Letters to the Editor for Sept. 16, 2011

By Baker City Herald Readers September 16, 2011 03:02 pm

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 agenda?
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 complaint.
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