>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.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion

Helping all workers

In this space in May we expressed our ambivalence about a campaign by Oregon to move workers with developmental disabilities from so-called “sheltered workshops” into more mainstream jobs.

We’re still not convinced that the state’s “Employment First” program is absolutely realistic.

Yet based on what Herald reporter Chris Collins discovered about the situation in Baker County, we’re much more optimistic than we were about the opportunities for local workers to find fulfilling jobs.

Keep the public informed

One of the more frightening things about registered sex offenders — people who have been convicted of sex crimes — is how little we know about where they live.

There are approximately 28,000 registered sex offenders in Oregon (115 of them in Baker County). But the state’s online database of sex offenders has information about fewer than 10 percent of them.

But thanks to a new state law, we hope that lamentably low percentage will rise.

Letter to the Editor for Dec. 11, 2015

Four rules regarding guns and gun control

A quick study: The four rules of gun control:

1. There will always be guns.

2. Criminals will always have guns.

3. The way to stop criminals is for law-abiding citizens to have guns.

 4.  You can’t change the first three rules.

Joe Bailey

Baker City

Is America focused on curbing its greatest threats?

Mass shootings have something in common with airliner crashes besides killing innocent people.

Both types of disaster garner considerably more attention, from the media and elsewhere, than another tragedy that’s much more common in the U.S., and that kills many more people — traffic accidents involving drunken drivers.

The vast difference in how our society reacts to these disparate but deadly events intrigues me.

Letter to the Editor for Dec. 9, 2015

To solve gun violence, we must work together

In a rare front-page editorial last Saturday, the New York Times decried the widespread availability of brutal weapons of war in our society, terming it “a moral outrage and a national disgrace.”

We are being warned in the strongest terms that as a paranoid nation, armed to the teeth, we make a mockery of the phrase “well-regulated militia” prescribed by the Second Amendment.  We need not accept the legality of semi-automatic guns with detachable magazines that can be reloaded in seconds, producing virtually unlimited mayhem in the hands of the misguided and the insane.  

Clearly, we must come together to demand common-sense solutions to gun violence and provide the money to pay for them.  We must face and surmount the fear and misinformation that allow intolerable gun violence to persist -- as well as other major threats such as needless, grinding poverty and an over-heating planet.

Pope Francis informs us that: “The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely.”  There is great strength in unity.  Let us heal our separations.  Let us reaffirm our allegiance to “one nation, under God, indivisible” and exemplify our motto: “E pluribus unum “ — “Out of many, one.”  We’re all in this together, and together we shall prevail.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Letters to the Editor for Dec. 7, 2015

2nd Amendment is designed for our protection

Another mass shooting and another opportunity for the powers that be to try and pry another finger off our firearms. The guns are once again to blame, not disturbed radical zealots, the mentally unstable or the just plain evil — the focus never changes, it’s the guns.

I have never owned a gun, possibly because growing up my father never owned one, he wasn’t a hunter and times seemed a lot saner. I’ve thought about getting a gun many times but somehow have never got around to it. I thought about it hard as I watched the meth head drive off in my truck at 2 o’clock one morning. I made it to the front porch just as he fishtailed out of the driveway! If I would have had a gun and been a good aim I would most likely be writing this from prison because that’s the way the world works these days. Sorry, sidetracked once again.

That I have yet to own a firearm doesn’t change the fact that our 2nd Amendment was put there with great thought and purpose. My personal interpretation, and/or belief; Not only did our forefathers wish to reinforce our military with citizen backup, when needed, but also provide the populace with legal protection when, if ever, our government or military becomes oppressively corrupt. I firmly believe the intent was that any weapon in the hands of our military should be allowed in the hands of its law abiding citizens, although my affinity for a heatseeking missile launcher may seem a bit much I still feel it is my right to have one (acquiring one would be the hard part.)

In an age where your whole life can be snatched away by someone in Nigeria with a computer keyboard I daresay that attempting to keep guns from the crazies with paperwork, regulation, background check after background check ... seems to be a moot point — the sickos will always get a gun. Our only protection is our 2nd Amendment. Infringement on our constitutional rights is a bad idea, our forefathers would agree.

Mike Meyer

Baker City

Gen. Pershing had a solution for jihadists

Before World War I, John J. “Black Jack” Pershing was the commanding general of the U.S. Forces in the Philippines. Islamic jihadists were on a killing rampage. The general learned that the Islamic terrorists believed pork was unclean and if they died while exposed to pigs or pig parts they would be defiled in heaven. 

The general buried terrorists in graves with pigs or pig body parts. The jihadists backed off and the uprising was controlled.

As you learned from recent news articles there should be plenty of bodies to bury with some pigs or pig parts. If no bodies are available, put a live jihadist in a cell with pig parts.

This might solve our problem with the Islamic jihadists.  Unfortunately, at the present time our administration contains enough people in favor of Islam that this would not be practical.

Carl Kostol

Baker City

Raise tax credit but not the minimum wage

I am writing this letter in support of our Oregon House Representative, Cliff Bentz, and his desire to increase the earned income tax credit here in Oregon as an alternative to raising the minimum wage. I would also encourage him to push for an income raise in our tax brackets, giving everyone, especially the lower income worker, a tax break.

Of course, this must be paid for. We can do this by raising corporate tax rates, especially the corporate minimum. I’m sure Mr. Bentz would part ways with me here. I am a Democrat, though, and see no problem getting more money in the hands of workers which ultimately helps the businesses being taxed.  

I also favor heading off a large increase in the statewide minimum wage. We need jobs here in Baker County more than a raise in the minimum wage. But the Portland metro area needs a much higher minimum and they should be able to do so. Let’s allow the counties to raise it as fits their cost of living. A higher labor cost there may even encourage businesses to locate here.

No one party has a monopoly on what needs to be done to help make our working class stronger. Democrats and Republicans can work together if we can over come knee jerk ideological thinking. Only by seeing the in-between can we find the best solutions.

Peter Hall


Had to rely on neighbors to deal with dead deer

Recently a deer died in my yard. I had no way to dispose of it, and everybody said “Call Fish and Wildlife.” I called them twice, got voice mail, left details both times about three or four hours apart. When talking to a neighbor about it I was told that in Baker County “you are on your own” about dead wildlife. If I lived in Union County, we heard that Fish and Wildlife would come and dispose of it. Fortunately, I have kind neighbors with a truck who came, picked up the body and took it to the Fish and Wildlife office — which seemed totally appropriate to me.  Neither of my phone calls to F&W was returned.  Because so many people told me to “call Fish and Wildlife” I don’t think their local policy is widely known and hope the paper will print this letter for the common good.

Julianne Williams

Baker City

People who make Baker a better place

The problem of unwanted cats and dogs is perhaps best expressed as a mathematical equation.

A couple of unaltered animals can pretty rapidly turn into a couple hundred.

This is both a livability issue — a colony of feral cats is not the most pleasant neighbor — and a humanitarian matter. The fate of unwanted animals — starvation, untreated diseases — troubles even people who don’t consider themselves animal lovers.

Keeping our kids safe

The creepy guy who tries to lure kids into his van has been the antagonist of afterschool specials and the subject of warning posters for decades.

Such monsters exist.

But they are exceedingly rare.

The reality is that children who are sexually abused almost always are the victims of people they know.

Letter to the Editor for Dec. 2, 2015

Why I support Owyhee Canyonlands protection

As a fifth-generation Eastern Oregonian (my great-great-grandparents came to the Burnt River Valley in 1863), I’m a strong supporter of the Owyhee Canyonlands proposal. Here are a few reasons why:

1. As supposed stewards of this planet, with the wherewithal to destroy/reserve it as host to its many forms of life, we humans simply can no longer engage in practices that threaten to destroy habitat.

2. In light of global warming, and the serious consequences that come with that warming, we simply must change our treatment of the planet in drastic and immediate ways. Protecting and preserving natural habitats must be at the top of every list of options, re: future uses of the land on which we depend. Any use with the potential to degrade our environment should be eliminated from consideration.

3. Decisions such as these will have very long-term effects. Do we, as humans with the capabilities available to us, have the right to negatively impact the lives of so many forms of life, including but definitely not limited to our own grandkids and great-grandkids? Permanent protection for the Canyonlands would help ensure that future damaging actions (mining, increased grazing and roading) would be eliminated.

4. The Owyhee Canyonlands is a beautiful, unspoiled landscape with an abundance of wildlife from native fish to the large herd of bighorn sheep (perhaps the largest in our nation). Mule deer, chukar and elk are three other species that depend on the Canyonlands habitat for continued life.

5. Studies from throughout the West have shown that protected public lands enhance local economies through increased recreation in the area and enhanced livability for us folks who choose to live here. As an example, the Eagle Cap Wilderness/Hells Canyon Wilderness has provided a recreational experience for folks over 40 years and the economic benefits resulting from its increased use continue for the local communities in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. For those of us who enjoy the beauty and the tranquility of the ECW/HCA on a daily basis, the benefits are immeasurable and we give thanks for the foresight of those decision-makers so many years ago.

Mike Higgins


PERS tab is growing

Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) reminds us of nothing so much as a maxed out credit card.

We can stuff the bills and the late payment warning notices in the back of a drawer, hidden behind discarded AA batteries and owners manuals for kitchen appliances.

But eventually we’ll have to come up with the money.

In the case of PERS, we use the pronoun “we” intentionally. That’s because the PERS bill, in a sense, belongs to every Oregonian.

<< Start < Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next page > End >>

Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
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 - 2016 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use