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Reminder needed


The Penn State University child sex abuse story is awful.

Jerry Sandusky, a former longtime assistant to legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, is accused of abusing eight pre-teen boys over 15 years.

Because crimes allegedly continued even after several Penn State officials — Paterno among them — were notified about concerns regarding Sandusky’s activities, the situation has highlighted differences in state and federal laws known collectively as “mandatory reporting” statutes.


City's tough, but right, choice


The Baker City Council had a tough choice to make last week regarding parking on Resort Street.

We agree with the four councilors — the slimmest majority possible on the seven-member Council — who opted for parallel parking on both sides of Resort between Auburn Avenue and Campbell Street.

The new parking set up, which will take effect in either 2012 or 2013 when the street is rebuilt, represents a change from the current situation.


Reconsider cougar hunting

Oregon’s largest hunters group is kicking around the idea of asking voters to overturn the ban on using dogs to hunt cougars.

We share the Oregon Hunters Association’s (OHA) curiosity on the matter, and we hope voters get that chance.


The story behind the crypto mistake


We messed up.

Several times during the past 18 months we have reported, in news stories, editorials and columns, that tests of Baker City’s drinking water were negative for cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

We were wrong.

In fact, three of the 24 water samples taken from April 2010 through March 2011 did contain crypto.

The concentrations, fortunately, were too low to pose a health risk to people.


7 billion and counting


The birth of the baby that brought the human population to 7 billion made the news in a big way this week.

It may be an arbitrary milestone, but it’s certainly a thought-provoking one.

It’s not often, after all, that our species reaches another billion.

But over the past century or so we’ve been climbing to the next threshold a whole lot faster than before.


Getting it right on guns


The Baker School District has returned to solid legal ground in its effort to restrict who can bring guns and other weapons on school grounds or to school-sponsored events.

Last month the school board was considering a policy written by the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA).

That policy runs afoul of both state and federal laws because it would prohibit anyone, save for police, from bringing a licensed, concealed handgun to a school.


Baker City's dilemma


Baker City officials have a dilemma on their hands.

One source is a parasite, cryptosporidium, that can leave you suffering from diarrhea and nausea if it gets into your stomach.

The other source is perhaps even more insidious: the federal government.


What's recycling cost?


For most Baker City residents, recycling is hardly the most onerous task on their agenda.

But it could be a lot easier.

As is typical, though, the convenience of leaving recyclables at the curbside along with your trash comes at a cost.

We don’t know how high the cost would be.

But we should.

To that end, we urge the City Council to ask Baker Sanitary Service for an updated estimated cost to offer curbside recycling to its customers.


Let's go camping!


We never thought we’d write this, but here goes:

We sort of wish Portland Mayor Sam Adams was in charge of the Forest Service.

Well, maybe not the entire Forest Service. But at least the agency’s camping rules.


Farewell to studded tires?


Get ready, Baker County drivers.

They’re coming for our studded tires.

And this time the “they” isn’t Oregon’s legislators, who have failed to banish studded tires from the state’s roads despite concerns dating to the early 1970s about the damage the tires cause to pavement.

This time it’s our fellow voters.

And we in the thinly populated lands east of the Cascades know too well why that’s significant.


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