Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Council should be responsive

I would like to alert the membership of the Hells Canyon Preservation Council to the lack of your organization to engage with the local populace in Eastern Oregon on the matter of the Travel Management Plan currently be planned by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

Throughout the last four months local citizens have attempted to engage your organization through its writings on its blog and other social media, to be ignored and most recently to delete our questions.

I would be greatly concerned to follow the leadership of people that cannot put together a coherent argument of their point, other than to wax poetic and insist that they have the only correct view point on natural resources management.

Please ask the staff in La Grande to answer the questions being posed to them. I believe before they kill any more jobs in Eastern Oregon they should account for their position.

John D. George


Change is possible

It seemed for a time that the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision had handed virtual control of our elections to the wealthy few.

But the unanimous vote last week by the Baker City Council urging a U.S. constitutional amendment to take money out of politics is now a shining symbol of the power of We the People. A small group of local citizens initiated the proposal, and the City Council debated and passed a resolution to let Congress and the states regulate political contributions and spending.

And both Senators Wyden and Merkley are already co-sponsoring just such a Constitutional amendment. This is a big deal! It deserves everyone's utmost support. We can change our destiny ... if we work together.

I was born in 1940, and during my lifetime I've seen the middle class grow by leaps and bounds, fueled by huge government investments, starting with World War II. But then I watched the tide start to go out around 1980, as good-paying jobs were lost to globalization and automation, labor unions declined, and the wealthy 1 percent gained more and more of our total income and economic and political power, and were then granted massive tax cuts.

I watched as wealthy folks and international corporations reached out and stuck their thumbs on the scales that determine who gets what. With their money they could lobby Congress, buy political influence with campaign contributions, and offshore good-paying jobs and automate jobs out of existence with impunity. They could then dictate pay and working conditions, bust unions, pay minimal income tax, and so forth.

But that's the past, not necessarily the future. If we work together, we can reverse history and rebuild a society that works for us - with a government of, by, and for The People. It's possible! I know. I was there.

I urge my fellow readers to reject the hate talk and ideology that keeps us divided, that makes us adversaries. There's too much at stake. Real answers await our mutual, joint creative problem-solving genius. The bold action of our City Council shows us it can be done.

Marshall McComb

Baker City