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Home arrow Opinion

Does the Constitution protect our busted lawnmowers, too?

Summer broke the other day and I went out walking in the damp dusk, sort of a lonely wake for the beloved season.

The wind had swung around to the northwest and it blew brisk and heavy with the sharp sweet scent of mint almost ready for the harvest. A versatile crop, mint — its oil adds the tang to both the chewing gum which attacks our teeth and to the fluoride-laced paste which defends our enamel against all manner of enemies.

In the field by the junior high a dozen or so kids, elementary age by the look of them, scurried about, clad in helmets and full pads. The shoulder pads, in particular, gave them ungainly and odd proportions — the broad upper body of a mature weightlifter attached to the skinny and short legs of the pre-adolescent.

Anyway it was pleasant to walk past and hear the inimitable clap of plastic pieces colliding.

Football, it seems to me, announces the imminence of autumn at least as reliably as the calendar.


Unintended effects of the ethanol law

Ethanol was supposed to boost Oregon’s economy and clean our air — a pretty neat trick.

Turns out ethanol knows a couple other tricks that aren’t so neat.

Lowering your car’s gas mileage, for instance.

And raising your food prices.

And, possibly, dissolving plastic or rubber parts of your vehicle.

No wonder the Oregon Legislature was so enamored of ethanol.

But that was last year.


City’s tough choice on nuisances

Baker City officials should enforce, as fairly as possible, every ordinance that’s in effect.

Baker City officials should not use those ordinances as the pretext for writing as many tickets as possible.

Shannon Regan, who as the city’s community service officer enforces the city’s ordinance that prohibits people from piling trash and other “public nuisances” (as the ordinance defines them), seems to understand this.

When Baker City Herald reporter Chris Collins went along with Regan for a couple hours earlier this month, Regan stopped to talk with a man who had kindled a debris fire.

The man inadvertently put a plastic milk jug in his burn pile. Burning plastics is illegal in the city because they can produce poisonous vapors.


Phillips perch plan has real potential


Possible solution to prayer issue


Herald helped me find an old friend


City has problem with ordinances


Valuable break in summer vacation


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