Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

'We the people' no longer exists

To the editor:

It is an insult to the flag of the United States to be flown above the Forest Service complex in Baker City.

Our flag represents "we the people," which the Forest Service doesn't want to be concerned with.

The Forest Service doesn't have any accountability for their actions and does whatever it wants with no regard to the citizens that they should be serving.

Even with 6,000 signatures protesting road closures and the hardship it will create, the Forest Service could not care less.

Our American flag should be flying where honesty and justice prevail.

Ron Johnson

Baker City

We all need to take care of ourselves

To the editor:

It saddens me to see so many teenagers and young adults smoking cigarettes. Anyone who smokes is exposing himself or herself to dangerous health issues. Even people who have to breathe the smoke are at risk. The results of smoking or being exposed to it may not show up right away. Some years ago a friend of mine who was a heavy smoker, along with drinking alcoholic beverages, developed heart trouble and other health issues. A short time later his life ended.

Indulging in harmful pleasures may seem like fun at first, but can often have deadly consequences. We all have to be careful since our bodies were created by God and are precious and valuable, no matter what age we are.

Joanna Mollert

Baker City

Time for change in Justice Court

To the editor:

It was reported a couple of years ago that Justice Court Judge Yervasi (a licensed attorney) was continually absent because of illness, but would still be collecting around $100,000 full pay and health benefits annually. Now the latest report (BCH) states that Mrs. Yervasi presides over the Justice Court but does not say how often or under what conditions she presides. And I also wonder how often did she personally preside in 2011 when criminal acts were taking place within her department? How often did her husband or other men fill in as judge, and have they taken the required fidelity oath? Why the confusion and secrecy? What's really going on?

"Presides" means controls, directs, supervises, manages.

As recently reported, criminal activity went unnoticed for 11 months in 2011 when Judge Yervasi claims she discovered malfeasance in her department in December. A trusted employee (trial court administrator, probably paid about a thousand dollars per week) was then arrested on March 14 with nine counts of felony theft and official misconduct.

If this is a dandy example of highly paid "management" and "supervision" then we need a remedy. I can only conclude that not just the one, but two people should be fired out of the Justice Court. It's time to set things right. We want competence and honesty. People are fed up with being ripped off.

Arthur Bingham

New Bridge

Don't like fines? Follow the laws

To the editor:

Mr. Culley: it's pretty simple. If "you don't wanna do the time, don't do the crime." If you don't like having to pay the fine for not following the law, wear your seat belt. I'm not the sharpest tack in the box and even I can figure out that one. In the end, whether I like or not, it's all about choices. You made your choice and choices have results. I learned if I don't like the results, I need to make different choices.

Another thing? Your taxes pay for that policeman's salary, his job is to enforce the laws. He's doin' what you pay him to do. Based on what you describe, it sounds as though you believe are you so "entitled" you don't have follow the laws like the rest of the population. The "passive-aggressive" behavior you talk about displaying, I would expect from a child. Like I said, it's pretty simple.

Wil Drake

Baker City

Forest belongs to all of us

To the editor:

"Do as I say, not as I do." That's the Forest Service way of doing business these days. It's hard to imagine what this area would look like without that huge network of roads that the F.S. built for giving away our forests to the large timber companies. I can't think of anyone who has destroyed more forest land in our area than the F.S. Now, they tell us that they must have been wrong to develop all those roads?

"You can't use these roads because they exist only for F.S. use," they say. It's time to let the F.S. know that they work for us, that they don't own that land, that the land they ripped up putting in roads is ours. A travel management plan that eliminates travel and even access across our forests is not a "travel management plan" at all. I want to encourage everyone to appeal this arbitrary and unfair plan. This our chance to show the F.S. that they don't have the plan we want, that they don't have our best interest in mind. It's our forest and we should have the same access as the agency that is supposed to be working for us.

I can understand seasonal restrictions for wildlife but year-long closure of entire road systems and spurs for "habitat" reasons is unrealistic and does not address most of the public's use of the forestland. If one area of forest roads is closed to public ATV use where do you suppose all those people will go? That's right, they'll crowd into the "open areas" and they will eventually become overused and damaged. That's just common sense.

People, it's time to stand up and tell those who "work for us" to do what we want not what they "think" will work out best for them. Call or write to them now. It's up to us! Get mad and let them know it! Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. 1550 Dewey Ave, P.O. Box 907, Baker City, OR 97814; 541-523-639; www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman.

Steven DeFord

Baker City