Clearing up issue in story
To the editor:
I would like to clear up one point on the article on my family tree research (in the May 30 issue). I may have misspoken or been misunderstood, but what I meant to say was that one branch of my family tree has been researched to the “Time of Christ” not to Christ himself.
I in no way intended to presume Christ is in my family tree.
Working to wreck an industry
To the editor:
I hope everyone noticed a couple weeks ago the letter to the editor written by Loren Hughes advocating more forest road closures and further federal takeover of the land.
I just want to make sure that everyone realizes who Hughes is so that we can all recognize the damage he has single-handedly caused during the past 40 years to the people of this region. Hughes was given the nickname “Mr. Fifteen Center” several decades ago during the spotted owl controversy after he wrote a letter addressed with one fifteen-cent stamp to the Forest Service. His letter effectively shut down several large FS timber sales and helped deal a fatal blow to the timber industry. Hughes also has a long association with extreme environmental groups such as the Hells Canyon Preservation Council in La Grande.
So, I want to make sure and pay Hughes his due. First, Mr. Fifteen Center, thanks for killing an industry that will never return during my lifetime. Thanks for changing the median age in Wallowa County from a vibrant 32 years old in 1982 to the current 50 years old today. And, because of your agenda, nowadays we harvest people’s lives with the prison industry instead of putting them to work harvesting the earth’s bounty. So, really thanks for that too, because that is the consequence of your life work.
And also, thanks Mr. Hughes for providing an example of a person who is willing to sell the economic stability of the region he calls home so that he can fulfill some theoretical environmental preservation agenda. Or, maybe Hughes has his sights on bigger fish. Maybe his environmental concerns are simply a front for a more clandestine agenda. Maybe he is actually interested in changing our form of government. Or is it just a coincidence that the work of his life has resulted in a weakening of fundamental American ideals such as freedom, liberty, and private property rights? Maybe.
Teachers deserve the raises
To the editor:
After reading an article in the Herald about salary increases for administrators in the school district, some would probably be in shock. However, even with the most laughable explanation that could be given for this decision, I can’t say I’m shocked at all. I did glean one important nugget of truth from the article: It’s good to know why they worked so hard to keep that budget balanced! I would believe that after this article was published, many put their paper down on their coffee tables and scratched their heads and said, “huh?” If so, they did with good reason.
The Baker School District Budget Board’s decision last week to endorse a series of pay raises for district administrators that was adopted last year is not without justification.
But the board’s timing could hardly be worse.
Less than a year after the district laid off employees, switched from a five-day to a four-day weekly schedule, and required staff, including administrators, to take three days off without pay, the board is acting as though the financial crisis, if not over, has abated considerably.
My son, Alexander, is completing his high school career by taking chemistry and physics.
Which makes him 50 percent smarter than I am.
Or maybe it’s 100 percent.
I’m equally lost among the precepts of mathematics as I am fumbling around in convoluted formulas of chemistry and the insane concepts of physics.
This is why I labored through only chemistry in high school, achieving, by way of the dogged determination that is the clueless student’s only advantage, a flaccid “C.”
(I was pretty deft with a Bunsen burner, as well. And one time I tried to make nitroglycerine, a failed effort that seemed to amuse the teacher. Probably because I didn’t hurt anyone.)
I didn’t realize how much water there is in one brief rain shower until I started harvesting it.
Or collecting, or whatever the proper verb is to describe diverting rain into temporary storage.
This all started because our house came without gutters.
Whether this omission was by design, or the result of a construction oversight, I can’t say.
But considering the aridity of our climate — we’ve a lot more in common, precipitation-wise, with Phoenix than with Portland — I’ve never felt any great pressure to put things straight.
(Or more likely crooked; I couldn’t hang anything level if you gave me a plumb bob and one of those cunning tools that projects a laser beam on the wall.)
Besides which, based on the TV commercials that are broadcast relentlessly on Saturday mornings, it seems that gutters are quite the nuisance, frequently getting clogged with leaves and pine needles that are the very devil to pry loose.
The lone pine on our property is a stripling that barely comes up to my sternum, so the only way its needles could get into a gutter (if we had any) is if something (a bird, for instance) carried them up there.
Judge candidate says thanks
To the editor:
I was one of the seven candidates for Baker Justice of the Peace. I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate the two winners of this week’s election. I also wanted to thank all of those that voted for me. Your support was greatly appreciated.
I would also like to thank the community of Durkee for the opportunity to come and speak to them. I have learned a lot in the past few months. The support from my family, friends and local business has been great. Thank you.
There can be no doubt that Oregon, and every other state, will have to devise a method other than fuel taxes to pay to maintain and build roads and bridges.
The taxation system that states, and the federal government, have relied on for decades works so long as the vast majority of vehicles plying our roads burn petroleum products taxed at the pump.
Today that still accurately describes the nation’s vehicle fleet.
But a decade from now it might not.
Electric cars and hybrids will wean us off oil, but in doing so they’ll also cut off the flow of fuel tax dollars.
Let’s celebrate real food May 19
To the editor:
Best selling author Michael Pollan writes: “We need to stop flattering nutritionally worthless foodlike substances by calling them “junk food” and instead make clear that such products are not in fact food of any kind.”
Join us at a celebration of real food: Food Revolution Day on May 19. This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Baker High School Commons. Come and see the biggest display of produce in the Northwest! There will be raffles, giveaways, samples, cooking and gardening instruction and much more. Most importantly, there will be real food!
No luck with Airlink refund
To the editor:
Regarding the May 11 article regarding AirLink Service:
I went personally to Baker Fire Dept. to inquire about the May 31 deadline coverage from AirLink (in Bend) which I have belonged to. Baker Fire Dept is changing to LifeFlight, so in order to have identical coverage, I’ll need to join that network.
I paid by check Oct. 20, 2011, to AirLink, $108 for ground /air coverage for a year. Now I’m told they will no longer cover after May 31.
My membership card has toll free number, which I used, anticipating a 6-month refund. I was told by the woman on the line, “it is non-refundable.”
So now, in order to be covered through Baker City Fire Med Plus, I’ll be required to pay another $110 (with no refund from AirLink to help with expense). Good luck to anyone else who approaches AirLink in Bend for a refund. I was unsuccessful. Phone information is on page 6A, Baker City Herald, May 11 issue. Or write to AirLink: Attention: Audra, 2500 NE Neff Road, Bend OR 97701 and airlink@stcharleshealthcare.
The Oregon Board of Education might decide on Thursday to require 15 public high schools to do away with their mascots or logos, by 2017, because the symbols are associated with Native Americans.
We hope board members choose not to impose this one-size-fits-all edict on schools with mascots such as Warriors, Braves and Indians.
This is not to say that the concern which motivated the board’s discussion — that such symbols are offensive to some Native Americans — is trivial.
We don’t endorse mascots that demean, belittle or stereotype Indians.
So far as we can tell, none of the 15 schools intends to do so. Which is hardly surprising — mascots, after all, are sources of school and community pride, not ridicule.
The more compelling argument against a statewide ban, though, comes not from the schools, but from tribal members.
Steve Bobb Sr., a member of the Tribal Council for the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde in Western Oregon, said his tribe doesn’t oppose using Native American names or symbols in schools that “hold their mascots in a very high regard.”
Which is precisely where every high school we know of holds its mascot.
Ambulance crew gets an assist
To the editor:
Earlier this month the Eagle Valley Ambulance transported a patient from Richland to St. Al’s Hospital in Baker City. After we were done in the hospital, we got in the ambulance to return home to Richland. But, when the ambulance was started, the air was not filling the suspension. We drove very slow to two businesses in Baker City who had done prior work for us on the ambulance. But neither had the time or would have the time to help us on that day.
So we went over to Grumpy’s — JR Streifel came out to the ambulance to see what we needed. It was explained and without hesitation JR stopped what he was doing and immediately went to work to trace down the problem. JR had the ambulance fixed and the ambulance was back on the road in service in less than an hour.
JR: Thank you for your time, your commitment and we just could not be more grateful for your expertise and care that we could continue to provide service in our area without delay.
Tami Waldron, on behalf of the Eagle Valley Ambulance EMTs