Letters to the Editor for March 7, 2012

Written by Baker City Herald readers March 07, 2012 08:49 am

Lots happening at the hospital

To the editor:

On Feb. 27 I was an invited guest at the St. Alphonsus Ladies Auxiliary monthly  meeting. During that meeting I learned of many changes taking place at the local community hospital, not just in name or current corporation management.

Most of the members present were volunteer senior ladies, who have most graciously supported the hospital, regardless of the title, for many, many years! To each of these ladies, past and present, I say thank you for the hours of volunteer time.

Mr. Ray Gibbons, current administrator of Baker City branch, gave a short update of the concerns and considerations forthcoming due to the Affordable Health Care Act and its mandates; outlining some of the impact that federal action will have on the state of Oregon, and of course, on the “rural Eastern Oregon communities,” their health providers, and last but certainly not least, the families of the surrounding rural areas.

As the update was presented that day, I looked around the gathered members and  wondered where the “younger volunteers” were; acknowledged most were hopefully working to support families in this economic whirlwind we find ourselves! If not, where?

As the meeting concluded, I was left with the impression that we all must support the local hospital and foundation, caregivers, and the priceless volunteers, in their efforts to provide local healthcare options for the rural communities. The administrative staff members are scheduled to attend many local service organizations’ meetings to share some of the local changes, concerns and needs of support from the community to retain the local hospital options.

It would benefit all to read local articles as to the future changes coming from the federal Affordable Health Care Act, the effects on individual health care choices, payments, coverages, premiums, etc, as well to the institutions, and healthcare providers. Any forthcoming newspaper articles in the plans?

Cheryl Gushman

Baker City

Hydropower is renewable

To the editor:

Oregon is one of a number of states to have legislated a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which mandates that utilities buy a certain percentage of higher cost power from “renewable” sources.

Unfortunately, in Oregon most low cost hydropower was summarily excluded from the definition of “renewable” when the RPS was drafted (SB 838).  The effect of that exclusion is Oregonians are now forced to subsidize, develop and purchase expensive wind and solar power even when existing hydropower is abundant.  Like ethanol, this is yet one more example of how industry lobbyists and legislators write laws that force consumers to subsidize an uncompetitive industry, pay more, and receive less.

It’s time to call for a national renewable electricity standard that defines existing hydropower as a “renewable” energy source on par with wind and solar.  Relegating hydropower to second class status in the energy portfolio hurts consumers and simply makes no sense.

Kathy Myron

Union

Why feed deer to the wolves?

To the editor:

In response to two contributions favoring wolves in the Feb. 24 edition: Each person refers to the same old cliché: “predators kill and eat only the sick and weak.” This is entirely misleading.

I learned from observation while feeding starving deer and elk on the Keating range that most predators do not kill and eat sick animals. They know what they want to eat and they select the best.

I have seen undeniable evidence that coyotes will deplete a whole herd of deer of every healthy fawn, up to two years of age, while never disturbing a sick deer lying in a feedlot, still much alive. In 1989 a group of local volunteers and I fed 5,000 mule deer and 200 elk in the Keating Unit. The deer mortality was extreme that year. But there was only about eight or 10 deer drawn into the feedlot that were never able to eat. We placed feed where they could eat without moving, but it was never touched.

Every day there were new bloody spots on the snow, usually with warm pieces of skin, hoofs and pieces of small skulls indicating the kills were fawns.

My friends, these little fawns and calf elk are the “weak” that large predators live on.

Wolves are much larger than coyotes. In order to survive they must consume many more of the weak — more fawns, more calves. Sadly, these days they are eating more farm animals.

Wolves have another thing going for them. Wolves kill full grown bull elk easily.

This is why Idaho hunters are up in arms.

As for me, I spent 49 months, three to five months at a time, between 1962 and 1989, feeding starving deer. For years my late husband, Edward Holland, and I paid for the hay, replaced tire chains, axles, driveshafts, and bought gasoline to take the hay to the feedlots.

It did not matter what long hours I worked or how bad the weather, how sick I was. I had to feed the deer anyway, and I did.

It hurts my feelings now to see people fighting to feed these same deer to wolves.

Carmelita Holland

Richland