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Letters to the editor for November 27, 2008

Thankful by the tankful

Remember those torpid days in July and August, when you shivered despite the heat whenever you drove past a gas station and your gaze, almost against your will, fell on the price display?

We do, too.

And we’re awfully thankful that the sight of those signs isn’t nearly so sinister as it was four months ago.

In fact we’ve been tempted to take a drive just to see if the local stations have shaved another dime.

Except we don’t want to waste gas — not even gas that goes for little more than two bucks a gallon.

We mention gas prices because the money we pump into our tanks is real money.

Letter to the editor for November 26, 2008

Wasting time, gas

The Oregon School Activities Association won’t be getting Christmas cards from any environmental groups this year.

It shouldn’t, anyway.

On Saturday morning, on the artificial turf at Hillsboro Stadium, two teams will play for the state’s Class 1A football championship.

Those two teams — the Joseph Eagles and the Imbler Panthers — will have traveled a total of 640 miles to get to the field.

Round trip, that’s 1,280 miles.

And school buses, as you probably know, don’t exactly play in the same league, mileage-wise, as a Prius.

Letters to the editor for November 25, 2008

We concur, councilor

Baker City Councilor Dennis Dorrah said something that needed to be said.

Well, actually Dorrah wrote rather than said what he was thinking, since he couldn’t attend last week’s budget board meeting.

But the point of Dorrah’s words, whether printed on paper or spoken, comes to the same.

That point is that Baker City officials should treat every dollar as precious.

Dorrah, in the letter he submitted to the 14-member budget board, which includes the seven city councilors and seven members appointed by the City Council, contends that city spending during the rest of the fiscal year should “be held to an absolute minimum.”

Dorrah also suggests the city cut at least 5 percent from the budget for fiscal 2009-10, which starts July 1.

Letter to the editor for November 24, 2008

Looking up downtown

Despite its passel of awards and national recognition, Baker City’s historic downtown district is missing something significant.

But perhaps not for much longer.

The glaring gap in the development of downtown is upstairs.

There’s a lot of space on the upper floors of buildings, but a relative pittance of that space is being used for residential or business purposes.

That’s a pity.

Letter to the editor for November 21, 2008

Curing glitches in state’s biofuel law

Oregon’s House Bill 2210 might have seemed sensible to legislators who represent temperate, and relatively small, westside districts.

But in the vast, often frigid lands east of the Cascades, the 2007 law, which mandates the blending of biofuels with regular gasoline and diesel, brings consequences that detract from the legislation’s laudable goals of reducing pollution and creating a market for various crops and logging debris.

Fortunately the Legislature, which convenes in January, can fix the worst of the law’s problems by way of a couple of modest tweaks.

First, the ethanol.

The law requires that gasoline sold in Oregon contain 10 percent of the plant-based fuel, which can be produced from crops as well as from logging slash.

Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline and produces fewer pollutants.

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