An announcement from Oregon Public Broadcasting:
Hello friends in Baker City.
The broadcast of "Our Town: Baker City" has been postponed. It has been rescheduled on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012
OPB is instead airing live updates on the school shooting in Connecticut.
Story:OPB radio program to highlight Baker City
By Terri Harber
The Baker City taping of Oregon Public Broadcasting's radio show 'Think Out Loud" drew an audience of about 75 to 80 people Thursday.
Bull Ridge Brew Pub hosted the event as well as a reception before the hour-long program highlighting the community began taping.
"We're thrilled to have so many people here," said Dave Miller, host of "Think Out Loud."
The show usually airs live but sometimes records a segment to broadcast later. Here are a few examples of conversation topics during this Baker City episode:
'This was a wild place," said Barbara Sidway, owner of the Geiser Grand Hotel, about Baker City when it was a new community bustling because of mining and all of the needs that came with it.
The city offered a lively combination of "high refined culture and very low stuff" because of so many different people living in one place.
This, the "Queen City of the Inland Empire," she said. "is where you came for culture and commerce."
* * *
The Geiser Grand was slated for demolition about 20 years ago.
Sidway pointed to Timothy Bishop, now Baker County's marketing director, and said his efforts kept the hotel standing so the Sidways could buy it.
Bishop had just been hired by Historic Baker City Inc. as its first paid program manager in 1993.
He was told "Save the Geiser Grand!" she remembered.
* * *
Richard Chaves told stories about Leo Adler, who after his death set up a huge charitable mechanism that benefits the entire community. Chaves is president of Chaves Consulting and a Baker City native.
One of his earliest memories about Adler comes from his father, who worked as a bellman at the Baker Motel.
Chaves' father earned a dollar for each bottle of whiskey he could sneak in to Adler, who regularly held parties there.
The late Adler's fortune, for example, pays for student scholarships as well as for a variety of other community needs and projects.
* * *
Chaves also talked about poverty in Baker City, and how residents have always tried to help one another get by during hard times.
He mentioned the Baker Underground, an email system that goes out when "some family needs things," he said.
Often, already, "somebody else in the community has volunteered," he said.
* * *
Other segments were devoted to such topics as mining - yesterday and today - agriculture, the local arts scene, tourism's rise and how Baker City's history is the focus, changes in the city's population makeup and some of its unique businesses.
Other speakers included Mark Ferns, a retired geologist; Rob Thomas, a local cattle rancher; Barbara McNeil, co-owner of Zephyr Bakery Deli; and Mary Ellen Stevenson, owner of Earth and Vine Art and Wine.
"I was a little bit nervous," Stevenson said after the taping. She spoke from the perspective of being an area native and a business woman. "But I love Baker City."
"I enjoyed this," said LeAnne Wolf, who drove in from Sumpter to participate. "But an hour-long program wasn't long enough."
"I thought it was a great turnout," said Ginger Savage, executive director of Crossroads Carnegie Art Center. She spoke from the audience about the arts.
"It was a positive conversation," she said.
* * *
Baker City is one of the communities featured as part of the program's Our Town series, where the "Think Out Loud" crew travels to these locations.
OPB is on 89.9 FM in Baker City. The show was scheduled to air at noon on Friday and scheduled to repeat at 8 p.m. Coverage about the mass school shooting in Connecticut has preempted the airing of the episode until Monday, Dec. 17, according to OPB web site.
People can become involved with OPB's news coverage by visiting their website at opb.org/publicinsight.