind and biomass bring so many potential benefits, and pose few if any pitfalls, that there’s no legitimate reason why local officials and residents should not pursue them vigorously.

The planned hydroelectric plant at Mason Dam is a good start, and the iron is quite hot now for more — the $700 billion financial bailout includes $17 billion in tax credits for renewable energy.

Letters to the editor for October 10, 2008

And now, a brief interlude of optimism

I have long believed that my personality inclines rather steeply toward pessimism, but recent events have prompted me to reconsider.

The thing is, I can’t rouse myself to a respectable pitch of despair about the economy.

I don’t feel right about this.

The overwhelming consensus in the country seems to be that this current crisis ranks as America’s most severe since the Great Depression.

I’m pretty sure that’s true.

The stock market numbers, which are spinning with the speed of a slot machine, bear it out anyway.

Yet the implication of our collective hand-wringing, or so it seems to me based on what I’ve read and heard from myriad sources during the past month, is that our nation teeters on the brink of Depression No. 2.

I’m pretty sure that’s not true.

Here’s a deal: Trees make money just standing around

Selling carbon credits sounds farfetched, but the process could be one of the best things ever to happen to Baker County’s private forests.

It could benefit a somewhat larger area, too — the Earth.

Oregon is one of three states picked to participate in a carbon credits pilot project through the Chicago Climate Exchange.

Here’s how the market works:

Companies and other entities that emit airborne carbon, and thus contribute to climate change, can buy credits from people who own forests, which absorb carbon and hold it in the trees so the element doesn’t foul the atmosphere.

Or to paraphrase, polluters pay people to counteract the effects of pollution.

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