Lamp laments

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board September 21, 2012 10:12 am

By the Baker City Herald Editorial Board

We suspect it’s a lot easier to like the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway (LAMP) if you don’t live next to it.

John Harmer would no doubt agree.

Harmer sent us an email this week. He lives on Madison Street, and his home is beside LAMP, the paved path that parallels the Powder River through much of Baker City.


Harmer, who granted the city an easement through his property for the path when it was extended south of the park a few years ago, attached four photographs showing graffiti and trash along the LAMP, as well as a section of concrete barrier that was pushed into the river.

Harmer wrote that he took the photos after “hearing another group of unruly teenagers, both boys and girls swearing, cursing and screaming loudly behind our house.... we are appalled at this awful behavior which is getting worse by the day.”

Harmer goes on to criticize the city for failing to monitor the pathway.

Although we understand his complaint, we’re not sure there’s a feasible way to address it.

Maintaining a police presence sufficient to quickly drive off the miscreants likely would require officers to spend too much time away from their main duty patrolling the streets.

Yet neither is it acceptable for the city to tolerate the mess that a small minority seems to be making of one of our most valuable, and attractive, public assets.

By focusing temporarily on patrolling the LAMP, police might be able to catch a few vandals in the act and hand out some citations.

Also, we encourage residents, who spend more time on the path than police do, to report any potentially criminal behavior they see.

The word, we imagine, would soon get around that the path isn’t the place to tag with spray paint, to dump garbage, or to turn what should be a tranquil place into a loud, profanity-laced one.