To the editor:

I have followed with interest the recent letter to the editor from Ms. Norick, and the responses it has generated. I must admit I agree with Ms. Norick's opinion (but with a softer approach) regarding the trashy condition in which some people choose to keep their yards in Baker City. It clearly has a negative effect upon the city's image.

I'll not spend much energy responding to the allegation blaming poverty, created by super capitalism, as a fabricated excuse for some folks who choose to collect trash in their yards. Heck, it may even be a psychological reaction to global warming! One thing for sure, though, it has to be the fault of government or some entity (certainly not the owner of the trash). Regardless of the cause, given the current price of steel, one may climb the economic ladder just a little bit higher if they'd give the scrap dealer a call to buy that ol' heap in their yard.

The exchange of opinions on this issue also prodded me to do a little research into the annals of the San Jose Mercury News, where I found an article of May 21, 2006, describing the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, launched by Mayor Ron Gonzales, who is working with citizens to clean up neighborhoods. Even the infamous andquot;poverty riddenandquot; Richmond-Menker neighborhood has tackled gang and drug problems and has cleaned apartment complexes providing safe play areas for children. Imagine that: poor people cleaning their neighborhood ... how antithetical. Strong code enforcement is also credited with the success of this program.

No response has invalidated Ms. Norick's observation. We need to look for solutions rather than excuses. It would be nice to see our city leadership take the issue of this obvious eyesore seriously. More can be learned by visiting

Don Williams

Baker City