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Letter to the Editor for April 8, 2016

I’m no liberal, and I’m supporting Bruce Nichols for Baker County commissioner

I support Bruce Nichols for Baker County commissioner. I believe that he has the experience, knowledge, values and ethics that the county needs.  And, Kasey Wright, I am no liberal, not even close. And I think.

Sig Siefkes

Baker City

Police, fire need help

Baker City’s police and fire departments have more work to do than ever.

What they don’t have is more people to do these vital, indeed sometimes lifesaving, tasks.

This dilemma was a prominent topic during the City Council’s goal-setting session Tuesday evening. Fire Chief Mark John and Police Chief Wyn Lohner asked councilors to make it a priority to boost the departments’ budgets.

Political hyperbole is fine, but can we dump Hitler?

Politics without hyperbole would be terribly dull.

Of course politics with hyperbole is terribly dull much of the time, so predictable is the propaganda.

But the exaggerations that erupt regularly in American political discourse, being delivered with bravado no matter how implausible if not outright ridiculous the claim, at least ensure that the exercise is occasionally entertaining.

We never lack for examples during a presidential election.

But the ascension of Donald Trump has amplified this recurring theme like a wall of Marshalls on an AC/DC concert stage.

And with the same capacity to cause a headache.

Watching watershed fence: Yes

We’ve been much less anxious about the purity of Baker City’s water since the city started bombarding the water with bug-inactivating ultraviolet light in March 2014.

But even though the UV treatment system is a proven way to protect against such waterborne parasites as cryptosporidium, we think city officials made the right decision in looking for a contractor to keep watch this summer over the barbed wire cattle fence that borders the city’s 10,000-acre watershed.

Cattle feces has not been confirmed as the source of the crypto that infected the city’s drinking water during the summer of 2013, when several hundred people became ill.

Letters to the Editor for April 6, 2016

Nichols’ financial background vital for county

Bruce Nichols should be considered by all the voting public as a great choice for a County Commissioner.  I have worked with Bruce for the last decade as secretary for the Haines Cemetery District. 

Bruce is the accountant for the Haines Cemetery District.  When Bruce became the accountant the District was in dire straits financially.  Now the District is financially secure thanks to Bruce.  Bruce is very helpful with explanations to the budget committee when budget time comes around.  

I believe Bruce would be a good addition to the commissioners as a strong financial background is essential for a strong financial Baker County.

Carl Proebstel


Justus will do more than recite the Constitution

Our country is in trouble. It is in trouble because we have allowed our government to encroach into areas historically the government was never meant to be. We see a great divide between people who do not understand the founding documents which formed this country and those that do. 

There is a grassroots movement to get back to a Constitutional government. But now there is a faction of society which thinks if you are for upholding the Constitution you are now a terrorist, a bad person, someone who wants anarchy…well no, we just want our government to follow the law.   

My Uncle Kody went to Harney County to support the Dwight and Stephen Hammond families, as did most of the people who went to Burns. The Hammond family has been pushed to the brink of losing their family business by abusive BLM employees.  Some federal employees are out of control. Combine this with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who has slapped a first right of refusal (to BLM) on the Hammonds’ property should they have to sell the family business — how crooked is this?     

Change begins at the grassroots level, the county level. When elected, Kody will more than recite the words of the oath of office; he will mean them with every fiber of his being. If the voters of Baker County truly want someone who loves the custom and culture of this county and will manage the county business fairly, vote for Kody Justus.    

Katy Davilla


Nichols’ experience would be asset to county

It was a pleasure to learn recently that our longtime friend and ranch accountant, Bruce Nichols, has filed to run for the County Commission position that Tim Kerns now holds.

I would like to thank Tim for all his years of service. I know it wasn’t for fame or fortune, but for his commitment to the betterment of Baker County. Thanks, Tim. Great job.

As with Tim, I know Bruce has the desire to serve for the betterment of our county. Bruce and his family have deep roots in Baker County. One of Bruce’s ancestors was an original homesteader on Burnt River in the Bridgeport area.

Over the years, Bruce has had many ag producer clients such as ourselves. Because of that experience he knows very well that agriculture is the backbone of Baker County’s economy and how important it is to do what can be done at the county level to support the county’s ag industry. The majority of ag income goes back into the local economy in the form of wages, the purchase of goods and services, and property taxes. Bruce’s experience in the budgeting process will be a real asset to the Commission.

Bruce has also shown his interest in the community by serving on a number of local boards. I know Bruce to be a man of honesty and integrity. I believe he is the best man for the job. I encourage my fellow Republicans not only to vote for Bruce Nichols on May 17, but to encourage others to do the same.

Lynn Shumway

Baker City

Nichols would represent all of Baker County’s interests

I am supporting Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner because he is not a one-issue candidate. He does not have an agenda. All he wants to do is serve the people of our county by tackling a breadth of issues that matter to us all.

Many of us have checked out electbrucenichols.com and bakercounty.org to learn about his broad range of interests in things that matter to most voters, such as economic development, fiscal responsibility, public land and natural resources.

We discovered that he is fiscally conservative and favors continued partnering with education to build a body of citizens with the skills necessary to serve business and industry.

Bruce Nichols wants to focus on small and start-up businesses and mid-size manufacturing,  and court retail and wholesale grocery stores and warehouses to determine what they need to locate in our county.

He believes that using natural resources, such as grazing livestock on public lands, will yield economic benefits for years to come if managed properly, and that forest practices to avert and control wildfire must be improved. He does not believe we have the resources to manage our public lands without help from state and federal agencies.

Bruce Nichols has a well-educated understanding of the role of the Baker County Commission and views his role as being a strong team player. His background includes municipal auditing as a Certified Public Accountant, more than three decades of governmental auditing, nonprofit and private business auditing and governmental budgeting, managing and consulting.

A vote for Bruce Nichols is a vote for a well-qualified candidate who will represent the broadest range of issues in our county, not just the agenda and narrow interests of a few.

Carla Inman


Baker’s grocery monopoly should not be accepted

The antitrust laws are a collection of federal and state laws that regulate the conduct and organization of business corporations, to promote fair competitions for consumers. Essentially these laws prohibit business practices that unreasonably deprive consumers of the benefits of competition resulting in higher prices for products and services. Also these laws protect the consumer from monopolies and price-fixing. A monopoly occurs when a company owns all or nearly all of the market for a particular type of product or service.

Well guess what. This is exactly what we presently have in Baker City. We are stuck with one grocery store where the prices are ridiculously high and keep going up. This is because they have no competition and they have a monopoly here in Baker City. Consumers are forced to go out of town to have a choice for groceries, that are competitive with other grocery stores. This behavior is unacceptable from a responsible company who should be a good citizen in the city they operate in.

How long is this situation going to be allowed to continue here in Baker City? Is there anything in the works that is going to eliminate this problem?

Let’s all hope so.

Charles Neal

Baker City

Justus the best choice for Baker County

Baker County is very dear to my heart. That is why I am asking you to support Kody Justus for Commissioner.

I grew up and graduated high school here. It was my honor to have served on the Baker 5J School Board. I continue to serve in the Army National Guard based here in Baker City. I will always consider Baker County home.

I was very involved in local politics as an elected official, and in the Baker County Republican Party.

That is why it saddens me to see the unfair and vicious attacks on Kody. Once again the local Democrats and the status quo are attacking the conservative guy.

Why? Well, that’s what liberals do, the drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and inaccurate information. Then a smear campaign attacking conservative values at hopes of allowing their candidate to win.

If the Democrats wanted a liberal candidate as a commissioner so bad why didn’t a Democrat run? Once again, they have their candidate. Bruce Nichols.

What really worries me about Nichols is not who supports him. It’s his past government experience.

One of the most important job duties as commissioner is budgeting and management. Nichols once served on the Baker City Budget Board and touts his budget experience history. Nichols does have a history, a history of being absent. Most of the meeting minutes show Nichols as “absent” and in 2014 he skipped the whole year altogether.

The budget is very important and should be taken seriously. Skipping an entire year and over half of the meetings is unacceptable. This is not the type of budget experience Baker County needs.

The minutes are available at (www.bakercity.com/DocumentCenter)

It seems these local boards or committees get filled with people to fill slots to prevent opposition or change. A filler or a no show would not make a good commissioner.

It is clear that Nichols is a businessman. Nichols might be good at minding other people’s business just not the county’s business.

Kody will show up, and is the conservative choice.

Vote Kody Justus for Baker County Commissioner.

Kyle Knight

La Grande

Letter to the Editor for April 4, 2016

Kody Justus is the conservatives’ choice

I wondered why the Baker Democratic Party didn’t run a candidate for the County Commissioner race, then it dawned on me, they did!

I live in Halfway and I see many Bruce Nichols signs on most of the liberal Democrats’ homes in the area. The same in Baker Valley. I also see signs posted in vacant houses which are Nelson Real Estate rentals. Fred Warner now works at Nelson Real Estate.

Nichols’ campaign is being run by the same liberal group that brought the county Fred Warner and company.  The same group that wanted to change the most basic form of county government from partisan representation to nonpartisan commissioners in an attempt to cloak who a person really is.

If a person is judged by the company they keep, it appears Bruce Nichols is part of the very liberal group, which is contrary to Baker County’s conservative beliefs and values. If you want a conservative elected to continue these basic values, vote for Kody Justus.

Kasey Wright


ODFW’s wisdom on wolves

For the first time in five years the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has killed wolves that had repeatedly attacked and killed livestock.

But last week’s shooting of four wolves from the Imnaha pack was notably different from the two previous instances — one in 2009 and the other, also involving the Imnaha pack, in 2011.

Here’s how: In the two previous cases the wolves killed were, as far as biologists could tell, animals that were establishing their territories — in effect, getting used to Northeastern Oregon.

But ODFW officials said the four wolves killed last week near Enterprise had broken away from the Imnaha pack and probably for reasons other than the need to expand their range.

Age, in the case of one wolf.

And infirmity in the case of another.

Plain or not, no furniture can equal a bookcase

There is no piece of furniture that pleases my eye more than a bookcase which is being used for its intended purpose.

No antique armoire, no matter how finely grained its exotic woods or exquisite its joints, seems to me so exalted as a plain construction of cheap fiberboard into which the volumes are crammed so tightly that it requires a firm hand to pry one spine loose from the grasp of its neighbors.

A well-stocked bookcase is a portal to worlds both real and imagined.

So is a TV set, of course.

I harbor no great grudge against television. Like any medium it can stimulate the brain as well as calcify it.

Letters to the Editor for April 1, 2016

Kody Justus the right choice for county commissioner

We have elections coming up in May, several very important ones. The County Commissioner race has three candidates that are vying for the position. One outstanding candidate in the Commission race is Kody Justus, a Keating Valley rancher. I’ve known Kody for years, not only is he a honorable man but Kody is a constitutionalist, believes and lives it. He is against the federal overreach on our public lands. Stands square behind grazing, agriculture, water rights, timber harvest, mining and access to our public lands. Best of all when he tells you something you can take it to the bank and it don’t bounce. Kody is all the things that have made our county what it is today. Kody will defend our county and help build our economy back to what it used to be before the federal government shut it down and took away our economic resources. Stand with me and vote Kody Justus for Commissioner.

Chuck Chase

Baker City

More and more, my memory is letting me down

They say that age is only in your mind. If this is true I’m in big trouble. At 62 years of age I had hoped to be coherent and capable for many years to come, but ...

I have no idea what I was thinking when I snatched the bills from the ATM. Hours later it became apparent. Whatever had been on my mind proved more important than retrieving my credit card! The ATM was certainly beeping, “BEEP! BEEP! TAKE YOUR CARD IDIOT!” I’ve long known about my hearing loss, one too many Who concerts, but to just take the money and walk away?!? By some special randomness the bank recovered my card instead of a lucky homeless person. 

The other day I found myself in the elevator wondering why it wasn’t moving? I then realized that I needed to push a button. You would think as many times as I have used it that it would automatically take me to the right floor, but ...

There are many more warning signs that I’m losing my edge on life. The common habit of hurrying to a specific room to accomplish something incredibly important only to be standing dumfounded with no clue as to why or what? Tearing up the house looking for my glasses, resulting with the wife pointing out that they are on my face? Inventing new swear words trying to operate the television clicker, eventually discovering it’s the phone in my hand?

Not too long ago I could remember names, no more, now everybody’s name is either “Hihowyadoing” or “Nicetoseeya”… After meeting someone 10 times I find it horribly embarrassing to confess that I still have no clue to their name?

At one time I had a memory but that job has been passed on to our calendar, absolutely invaluable if you can remember to use it, “Hello Mike, this is Dr. Blah’s office, was there a reason you missed your appointment today?…

I could go on and on but I just dropped my ... my ... that metal thingy ... its round an one end ... for eating cereal ... soup ... you know ... my ...?

Mike Meyer

Baker City

I trust Bruce Nichols to help run Baker County

My late husband, Dwight and I, ranched for years in Muddy Creek before retiring and moving into Haines. We have been active in the community and have known Bruce Nichols for many years.

Bruce helped resolve big problems for Haines. He helped straighten out the Cemetery District, the city of Haines and helped us at the Eastern Oregon Museum. He will do the same for the county. We need someone to take care of business and he has a good relationship with many of the smaller communities like Haines.

I trust Bruce Nichols.

Viola Perkins


Forest deal touts the obvious

We received a press release this week touting a collaboration between two Oregon agencies and the U.S. Forest Service that sounds logical and potentially quite useful in restoring some semblance of health to public forests in our state.

And yet, as we slogged through the turgid prose typical of such missives, we realized that this new state-federal partnership is in fact so logical, and its potential benefits so obvious, that only government agencies would need to commemorate the occasion with a news release that implies the concept is a revelation.

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