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Keep some SUVs, help school clubs

We understand that Oregon state government purports to be a leader in promoting green practices.

But we’d like to believe that putting publicly owned hybrids on the state’s highways isn’t more important than helping high school students travel to workshops and competitions for clubs such as Future Business Leaders of America and the FFA.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to conclude, based on the Legislature’s apparent priorities, that Priuses don’t take precedent over students.

Way to go, Bulldogs

Baker High School’s baseball team climbed higher this year than ever before on the state playoff mountain.

The Bulldogs were turned back just below the summit.

Two measly runs short.

Baker lost 8-6 to Astoria in the Class 4A state championship game on Saturday in Keizer.

It was the first time the Bulldogs had advanced to the final game.

Council didn't quite make its case

The Baker City Council had the authority to fire City Manager Steve Brocato. Which it did, by a 4-3 vote Tuesday night.

But we don’t like the way councilors went about this.

As to the authority, the city charter explains the Council’s power: “The manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and may be removed at the pleasure of a majority of the council.”

Brocato, like his predecessors, did not have a contract.

The absence of a contract, combined with the above clause in the charter, means that if at least four councilors agree, they can fire the city manager any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all.

Better Snow Basin

We’re still concerned that the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest’s biggest logging proposal in more than a decade will be stalled by legal challenges before a tree is felled.

But we’re not as worried as we were six months ago when the Wallowa-Whitman unveiled the Snow Basin project.

Ken Anderson, ranger for the forest’s Whitman District, recently announced changes that should make the Snow Basin project, if not more palatable to environmental groups, then at least less objectionable.

Leave the menus alone, Legislature

Given the $4 billion problem on their plate, we’re surprised Oregon lawmakers had time to grab restaurant menus from our hands and point out the dishes we ought to avoid.

With unemployment close to 12 percent we’d have figured the Legislature would worry more about its constituents getting enough to eat than whether their meals are nutritionally beyond reproach.

Survey looks like special treatment

Baker City Council members are not exempt from any of the laws they or their predecessors have approved.

But neither should the city single out councilors for possible enforcement of those laws.

The city’s code enforcement officer recently surveyed councilors’ properties, looking for potential violations of both current ordinances and a proposed maintenance ordinance that councilors are considering.

Saving Fridays

The onslaught of bad tidings that has swamped the Baker School District for the past several months was interrupted this week by some good news.

Really good news, in fact.

Rather than switch to a four-day week when school resumes this fall, it now looks as though students in Baker City schools will spend more time in the classroom rather than less.

Credit card bill helps some, hurts some

The credit card reform bill that President Obama signed into law last week protects consumers from the most egregious traps that card companies set.

But the fact remains that the worst credit wounds are self-inflicted.

No law — not even the laudable legislation that Obama signed — can save people who consistently spend more money than they earn.

Government knows best?

We found out this week another of the sacrifices we’ll have to make in our quest to counter global climate change.

We’ll pay more for our new cars and trucks.

And we might have trouble finding models that can haul as many people and as much stuff as the ones we drive now.

Of course these might not seem like sacrifices for people who agree with President Obama, who announced Tuesday his plan to require the U.S. fleet of new cars and light trucks to average 35fi mpg by 2016.

But those aren’t the people we’ve been thinking about.

The people on our minds are those who are skeptical about the notion that humans are largely responsible for climate change, and that actions such as increasing cars’ fuel mileage will cool the planet.

Government knows best?

We found out this week another of the sacrifices we’ll have to make in our quest to counter global climate change.

We’ll pay more for our new cars and trucks.

And we might have trouble finding models that can haul as many people and as much stuff as the ones we drive now.

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