This letter is in rebuttal to the letter that was published in the Aug. 28 edition of the Baker City Herald. It started out to be a very interesting read. After the first few paragraphs it kind of went south. I’m not from “New Joisey” or “New Yaak,” but I have been in Baker, not Baker City, for the better part of my 74 years. I lived 1/2 block from the railroad tracks when I was in junior high and high school. At that time there were three or maybe four trains in a 24-hour period. Sometimes at night they wouldn’t even use the air horn. Now it is just basically a solid blast all the way through town, and there are somewhere between 24 and 30 trains in a 24-hour period.

The prevailing wind comes from the north. If you live on the south side of the tracks, including the golf course, Hillcrest and many office buildings, including the Baker City shops and yard, it is difficult to have meetings because they have to pause their meetings since they can’t talk or hear over the train whistles.

About the “nut cases from other places,” maybe you should take a look around you. There are nut cases in Oregon also; maybe even a few right here in Baker. As for listening to the Sons of the Pioneers, I grew up with that music. I don’t remember if they did the song “Hear that lonesome whistle blow,” but I do remember that song and it is no problem hearing the whistle blow now, if it just weren’t so often and so loud! If this plan didn’t have benefits, why would La Grande and Pendleton already have it done? Safety for school kids, better property value, etc. It just takes a little common sense.

“Change happens, live with it.”

You can follow this plan on Facebook at or sign a petition at

Larry Smith

Baker City

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