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Pine returns to the mill, but its purpose is more humble

Strange to see ponderosa logs decked again at the Ellingson mill site.

Strange in a good way.

These trees, it’s true, aren’t destined for quite so noble a purpose as were the pines they used to stack on the property. Some of those logs were as thick through the middle as a bridge abutment.

The comparatively slender trees that trucks deliver to the mill these days, rather than becoming permanent parts of someone’s home will temporarily warm a room on a bitter day.

Not so fast, says Ferrioli

Baker County residents won’t go it alone in their campaign to convince Idaho Power Co. to build a power line somewhere else.

State Sen. Ted Ferrioli, the John Day Republican who represents Baker County, introduced a bill that would prevent Idaho Power from constructing the proposed 500-kilovolt transmission line on the company’s preferred route through Baker and Malheur counties.

Signs span the ages

Baker City’s ordinance regulating business signs dates to 1921.

What surprises us most about this fact is not that four generations of city councils haven’t tinkered much with the rules.

Rather, we were shocked to hear the city had a sign ordinance in place just three years after World War I ended.

Letters to the Editor for March 4, 2009

Discussion needed

We figured the recent report showing that Baker City’s streets are in worse shape than they’ve been in almost 20 years would have prompted a lengthy discussion among city councilors.

And so we were surprised when councilors accepted the annual pavement management plan last week without debate.

We hope councilors devote a bit more time to the matter this spring.

This year’s report, prepared by the city’s Technical Services Department, is familiar reading for anyone who has perused reports from the past several years.

Letters to the Editor for March 3, 2009

Thanks for pep talk

We’d urge President Obama to delete “catastrophe” from his vocabulary.

Unless there really is one.

Which isn’t to say that this recession, which Obama has referred to repeatedly as a crisis that could become irreversible, is just a statistical blip.

It’s pretty bad.

Letters to the Editor for March 2, 2009

Save our SRO

Baker City and the Baker School District should not sacrifice the city’s school resource officer to the budget crisis.

Fortunately, with some help from Baker County, they won’t have to.

The opinions seems to be universal that the SRO does great work at Baker High School and Baker Middle School.

Police Chief Wyn Lohner believes that’s the case. So do District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff and Baker Schools Superintendent Don Ulrey.

With the First Amendment, America’s already pretty fair

Politicians in Washington, D.C., have been saying some scary things of late.

They often do this, of course.

Yet recent rhetoric seems to me especially troubling because one of the words in fashion is “fairness.”

Besides, say, “taxes,” I can’t think of any word I would less like to hear from the larynxes of lawmakers.

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