Quality schools the foundation of community

Quality schools are the foundation of thriving communities. You, the voters residing within the Baker School District, have the opportunity to support a meaningful investment in your schools and I encourage you to vote in favor of Measure 1-88, the Baker School Bond.

Enhancing critical educational infrastructure will provide an improved teaching and learning environment leading to better outcomes for Baker City students. Such an investment exhibits a commitment to education by the community, an attractive attribute prospective businesses seek when considering a location for operations. And, it provides efficiency gains, which will allow the district to focus more operational funds on serving students.

The Baker School District is innovative in providing a superb education to the students it serves. The creation of the Baker Web Academy is just one example of the strategic thinking keeping the district ahead in our rapidly changing world. The district is a leader in the state in providing career-technical education pathways. It is proactive in partnering to provide post secondary opportunities for Baker City students.

The Baker School District demonstrates an unrivaled drive for excellence in education with the resources currently available. I believe its team will effectively and efficiently leverage an investment by the Baker City community into educational services that will provide an immense return for your city.

I urge you to support the Baker School Bond. Invest in your youth. Invest in your schools. Invest in creating a thriving community.

Tom Insko

President, Eastern Oregon University

Walden’s rhetoric on veterans doesn’t match record

If you follow Representative Greg Walden on Facebook or read his e-newsletter you might think that he supports veterans. If you review his voting record you will see that he consistently votes against the best interest of vets.

Veterans in our district are served by 3 of the lowest rated medical centers in the U.S. It’s a broken system that Walden has failed to adequately address in his 20 years in Congress.

Walden voted:

• Against funding for suicide prevention and PTSD treatment in 2011.

• Against increasing veteran medical services funding in 2007.

• Against increasing health care funding and pensions for vets in 2005.

• Against providing free health care to reservists and national guard members.

• Against increasing VA funding.

• Against increasing combat pay for troops.

• Against providing assistance to military sexual assault victims.

One of the four veteran-related bills Walden introduced in the last 20 years only one passed. It had to do with the naming of a facility. It is a common belief in this country that veterans need and deserve quality care. Walden is not getting the job done.

We must honor the sacrifices our military families make on our behalf. Jamie McLeod-Skinner will fight for our military personnel to receive the support they need during their active duty and their transition back to civilian life. In order to take care of our veterans, as they have taken care of us, we must invest in Veteran Services. A vote for Jamie McLeod Skinner is a vote for veterans.

Mike Blank

Baker City

We’re taxed enough already — vote No on school bond measure

No on 1-88! Tax us to death! Baker County as of the 2016 Census Bureau estimate had 16,059 people, including children. Less than 1,600 students. $48 million over 30 years. Do it for the children? No, do it for the overpaid teachers, whose annual average income as of 2016 was $53,997. Average annual income in the private sector in Baker County was $26,672. Teachers are all for this tax. It was common for my classes to have 34 to 36 kids. Teachers did not need teacher aides and parents to help. What is the dropout rate in this county? My 2 sons and 1 grandson dropped out because they were not challenged. This is a retirement community with a lot of seniors living on Social Security which is a fixed income. Most can barely afford their groceries and medications. Oregon is already the third-highest taxed state in the nation.

Vote No on 1-88.

Bob and Ann Arends

Baker City

Vote Yes on Measure 1-84 to preserve Second Amendment rights

We the people of Baker County have the opportunity to help save the Second Amendment. 1-84 is a county measure to help protect our right to keep and bear arms from those who want to infringe on that right, such as IP43, a failed measure that would have been just such a travesty. I n addition, legislators in Salem are taking about introducing bills that would confiscate guns and limit our rights.

Measure 1-84 will require Baker County government, including commissioners and Baker County law enforcement agencies to preserve and defend the rights of Baker County citizens regarding all second amendments issues.

Please vote Yes on 1-84 when you receive your ballot.

Tom Van Diepen

Baker City

Stealing my campaign signs has no effect on my vote

When I moved to Halfway in 2008, my first greeting was the removal of my Obama for president sign from in front of my home.

The most recent greeting was the removal of my Bruce Nichols sign. This time it was attached to two T-posts driven into some very hard ground, which were also taken.

In neither instance was my mind changed, but it did show me that someone sure does not wish for me to do my constitutional duty of voting my conscience. Never would have expected this in a Republican stronghold.

Thomas Nash