Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

A chance to spruce up downtown

To the editor:

Dear downtown building owners:

In just a few weeks we will be the host to thousands of new visitors here in Baker City.As I look at all the empty downtown window spaces I am struck by how easy it would be for us to fill all those empty spaces with tasteful displays of artwork by local (and not so local) artists, or any of a number of other things, but the arts are what I am involved with so the arts are what come to mind.

It would cost you, the business owners, nothing.The artists

interested in showing their work have each agreed to waive any

liability on your part regarding the works they display in your now

empty window spaces.If while the artworks are on display someone

should come along to rent the space we can remove the artwork


The idea here is for us to present a better downtown image than the

blank window spaces offer.So, what do you think, interested?Here is a

chance to spruce things up a bit, for free.The choice is yours.

What kind of an image of Baker City do we wish our visitors to come

away with?Remembrances of blank and empty or even windows cluttered

with the dusty stuff of decades ago.... or window spaces filled with

art (or something of your choosing).I think the payback, from visitors

having a more positive experience here in our beautiful town, may be

beyond measure.Call me: tom novak, 541-523-7089, or email to

tnovak@eoni.com, to arrange for an artist to display their work in your


tom novak

Baker City

Support your community garden

To the editor:

With all the talk about finding ways to have our food be more

healthful, inexpensive and locally grown, I'd like to bring attention

to our Baker City Community Garden, which is a project of the Baker

County Chapter of Oregon Rural Action and the Baker Fair Board. This

project was started last year and we hope to make this year even more


The Community Garden is a space where community members of all ages and

gardening experience can access land for growing food.The Community

Garden fills a real need locally because many in our community live in

apartments or don't have good soil at their residence.Other folks just

enjoy gardening with others in the community because community

gardeners work together and share knowledge.

The Baker Community Garden is located north of the rodeo grounds in the

middle of the 2100 block of Grove Street. We encourage individuals and

families to sign up for a garden plot. We also encourage church groups,

scouts, 4-H, FFA, Master Gardeners or any other groups to get involved

and make a community garden plot their group project.

In your plot you can grow food for individual consumption or donation.

Gardeners are responsible for their own plots and participate together

to keep up the overall appearance of the garden. Gardeners pay a small

annual fee for a garden plot, water and everything they need to garden.

To sign up for a plot, call 541-975-2411 or 541-523-7881, or show up at

our first work party at the site on May 26 at 5 p.m. There is a $30 fee

which pays for a 4 x 20 foot garden plot, water, seed, seedlings,

fertilizer, use of tools, hoses, gardening classes and a membership to

Oregon Rural Action. Scholarships and payment plans are available. No

one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay.

You can also help this project by making a tax-deductible donation

earmarked for the garden to the Oregon Rural Action Baker County

Chapter or to Friends of the Fair.A $30 donation provides a garden

plot and a season of produce for someone who cannot afford the fee.

Donna Landon

Baker City

Amazing support for the library

To the editor:

I've received many happy congratulations this past week but the credit

is truly due to the wonderful Baker County voters.Thanks to all for

the remarkable support for the library (65.1 percent) on this recent

election and congratulations to all since everyone benefits.

According to State Librarian Jim Scheppke, only nine Oregon library

elections in the last 10 years have achieved a "yes" vote of 65 percent

or better (that's 9 out of 83.The) renewed levy will uphold library

operations, lifelong learning and literacy programs in Baker County for

five years, from 2012-2017.We will strive for continued excellence, to

have something for everyone, and be here when you need us.

In 2005, then-Senator Obama said to the American Library Association,

"Our prosperity as a nation is directly correlated to our literacy.....

At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that

threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives

forever, for the better."

It is never too late to start your child or be that child yourself -

discovering new worlds, dimensions, and perspectives by reading.Come

on down to the library and experience your local "Department of


Perry Stokes

Baker County Library District Director

Drama club would be great at BMS

To the editor:

Dear Mrs. Vaughan and other Baker Middle School staff:

Next year I will be going to seventh grade at the Middle School. Along

with me will be most of my pals from South Baker. That includes those

who participate in the sixth-grade drama club.

Everyone loves drama club. Tech crew, and cast, parts large and small,

all working together to make our production possible. Every Friday

after school we group together and express ourselves through theater.

It is not only a great way to express yourself, and let emotion out; it

also contributes greatly to building up one's confidence.

Studies show that when children and teens participate in drama clubs,

their self-confidence goes up (performing in front of others), their

sociability and teamwork skills improve (being around other children

and peers, working in a group, equal contribution) and they also build

confidence and skills to prepare them for the future (skills in job

interviews, conducting meetings, or speeches).

It is a great friend-making opportunity. People you don't know, or who

you thought wouldn't be into drama, are there too! If you are shy or

don't have many friends, drama club is the place to be. You can become

more outgoing, or meet people who share your interests.

With all these benefits it's hard to say no to having a drama club at

the Middle School. The only thing is.... who would be the teacher? Our

directors are two of the sixth-grade teachers, not particularly

specialized in theater.

Despite budget cuts, I think a drama club would be a great addition to

the Middle School. I'm not the only one, either. Enclosed is a petition

containing 57 signatures of those supporting this idea. I'm sure some

eighth-graders would be in favor of the idea as well. I would

appreciate if this topic was brought up at a staff meeting or something

of the like.

Thank you very much.

Jillian Hawkins

Mrs. Evans' sixth-grade class

South Baker School