Letters to the editor for the week of May 1 to May 5, 2006

May 05, 2006 12:00 am

Vote for Hallman

To the editor:

I urge your readers to vote for Gene Hallman for the Oregon Supreme Court.

It is a seven-member court. Eastern Oregon has not had a judge on the court in nearly 20 years. That fact alone is not compelling but there are other reasons to vote for Mr. Hallman.

He should have our vote because he is the most qualified and experienced candidate. He has 30 years of distinguished, real-world courtroom experience representing working people and small businesses. He has broad support from law-enforcement, lawyers, judges and business groups across Oregon and a reputation for integrity and fairness.

Milo Pope

Baker City

Vote for Yervasi

To the editor:

I urge you to vote for Lise Yervasi for Justice of the Peace. Here's why I support her: 1) she's very intelligent and honest; 2) she is a good lawyer, knows the law, and would be able to properly apply it in her capacity as Justice of the Peace; 3) in my dealings with her as an attorney, her word was always good (to me, that's a big deal); 4) you can be assured that you'd be treated fairly in court — she will exercise independent judgment in both civil and criminal cases; 5) above all, she has a great deal of common sense.

In short, she has all the qualities that are needed to be a good judge. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

John L. (Jack) Jacobson

Baker City

About the

city's surplus ...

To the editor:

Having read several letters to the editor from well-meaning citizens wanting to use the excess city money for their own special causes and hearing many suggestions in conversations about town as to what the money should be spent on, I have yet another suggestion.

If I have learned one thing in my 25 years of living here in this beautiful city, Baker City is a low-income town and in most cases a two-income-family town.

I would like to suggest the city follow the lead of OTEC when every December they return a dividend check to all their ratepayers. Why then can't the city pay every residential December water/sewer bill, making it just a little brighter holiday season for our citizens? A little extra for the families in town to brighten their holidays would be a nice gesture on behalf of the city.

As for the special interests, I am sure your causes are worthy. I suggest a car wash to raise money.

Bill Ward

Baker City

A town we could

once be proud of

To the editor:

I have lived here in Baker City most of my life and I wouldn't trade what we have here for anything. I have lived in enough other places to realize that what we have here is special. And I hope that we don't let that slip away from us.

Let's keep that small-town feeling. We can still grow without losing that. If people move here to escape the big city, then let's not let them turn Baker City into what they left behind.

Maybe we need one of those signs at the edge of town that says: "Baker City, A Nice Place to Visit, But Don't Plan to Stay."

I saw an Oprah show lately where someone said if they saw someone with dirt under their fingernails they thought of them as low class. I bet that person never worked an honest day in their life. I have more respect for that hard-working person with dirt under their nails then anyone who looks down their nose and points their little manicured finger at their idea of a person with low class.

One day this winter I had about 10 minutes after I got off work to fly uptown and get my mother a Christmas present. I didn't have time to clean up and I didn't look as "presentable" as I should have, but I had a wad of cash in my pocket and I wanted to spend it here in Baker City.

The "higher class" store employee walked right past me to help some other woman (of class?) and it was only when she saw me turn to leave that she acknowledged me and asked me what I wanted. I told her that if I wasn't "good" enough to buy something in her shop I would take my money elsewhere — and I did. No wonder people go out of Baker to shop. If we get too big for our britches, maybe it's time to move on and let someone with dirt under their fingernails take our place.

Here in Baker City we decorate the graves of our loved ones, we go out with dirt under our fingernails, and we're darn proud of it because that's what made this a country (and a town) that we once could be proud of.

Debbie DeMastus

Baker City

Imagination

and knowledge

To the editor:

From the pen of Albert Einstein we read: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Imagine a humane shelter in Baker City, serving the needs of all of Baker County.

Imagine almost no homeless or abandoned cats and dogs in Baker County.

Imagine a flower garden or a yard without cat and dog droppings.

Imagine the police not having to spend their time picking up stray animals.

Imagine our valued veterinarians using their skills to save lives instead of killing unwanted animals.

Imagine newcomers to Baker City and County seeing a humane shelter rather than stray animals running around.

Imagine visitors and tourists being able to find their lost pets at a shelter rather than losing them to the unknown.

Imagine Baker City and Baker County working together to spend some of their surplus money to provide a low-income spay/neuter clinic to end the feral cat and stray dog populations in Baker County.

Imagine the Baker City Council and the Baker County Commissioners coming together with Best Friends of Baker City, Inc., to build an animal shelter where abused, neglected and unwanted animals could be housed and cared for.

Imagination and knowledge could bring all of this together!

Carol Price

Baker City

My two cents' worth

To the editor:

It's like mutiny picking on Rumsfeld. Seven generals want his scalp and seven more maybe on the way, couldn't resist putting in my two cents' worth.

His genius army, lighter unarmored vehicles, quicker attacks, less personnel is not the way to go. What does Rummy know about the army? Iraq is a land war. He's a former peacetime navy man.

The old army, we had to be accountable. A young draftee staring a poisonous gila monster in the face crawling on my belly, half the length of body and big around as my waist (then 30 inches). Arguing with a sergeant and calling him an SOB, nonetheless disciplinary action resulted, pulling KP two weeks 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Could be Bush's military service — never left Houston, avoiding El Paso desert area where gila monster flourished.

German Panzer divisions were lightening force of World War II. However, they were well-equipped vehicles, tanks, artillery, adequate number of troops, and air power to soften the enemy. The Rummy army is a complete disaster from start to finish.

Not only that, since 2000, West Point graduates, junior officers, are resigning their commissions in droves. You cannot blame them. Who wants to return home in a casket over a senseless invasion that never should have occurred?

Of the three, Bush, Cheney or Rummy, I cannot tell you who is the most arrogant or the biggest liar. I can tell you the most obnoxious joker — Karl Rove. His attempt to make Bush a religious gung-ho was laughable.

We now have to worry, will the Bush threats to bombard Iran escalate? Russia and China are not passively standing by. The cost of gasoline will go through the roof. If not Iran, will he start a war with North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela?

The American people want their flag back and what it represents: civil liberties returned, private telephone conversations, and mail unintercepted. No more torture. In other words, no more police state with the rich paying their fair taxes.

Ron Chaney

Baker City

Candid look at cost, schedule

To the editor:

The issue of a new middle school versus extensive renovation to the two existing buildings certainly is a major community decision, both financially and logically. I have taken the walking tour through the existing middle school structures and will not argue that there is a dire need to undertake major costly changes for the students' and teachers' safety and welfare.

However, I suspect that the tour routed us through the worst of existing conditions — a biased look — and did not point out the unique spatial and architectural features that the school district will abandon. Both buildings are relatively sound structures and, after extensive modification, upgrades and improvements, could serve the needs of our school district for another 50 to 90 years.

Additionally, I would submit that the per-square-foot costs being professed today for either a new facility or restoration of our existing facility are aimed too low for this type of construction; add two to four years from now before the actual work is begun and the costs will be substantially greater, as will our tax burden.

I believe the taxpayers deserve a candid look at the real time schedule and the real dollars. I believe the school board's and superintendent's focus on a new middle school complex will never be persuasive to the general public without having a good in-depth engineer's analysis of the comprehensive efforts and costs required to bring the Helen M. Stack and the Central buildings into code compliance.

We abandoned the Churchill Elementary School several years ago and are still burdened with the costs of its stewardship. We (the school district being governed by the people of the community) do not need the burdens of two more large vacant buildings in the middle of Baker City. The idea to "just sell" them is not based on the reality of this kind of real estate in Baker City.

Sid Johnson

Baker City

City could help with tennis

To the editor:

There is a real need for either an indoor tennis facility, or as an alternative, the ability to cover the existing courts at the high school. Tennis is a very popular sport in Baker, not only among our youth, middle school and high school, but also among our adult population. For our students especially, not having an indoor or covered facility puts them at a decided disadvantage when it comes to being competitive with other schools.

Many of the matches they play during the season are against schools whose students have the advantage of playing year-round, on indoor or covered courts. Our students not only have no such facility at their disposal rendering them unprepared and not match play ready when tennis season officially starts, but they are also faced with spending part of the class time shoveling snow off the tennis courts before they can even begin play.

The beautiful courts at the high school which were resurfaced within the last few years, are already showing signs of weather damage, now exhibiting multiple cracks, which will continue to widen over time. It is a shame that this is allowed to continue. If the City indeed does have a surplus of money, it would be wonderful to see a portion earmarked for a facility allowing for tennis to be played year round.

Gennie Dethloff

Baker City