Letters to the Editor for Aug. 28, 2013

By Baker City Herald readers August 28, 2013 08:20 am

Pointing out Catholic history is not bigotry

In a letter to the editor dated April 11, 2012, Jerry Boyd wrote that Dr. Barbara Tylka “is absolutely wrong when she states that a position regarding contraception is not part of Church dogma” and cites a Papal encyclical to prove his point.  Yet he admits that there are many bishops and priests who have “failed their obligation to show obedience” to the Pope’s position on contraception. 

In my letter to the editor of July 17, 2013, I guessed that based on his letter, if Jerry Boyd had lived in the time of Galileo, he would have agreed with the Church’s condemnation of Galileo, which I compared to Boyd’s poo-pooing global warming science as a “scam.”

Boyd’s wife, Jay, takes exception to the comparison and calls it bigotry in her letter to the editor of July 22, 2013. 

 I do not consider it bigotry when I criticize the Church’s sentencing of Galileo to home confinement for the rest of his life (eight years) for saying that the Bible’s concentric view of the world was bad science. Galileo was right and the Inquisition and Church were flat out wrong. It took the Church several centuries to officially apologize for its unfair treatment of one of the most revered scientists in history.

Jay Boyd admonishes me to “Do the research!” implying that I got the history and conflict between Galileo and the Church wrong. What’s wrong with her version of the controversy is that she conveniently leaves out the part concerning what the Inquisition and the Pope did to Galileo for speaking truth to power.  

Like her husband, Jay Boyd believes in following official Catholic doctrine. “That is the nature of being Catholic!”  Oh, really! When it comes to artificial means of birth control — condoms and pills — most Catholic women pay no attention to the Church’s teachings. In a Gallup pole last year, 82 percent of Catholics (and 90 percent of non-Catholics) considered birth control “morally acceptable.” And 98 percent of Catholic women admit to having used a non-natural method of contraception on at least one occasion during their reproductive years, contrary to Church dogma.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Elk Creek rancher takes responsibility seriously

In regards to the Aug. 21 Baker City Herald article “Water boil order removed,” it seemed to me some basic information might be helpful. It’s stated in the article, “cattle roam Elk Creek area.” This is true. Our ranch includes Elk Creek from Highway 7 upstream to the city watershed boundary. If you drive roads in this area you will probably see cattle some time during the summer. We do not run cattle in the Baker City watershed. There is, and has been since 1982, a fence along the Forest Service grazing boundary and the city watershed. Prior to 1982 the fence extended only from Stub Ridge to Elk Creek. Now it includes Section 6 ridge to Elk Creek.

These are three-wire drift fences designed so game can jump then, but good enough to turn cattle. Maintenance is not the responsibility of the city or the Forest Service. It is the responsibility of the permittee — yours truly — who grazes the cattle. Being responsible for the fence maintenance, as well as the cattle grazing, I can tell you this: The fencing was done. The cattle, during the time of this crypto outbreak, were in the California Gulch pasture. They are now in the Blue Canyon/Auburn area with some that have drifted north to Elk Creek. While three pair did briefly enter the watershed last week below the diversion they were removed quickly since when I got the call I was nearby and horseback. The fence where they entered was fixed immediately. I have what I consider a good relationship with the city water folks. If they see cattle, or signs of cattle, I respond as soon as possible.

In 2012 the gate below the Elk Creek water diversion was left open by people. The pile of Keystone beer cans and garbage they left was the evidence. This happened around the Fourth of July and scattered cattle all over the head of Elk Creek to Washington Gulch. This manure would be white and dry this year. From what I understand crypto is spread by contact with wet feces.

My family takes our ranch duties and work seriously. It is how we make a living. We, like our town friends and neighbors, are concerned about this sickness and hope it never happens again. Finding the exact cause might be very difficult.

My two cents? The carrier is more likely a raven or predator than a ruminant animal, wild or domestic.

Don Foster

Baker City

City needs to set aside money for water plant

The city was telling us not to drink their water (good advice!) for the many months until they get either a UV or a filtering plant installed. But they are still billing us at the full rate for this undrinkable water.

In the normal manner of such things the city will continue billing at full rate for water we mustn’t drink until the plant is built, then lay a large levy on us to pay for the plant.

It seems to me that instead, the city (and we consumers) could and should prepay this plant (or a large part of it) by setting aside a portion of the city’s water receipts (nominally representing the water we don’t drink) through these months for that purpose. Doing this would, if not eliminate the need for a levy, greatly reduce the size and cost of whatever levy is still needed. And also make the aforesaid continuing full billing seem greatly more fair.

It may be this idea just needs to be taken up with the next Council meeting.

Dan Martin

Sumpter Stage Highway