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Thanks, taxpayers

We don’t as a rule congratulate people for doing something they’re legally obligated to do.

But Baker County property owners deserve to be lauded for their dedication to fulfilling one of the fundamental duties of an American.

They pay their property taxes.

Well, almost everyone does.

Change chimp law

Sometimes it takes a chimpanzee nearly killing a woman to make you think.

Travis, the 200-pound chimp that Sandra Herold of Connecticut had raised since it was an infant, attacked Herold’s friend, Charla Nash, on Monday.

Nash suffered severe injuries to her hands and her face. Police shot and killed the chimp.

Thanks, union workers

Oregon’s largest public employees union deserves a pat on its collective back.

The 23,000 state workers who belong to the Service Employees International Union showed last week that they understand the state’s economy is in the doldrums.

But more important, the union members proved that they’re willing to share in the sacrifices the recession has brought about.

Careful on cap/trade

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon Legislature need to tread carefully as they try to shrink the state’s carbon footprint.

Their goal is admirable.

Carbon emissions pollute the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change.

Less carbon is better.

Nonetheless, we urge the governor and his supporters to consider a couple of salient points related to the potential costs and benefits of Kulongoski’s cap-and-trade proposal.

A long-needed look at the state’s books

Amid the onslaught of legislation that has inundated Salem since lawmakers convened there in early January, one bill is conspicuous.

It is House Bill 2500.

Or, as we’ve taken to calling it, the bill that would let Oregonians take a look at the state’s checkbook whenever they want.

Good luck, YMCA

The Baker County Family YMCA seems to have found the right Baker City building for its proposed community and fitness center.

Now it just needs to find the money to buy and renovate the place.

We hope the organization succeeds.

A tragedy, and a lesson

The tragic death of two-month-old Mia Roe can never be undone.

And nothing, save the passage of time, can lessen the pain which those who loved Mia are enduring.

Yet it may well be that because Mia died, other infants will be spared the same irreversible fate.

That’s because Mia’s death prompted St. Elizabeth Health Services to introduce a program designed to help parents safely deal with the stress of caring for a newborn who cries and can’t be consoled.

The program is called “The Period of PURPLE Crying.” PURPLE is an acronym, each letter representing one of the symptoms of the uncontrollable crying episodes that some babies exhibit.

Adams' Amends

We don’t doubt Portland mayor Sam Adams sincerely wants to do right by the city whose voters elected him.

We just wish he recognized when he was doing wrong.

Tough choices coming

School districts across Oregon are bracing for what might be their biggest budget cuts in more than a decade.

Baker schools are hardly immune. The Baker District’s shortfall, for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and the next, could exceed $2 million. That’s about 12 percent of the district’s annual operating budget.

But Baker’s school board is fortunate in one respect: It already has a comprehensive list of cost-cutting options to consider.

That list was compiled by the five-member Facility Efficiency Committee, which the school board appointed last summer.

Committee members Cindy Schildknecht, Tom Hudson, Ken Humphrey, Randy Daugherty and Kelly Cahill, all volunteers, deserve recognition for their good and thoughtful work.

Taxes vexing Obama

We used to think that failing to pay federal taxes was a pretty sure way to get some attention from the IRS.

It turns out that’s also a way to get put in charge of the IRS.

Actually, until developments on Tuesday, procrastinating on those pesky tax payments seemed to be turning into a prerequisite of sorts for people who aspire to a position in President Obama’s Cabinet.

Last week the Senate confirmed Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary even though Geithner admitted that he had neglected to pay $43,000 in back taxes and penalties.

Today Geithner, who paid his bill, is responsible for the IRS, which is an agency of the Treasury Department.

At least he has plenty of people to warn him before April 15 arrives this year.

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