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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 8, 2014


No dynasty for Kitzhaber; elect Dennis Richardson

Do four terms make a dynasty? Governor Kitzhaber has ridden the political bandwagon for too many years already. If he had made a significant contribution to the welfare of the entire state rather than to just the high concentration of “sheeple” who follow with blind faith everything he promises, maybe it would be understandable. But he hasn’t, taxes go up and incomes go down.

 To quote Sarah Palin, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” Hope and change? Not what I expected. Higher unemployment, only low-wage jobs, if there even are any jobs.  

The choices are Kitzhaber, more of the same, or Dennis Richardson.

Since we all know the record of Kitzhaber, I will leave him to your imagination. I’d rather discuss the reasons why you should look to a major change in the way our state will be doing the business in the future.

Dennis Richardson, besides being one heck of a nice guy and a fine family man, has had a distinguished career. Not many folks can say they flew helicopters, over 1,000 hours, in a combat zone, and received 19 air medals for his valor. That’s true dedication to duty.

He has made 10 trips to China as an international trade delegate to enhance relations in trade between China and Oregon. As governor, Richardson vows to continue to focus on stimulating Oregon’s economy through international trade.

In 2005 he served as Speaker Pro Tempore in the Oregon House, then in 2011-13 was co-chair of the Joint House/Senate Ways and Means Committee. He has worked for Oregonians for many years and has been able to establish a fine record while doing so.

If you want a closer look at the man and his accomplishments just go online to see his bio at www.dennisrichardson.org/biography.htm

This man deserves our support, and it is truly past time for Governor Kitzhaber to move over for a new face.

It’s time to vote for Dennis Richardson.

Peggie Longwell

Baker City

Local money supporting Richardson, Wehby

Recent letters to the editor are filled with misinformation that must be addressed. 

First, the signs for Dennis Richardson for governor and Dr. Monica Wehby for U.S. Senate were bought and paid for by the local Republican Party and not some BIG money from somewhere else as was stated.

I believe and support a different direction we so badly need in our state. That is why I joined in with several like-minded people and got involved with local Republicans to help raise money in Baker County to support both Republican candidates.

Second, Governor Kitzhaber and Senator Jeff Merkley are destroying our economy and our country. These men do not represent the common people of our state and our country. The far left believes there is an endless supply of money and then mismanages what we do have and this must STOP! The result from their actions is that every opportunity for job creation is made impossible and our lives are taken over by government control. 

We can work with Dennis Richardson as our governor and Dr. Monica Wehby as our senator. They both strive for the betterment for the state of Oregon and have both spent time in Baker County (your county) on several occasions. 

I have one question: When was the last time Governor Kitzhaber came to visit with you in Baker County?

Please join me in doing everything possible to make Oregon better by voting for Dennis Richardson for governor and Monica Wehby for senator.

Bill Harvey

Haines

Democrats are the real party of billionaire backers

Mr. Ramon Lara’s letter to the editor seemed concerned about billionaires taking over Republican politics. He needs to look inside his own party before casting the first stone. California billionaire Tom Steyer (NexGen Climate Action Committee — a political PAC) just gave $100,000 to the Oregon Democratic party for funding ads targeting Oregon legislative races, in an attempt to keep Oregon blue. Steyer is helping Oregon Dems try to unseat State Senator Bruce Starr and Betsy Close — both Republicans. 

The Democrats also have Mr. George Soros. Soros’ political PACS include the infamous “Moveon.org” and “League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund to name a couple. Former Enron billionaire John Arnold gave $500,000 to help pass Ballot Measure 90. Why is an out-of-state billionaire trying to change our election system here in Oregon? And, don’t forget Michael Bloomberg who donates heavily to his own Super PAC, which concentrates on gun control issues among other Democratic causes.  

Nearly all of the materials for a candidate come from their own election committee. This includes signs, fliers, car magnets, bumper stickers, buttons, etc. For example, Dennis Richardson, who is the Republican candidate for governor, provides to his county committee materials to help rally the vote in Baker County. 

 The Baker County Republicans seldom purchase these materials. But we do have fundraisers (raffles, banquets, etc.) which allow the local committee to raise money to donate to individual candidates and help promote them locally. All candidates rely heavily upon personal, grassroots contributions.

This year the Republican Party has the unique opportunity to change Oregon. The Republicans can take back the governor’s office by electing Dennis Richardson. We have many great state senator and legislative House candidates running statewide. We can take back the Oregon House and Senate.   We have the opportunity to take back one of our Senate seats with the election of Dr. Monica Wehby, who can help retire Harry Reid. If you want to learn more about this election, please call me at 541-519-5035 or stop by our office at 1923 Court Ave.

Suzan Ellis Jones

Chair, Baker County Republican Party and county chair for Dennis Richardson for governor


Richardson for Oregon governor


John Kitzhaber’s second stint as Oregon governor has not gone well.

Two of the signature projects during his third term, which started in 2011, were debacles.

Kitzhaber advocated for building a new bridge across the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. The plan died when Washington lawmakers balked, but by then Oregon had spent at least $93 million in federal money.

The feds, not surprisingly, want their money back.


Approve food label measure


Food packages are larded with labels, many of which employ nonspecific adjectives — “wholesome” and the like — rather than plain fact.

Measure 92, which Oregon voters will decide on in the Nov. 4 election, deals with the factual kind of label.

It would require packaged food to include a label if the food contains genetically modified organisms (GMO).


Don’t give illegals driver cards


To support Measure 88, which would allow Oregon to give “driver cards” to people who can’t prove they have the legal right to be in the U.S., you have to believe, among other things, that most illegal immigrants in the state don’t drive.

We’ve not seen any compelling evidence that this is true.

Most generally, people don’t defy U.S. immigration laws unless they have a job here. Most people drive to work. Given that nobody denies that thousands of illegal immigrants are working today in Oregon, it’s beyond dispute that many of those workers, and probably most of them, are already driving, license or not.


Letter to the Editor for Oct. 3, 2014


Don’t let guard down on forest road access

As we move out of the busiest “recreational” season of the year, summer, it’s always good to reflect on what open access to public lands is really about, and the current actions to restrict that access.

Too often folks only look at their access through a narrow prism of recreation, and we need to broaden that view considerably. We always need to remember that each person that enjoys open access to public lands as a recreational opportunity must supply up in our small remote towns that are our lifelines when the rest of us are “recreating.” Those communities’ survival are dependent on their ability to openly access the resources around them.

From firewood to heat their homes, to supplementary foods to feed their families, to remembrance sites where they have laid family to rest, the list goes on and on, these communities are directly tied to the landscape and their ability to access it.

Please remember, open access is not simply a recreational fight, it’s a fight of basic human rights to openly and freely access resources to sustain individual local residents and communities now and into the future.

Right now the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest supervisors (WWNF) office staff is developing the Sub-Part A report for the travel management plan behind closed doors. This “report” will determine what “they” feel is the minimum roads systems needed to manage our mountains, and the access to them. They have seen numerous request to open up the report development process and allow the public input prior to development of the report and the forest supervisor has stated the public will only see the report after its development, which disallows public participation in the development of the report. It is important you stand up and call for the WWNF to allow for your input into developing that report.

Thank you for everything you all have done in helping keep our mountains open for being active in the road closure issue as I for one appreciate you for it, and those that resided from these lands appreciate you for it.

John D. George

Bates


Fine line between good Samaritan and tattletale


Distinguishing between a good Samaritan and a nosy buttinsky tattletale is not always easy.

Consider a recent case from South Sister mountain near Bend. This dormant volcano, one of a cluster of glacier-clad mountains that dominate Central Oregon’s western skyline, is Oregon’s third-highest peak at 10,358 feet.

South Sister is noteworthy not only because it’s tall, but because it’s easy to climb.

“Climb,” in fact, exaggerates the endeavor.

The trip to the top is more aptly described as a hike.


Letters to the Editor for Oct. 1, 2014


Wehby won’t go along with Obama doctrine

I urge voters in November to take a hard look at Monica Wehby, who is campaigning  to replace Senator Jeff Merkley. Unlike Senator Merkley, who supports and will vote for the UN Arms trade treaty which is being pushed by Obama on gun control, Monica supports our 2nd Amendment gun rights. Unlike Senator Merkley, Monica isn’t in the pocket of environmentalists that are destroying America’s economy by locking up more wilderness and wild lands, which Monica strenuously opposes. Senator Merkley signed on to a bill by Senator Wyden’s Forest Restoration bill that lets environmentalists appeal and appeal and appeal, locking up timber sales for years if not forever. While environmentalists get paid to appeal by Jeff and Senator Wyden because they left out a clause allowing just one appeal. A vote for Jeff Merkley is a vote for the Obama doctrine and of course Obamacare, which by the way Jeff voted for.  

Chuck Chase

Baker City

Wyden, Merkley votes violate Constitution

Each of our elected officials, at all levels of government, takes an oath before entering office that he or she will obey the U. S. Constitution in all of their official actions. There are no exceptions, not even for Oregon U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley. It matters not what one’s personal preferences are, the Constitution is the LAW OF THE LAND! [The following “Freedom Index” information is available (click on “Voting Index” at TheNewAmerican.com).]

The record shows that during the 113rd Congress both Senator Merkley, who is up for reelection, and Wyden violated their sworn oath to obey the Constitution on 30 opportunities with 93 percent of their votes.  And many Americans wonder how our government got so far out of control. Without going into detail on each, here is a sampling of where both senators violated the Constitution.  

Debt Limit Suspension, S. 540;  Child Care, S. 1086;  Unemployment Benefits Extension, H.R. 3979;  Ukraine Aid, H.R. 4152;  Minimum Wage, S. 2223;  Border Security, S. 744;  Student Loans, S. 1238;  Immigration Reform, S. 744;  and Aid to Egypt, S. 1243.

There is no question whether the U.S. Constitution remains the law of the land until it is amended. These two senators representing Oregon have sworn to uphold it against all enemies, both foreign and domestic! But they each have repeatedly, and deliberately, violated their sworn oath. Call their behavior what you will but technically they each are clearly domestic “enemies” of the Constitution and therefore the Nation. Surely, in all of Oregon we can find two candidates to replace them that will take their oath of office seriously. We are clearly obligated to try. 

Jasper Coombes

Haines


Reject pot legalizing Measure 91


Marijuana helps thousands of Oregonians.

About 65,000 state residents (247 of them in Baker County) have a card, issued by a doctor, that allows them to legally use the drug for medicinal purposes. By far the most common reason — 62,100 people — is relief of severe pain. Another 16,300 consume the drug to ease chronic muscle spasms, and 9,000 use it to relieve nausea (those numbers, obviously, exceed 65,000; many people who have a medical marijuana card use the drug to treat multiple symptoms.)

Measure 91 on the Nov. 4 ballot has nothing to do with those Oregonians.

The measure’s purpose is to legalize marijuana for people who don’t need the drug for its therapeutic benefits but who enjoy its intoxicating effects.

We don’t believe that purpose is compelling enough to offset the potentially negative effects of legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

We urge voters to reject Measure 91.


Letters to the Editor for Sept. 29, 2014


Time for change in D.C.: Vote for Monica Wehby

As election time rolls around again, it’s time to give some thought to the direction you want your local, state and national politics to follow.

After having sent 33 letters to Senator Merkley since 2009 on many different  issues from global warming to unemployment benefits, I find that the response to my concerns is curiously consistent with someone who has no interest in the needs of his constituency.  He has returned the following response to almost every single contact or query I have sent to him. “While we may disagree, I value knowing your views on this important matter and appreciate the opportunity to share my perspective.”

 I think it’s time for a major change in our representation in Washington, D.C. It  would be quite a pleasant change to have someone who shares some of our common values. I have heard some people have expressed concerns about Dr. Wehby’s  stance on some social issues. No one person can be 100 percent acceptable to all people, but I can say that she follows more of my personal beliefs than anyone else running for the position. Dr. Wehby has spent hundreds of hours visiting, talking to and learning about local issues.

When was the last time you sat down to a casual breakfast or social gathering with Senator Merkley? I’d be willing to bet the answer is “never.” I have personally spent many hours at events here in Baker County where Dr. Wehby has spent her time getting to know the needs of Eastern Oregon on a one-to-one basis. She listens and does not ignore the people.              

Vote for Dr. Monica Wehby for U.S. Senator.

Jim Longwell

Baker City

School bomb threats aren’t the real danger

Both the Baker County Press and the Baker City Herald have editorials about the recent threat of a bomb in school and have invited comments. I have a few.

The problem doesn’t seem to me to be one of out-of-control juveniles but rather one of over-controlling nanny state adults who are thinking-challenged.  Let’s take a few facts and look at them. I guess you could call a bomb threat an act of terrorism or at least it is treated as such with police responses, shutdowns and lockdowns and all the new terms of the new nanny state where people can’t think anymore without asking somebody in “authority.”

First fact, serious terrorists fly planes into buildings, bomb buildings, shoot people etc. and then take credit afterwards. They don’t leave a note saying this place is going to blow up.  In all the thousands of school bombing threats nationwide over the past several years none have happened.  There have been millions spent on police overtime and lost school time but no explosions.  

In the local case I would make the assumption that the teachers and everyone else involved had a damned good idea who made the threat, probably knew the kid couldn’t make breakfast let alone a bomb but still opted to go through the “let’s pretend we have a threat” scenario.  

  What should have happened is the kid should have been called to the principal’s office. Remember the old days when going to the principal’s office was a real threat?  

With real threats in the world like ISIS, and the open borders it’s time to grow up and refocus. School policy should be to ignore bomb threats.  I know, scares the hell out of you but you will get used to it and things can return to normal after a while.

Steve Culley

Richland

Don’t let billionaires take over our elections

Have you seen all those slick Richardson and Wehby signs that have sprouted up around town? As Dan Martin noted in his recent letter, Koch and ALEC have come to town! That is Koch brothers’ money and ALEC’s agenda have landed in little ol’ Baker County.

The famous Koch billionaires have been providing primary funding for the campaigns to replace our two people’s representatives, Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley, with their corporate representatives. And then implement ALEC’s mission to replace laws and regulations by and for the people with those by and for the corporations.

Kitzhaber and Merkley are working for a people’s agenda that includes among other needs supporting the middle class with living wages and affordable higher education, getting corporate money out of politics, providing affordable health care for all.

ALEC wants to replace Kitzhaber as one of four governors who stand in the way of implementing their state legislative agenda throughout the 50 states. They want to replace Merkley to gain control of the Senate so that their agenda for corporate control is implemented at the federal level. Merkley has stood in the way of ALEC’s pursuit to destroy medicare and social security.

Are we going to let out-of town-money and greedy corporate interests defeat our two excellent people’s representatives? Get registered! REGISTER and VOTE. Vote to protect the people’s interests and let the corporatists know that our government is “of the people, by the people, for the people.” 

Ramon Lara

Baker City


Forest Service comes to its senses on media


Some officials from the U.S. Forest Service seem to believe that photographs in a newspaper, or video segments on a TV program, could sully the pristine nature of America’s wilderness areas.

Perplexed?

We are too.

Or, rather, we were perplexed until the Forest Service’s chief, Tom Tidwell, issued a belated but welcome press release Thursday that makes a lot more sense than some of his underlings’ recent statements.


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