Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Occupy: A force for good

To the editor:

A young woman named Katherine Ball, age 27, is an inspiring example

of the Millennial Generation described by Lance Dickie in his op-ed

(Nov. 30).I read of her in a recent article by Steve Duin about Occupy

Portland in The Oregonian. Here's some information.

Katherine and her cohorts are facing a future far less secure than

the one I faced.At her age, I had a family and had started a

relatively predictable career with a major corporation. Life was not

perfect, but I had medical insurance, a retirement plan, a savings

account, and I was debt-free.My, how times have changed.

In Duin's article, Katherine shares her outlook and her prospects: "I don't think there is any choice but to be hopeful.What are my options?I'm $30,000 in debt with college loans. The odds of getting a fulfilling job are low. (Occupy) is my best shot."

But, given her positive nature, it is possible that Katherine and her generation will invent a life more self-fulfilling and meaningful than my own.Duin's article has her quoting writer Rebecca Solnit ("Hope just means another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed ..."),preparing free vegetarian meals for people at the Occupy site, and studying for a master's degree at Portland State.

And there's more: If you Google "Katherine Ball," you will find several web sites, including The Oregonian article; and, at, about her bicycle trip across the country last year, filming a documentary exploring local communities' solutions to global warming.

I urge my fellow readers to wholeheartedly support the widespread Occupy movement and the creative spirit exemplified by Katherine Ball.The Portland encampments have been forcibly dismantled, but she is continuing her activism at PSU, and I believe that Occupy will be an enduring, powerful force for good.It can push us to fix our manifestly unfair economic structure, alleviate environmental destruction, and otherwise support the Millennials andndash; and all the rest of us, as well.

It's possible, but "not promised, not guaranteed."However, if we join together, it could be our "best shot," too.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Coat, blanket drive a great effort

To the editor:

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Blue Mountain Community College would like to thank all of the people in our community who contributed to the November blanket and coat drive.

We appreciate the local business the allowed us to place a poster at their location, and the staff at the Armory, Baker County Library, Baker High School and Behlen Manufacturing for being the drop box points for collecting the donations.

In addition, a special thanks to Stephanie at Baker City Attended Coin Laundry for donating the machines, soap, and for washing the coats, and to the kind staff at The Salvation Army for the use of their coat racks.

Because we received the majority of the community donations through the Baker County Library, we want to thank them for their wonderful support and for allowing us to collect donations there.

Through your generous donations and support, we were able to collect and distribute over 200 coats and 40 blankets to local charities. We could not have accomplished this without each one of you and we appreciate your overwhelming response to this worthy cause.

Thank you.

Sonya De La Torre

Baker City

'Cheap' turkey too expensive

To the editor:

I live at Elkhorn Village and since there are residents that have no families, I cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I wanted to take advantage of the sale price of turkeys. Since both Albertsons and Safeway require spending $50, I bought everything I needed for dinner for 20-25 people. Yams, bread for stuffing, celery, whipped topping for Jell-O and dessert, pumpkin and cake mix for upside-down pie, and butter. I thought it would be at least $50. When I got to the checkstand I only had $39. They suspended my order and had me look through the sale paper to find anything else I might need. I couldn't find anything. I did see ham that was on sale. Even thought it is against my religion to eat ham, I thought the residents might like to have ham. I had the meat person help me pick one out. It was still not enough; so, I had the bag person go back and pick up another ham so they could have one for Christmas.

I thought of all the other low-income people in Baker who also have a hard time coming up with the $50 to get the sale price of the turkey. At Safeway, you could get a free turkey if you spent $150. The only people who could spend $150 to get a free turkey are probably the people who can afford to pay the regular price.

I talked to the manager of Albertsons and he said "the reason we require the $50 purchase is a corporate decision and also that is the only way we can break even on the turkeys. We are losing money on them as it is."

Isn't there something that can be done about this $50 requirement? I tried to find someone to buy a second turkey so we could have one for Christmas; but, everyone from here at Elkhorn does not spend $50 for their groceries. So it looks like we will not be having turkey for Christmas. We are in that group that can't afford the dollar-plus for turkey.

Alice Street

Baker City