Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Concerns convince us to cancel

To the editor:

We have two concerns. The first concern is economic. It is unfortunate that the publisher of the Baker City Herald has, in these tough economic times, decided that to continue to serve our community it is best to reduce services by 40 percent while holding subscription prices firm. The carriers will apparently take a 40 percent cut in pay as they will only work three days a week plus have to pay for supplies that were previously provided by the paper. The lost wages will only affect a small group but their dedication and service deserves better - perhaps a percentage of their sales based on subscription price equivalent to their current earnings.

Second concern: the editorial slant. Watching the direction taken by the paper over the past few years it seems the baseline values of both a healthy community and the ethic of journalism have been overlooked. A local paper has the opportunity and obligation to present facts and coverage that lends a sense of direction to the community and reveals those institutions that threaten the stability or financial health of that community.

Concerns over costly decisions by city government, erosion of personal safety under the law, questions of management quality in business or government, and the safety of children in morally ambiguous times have always been in the forefront of journalistic outrage. These are the type of topics that result in Pulitzer prizes when properly covered.

The current response to these issues seems to indicate that the Herald has no compass with which to provide a sense of direction. Therefore and regretfully, we are canceling our subscription effective June 1.

Ryc and Penny Rienks

Baker City

Struggling to do the 'right' thing

To the editor:

I have read many of the letters concerning the new club at the high school. Tolerance on all sides is my hopeful outcome for everyone. If you were the parent or relative of a homosexual you would understand that it is NOT a choice. Who would deliberately choose this lifestyle that stirs up so many negative emotions?

God created all of us and He says, "Judge ye not lest ye be judged." Does Ms. Opperman think that a gay or lesbian can't have God in their heart? A Christian can also struggle with this issue to do the "right" thing. I personally know three adults who have married, had children, and tried to live "respectfully" in life. They weren't happy living this way. They are "out" now and living with prejudices, but truly happy and loved. They are good parents to their children and guess what? Their children still love them!

Fear, shame, and embarrassment led them to try to be normal in the eyes of everyone around them. Gays and lesbians don't hurt people any more than heterosexuals. They don't force themselves on people or children in violence like a rapist or molester.

I am grateful to live in a country where we can voice our opinions freely. This is my opinion. I respect Ms. Opperman's, but highly disagree with her.

Donita Smock

Bay City

Don't confuse young minds

To the editor:

Whether you know it or not, our country was founded on Christian values and principles. Our founding fathers knew that God needed to be a big part of this country's foundation to receive His blessings. God and Creator are mentioned in the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, also the last line says, "andhellip;with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence. . ." These men believed in the living God of the Bible. If you don't believe in God, that doesn't change the fact that there is a God, our Creator. God created us to praise and worship Him.

Having said that, God loves each and every one of us. He is a righteous God who doesn't like sin. God's inspired Word, the Bible, is very clear about how He feels about all sin. One of the many sins God talks about in His Word is homosexuality. Romans 1:24-32 is clear on this matter. We can't pick and choose what to believe from the Bible, it is all God's Word.We can choose to try to obey God or not, to do right or wrong.

Mr. Jewell said his daughter made a choice. She has chosen to go against God's Word and, yes, God will judge. Our loving God has given her a way out, read 1 John 1:9. He offers us a gift of eternal life in heaven, John 3:16-17, but we need to repent (turn from our sins). For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. We are all in need of a Savior.

The GSA club at the high school is a mistake, it opens a Pandora's box. Sexual preference shouldn't be part of a school club. Where do we draw the line? Let's do what's right and stop adding to the confusion of these young minds. We need to be teaching the clear picture of right and wrong.

No, I don't have homophobia, these children would be welcome in my home. God teaches us to love one another, to love the sinner, but hate the sin!

Kim Mespelt

Baker City

We'll get through crisis together

To the editor:

Three weeks ago the Postal Service of Baker County sponsored a food drive to benefit the needy in Baker County. There are four food banks in Baker City. The food was collected by the Postal Service employees and equally divided between the Catholic Church, the Nazarene Compassion Center, The Salvation Army and the Christian Church Bread of Life.

I could not believe the outpouring of love and donated food we received from the people of Baker County. It made me realize even more how blessed we are to live in a community that truly cares for each other.

With God's help we will survive this crisis our country is going through by helping each other. God bless you all.

Ray Berryhill

Food and clothing director,

Nazarene Compassion Center

Baker City

Great show, and a great building

To the editor:

"Swingtime Canteen" is one of the best, most entertaining productions that we have had for many years! You still have a chance to see and hear the wonderful World War II songs next Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the former natatorium, now renamed the Baker Heritage Museum.

Can you believe we once voted to tear this magnificent building down? As I watched the show in the ballroom, I thought how grateful we should be to Alice Warnock, Carolyn Sherrieb and others who had the vision to restore the old "Nat" and save many artifacts from Eastern Oregon.

Frances Burgess

Baker City