>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.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion

Letter to the Editor for Sept. 5, 2014


Obama does nothing to keep gas prices down

Our local Democratic official says that there is no conspiracy by the Obama Administration to jack up gasoline prices, but that those prices are set by a balance between supply and demand. That is true enough as far as it goes — there is no conspiracy. But the fact remains that high energy prices are a stated policy of our Democratic president. In 2008, then-Senator Obama said that his energy policies “would necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket.” He has since learned not to be quite so candid, but his policies are unchanged; he just hopes that you don’t notice them.

Motor fuel prices are determined by a balance between supply and demand. The Obama administration actively works to diminish the supply side of that equation, and so cause their price to increase. When running for re-election, he tried to take credit for the fact that oil and natural gas production in the United States has greatly increased in the past few years. However, all of that increase is coming from state and private lands. Production on federal lands has diminished every year of his administration, and continues to do so.

He and his fellow Democrats work to depress the supply of motor fuels by making huge areas of the country absolutely off limits for oil and gas production — offshore areas off both coastlines, the North Slope of Alaska, etc. On federal lands, applications for new oil leases move through the Byzantine federal bureaucracy at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Our local Democratic official says that during the last year of the Bush Administration, gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon. That also is true. But the only reason that motor fuel prices aren’t even higher today is because our supply situation is so much better now than it was back then. Despite the best efforts of the president and his Democratic allies, we are still only paying between $3 and $4 a gallon. What would gasoline prices be if the Obama Administration was working to increase our country’s oil production, rather than decrease it?

Pete Sundin

Baker City


Don’t let fire guard down yet


We’ll concede that a fire probably would have felt pleasantly warm these past few chilly mornings if you were camping or otherwise outdoors.

But although dawns with temperatures in the 30s remind us that autumn is approaching, summer and its specter of wildfires has not yet gone away.

If we can maintain our diligence for a few more weeks, though, chances are good that we’ll get through another fire season without the devastation that other places in Oregon and other western states have recently endured.


Book examines virtues, vices of our freeways


When I stand in my driveway, and if the weather is fair, I can look east and see trucks climbing the Campbell Street on-ramp leading to Interstate 84.

Even when fog or a snow squall obscures the view I can still hear the diesel engines, as Bob Seger put it in the greatest rock song about life on tour, “moaning out their one-note song.”

Although the big rigs seem in fact rather small, and their noise is subdued at the distance of a mile and a half.

It’s a familiar scene, and sound, and as such I rarely notice either except at the subconscious level.

But I recently read a book that reminded me how significant that freeway, and that view, are.

Indeed the road’s presence represents a reality that would have seemed miraculous, were it believed possible at all, little more than half a century ago.


Letter to the Editor for Sept. 3, 2014


Forest Service can’t hide its road closure plans

The Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision may be under fire, it could also be said, “plan under water.”  Fire or water, the so-called proposal needs to be aborted. Baker County Commission Chair Fred Warner, referred to the 1,300-page document as a “tomb of paper.” Countless people will concur.

Is it a misconception that the forest plan closes roads and trails? “Desired Conditions” is the core component in the plan.   The forest plan is not a simple four-volume document. It may not say “road closures,” but the desired conditions can only be met by closures.  The USFS know that… but they continue to sing their song of denial.  

 Eleven county governments in Eastern Oregon, supported by numerous city governments, organizations, and countless individuals have voiced strong opposition to the forest plan.  Glancing at an Oregon map, 11 counties make up a solid quarter of the state.  The word “substantive” aptly applies to the amount of opposition.

Rhetoric coming from the Forest Service in regards to the BMFPR, is reminiscent of the Travel Management, debate of two years ago.  Same attack against public resources under a new term.

Two days after the BMFRP comments deadline, TMP launched the “existing condition road maps.” Once again we are being told, “This request is not about whether a road or motorized trail should be open or closed.”  This is simply the USFS playing more of their bait-and-switch wordgames.  I don’t believe it. How can anyone that has been engaged with this process during the past 15 years believe this?  The USFS seems to think that the more they repeat this rhetoric, they can make us believe it. Where is this all going? I see designated routes and trails and entire seasonal closures where we once had free access. I feel much like a white mouse in a laboratory being picked up by the tail and dropped in a maze. 

Wanda Ballard

Baker City


Letter to the Editor for Sept. 1, 2014


No golf course = no visit from President Obama

If any readers wonder why President Obama has not gone to Ferguson, Missouri, to try to calm down the rioting crowds, it is because Ferguson does not have a golf course. What a pity!

Virginia Kostol

Baker City


Vote no on Measure 90


Ballot Measure 90 on the Nov. 4 statewide ballot would help to solve one problem we have the way many of Oregon’s primary elections are conducted.

But the measure would create an even greater problem in general elections, which is why we urge Oregonians to reject it this fall.

Measure 90 would create a “top two” primary, similar to the system both Washington and California use.

All voters could cast a ballot in the primary. That’s not the case now in some cases, including this spring’s two Baker County Commissioner races. Because all four candidates in those two races are Republicans, only registered Republicans, who make up about 46 percent of the county’s electorate, voted.


Letters to the Editor for Aug. 29, 2014


Lamenting the loss of good journalists

I certainly enjoyed reading Steve Paul’s column in the Aug. 22 issue of the Herald. One of my pet peeves has been the loss of good journalists. They are replaced by folks who don’t check facts or just make them up. I grew up with Huntley, Brinkley and Deep Throat who brought down a president.

Journalism is an honorable profession and some of us rely on journalists for our news, whether in a newspaper or on a screen. If we don’t get it, it is like living in a media-controlled state. We have to trust someone so we can make informed choices.  Making up the story isn’t OK. 

Iva Mace

Baker City

Speak out about the forest plan revision

“One of the big misconceptions is that this is a travel management plan and we are closing roads and trails. A forest plan does not close roads and trails. It is as simple as that,” Kramer said 

We are smarter than this and it’s time we stand up to these claims. 

Simply stated, if a road is not designated as a route, the road is closed. That language “designated routes” is not found in the current forest plans, and with its addition to the Forest Plan Revision, it allows for the closing of roads that currently is not a reality, nor is allowing the public cross country travel (motorized) acceptable under the Forest Plan Revision. 

The Forest Plan Revision authorizes road closures through the designation of routes, and the USFS is attempting to sell you a bill of goods that it doesn’t, we all need to stand up and clearly speak out that this is unacceptable.

Please consider the below contacts and get active. While they may choose to not answer you, they clearly hear us. Please start contacting the below list and speaking out for yourselves, you can do this, we have complete faith in you.

You have to stay persistent in your contacts and not give up.

Jim Pena, Regional Forester – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

John L. Laurence Forest Sup., Wallowa Whitman National Forest – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Teresa Raaf Forest Sup., Malheur National Forest – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Kevin Martin Forest Sup., Umatilla National Forest – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jodi Kramer, Public Relations Officer Wallowa Whitman National Forest - This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fred Warner, Baker County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mark Bennett, Baker County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tim Kerns, Baker County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mark Davidson, Union County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mike Hayward, Wallowa County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Paul Castilleja, Wallowa County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Susan Roberts, Wallowa County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Scott Myers, Grant County Comm. – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

La Grande Observer – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker City Herald – This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

John D. George

Bates


Let voters decide on pot shops


We agree with Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner that the City Council should start discussing the regulation of marijuana stores, even though the city’s current ban on medical marijuana outlets continues until May 1, 2015.

But we also believe that in the end this matter has such significant potential ramifications that it should be decided by the city’s voters, not just its seven elected councilors.

Recent history in Oregon suggests that the public and the politicians don’t always agree on marijuana issues.

In 2010 the state’s voters rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries.


An oddity on the Oregon Coast: A dusty trail


I have very nearly exhausted my internal thesaurus in describing the breezes that buffet the Oregon Coast, delving on occasion into that subsection of words which aren’t fit for publication in a newspaper.

Being by nature lazy, I tend to grasp for the low-hanging profanity when I’m annoyed.

Although I believe even the rare saint among us would have his equanimity sorely tested if, say,  he were scanning the retreating tide for agates while an onshore gale was trying to sandblast through his contact lenses to get at his corneas.

But never had I believed that the appropriate adjective for these almost constant winds was “refreshing.”

Until now.

It was a queer feeling to be hiking through a rain forest of moss-laden Sitka spruce and Douglas-fir, the Pacific breakers visible (and audible) below, and there to pine, as a desert traveler might, for even a gentle zephyr to fan my sweaty face.

Stranger still that my walk on Cascade Head, just north of Lincoln City, happened only a few days after I had hiked in arid Eastern Oregon and there dealt with conditions more familiar to the beachcomber than to the backpacker.


Letter to the Editor for Aug. 27, 2014


Global warming is a threat that affects all of us

It is time for us to come together to limit global warming. The whole world is watching, including our younger generations.

This should not be a political issue. People around the globe, regardless of political affiliation, are concerned about man-made climate change.  A prime example is the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose international scientists have been assessing the problem and possible solutions since 1988. 

The most recent IPCC report concludes that commitments already made as part of existing international agreements can limit global warming, while still damaging, to less than 3 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Thus, there is reason to believe that timely and cooperative responses can limit destructive climate change (and can potentially provide millions of jobs in alternative-energy sectors).

We have already made good progress, but our ability to exert more powerful, positive leadership is hampered by those here in the United States who blindly deny the problem and/or reject cooperative solutions, often resorting to willful distortion.

One example of their deception is the Aug. 13 letter to the editor, claiming that President Obama is increasing gas prices in a conspiracy to cut fossil fuel consumption. But, truth be told, gasoline prices follow the law of supply and demand, and are actually lower today than they were under George W. Bush. They nearly tripled to over $4 per gallon under Bush, but then plunged to less than $2 during the onset of the Great Recession.  Since Obama took office, gas prices have partially rebounded, but not back to the Bush levels. There is no conspiracy.

Our planet’s future would look brighter were it not for such deceptive confusion, inflamed by anti-social messages of hatred, fear, and falsehoods from right-wing talk radio and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel. And echoed by the politicians who pander to them as well as to some fabulously wealthy campaign contributors.  

Extreme, fact-free obstructionism may continue as a cornerstone of conservative orthodoxy, but, together, we can transcend it.

We’re all in this together. We can heed authoritative sources like the IPCC, and we can, together, develop meaningful, real-world solutions..

Marshall McComb

Baker City


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

News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Features
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 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use