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Letter to the Editor for June 5, 2015

County Commission has no hidden agenda

I would like to address the concerns submitted in a recent newspaper editorial about a public lands resolution, 15-01, presented to the county commissioners.

The editorial addressed the May 20 County Commission session and suggested there is an “agenda with the agenda."

BHS gets students in class

Baker High School has made substantial progress toward solving one of its more pressing problems.

It’s not about grades or test scores or graduation rates.

But it’s connected to all of those.

Crypto canít be ignored

The word is perhaps the most toxic that can be uttered in Baker City Hall.


Even that shortened version of the actual word — cryptosporidium — immediately conjures memories of the summer of 2013 when the microscopic parasite contaminated the city’s drinking water and made hundreds of people sick.

EPA needs to heed Congress

There is no more precious commodity than water for the agriculture industry, the nearly $100 million--per-year mainstay of Baker County’s economy.

Congress, at least, seems at times to understand this.

But as we remember from government class, there are three branches in the U.S. government.

PERS saps economic recovery

Most times, and in most places, a growing economy means more tax revenue for schools, fire and police departments, and other public services.

But that’s not always the case in Oregon.

Nonaffiliated voters stayed away from Measure 1-63

Two groups of Baker County voters who might have benefited from making the three county commissioner positions nonpartisan didn’t take advantage of their opportunity.

At least not many of them did.

Letter to the Editor for May 27, 2015

Forest Service playing shell game with road closures

It’s been described as a shell game, it’s been delivered as a saving grace for the “sustainability” of our nation, and it is so important that is has taken at least five forest supervisors and eight years to complete, but one thing is for certain, they don’t want you knowing what you’re getting in the travel management plan, and they surely do not want you having a true voice in the discussion.

Currently the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is working on Subpart A of the plan, this part is where the forest service decides how many and what roads are needed (or more importantly not needed) to manage the forest. One would think the supervisor’s office would hold meetings with the residents of the region to find out their specific uses and needs and work that into the equation, unfortunately that isn’t the case. I personally have a request in from September of 2014 for the draft document outlining those minimum roads numbers, as of today, I still have no document. 

Why, you might ask, well it’s pretty simple because they don’t want us to know. See, it’s pretty hard to sneak something thru when everyone knows what you’re doing, and so the Forest Service simply keeps us in the dark until they file the report with their regional office in Portland. They’ll say, we asked them to participate in the maps session and that should count for meeting their needs, but it doesn’t.

Currently in Eastern Oregon exists a draft document of the Subpart A report, and the roads it intends to identify for closure. And by the end of 2015 the WWNF will release that plan to the regional office for acceptance.

The question is, will you allow them to do it without standing up and saying no?

If you have time, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it requesting the draft Subpart A report and tell him travel management planning cannot move forward until all uses are protected in the Subpart A report.

John D. George


Better to be ready for worst

No place is immune to natural disasters, but Baker County’s level of inoculation is quite high.

Hurricanes are very nearly a meteorological impossibility around here. And even if we had to endure such a storm, we’re well-protected from the most dangerous aspect — a storm surge off the sea — the Pacific being a safe distance to our west.

A robinís construction zone, outside my window

A major construction project is happening three feet from my bedroom window, but the only sound so far has been an occasional tweet.

And I don’t mean Twitter.

The builder is a female American robin.

At least I think it’s a female.

It’s definitely a robin — any 4-year-old can distinguish one of those from other songbirds — but my grasp of avian anatomy is too weak to confirm gender.

Take just a moment Monday

You could stroll between the rows of headstones, each graced by an American flag.

You could leaf through a picture album and see the faces of loved ones lost.

But you don’t need to go anywhere.

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