Letters to the Editor for the week of Feb. 13 to Feb. 17

February 16, 2006 11:00 pm

Councilor resigns

To the editor:

Dear citizens of Baker City: It will soon become public knowledge that I have chosen to resign from my elected position as a city councilor. This decision comes after great consideration and prayer.

When I ran in the election of 2004 I had dreams of taking our great town in new directions. I love Baker City, and have a thirst for serving its people. I have volunteered in many different capacities during the last five years that I've lived here. I saw a seat on the City Council as another opportunity to help others and to direct change in a positive manner.

After 14 months on the City Council, however, I have reached levels of frustration that I never thought possible. I was warned by multiple members of this community that I would be facing some difficult obstacles. I believed them, but didn't fully understand the magnitude of which they spoke.

The results of the election told me I had the trust and hope of the community in my hands. I feel as though I have let my supporters down. But I feel as though I was alone in fighting a battle that I could not win. The teamwork that is so important at all levels of government is lacking here at the city level. It is a sad reality that I can actually be more effective as an ordinary citizen of Baker City than as an elected official. I do not want to discourage others from seeking a council seat if their heart leads them in that direction. Everyone has a different tolerance level and different skills and abilities. For me personally, the politics and end-running that seem to be the normal way of doing business is more than I can deal with. My strengths lie in my desire and abilities to help and serve others. I have a kind and compassionate heart, and not the specific strengths needed for public office. I'm sorry to my supporters for not staying in the fight.

This November is the next general election. I strongly encourage those members of the community who feel strongly to lead and have the mindset and patience of a politician to run for City Council. While I did not see the changes within city government that I had envisioned, I did however gain a great deal of knowledge. This knowledge was gained the hard way, as a new member to Council, and I am very willing to help orient and educate any newly elected member who seeks assistance.

I will continue to participate in community events, and volunteer my efforts in areas that are effective. I wish the future City Council all the best, and pray that it's comprised of citizens whose only interest is in the betterment of Baker City.

Lori McNeil

Baker City

Local riders?

To the editor:

I just thought I would drop you a line regarding the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally due to arrive in Baker City on May 19.

My wife and I will be coming down from Seattle to participate and we are hoping that some of my old high school pals will be attending the rally as well. I don't suppose there is any way you can find out if any local riders are participating (past or present) and print it in the Herald?

Growing up in Baker in the 1960s and 70s I had several riding buddies who may have come back to riding like I did after 30 years of working and wishing I was riding.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

"Always Loyal, Always True, We're the Class of '72!"

Go Bulldogs!

Bob Mitchell

Seattle

Grateful for Butler

To the editor:

New Directions Northwest, Inc. wants to thank Rep. Tom Butler from Ontario for his continued support of alcohol and drug treatment for adolescents. Residential treatment programs such as our Elkhorn Adolescent Treatment Center have not had a rate increase since 1999. Many have been in danger of closing due to lack of funds. Thanks to the support of Rep. Butler, a rate increase has finally been approved in Salem. Without his help it would not have happened. Rep. Butler recognizes the immense importance of providing alcohol and drug treatment to troubled adolescents who can still turn their lives around and for his interest and assistance, we are immensely grateful.

Bart Murray

CEO, New Directions Northwest, Inc.

Blast from the past

To the editor:

As I was headed down 10th street I had to take a second look, and smiled as memories flooded over me. You see it was the Little Pig sign that had caught my eye. Dragging the Gut, car hops, root beer milk, twist ice cream cones, Ernie and the gang, first kisses, first fights, showing off new cars, loud music, peace signs, tie-died shirts and bell-bottom pants.

The list could go on and on.

So to all you Dragging the Gut generation, take a moment or two and reflect, go ahead and laugh out loud as you share your own Little Pig memories.

Suzette Polley

Baker City

What's new?

To the editor:

I recently borrowed a Baker County library book written by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means called "The Modern Corporation and Private Property." It was a scholarly tome about how modern corporations developed and evolved.

The earliest corporations came about when individual owners of a business enterprise sought additional funding for startup and growth. They offered ordinary people the opportunity to invest money for a share of the profits. Thus, shareholders were created.

As corporations grew larger their needs for money also grew. For a time, shareholders were closely involved with business operations and influenced business decisions. We now have thousands of corporations, and millions of shareholders. However, the millions of shareholders of our largest companies no longer govern those companies, or even influence the decisions of the company managers. Many companies no longer pay dividends and the managers, now called chief executive officers, are extremely well paid. CEOs have complete and dictatorial control of the modern American corporation.

Should the corporation fail, the CEO bails out. When CEOs flee they usually leave with a big sack of cash. The shareholders, and the employees, are often left holding a very empty bag.

So, what else is new you ask?

That book I returned to the library was published in 1932.

Richard Nase

Baker City

No apologies here

To the editor:

It comes as no surprise to me Steve Culley wants to revamp editorial page. Probably feels his intellectual essays deserve higher priority. His material neither interested or impressed me. He comes across with superiority complex. I never thought he's as knowledgeable as he thinks he is. Long ago, discontinued reading his material.

My first thought: quit your bellyaching and start your own newspaper. At some time in our lives we all have encountered the high and mighty egotistical person knowing everything. He reminds me a lot of former Congressman Wes Cooley, who manipulated people until voters questioned his qualifications, most of which were untrue, and gave Cooley the boot.

I may be one of few jumping Bush policies, but there certainly are others. Day after State of the Union address, The Oregonian editorial page printed 11 letters to the editor — 10 criticizing Bush, one lonely supporter.

Responding to Jim Thomas letter whose immature remark, "If I had the opportunity to write I hate every Republican" is insane. Especially since mother was Republican, father Democrat, united they raised four children. As adults, two became Republicans, two Democrats.

Later at family gatherings, we never argued over politics. It was a standoff, three to three.

Another childish tactic I resent: Thomas trying to incite returning Guardsmen from their Iraq duty. Majority of my letters pleaded, bring the troops home, Bush! Bush's Vietnam war military service, never leaving Texas, Cheney never in uniform, are only cowards, I implied. Get your facts straight prior to attack!

After Bush lied, taking us to war for sole purpose eliminating Hussein, why did war continue? The troops digging Hussein out of spider hole should have ended war and troops brought home.

Thomas desperately needs enrollment in Culley letter-writing course.

My schooling taught students freedom of speech, the right of their political choice, the right to criticize those violating constitution and suppressing America.

I make no apology, no retractions, have no regrets. All authenticated material backing my letters are clipped from newspapers, Time, Newsweek, then run off at local copy shop for reference.

Ronald Chaney

Baker City