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Pot bail out?

The Oregon Legislature might bail out Baker City and Baker County.

Both the City Council and the County Commission this year passed ordinances banning the commercial sale of marijuana. It’s not clear whether either has the legal authority to enforce a ban.


Doing all we can to avoid fires

The rains that distinguished the second half of May turned down the dial a couple of notches on the drought severity in Baker County.

But one of the beneficial effects of the wet weather — reducing the risk of wildfire — was short-lived.


Focus on 10th Street

We hope the meeting that took place Thursday night at the Little Pig launches a thorough discussion about one of Baker City’s more interesting, and potentially more bustling, business districts.

That’s 10th Street between Broadway and the Hughes Lane/Pocahontas Road intersection near the north city limits.


Making a mess of mascots

The Oregon Board of Education’s stubbornness on the matter of high schools that have Native American mascots or logos reminds us of the condescending paternalism that infected the government’s attitude toward tribes in the 19th century.


A bright spot in Kitzhaber scandal

We might not know for months, or even years, which part of the saga that ended with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigning in February is the most sordid.

A federal investigation into the matter continues.

But from what we do know today, the attempt by an employee in Kitzhaber’s office to delete the governor’s emails from state-owned servers just before the governor resigned ranks high on our list of misdeeds.


BHS gets students in class

Baker High School has made substantial progress toward solving one of its more pressing problems.

It’s not about grades or test scores or graduation rates.

But it’s connected to all of those.


Crypto canít be ignored

The word is perhaps the most toxic that can be uttered in Baker City Hall.

Crypto.

Even that shortened version of the actual word — cryptosporidium — immediately conjures memories of the summer of 2013 when the microscopic parasite contaminated the city’s drinking water and made hundreds of people sick.


EPA needs to heed Congress

There is no more precious commodity than water for the agriculture industry, the nearly $100 million--per-year mainstay of Baker County’s economy.

Congress, at least, seems at times to understand this.

But as we remember from government class, there are three branches in the U.S. government.


PERS saps economic recovery

Most times, and in most places, a growing economy means more tax revenue for schools, fire and police departments, and other public services.

But that’s not always the case in Oregon.


Better to be ready for worst

No place is immune to natural disasters, but Baker County’s level of inoculation is quite high.

Hurricanes are very nearly a meteorological impossibility around here. And even if we had to endure such a storm, we’re well-protected from the most dangerous aspect — a storm surge off the sea — the Pacific being a safe distance to our west.


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