Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Grass courts are a Baker City jewel

To the editor:

I was disappointed in the Sept. 7 editorial implying Don McClure would be a "good neighbor" by self-imposing limitations on social play at his grass tennis courts.Living with the grass courts in my backyard gives my family the pleasure of seeing all ages, shapes and sizes having fun outdoors, pleasure in seeing a local family take meticulous care of their property, and pleasure in a beautiful view.

Social play or tournament play, the grass courts bring people from all

over to our little town.This summer I met a family of four who

traveled from Portland for a week-long vacation in Baker City.Their

itinerary: daily play at the grass courts, a hike in the Elkhorns, and

a trip to the Interpretive Center. If Baker City wants to set up a Base

Camp Baker atmosphere, why not include the grass courts as part of that


There is a misconception about how often the courts are actually

used.They are almost always empty.With four to five months of

potential use and only 22 days of allowed tournament play plus

occasional small group social play, I believe the courts are actually

under-utilized.For those neighbors whose homes were built prior to the

Grangers' nonpermitted grass court construction, their discontent with

the courts may never be settled.But for those of us whose homes were

built after the grass tennis courts, there seems little reason for


With all of the headlined troubles of today, including a lackluster

economy, struggling local businesses, obesity, reduced family time,

etc., it seems like a vocal minority of neighbors focus on a few minor

detriments of the grass courts instead of the many positive

aspects.All the players I have encountered are friendly, excited to be

here, and respectful of homeowners.I am happy locals and visitors have

the opportunity to experience such a special place.Many neighbors, in

addition to local businesses and our tourism guests, may have a

different opinion about what constitutes a "good neighbor."

Melissa Irvine

Baker City