Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Duman best-suited as councilor

To the editor:

While the newspaper is certainly entitled to its opinion, I find it more credible to express an opinion when better informed.

Ms. Duman may not be the only citizen interested in filling the

remainder of Mr. Bryan's term but she has attended more regular council

meetings than Mr. Bryan did in the past several months as well as all

of the budget meetings.

Mr. Bryan did not attend any of the budget meetings.

I encourage all interested citizens to run for office during the coming election, however, the community would be best served at this time by someone participating and representing them at council rather than letting that seat sit vacant for another few weeks.

Ms. Duman appears to be the most informed candidate based on her participation and experience as a former council member.

Of course, the Herald staff has not attended many meetings either. You state it would be better to wait, however if you were better informed, you would know how many meetings Mr. Bryan missed and that a vacant seat serves no one in this community well.

If you were better informed and actively reporting on the business of the city council, I think you'd agree that the council is considering what is best for the community and has proposed filling a vacant seat with the person most ready to serve.

Beverly Calder

City Councilor

Baker City

Bicyclists felt welcomed in Baker

To the editor:

I had the privilege of visiting Baker City this past weekend to ride the 2010 Elkhorn Classic with my 18-year-old son, Sam. Words cannot express how much we both enjoyed the cycling event, the people of Baker City, and the beautiful part of the Northwest where you live.

Just a few of our memories include the Friday night spaghetti feed hosted by the Baker High School volleyball team; early morning espresso - served with a smile and always a question about how the bike race was going - at Sorbenots; volunteers at work in the wee hours Saturday putting the finishing touches on the time trial course and the downtown streets lined with spectators welcoming us to the finish line; the Saturday afternoon downtown criterium where even more people lined the streets and shouted words of encouragement to those battling - unsuccessfully in my case - to stay on the wheels of the leaders.

Perhaps our favorite memory will be Sunday's 100-mile stage. Rolling out of town in bone-chilling rain early Sunday, we were cheered by cowbells and shouts outside the Bella Main Street Market. As we rode by I joked to my son, "If they really loved us they would sag us today!" (sag in cycling refers to a support vehicle trailing the ride with food, water, extra wheels, clothes and other creature comforts).

Later, with the ride completed and standing at the top of chilly Dooley Mountain, Sam and I were looking for a ride down to town when out of nowhere appeared Beverly Calder andndash; the owner of Bella Market - and her friend, Will, from La Grande, to offer us and our bikes a ride back to Baker City. We shared a laugh with Beverly as we told her of our "if they really loved us" joke as we passed her market over five hours earlier in the day. Our sag wagon had arrived!

Thank you Baker City, Elkhorn Classic founder Nathan Hobson and race director Ernie Conway, and the many volunteers who make it all work for the cyclists.

We will be back and bring more family and friends!

John Bliss

Mercer Island, Wash.

Oregon's wolf plan is working

To the editor:

The Oregon Wolf Plan (OWP) has provided the opportunity for communication about the return of wolves to Oregon in a respectful environment, while the wolves are being managed in a respectful way as well. I am very thankful for that space as some people have been clear that they only want to kill wolves.

The OWP has guarded all of us from this emotional reaction that would have pre-empted any chance at a meaningful discussion. I think that for many people the concept of persecuting a just returned native wildlife species that lived here for tens of thousands of years is just plain wrong. Some folks take pride in being third and fourth generation Oregonians, like myself. How many generations of wolves lived here? I for one accept and desire that there be wild places and wildlife with the associated risks.

Personally, I am impressed by the small number of livestock that wolves have taken considering how prevalent livestock is on the landscape. While the media makes a big deal about any wolf depredation, it doesn't change the fact that wolves far and away favor wild prey. When individual wolves cross the line too many times and all non-lethal measures have been exhausted, the OWP allows for their removal, such as the two 11-month old wolves near Keating.

The OWP helped us get ahead of the curve on the return of wolves. I don't know of anyone who would disagree that it's better to be prepared for upcoming change than unprepared. Now the Plan is up for its 5-year evaluation and review with a public comment period. A very vocal few will push for a return to the dark ages when we exterminated wolves from our state. This prejudice against wolves is of mythical proportions considering even "man's best friend" kills far more livestock than wolves, but that's just the "cost of doing business." I don't just want domestic dogs; I want the 'real McCoy!' I strongly encourage anyone in favor of living with native wildlife to write comments in favor of wolves and their strong, continued protection under Oregon's Wolf Plan.

David Mildrexler

La Grande

Manmade disasters happen

To the editor:

Of all the tragedies that have happened in our lifetime this oil well accident will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst ever. We can't help but wish it had never happened but we also recognize the fact that with all of the new technology that we develop there are risks involved and man's ingenuity will no doubt help solve it.

This accident has brought about much anger, frustration and long-term ecological problems to every segment of the economy of the entire Gulf Coast.

I can't help but think about what happened in our own community without any big outcry from the general public. Just think what action by tree-hugger environmentalists groups, government and a spotted owl did for this community. The local lumber industry probably had over 300 employees plus all the other businesses that supported these workers.

This was all a manmade disaster. It didn't have to happen. Remember, I am from the government and am here to help you.

Eric Romtvedt

Baker City

Another kudos for Aletha

To the editor:

I also agree that Aletha Bonebrake is doing a great job even though she is retired from our libraries. This is the second "kudos"she has had this year in library work.

I visit with Aletha often and she is very fair-minded and astute in everything she is involved with.

Ed Jones

Baker City