Insult to injury

To the editor:

I don't what Baker City looks like, but I can visualize a whole bunch of legitimate reasons why a car isn't moved every five days. I recall once breaking a kneecap and having the misfortune of having it cared for in a dirty operating room where I contracted a staph infection.

So if I had been in Baker City, I would have come out of the hospital two weeks later to find my car towed. There is insult heaped on injury.

Certainly there must be far more weighty issues that they are ignoring to focus on this non-issue. Are your city councilmen elected? Maybe it's time for some retirements

Matt Ryan

Bremerton, Wash.

Fear versus reason

To the editor:

The executive branch of our federal government is attempting to secure unchecked control of the country. Traditionally we have enjoyed, unwittingly or otherwise, some measure of balance of powers. Don't suppose that the balance of power is merely andquot;bureaucratic red tapeandquot; or an annoying impediment to getting things done. Without a balance of power, we have no freedom.

The people have to rely on their congressional representatives to uphold their interest in the balance of power. Bush and Cheney, Inc., would like the public to believe that we are in a state of emergency and that we should blindly fall in line with their whims. Woe to us if we are motivated by the trepidation of fear instead of by the confidence of reason.

Pete Martin


Shine light on issue

To the editor:

It has been six weeks since Peggi Timm's heartfelt letter regarding Mountain Valley Mental Health appeared in your paper. In her letter, Mrs. Timm raised three questions: andquot;Why was the director suspended and then returned to another management position? Where have all the employees gone? And what about the rumors of a high-risk psychiatric clinic to be built in Baker City?andquot;

Despite her opinion that this subject is andquot;more than worthy of local news coverage,andquot; no information has appeared in your publication (or any other publication I am aware of) in response to any of her questions. Coincidentally I noticed that on the very day Mrs. Timm's letter came out, just above it the following quotation was printed: andquot;Any policy that is jeopardized when exposed to bright light isn't much of a policy. Shining the light is eminently patrioticandquot; from Rem Rieder, editor, American Journalism Review, 2002. I could not agree more.

So I am left wondering why the darkness? More importantly, when will you andquot;shine the light?andquot; And if not, why not?

Maryalys Urey

Baker City

If you voted with the administration ...

To the editor:

If you voted with the administration in the last election this is what you voted for. There have been 2,911 coalition deaths, 2,682 Americans, 2 Australians, 117 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, 4 Danes, 2 Dutch, 2 Estonians, 1 Fijian, 1 Hungarian, 31 Italians, 1 Kazakh, 1 Latvian, 17 Poles, 2 Romanians, 2 Salvadoran, 3 Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, 2 Thai and 18 Ukrainians, and 40,000 estimated civilians killed in the war in Iraq as of Sept. 18, 2006.

So far the war has cost us over $300 billion and continues to increase at the rate of more than $6 billion per month.

According to former U. S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith, Iraq has broken into three distinct parts, and he sees no way it can ever be put back together again.

We found no weapons of mass destruction, we weren't welcomed as liberators, Saddam Hussein wasn't involved in 9/11, and the war has lasted longer than the 6 months Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld originally estimated. Perhaps, if you had voted differently, a lot of those families would not have suffered so badly, and Americans might have had health care instead.

Richard Nase

Baker City

Dogs do dog things

To the editor:

A dog is a dog, no matter what size, breed or temperament, and will do a dog thing. Some bite, bark, chase, charge, wet and dump where they shouldn't. These and more are just dog things. Dog lovers like you and like me think because a dog is special, it will do no harm.

Folks, I know different. My husband and I have been bitten and we had a dog bite a little girl, so we know both sides. Now for the reason I am writing this letter.

Edward has biked to work for 32 years. At 4:30 a.m. on July 14, he was on his way to work. At the corner of 8th and Campbell, a dog charged him unexpectedly. He had never seen the dog before. He reacted too quickly and was thrown violently to the ground. The dog, seeing what he had caused, turned and left the scene, like a child after breaking the cookie jar.

Edward could not get up. It was not too long before help came. The ambulance was called, and he was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital. Later, he left for St. Alphonsus Hospital and went into surgery at 9 p.m. Boise time. The upper femur was broken. He now has a metal rod in his leg. After four weeks, he was back to work on a limited basis. God has been good to him, and we give praise to him. A special thank-you to the men who stopped to help him.

The cost of this dog thing: St. Elizabeth Hospital, $1,771; Baker City ambulance, $3,720; St. Alphonsus Hospital, $17,025.26; surgeon, $8,414.80; anesthesiologist, $1,053; medications, $939.99, Baker City doctor, $263; miscellaneous, $421.

Total cost of this dog thing was $33,601. After insurance, we paid $2,680.

Now ask yourself if you could have paid the lesser amount. A lot of people in Baker County can't.

We know what the law is concerning dogs being loose. Please do not let your dogs out during the night or early morning. If you find your dog has found a way to get out of your yard, please put a stop to it. Not all dog encounters will cost a lot. But dog lovers, we are responsible for our dogs. We never know when our human-like friend will revert to a dog and do a dog thing.

Ruby Stoaks

Baker City

Organ donor

To the editor:

Over the past couple days I have been reading the stories about the Oregon Donor Program and it struck a soft spot.

I found myself close to tears as I could almost feel the appreciation and thankfulness these individuals went through. What if it was my child whose life was saved by another's loss or if my child was the one who saved another?

The more I thought about it I was reminded that I have a heavenly father who did the same thing for me and everyone else. He sent his perfectly healthy son to die so that I might not just have life, but eternal life.

What bothers me is that myself and other believers have a hard time telling others about our savior because someone might make fun of us. The fact that Jesus gave up his life so that we may have eternal life is nothing to be ashamed of.

If my life was saved because someone donated a organ to me I would be more than willing to share my story and thank that individual. So here I am to thank my savior for giving me eternal life. Thank you Jesus!

Bryan Dalke

Baker City

Teach kids to stop and get off bikes

To the editor:

I remember the day when children were taught to stop at an intersection and get off their bicycle and walk it across the street.

They did that out of common courtesy, common sense and common knowledge and upbringing. Children are not being taught common sensical things to live in such a crowded, dangerous life. With our city growing each day, children need to be taught the rules of traffic.

Around 4:15 p.m on Sunday, I was driving east on Broadway coming to the intersection of Broadway and Main and going to make a right turn on to Main Street. I had a green light. Out of nowhere, a child on a bicycle darted in front of me crossing the street on a red light. I came uncomfortably close to hitting him.

He was clearly in the wrong, crossing on a red light, but legally, he was in the crosswalk.

With the little boy that was in a hit-and-run accident with a 15-year-old driver and his 12-year-old brother, and all the accidents with children on bicycles, you would think that any parent that loves and is concerned for their child growing up in such a dangerous world that is growing day by day that the parent would teach their children better. They are our future. But with the problems of the world, it's obvious that the guilt falls on the parents.

Tamra Ornelas

Baker City

Donate organs to donors first

To the editor:

Bruce Valentine and Raven Shipsey were very lucky to get organ transplants. Over half of the 92,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of their neighbors die every year as a result.

There is a simple solution to the organ shortage give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 60 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die. People who aren't prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law. Anyone can join for free at or by calling 888/ORGAN88.

LifeSharers has 6,088 members, including 81 members in Oregon. Over 600 of our members are minor children enrolled by their parents.

David J. Undis

Executive Director, LifeSharers

Bring back the band shell

To the editor:

During 1940 and 1941, I played drums in the band which performed in the old band shell in the city park. The director was Louis Freitag. He directed the band for many years.

I have noticed there is a movement to build another band shell in the city park. Wonderful, I say.

During the early 1930s, my father also played drums in the band shell band. I recall my family walking to the park every Thursday on warm summer evenings, spreading out a blanket on the grass to listen to the band music.

Posted on several windows in town there is a flyer promoting the new band shell. In the flyer, there is a photo of the old band shell, showing folks enjoying the music.

I sincerely hope that the efforts to build a new band shell are fruitful. I know that entertainers will enjoy having a real stage on which to perform.

For those who share my feelings about the new band shell, please let members of the planning commission and city council know how you feel.

Mel Durgan

Baker City