>Baker City Herald | Baker County Oregon's News Leader

Baker news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow BakerCityHerald.com

Baker City Herald print edition

view all Baker City Herald print publications »

The Baker City Herald is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion

ODOT not at fault in bus crash


It was inevitable that the tragic bus crash that happened on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, one year ago today, would precipitate a lawsuit.

The 12 plaintiffs, 10 of whom were riding on the bus that careened off the freeway and into a ravine, killing nine people and injuring 38, might have a decent case against the tour bus operator, Mi Joo Tour & Travel Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C., and the driver, Haeng-Kyu Hwang.

(The two other plaintiffs are the estates of two passengers who died.)

But the claim of negligence against Oregon and its Department of Transportation seems to us misguided.


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 27, 2013


City, county should block marijuana dispensaries

Both the Baker City Council and Baker County Board of Commissioners are deliberating whether to allow “medical marijuana” dispensaries within city and/or county limits. I strongly encourage both bodies to exercise the authority they have under the law to prohibit the establishment of such businesses. Medical marijuana, perhaps well-intended when it was initiated in this state,  has proven to be greatly abused.  Medical experts estimate that less than 2,000 people in Oregon legitimately suffer the ailments the law was designed to address by providing pain relief through marijuana use.

 As opposed to the several thousand who may have a real and legally permitted need for marijuana there are over 27,000 people in this state who currently hold medical marijuana cards. Even some medical professionals who support the limited need for medical marijuana acknowledge it has evolved into a major scam. From my law enforcement experience elsewhere I can tell you that the quality of life in Baker City/County will deteriorate quickly if marijuana dispensaries are allowed to open. Those truly sick with a need for the drug already have ways to obtain it.  They do not need a store front operation which attracts abusers for that purpose. The negative impacts on businesses and residences adjacent to such dispensaries will be great and our elected officials will rue the day if they are foolish enough to approve such “business” operations.

Jerry Boyd

Baker City


Outdoors can be a tough place for headphones


Somewhere along about the mid 80s headphones broke out of the home, and although they occasionally slink back inside they’ve never been quite the same since.

They’ve become disposable, for one thing.

Not by design, to be sure, in the manner of a diaper or a coffee filter.

If used as headphones traditionally were used — to listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” while you’re sprawled out on a waterbed, for instance — even the flimsiest set could last for years.

But modern headphones, which must be small and light because we expect them to deliver our music and our podcasts and our audiobooks while we jog and pedal and rappel off the north face of the Eiger, simply can’t withstand the rigors of the iPod, cross-training world for long.

Although you don’t even need to be especially energetic to destroy a set.


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 24, 2013


Gay activists demand acceptance, not tolerance

Whether you call Phil Robertson’s censure by A&E a “free speech” issue or a bad business decision, it’s important to note that it is the “gay-rights” group GLAAD who is behind it, pushing their own agenda. But most people recognize that Robertson is being censored and bullied in a way homosexualists themselves object to, simply for saying something that is recognized as truth by a large majority of the citizens of this country.

Continue to close your eyes to the homosexualist political agenda if you wish, but the fact is that “gay rights” issues are not about tolerance; they are about forcing people to not only tolerate, but to fully accept the “legitimacy” of the homosexual lifestyle to the point where no one is allowed to speak against this disordered lifestyle.

The “gay rights” agenda is not about ending discrimination against same-sex couples; it’s about “normalizing” homosexual behavior – ignoring the fact that homosexual acts violate the Natural Law, are physiologically unhealthy, and they are correlated with a number of socio-emotional problems! “Hate speech” laws are one way to accomplish this “normalization”; censoring a celebrity for speaking against homosexual behavior is another.  Another tactic – being pursued in Canada – is to forbid homeschooling parents to teach their children that homosexual acts are immoral; for public school children there has been pro-“gay” agenda at work in the schools for years.  And recently, in California, “gay conversion therapy” was banned, so that parents may not seek treatment for their sexually disordered children. We are also beginning to see the courts rule against private businesses, such as the bakery owner who declined to accept a wedding cake order from a homosexual couple.

Whether you call the Robertson imbroglio a “free speech” violation or a bad business decision, the ultimate goal is to make it illegal to say (or even think!) that homosexual behavior is immoral, unhealthy, or disordered. The blatant propaganda that promotes the homosexual lifestyle is full of lies, and is damaging to the very fabric of society.

Jay Boyd

Baker City

Ban smoking? How about no traffic fumes, either

Let’s keep all traffic, especially diesel, from around parks, it is proven to cause death if too much inhaled. Hell, let’s make it illegal in all of town.

Makes as much since as no smoking in parks. Same as violation of Second Amendment rights. Not privileges. I’m an ex-smoker, hoping for intelligent life in this town that I was born in.

Carl Koontz

Baker City

Cancer survivor urges support for St. Luke’s van

As a cancer survivor who depended on and appreciated the St. Luke’s van last winter, I am writing this letter to encourage others who have utilized the van to write letters of support and gratitude to St. Luke’s. It’s up to us to keep the van running. I don’t believe I could have survived seven months of treatment — some of it going to Fruitland every day for weeks — without the van. Each of you that I had the privilege of riding with became true blessings to me and I know we helped each other through those challenging times of treatment. Wasn’t the van our bubble of support and peace? Please take a minute and send your thoughts to:

Mark Parkinson, administrator

MSTI Administration

190 E. Bannock St.

Boise, ID 83712

And don’t forget to put in a good wood for our driver, Don McClure. He’s a treasure!

Future cancer patients and their families will be ever grateful to you. Thank you all. Forever thankful.

Carla Anderson

Baker City

Story behind Wallowa Co.’s 2nd Amendment ordinance

The 2nd Amendment Preservation Ordinance passed by Wallowa County on Dec. 16 was compiled by Leo Castillo of Lightmasters of Eastern Oregon over the course of the last year; with help from attorneys, similar ordinances around the nation, and input from organizations such as the Second Amendment Foundation.  

The concerns expressed by Wallowa County legal counsel were forwarded for comment to a constitutional attorney who has been working with us.  His response was received on the morning of the 16th. Its contents were considered, added, reviewed and the final product printed just prior to the meeting that evening.  

Comments of this attorney were read aloud with the changes that had been made to the ordinance. Copies were given to each of the commissioners.

It was this version of the ordinance in its entirety that the commissioners passed. They did so with the approval of those present. The statement in the Dec. 18 story of the Baker City Herald on page 5A that states “Castillo’s version differed from the version that was ultimately passed” is not true.

Wallowa County legal counsel and the Goldwater Institute attorney had similar suggestions regarding the “religious” sounding part of the ordinance, and Chad Nash from Stewards of the Wallowas had a brilliant suggestion: citing our Declaration of Independence instead, which mentions our Creator in the same context as the ordinance. We applied it.

Wallowa County’s legal counsel did her job in giving her professional opinion to the commissioners regarding the ordinance.  The commissioners were not “dragging their feet” at all in the matter, but were committed to passing an ordinance that could survive the test of time, and uphold our common heritage, which is where the real victory is.  

Wallowa County citizens and elected officials should be commended. I believe the general spirit should be one of gratitude; a fine example of what unity and courage can produce.

My partner and co-founder of Lightmasters of Eastern Oregon is deathly ill and in the hospital. His name is Mike. He has worked tirelessly on the webpage for the last year.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Leo Castillo

Baker City


Hydropower is renewable


Some people don’t much like the hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River, but even a dam-hater has to admit that the power those dams produce qualifies as “renewable.”

Certainly there’s no reason to believe the mighty Columbia is apt to stop flowing.

Yet according to a law the Oregon Legislature passed in 2007, the Columbia’s hydropower isn’t renewable. That law requires large utilities — our local Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) isn’t included — to get at least 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025.


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 23, 2013


Christmas event outgrows Rachel Center

The Rachel Pregnancy Cancer would like to thank everyone who volunteered or provided items for the annual Christmas Extravaganza at the old Blockbuster building in Baker City. We’d also like to thank the Hinsdale family for donating use of their building.

The success of this event over the years has allowed us to help many families fulfill their Christmas wishes. Community donations of toys, clothing and other items have continued to grow year after year. Our dedicated group of volunteer organizers and the helpers who process donations, set up and run the event are to be especially commended. God bless you all.

Growth, however, is a double-edged sword. This event has outgrown the abilities of the Rachel Pregnancy Center. As a small nonprofit dedicated to preventing abortions through Christian counseling and day-to-day support of families in our community, we find that the Christmas event, by virtue of its success, has begun to impede our primary focus.

We are looking for a community organization or private group to continue to improve this popular event in the years to come. The Rachel Center will provide support in this transition, offering contacts and organizational advice, and forwarding donated items to “seed” next year’s event.

Interested parties can contact me at the Rachel Pregnancy Center at 541-523-5357 for more information.

Alberta Darlington

Director, Rachel Center

Baker City

Park smoking ban not smart or fair

Latest survey says over 64 percent of people over 21 years old smoke. We pay taxes to support our parks, and banning the majority of people is not smart or fair. Move a few tables to the corners and a few “butt” cans for those who smoke. Guys chew tobacco and spit, people cough and sneeze and dogs peeing and poopin’. We (you) haven’t ousted them, yet.

And, I want all the money the city has taken from me, approximately $400 over the years, so I can buy more medical insurance to pay the hospital or for my cremation when I fall. You printed a picture last year of one of the worse sidewalks, and nothing has been done to fix it.

We the people voted the city council members in because we thought they would do the right thing for all of us. We have the power to vote them out, too.

P.S. Dear Santa: Please give our council the brains and common sense to work for all of us. Yes, I’ve been good!

Shirley Schurman

Baker City


Feeling uncovered


At least Medicare works most of the time.

In Baker County, where almost one in four residents is 65 or older, that federal health insurance program is more important than in most other places, where the population is younger.

Medicare seems a paragon of governmental efficiency compared with Cover Oregon, the state’s new health insurance exchange that’s supposed to help Oregonians who aren’t eligible for Medicare or another program.

“Supposed to” is the key phrase here, because Cover Oregon is working about as well as a car engine does with half its pistons removed.

And to belabor the automotive analogies, the latest advice from Cover Oregon’s interim director, Bruce Goldberg, is tantamount to a Chevrolet dealer telling a prospective customer that he’s better off heading across town to the Ford outlet.

Earlier this week Goldberg acknowledged that because of Cover Oregon’s inability to process applications — a task being done manually because the organization’s website is dysfunctional — thousands of applicants will need to buy insurance elsewhere if they want to avoid going without coverage until Cover Oregon can get its act together.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

It’s hard to imagine Cover Oregon having a more disappointing debut. We hope the new year brings a new level of competence to a program that a lot of people are depending on.


Defining free speech


We re-read the Bill of Rights and it turns out we remembered the text correctly: There’s nothing in there about the freedom to star in a reality show on cable TV.

We felt compelled to brush up on those first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution after reading about the plight of Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Louisiana family around which the A&E series “Duck Dynasty” revolves.

The dynasty in this case is the Robertson family’s business, which makes duck calls and other products for waterfowl hunters.

Until recently, “Duck Dynasty” had been quite popular but not particularly controversial.


In Baker County, history groans, clatters, bangs


The train pulled out of the depot in a grudging way, building speed with a series of jerks and pulls that few modern machines can mimic.

Not that they’re intended to.

The engineers still rely largely on internal combustion to move us around, of course, but they’ve pretty much sheltered from us the explosive nature of the technology.

Cars, for instance, don’t rumble much anymore.

Most models emit instead an inoffensive whir, rather like a sewing machine.


Not all smoke is equal?


Do you smoke cigarettes?

Do you work indoors?

Go ask your boss if you can smoke at work.

The answer, of course, will be no.

Oregon law prohibits smoking at most indoor workplaces.


<< Start < Previous page 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next page > End >>

News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Features
Outdoors / Go Magazine / Milestones / Living Well
Baker Herald
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Commenting Policy / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Videos / Local Business Links / Community Links / Weather and Road Cams / RSS Feed

Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use