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Kennedy's Eastside Market closed; but will re-open


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S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Roger Kennedy's Eastside Grocery Baker City is devoid now of the chatter of children looking for there special candy, the familiar noise of ice dropping into soda cups and the endless hum of freezer and cooler systems.

By Chris Collins

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The closed sign has been flipped over for the last time at Kennedy’s Eastside Grocery.

Roger Kennedy shut the doors of his store earlier this month and hasn’t looked back. He’s looking forward to a life without the all-consuming workload of operating a neighborhood market.

For the community, it’s the end of an era when family owned grocery stores could be found in nearly every neighborhood. 

Except for York’s Park Grocery on Campbell Street, which has been transformed into a sporting goods and convenience store in recent years, Kennedy’s Eastside Grocery was Baker City’s last survivor.

“After all these years, I never thought I’d get to this point,” the 72-year-old Kennedy said in an interview at his home just east of the store at 1280 Washington Ave. 

“Right now I’m so happy,” he said.

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Little Pig restaurant represents 10th Street’s unique ambience

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S. John Collins/Baker City Herald Erin Hansen, right, and her daughter, Hazel, prepare one of the vegetarian dishes offered at The Little Pig.

 

Owner Erin Hansen has added 500 square feet to the place

By Terri Harber

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Ample attention is paid to the historic buildings in downtown Baker City as well as to the businesses lining Campbell Street near the interstate. 

People wheeling up and down 10th Street can see something a little different — samples of roadside Americana similar to that along Route 66.

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Baker real estate bucks market trends


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Local Realtors, from left, Marty Lien, Sharon Rudi and Mary Jo Grove inspect a Baker City home that’s for sale. Agents say Baker County avoided the dramatic fluctuations that have roiled the real estate markets in other parts of Oregon and the U.S.
By LISA BRITTON
For the Baker City Herald

Housing market woes across the country just can’t be compared to Baker City.

“Our market is so unique and nonstandard,” said Andrew Bryan, who bought Baker City Realty in 2008.

Nationally, real estate troubles hit in 2008.

“We had about a year lag time,” Bryan said.

And now, three years later, local Realtors are optimistic.

“We still have people looking, we still have people buying,” said Marty Lien, a Realtor since 1989 who works for John J. Howard & Associates.

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Maverik opens store in Baker City


By TERRI HARBER
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A 24-hour Maverik gas station and convenience store opened Nov. 2  at 1520 Campbell St.

The Baker City store is the company’s first Oregon location.

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St. Alphonsus buys Baker Clinic


By TERRI HARBER
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The Baker Clinic has been acquired by the St. Alphonsus Medical Group and is now officially known as St. Alphonsus Medical Group-Baker Clinic.

A large white-and-red sign erected next to the smaller Baker Clinic sign announces the change to passersby in the 3100 block of Pocahontas Road, just east of St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City.

Sept. 1 was the official changeover date for the family and acute care clinic.

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County banking on bus tours


By TERRI HARBER
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Baker County officials want busloads of tourists to visit the area. And they’ve contracted with a Portland-based expert to try to make this happen.

Falcon’s Crest Inc. will be paid $20,000 to foster packaged travel to the county and help businesses who want to attract these types of tourists best prepare for their needs.

This would make the county overall more attractive to groups of travelers, especially during what tourism professionals refer to as “shoulder seasons."

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Police warn of tricky sales tactics


By TERRI HARBER
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Someone purporting to sell satellite and other TV products is doing so unlawfully, Baker City officials report.

The person in question doesn’t have a license allowing him to sell goods and services door to door — something required in the city, said Police Chief Wyn Lohner.

Part of the licensing process is for police to conduct a background check on the person, he said.

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Women plan event to ‘pause, restore your creative energies’

Four women with a shared passion are a tough force to stop — or slow down.

The quartet is Kathleen Chaves, Kaylin Chaves, Mary Tomlinson (all of Baker City) and Dr. Karen Harris (an obstetrician/gynecologist from Ashland).

They are coming together to offer a weekend conference called ChoiceShops — “Harvesting the Garden of Our Spirit.”

The workshop is three days: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 10; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 11 (lunch included); and 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 12.

The event will take place at Lazy JW Ranch in North Powder (accommodations are up to the participants).

Enrollment is $200. Register by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or calling 541-523-1029.

The ChoiceShops brochure is imprinted with this message: “Gift yourself the time to pause and restore your healthy, playful and creative energies.”

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Rural Development making a difference in Baker County

Local projects have received nearly $6.2 million in loans and grants for housing, businesses

Vicki Walker, state USDA Rural Development director, toured sites around Baker County Tuesday where the agency has invested nearly $6.2 million dollars in loans and grants to subsidize low income and senior housing, and to help area businesses expand or retain jobs.

“There are people who tell us every day they would have no place to live if it wasn’t for rural development,” Walker said during a stop Tuesday at Elkhorn Village senior apartments in Baker City.

She said the apartments rent for around $510 a month, but for some seniors citizens, that would take their entire Social Security check, which in some cases is their only source of income.

For housing projects subsidized by rural development, the rent is on a sliding scale designed to limit rent to no more than 30 percent of a resident’s income, said Mark Green, project manager for Chrisman Development, which owns the Elkhorn Village apartments.

That formula reduces rents to around $200 per month for some of the senior citizens living in Elkhorn Village, Green said.

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Nike’s back in Baker City

The sports giant’s return is part of a flurry of activity on Main Street

Read more...Baker City’s Main Street is a hive of business activity, with the first shipment of Nike running shoes arriving at Kicks Sports Wear, a local boy making good as the new owner of Flagstaff Sports, new owners renovating the former Mad Matilda’s building to start a bakery, and a flurry of activity in Baker Tower.

Billy Hermann, an employee at Kicks Sports Wear, said it was a thrill unpacking the first 60 boxes of Nike women’s running shoes that arrived shortly before noon Monday.

Ryan Chaves, who owns Kicks Sports Wear with his wife, Kaylin, said it took almost two years of negotiations to convince Nike officials to approve a retail outlet in Baker City’s downtown historic district.

Typically, Nike requires a company to show it can sell a minimum of $1 million a  year in Nike shoes, apparel and other items as a prerequisite for being awarded a retail sales agreement with the company.

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