Letters from the week of July 10 to July 14

July 14, 2006 12:00 am

Enjoy reminiscing with newspaper

To the editor:

My husband I recently moved back to Baker City — our roots. And we were pleased to reconnect with the Herald.

With extreme interest and utter enjoyment, we read the memorabilia articles which are so often published. There have been many recently, for example "A hobby that measures up" about Gilbert Jones, "Trailer Treasure" about Wally Byam, "Don't let history hide," Phyllis Badgley's delightful accounts and the July 5 letter of Ron Chaney.

Incidentally, we will add to Mr. Jones' collection one of my husband's seven-inch advertising rulers he gave out when he was the Shell jobber here when it was "Baker" many years ago.

So, thank you to the staff of the Herald for doing such an outstanding job of tempering the many local, state, national and international news items with these great trips down memory lane.

We seniors, we former Bakerites and we long-time Baker natives cherish our beloved Baker history, and you folks certainly do your part for us!

Charlene Lee-Dean

Baker City

Need a teen center

To the editor:

When visiting the library and park, I often see young people gathered about with nothing to do. The park has sufficient play area for smaller children. Perhaps a teen center for tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc. could be established in the park which would be available for older kids. This would encourage the benefits of sports and serve as a gathering place for them.

Perhaps college students, home for the summer, could be utilized to monitor these activities for small pay and credit toward their degree. This has been successful in other cities. Not everyone can be on the organized sports teams, but many would enjoy pick-up games.

Robert F. Russell

Baker City

BMS is unsafe

To the editor:

How can this community stand by and allow our neighbors to compromise their safety each day by entering a building that has no fire protection? You may think I'm talking about the Elytrm, and why not, with all the press it has received this past year. You may be surprised to know I'm talking about our middle school buildings. They have no fire protection either. Over 300 children each day attend a school that has no sprinklers in the classrooms or halls. If we believe the Elytrm is not safe, we can choose not to see a movie. Our children don't have that same choice. They must attend classes at the Middle School whether they think it's safe or not.

I'm concerned about this community's perception of the middle school. I recently attended a middle school tour and was surprised to find I was the only one. After completing the tour I was embarrassed that we send our children to a building that is partially condemned. We need to build a new school now. Remodeling is a compromise that can not meet all our needs today, not to mention the next 70 years. Before voting on a bond measure to remodel or build a new school, I would strongly encourage everyone to tour the middle school some Thursday evening.

Let's worry less about what's best for these buildings and more on what's best for our children.

Chris Folkman

Baker City

Mental health services healthy?

To the editor:

I've had the opportunity to meet a great number of people in our community while working for social services in Baker County over the past eight years. One of the essential resources we have to offer both children and adults are mental health and behavior modification services. Professional mental health assistance is invaluable t the many people working to manage and make difficult changes in their lives. I am concerned that these needed services, available through Mountain Valley Mental Health (MVMH), are being reduced. We have lost and are continuing to lose excellect providers from MVMH. Invaluable hours of skilled care for children and adults are being reduced.

Mountain Valley Mental Health is our community's private non-profit clinic and has offered assistance for a range of needs. MVMH is key in providing needed services for people of low income who do not have health insurance through employers and cannot afford to purchase it or are insured through Oregon Health Plan. MVMH is an invaluable partner in our county's team of direct service providers. I am grateful for the staff at MVMH who offer these services and have respect for the skilled support they are able to provide. My concern is that administrating the complicated maze of funding for a non-profit such as MVMH has to be an enormous task. My question is who can effectively take that task on?

I understnad that the director of MVMH was put on administrative leave. I wondered if perhaps this would be a turning point for the clinic and that we would see a change. Now the same director has been returned again as an administrator at the clinic. I wonder if we need to have a better understanding of what is happening to this agency and the board that directs it.

There are questions and concerns about what is happening to an agency that is mostly funded with our tax money. Why is this happening to our community's mental health clinic? What needs to be done to make changes so we are serving those people who need and significantly benefit from the services provide by Mountain Valley Mental Health?

Alice Lentz

Baker City