Wondering if bicycle race really benefits Baker City

So, I was headed downtown on a recent Saturday, and what a beautiful day without wind it was, when I had to park two blocks from my bank. Ok, I can always use the walk but I noticed the entire downtown was blocked off for some bicycle event. Really?

I looked up and down Main Street and saw no one shopping or visiting our local businesses. I saw empty booths and could hear music playing and one or two folks standing around but not much activity for such a glorious day. So my wife comes back from a hair appointment and overhears a local restaurant owner complaining about lack of customers due to the bike event and that they have to lug in supplies for two blocks due to detours.

The beautician also chimes in about the lack of walk-ins due to the streets being blocked off. The restaurant owner mentions the bikers bring their own food bus and don’t purchase much locally. So, I guess my question is this, why are we putting our tax dollars into an event that basically blocks off tourism from our town for a group who doesn’t spend much money here?

I mean if we are utilizing police to direct traffic and block off streets and detour our potential customers elsewhere, what’s the point? I can’t help but wonder what the thought process was for this “classic event” that we paid for and seem to benefit nothing from. Someone enlighten me please.

Just my two cents.

Thomas Wilcoxson

Baker City

Walden, many others made Hammond pardon happen

The Hammond pardon was secured by a great many people. It was like a huge jigsaw puzzle with many different pieces which all had to go together at the right time to make it happen. Everyone was working to correct, and make right, a grave injustice.

Congressman Walden was a big piece of the puzzle to help secure the Presidential pardon for Dwight and Steven Hammond of Harney County.

Walden did the right thing. Those of us in CD2, who can actually vote for Walden and really know the issues, are grateful for his help.

Those who are familiar with the case and issues are fully aware the pardon was justified. The Hammond family is a ranching family in Eastern Oregon who help feed the world. They are not domestic terrorists.

Now, in comparison, President Obama pardoned over 600 individuals, most were hardened criminals dealing in hard drugs, theft and other crimes which are a threat to society. He let these types out on society. Where was the hue and the cry about these pardons?

Thank you, Congressman Walden, for doing the right thing!

Suzan Ellis Jones