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Letters to the Editor for Aug. 30, 2017


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B2H foe smells a rat with IPC transmission line

I chose to live in Baker to avoid the rat race. It’s a great place to live but lately, with B2H, I smell a rat: Idaho Power. Below are signs of Baker’s impending rat problem.

• Dark brown droppings wrapped up in misleading propaganda; i.e., the rats claim their customers need and will benefit from the power ... not half as much as its shareholders will gain from their stock in the company. The rats are guaranteed a 6.7-percent profit for building this thanks to the 1936 Rural Electrification Act. Current day utilities make more money building these projects than they make selling the electricity.

• Rub marks. Grease and dirt on their bodies leaves smudges on surfaces, like the rats making private landowners sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement so that landowners don’t tell each other what price they were duped at. The rats are trying to talk landowners into agreeing to payment for having a transmission line go across their property even though the line has not been approved.

• Scratching noises. The rats are asking for an exception to the DEQ noise limits as there are people along the transmission line who will experience noise above the allowable amount. The rats are only required to notify people who live a maximum of 500 feet from the transmission line; these people may not even know the transmission line is proposed to be near their property.

• Rat nests. Rat presence will increase invasive weeds, noise, fire hazards, damage to the views from the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and most of the valley, impact wildlife, damage roads, create dust, noise, and reduce property values.

If you have heard scratching noises or spotted any of the signs mentioned, act quick to ensure the potential infestation doesn’t spread any further. We don’t need rats or the rat race in this county. Remember: Even if you do win the rat race, you are still a rat.

P.S. If you have new or different reasons regarding rats over running and ruining Baker County, let your county commissioners know by Oct. 1, 2017.

Whit Deschner

Baker City

New book examines the economy our world needs

How does our economy work?

According to Canadian activist Naomi Klein, we have a corrosive values system that places profit above the well-being of people and the planet. It is a system based on limitless taking and extracting.

It takes from workers, asking more and more from them, even as employers offer less and less security and lower wages in return.

Schools, parks, transit and other services have had resources clawed back from them over many decades.

Our system takes endlessly from the earth’s natural bounty, without protecting cycles of regeneration, while paying little attention to where we are offloading pollution, whether it be into water systems that sustain life or the atmosphere that keeps our climate system in balance.

Our economy is addicted to short-term profits, treating people and the earth either like resources to be mined to their limits or as garbage to be disposed of far out of sight, whether deep in the ocean or deep in a prison cell.

The economic system described above is not mine, but slightly paraphrased from that presented by Klein in her new book “No is NOT Enough: Resisting Trump’s shock politics and winning the world we need.”

The system we need, says Klein, needs to shift “from a system based on endless taking — from the earth and from one another — to a culture based on caretaking, the principle that when we take, we also take care and give back. A system in which everyone is valued, and we don’t treat people or the natural world as if they were disposable.”

I highly recommend reading Klein’s “No is NOT Enough.”

Gary Dielman

Baker City