A good forum

To the editor:

We left last week's public forum (coordinated by City Councilor McNeil) with a good feeling about the future of Baker City. One of the most important topics discussed was the need to encourage people to be candidates for City Council. Beyond the reported comment of the need for andquot;new blood,andquot; several citizens spoke of our need to have a City Council that participates in the community, and represents our city in a positive manner.

There were a lot of criticisms aired that evening, and a lot of heads nodding in agreement. But there was much more constructive discussion than Friday's story reported.

The 30 people who attended spoke of the pride we have in our community, and recognized that one of our greatest assets for maintaining a strong city is focusing on our strengths and presenting a positive image. People want to live and build businesses in a positive, successful environment and our elected officials should represent us in that light. We need a City Council that actually andquot;walks the talkandquot; of wanting new business in Baker City and makes the process of starting, expanding or relocating to Baker City a rewarding process for the people who are investing their money in the future of our community.

Another topic mentioned in the story was the diagonal parking changes on First and Resort. The only detail in the story was the andquot;associated dangers.andquot; Apparently the reporter missed the chorus of people who said the additional parking was fabulous. The concern was very specific to the parking spaces adjacent to the crosswalks, which are too close to the intersection and obstruct visibility.

Unfortunately, the story in Friday's paper didn't capture the optimism of the 30 people who spent an evening gathered together talking about how we could improve our city government by encouraging the people we respect, who would be good leaders and good listeners, to run for office. Hopefully McNeil will continue to encourage people to participate in the process, both with comments, suggestions and a commitment to serve the community. No one should andquot;take heatandquot; for participating or commenting in the public process; they should be welcomed, encouraged and valued.

Beverly Calder

Gail Duman

Baker City

Article was negative

To the editor:

I was chagrined to read the article Aug. 19 regarding city councilor Lori McNeil's informal forum held last Thursday night. The reporter chose to focus primarily on negative comments made during the open forum. These comments, lifted out of context, do not tell the story. McNeil's forum was a wonderful and positive opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns, suggestions, praise and comments in the company of a city councilor. Community involvement on this level helps to make us more responsible, accountable and participatory as citizens. We didn't solve any problems Thursday night except one: the problem of apathy. This obstacle was overcome by positive spirit, involvement, hope and a genuine interest in the future of Baker City. I hope next time other city councilors will join McNeil in welcoming citizen participation in the public forum.

Ann Mehaffy

Baker City

Deadly to speed

To the editor:

Death can come quickly and unexpectedly to speeding drivers. Something so few seem to think about in today's hurry-up world. The other day a speeder driving a black SUV on I-84 zipped past me rattling my car in the process. In less than 30 seconds he was out of sight. His destination must have been very important to him to risk his life and that of others. But then, most likely, he never gave it a thought.

And then there is the local speeder. Lusting for excitement, he cockily sits behind the wheel. Then sensing the power under his feet he spins his tires around each corner while speeding through Baker streets. With pistons screaming to the max, he races from Main to McDonalds. Then, fearing the cops he goes undercover in a field north of the fairgrounds. There he kicks up the dust while irritating both neighbors and dogs. Speed is the name of his game. Or maybe his philosophy is that of my friend's son who says andquot;life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a cold beer in the other, body thoroughly used up and totally worn out while screaming, 'woo hoo what a ride!'andquot;

My reply is that once you are in eternity, it's too late to say, andquot;oops.andquot;

Joanna Mollert

Baker City


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