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Letters to the Editor for April 24, 2015

Nothing to gain by changing: Vote no on Measure 1-63

Please vote no on Measure 1-63.

I favor the present partisan voting system for county commissioners, and cannot see anything to gain by changing it.

It has been my experience to see that whenever somebody is driven to such an extent as the backers of this measure, it turns out they are after a power grab of some kind, revenge, or other.


Useful reminder about herbicides

We don’t think the Baker City Council needs to ban the use of certain herbicides at parks and other public spaces.

However, we believe the recent request by a few residents for the Council to impose such a ban can be a valuable reminder about the responsible use of products such as Roundup.


Ditches and dams: Putting our water to work

Like a lot of people I’d enjoy living where I can hear the soothing music of running water.

Sadly there is no stream near my home.

I have to settle for a toilet with a flapper valve chain that’s prone to getting bound up.


Speed limit compromise

Oregon’s periodic legislative effort to catch up, so to speak, with neighboring states in speed limits has been revived.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, would boost the limit for Interstate 84 between The Dalles and the Idaho border from 65 mph to 75 mph. The bill also would increase the speed limit for some rural two-lane highways, including U.S. 95 in the state’s southeastern corner, U.S. 20 between Bend and Burns, and U.S. 197 and 97 between The Dalles and Klamath Falls, from 55 to 70 mph.


Letters to the Editor for April 22, 2015

Keep local control by voting no on Measure 1-63

I have read several arguments in favor of  Measure 1-63. I feel I am being asked to vote for some fantastic candidate who represents everyone equally and is able to fix all of our problems with a quick swipe of the pen. In my experience, this person does not exist. If there were one person capable of fixing all the issues affecting our county, I am sure they would wear a cape.


Letters to the Editor for April 20, 2015

Bucking a worm shortage to haul in a smallmouth bass

We had been past Farewell Bend many times on our excursions to Boise, once a month for Costco, Trader Joe’s, Fred Meyer and anything the wife and I can’t find here. It looked pretty fishy to me every time we drove past. When I couldn’t stand it any more the wife packed a nice lunch and I gathered up my fishing gear. I was figuring catfish for dinner. I had even bought some surefire, guaranteed, “bloody chicken” dough bait — and grabbed a dozen worms — just in case. 

  The dough bait proved toxic upon opening. The stench cloud enveloped my whole being and squeezing it on to my hook left a finger odor that could kill. After depositing the bag of bait a quarter mile away (my wife had moved a half mile) I threw out my line and stared at my motionless pole for a good hour before reeling in. Fighting the gag reflex, I swapped the nerve gas for a worm. On my next cast I hooked the biggest smallmouth bass of my fishing life, pushing five pounds. After sending a picture to my brother in-law, he decided to visit us.                                                                                                               A couple weeks later Larry and I found ourselves in the midst of a local worm shortage? Any place we thought would have ’em — none, sold out, “sorry!” I couldn’t help but think the Democrats were behind it! Bi-Mart wouldn’t open for another hour and we had searched almost everywhere. Finally we located the last dozen worms in all of Baker City (ha! ha!, take that stupid Democrats). And off we went.

We soon learned that Huntington had hoarded all the worms and they don’t sell gas on Mondays? I didn’t ask but had an inkling that the local barber also owned the only gas pump. Larry and I stared at the end of our poles for most of a day before returning to Baker without fish and, surprisingly, a bit sunburnt — it was only March!

That evening we fished the Powder in town — spinners — caught fish.

Mike Meyer

Baker City

I like to know about candidates; vote no on Measure 63

It looks like we will be voting on a Ballot Measure 63 in May, making voting for a Baker County commissioner nonpartisan. This means they don’t have to let you know what kind of values they possess, or the core beliefs that drive them. This ballot measure is the brainchild of the Democrats. We already know what the Democrat values are from what is going on in the Democrat-controlled state Legislature. Raising the price of gas with a carbon tax that goes to enrich the alcohol producers at our expense, as well as a business having to pay sick leave if they have over five employees. Democrats are sponsoring five different bills that would raise the minimum wage up to $15 dollars an hour. They are also shutting down all mining in Oregon unless you want to pay through the nose for the privilege. Oh, and by the way, they are grabbing your kicker refund too. And on and on.

Last November Baker County rejected the nonpartisan state ballot measure, but that didn’t deter them, oh no. Democrats are trying again to slip this through the back door in Baker County by having you vote for nonpartisan county commissioners. I don’t know about you but I kind of like to know what the candidates running for office believe, we darn sure know what the Democrats believe and where they want to take our state and county. Stand with me and vote no on Measure 63. 

Chuck Chase

Baker City


Local control of public lands

Federal Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) and Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payment schemes are not in the best long-term interests of Oregon’s citizens. I have attended countless budget meetings where hard-working folks strive to manage their limited resources. However, the hard-truth is that relying on these monies will only place us on the same street corner next year, with the same cardboard sign, asking once again, “Please, Sir, More…”


Pot on the job: Not like booze

This summer brings with it the right to smoke marijuana legally in Oregon, even if you don’t have a doctor’s prescription. There are limits, however, and some of them apply to the workplace.

Workers and their bosses should be current on what the state’s new marijuana law does and does not mean in the workplace.

The new law, approved by voters in the November 2014 general election, does not change the way marijuana can be dealt with at work.


Moderation on minimum wage

The Oregon Legislature is considering several bills that would increase the state’s minimum wage.

Which is interesting, considering the small number of Oregonians who earn the minimum wage — about 5.7 percent of workers in the state, and 8.3 percent in Baker City — already have gotten a raise this year, starting Jan. 1.


Letters to the Editor for April 17, 2015

Vote no on Measure 1-63 to preserve local control

The concept of nonpartisan county commissioners is being advanced by those who possess beliefs contrary to the conservative principals of the majority of people in Baker County. The current office holders have been elected by the people to represent them.

 ALL individuals, including non-affiliated with any party, have the opportunity to vote if they want to vote in the general election. 

 Currently under Oregon statute there are three types of county government structure:   

1. General Law – County Courts;

2. General Law – County Commissioner (currently Baker County form);

3. Home Rule counties.

 We, the Baker County Republicans, view the nonpartisan initiative as an attack on the current party system promoting a move toward a single party political system.

Under our current form of government if someone resigns , or is deceased, the replacement process allows for representation from all over the county to participate in the selection of nominees for appointment to the vacant position, which is true local representation.

 Don’t forget this issue was voted down in a similar statewide measure last November with the state initiative, and both Democrats and Republicans agreed this was a bad idea.

Maintain local control and keep core beliefs of candidates part of the selection process.  Vote no on Measure 1-63.

M.A. Longwell

Baker City

Measure 1-63 is just a        straw-man from Democrats

I believe Measure 1-63 is based on nothing more than a straw-man — “one who is set up a cover or front-man for a questionable enterprise.” The idea that only Republicans can vote for County Commission positions is that straw-man. The real story is, the Baker County Democrats did not put forth a single candidate for the Commission. I believe the Democrat party did this on purpose so that they could set up this straw-man. In reality a small percentage of Democrats turned their backs on their (firmly held beliefs?) and changed their party registration so as to try to influence the primary vote. I guess the county Republican voter registration numbers took a nose dive after election day.

Now, we get to the real goal of this charade, 1-63. Nonpartisan positions result in candidates that don’t want the voters to know what their ultimate goals are, once elected. The electorate gets a homogenized group of candidates who have either not figured out wher ethey want to go or how to get there. Or, the candidate who won’t tell you their goals and aims because this is a nonpartisan post and “I will do my best after study and introspection on a case-by-case basis (read: “There is no way I will ever tell the electorate who I am, or what I am.”)

I happen to like knowing a person’s beliefs, past actions, and possible future actions, by knowing their affiliation with like-minded people. The “R,” “D,” “L,” “I” etc. is a good place to start.

At least that’s how it looks from the back of the turnip wagon.

Al Aschenbrenner

Baker City


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