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Long hours, short films

“Party Life,” a music video, was one of 12 films entered in the second-annual “We Like’Em Short” film festival this weekend at the Eltrym Theater.
For the Baker City Herald

The filmmakers gathered, eager to see their work on the big screen.

Most of them, anyway.

“If you’re like me, you stare at your feet during the film festival,” Tyler Schlipf, 17, said, describing how he handled seeing “Party Life.”

That film was one of 12 submitted in the second-annual We Like ’Em Short film festival held Friday and Saturday at the Eltrym Theater.

Submissions had to be 15 minutes or less. The festival was open to filmmakers of any age.

Children's theater to present Robin Hood


Auditioning for the theater production of Robin Hood this week were, from left, Penelope Linnemyer, Maya Smith, Skye Smith and Thomas Smithson. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr
For the Baker City Herald


It’s a miracle, really, what these two people can accomplish in five days with 53 actors.

And everything — set, costumes, props — must be packed into one small truck.

Does that sound like fun?

Or intimidating?

“It can’t be beat,” said Lauren Wilson, 26.

“This is the best job,” said Bryan Gallagher, 35.


Officials discuss possible Resort Street project


Power and other utility lines could go underground along six blocks of Resort Street between Auburn Avenue and Campbell Street. (Baker City Herald/S. John Collins)

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It will all come down to perceived worth.

And Baker City officials hope property owners along Resort Street can see how the section slated for improvement next year would look without power lines running above the sidewalk.

About 25 people attended a work session Tuesday night at Baker City Hall focused on burying utility lines under a section of Resort from Campbell Street to Auburn Avenue.

Getting the utility lines underground is integral to create a “park-like” atmosphere downtown from Main Street to the Powder River, said Mayor Dennis Dorrah.


Commercial truckers can now power up with electrical outlets

As part of Friday's open house at the Baker Truck Corral, Sharon Banks, CEO and founder of Cascade Sierra Solutions, shows one of the electrical outlets set up for use by truckers and RV travelers.

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The Baker Truck Corral is helping commercial truck drivers abide by a state law soon prohibiting long periods of engine idling.

Two dozen electrical outlets at the business can provide a cleaner, less-expensive source of energy for truckers to power space heaters, air conditioners, televisions and any other small electrical appliances they need inside their cabs during rest periods.

Baker County kids help repair railway bunk car

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Baker County youth are helping repair a bunk car with the Western Railway Preservation Society.
The society works closely with the Sumpter Valley Railway. The two-year-old society repairs and restores railway equipment that is often used by the railway.

Reptile tent is one of quieter fair exhibits


For the Baker City Herald

Ty Graven, middle, and Jodi Graven take time out from showing rabbits to look at one of the many snakes on display at the the rescue reptile tent run by Mary Ester Hart. This snake, a Woma python, is endangered in Australia and can grow up to 4 feet long. Its diet consists of rodents, birds and lizards. (Baker City Herald/Kathy Orr)
This tent is the quietest place at the Baker County Fair.

You can still hear the faint bleating of sheep and squeals of pigs, but the exhibits in this place silently stare.

And hardly move.

“I like quiet things. Nothing in my house makes a sound,” said Mary Esther Hart of Hart’s Reptile World International Reptile Rescue, based in Canby.

She travels around with her educational — and living — exhibits to spread awareness about reptile rescue and adoption.

Most of the rescued reptiles were illegally kept, and others come from drug raids. Recently, also the economy has made it necessary for people to downsize and give up their reptilian pets.

“The couple who had this boa had it for 26 years,” Hart said of the Columbian boa constrictor.

Backyard garden? More like the back 13

Valerie Tachenko checks a small part of her big garden near Medical Springs.
For the Baker City Herald

MEDICAL SPRINGS — In a land of sagebrush, Valerie and Rod Tachenko have created an oasis — 13 acres of vegetables grown for the local community.

And beyond — they ship produce to a Portland buying club every Monday, provide CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) boxes for 29 families, and sell at farmers markets in Baker City, Ontario and La Grande.

The Tachenkos live in Medical Springs, about 25 miles from Baker City.

And the closest market, she says, is their favorite.

Speaking for the Senator

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Courtney Warner Crowell, a Baker City native, works for U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., as deputy communications director.

Crowell, 28, handles media inquiries for the senator. She is one of four people with this responsibility.

“I love my job — it’s great,” she said. “My role as a spokesperson is to answer questions when he’s not available."

Forest officials watching blaze in Eagle Cap Wilderness

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Bret Ruby usually tries to douse wildfires but occasionally he just watches the smoke and flames.

Ruby, who is the fire staff officer for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, is playing the role of spectator rather than firefighter with regard to a blaze burning in the Eagle Cap Wilderness about 11 air miles east of Cove.

Lightning started the fire on Aug. 3.

It’s burning near the spine of Jim White Ridge.

That’s about a mile and a half west of the Minam River.

City considers parking changes around Brooklyn School

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Baker City Councilors will consider a resolution changing parking restrictions around Brooklyn Primary School during their regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 1655 First St.

Officials at Brooklyn want to move the bus loading zone from its current location on Oak Street to the north side of Washington Avenue, in front of the playground.

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