Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, October 18, 2019, Page 3, Image 3

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    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2019
Court issues stay on vape sales ban
excited they will get to remain
Oregon Capital Bureau
in business.
SALEM — The Oregon
“The employees of the shop
Court of Appeals Thursday
are the biggest winners here
granted a temporary stay on
today,” he said.
Oregon Health Authority rules
The ruling will essentially
enforcing a 180-day ban on
force the state via the Oregon
the sale of flavored nicotine
Health Authority and Gov.
and medical marijuana vaping
Brown’s office to prove that the
rule hasn’t violated state stat-
The temporary ban against
ute in exceeding their boundar-
the sale of recreational flavored
ies while the court reviews the
marijuana vaping products,
regulated by the Oregon Liquor
Charles Boyle, Brown’s press
The Columbus Dispatch secretary, said in a statement
Control Commission, remains
The Oregon Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay
in force.
that “the court’s decision to
The ruling came in response blocking the state’s 180-day ban on the sales of fl avored enter a temporary stay today is
to two petitions for injunctions nicotine and medical marijuana vaping products.
unfortunate due to the ongoing
filed with the court against Gov.
public health threat posed by
Kate Brown and the Oregon
about the employment impacts 4,000 retailers across the state. vaping-related illness.”
Health Authority seeking
the temporary ban would
On their website, Division
Boyle maintains that in light
judicial review of the ban.
have on what they consider a
Vapor had posted a message
of the nationwide outbreak of
Brown had previously issued booming industry that employs saying they would be effectively vaping-related injuries, a tem-
an executive order directing the thousands of Oregonians across out of business as of Monday,
porary ban under the state’s
agencies to implement the ban. the state.
Oct. 14, ahead of the ban that
emergency rulemaking process
Canby attorney J. Ryan
Brown’s executive order fol- came into place the following
is the best path forward avail-
Adams filed one of those peti-
lowed a widespread outbreak of day.
able to Gov. Brown and state
tions Wednesday on behalf of
acute lung injuries that are be-
“This is their entire busi-
No Moke Daddy LLC, which
ing tracked across the country ness,” Adams said. “One of
“Gov. Brown will continue to
operates two e-cigarette shops and linked to the use of both
the requirements to enact an
work with the Vaping Public
in downtown Portland under
marijuana and nicotine vape
emergency rule is the agency
Health Workgroup, state
the name Division Vapor.
products. As of last week, more has to state a need for the rule agencies, stakeholders, and the
“We believe the governor
than 1,300 cases had been
and how the rule meets that
Legislature to find long-term
overstepped her authority by
reported with 26 deaths, two
need. The OHA stated the need solutions that will protect the
directing (the OHA and OLCC) of those happening in Oregon. for the rule was based on the
public health from vaping-
to enact this ban,” Adams said. Last week the OLCC approved governor’s executive order, but related illness,” he said. “Gov.
“Essentially we asked the court temporary rules that were
nowhere in the rule did it say
Brown continues to urge
to invalidate the rule.”
ordered to take effect this past the rule meets the need. That
Oregonians to heed the public
According to Adams, his cli- Tuesday, Oct. 15, that would
was the basis for us asking the health warning of the Oregon
ent decided to file for the injunc- take all flavored vape products court to stay the rule.”
Health Authority and to stop
tion because they were worried off the shelves of approximately
Adams said that his client is vaping immediately.”
Jason Jacobs, president of the fi refi ghters union, said
the Facebook post was intended to provide information
to county residents.
“It’s just letting everybody know what’s going on,”
Jacobs, a lieutenant at the Baker City fi re station, said
in a telephone interview Thursday.
The union represents 12 fi refi ghters. Another four
employees are part of the command staff and are not
represented by the union, Jacobs said.
The county received three bids for providing ambu-
lance service in an area that includes Baker City and
about half of the county. In addition to the Baker City
Fire Department, bids were submitted by Med Trans-
port Inc. of North Powder and Metro West Ambulance
Inc., a Hillsboro fi rm.
Jacobs begins his Facebook post with this statement:
“Your Baker City Firefi ghters need your assistance!
Baker County Commissioners have decided to place
your safety up for bid.”
He details the city fi re department’s history, dating
back to the early 1900s, and continuing to present day.
The department provides combined fi re and medical
service to the 1,600-square-mile Baker Ambulance
Service (BSA).
“Not only are your fi refi ghters the paramedics on
every ambulance in the Baker ASA, they are also all-
hazard fi rst responders, trained specifi cally for multiple
disasters and emergencies,” Jacobs stated. “We provide
community education, prevention services, outreach and
host community courses.”
Revenue from ambulance runs constitutes about 44%
of the fi re department’s budget, and is vital to keeping
the department staffed so it can serve the community,
Jacobs wrote.
If county commissioners award the contract to one
of the private fi rms, the Baker City Fire Department
would immediately lose up to six of its 16 positions, he
Jacobs said the well-trained fi re department staff
believes that while the county might save money by
contracting ambulance service, savings would not
outweigh the loss of the response capability that is cur-
rently provided.
Jacobs asked county residents to consider the other
services provided by the Baker City Fire Department
staff in addition to transporting patients to and from
hospitals as contracted ambulance service workers
would do.
“The rest is left up to an unfunded fi re department
decimated by the political will of a County Commis-
sion whose entry into Ambulance system oversight is
short-sighted, economically risky and not informed good
policy,” Jacobs wrote.
He pointed out that a three-year federal grant, sup-
plemented by a $99,000 contribution from the county,
will continue to pay for three Baker City fi refi ghters
hired in 2017 until Jan. 1, 2021.
The city has not yet identifi ed money sources to keep
those three fi ghters on staff beyond the end of 2020.
“That staffi ng reduction means a potential for
increased response times, not enough paramedics to
respond to the community’s needs in an emergency and
the potential for increased fi re insurance.”
Jacobs said fi refi ghters are asking residents to make
their opinions known to county leaders.
A committee is being formed to work through the
contract-award process and will be conducting public
meetings in the coming months, Jason Yencopal, the
county’s emergency service director, said Thursday.
According to the request for proposals, the 10-year-
minimum ambulance service contract is expected to be
awarded by about June 1, 2020.
The fi nal award date might change as the process
continues, Yencopal said.
By Sam Stites
AARP Smart Driver training class Oct. 24
A “new and enhanced” AARP Smart
Driver training is scheduled Thursday,
Oct. 24, in Baker City.
The class will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Baker City Senior Center, 2810
Cedar St. The schedule includes a one-
hour lunch break. Participants will be
responsible for their own lunch.
Certifi ed volunteer instructor Freder-
ick Moore will teach the class. Partici-
pants may register by calling the Senior
Center at 541-523-6591. Early registra-
tion is encouraged because class space
might be limited.
What’s New
At The Library
• 2400 Resort St.
• “The Guardians,”
John Grisham
• “Book of Bones,”
John Connolly
• “Stealth,” Stuart
• “The River by Star-
light,” Ellen Notbohm
• “Rules for Visiting,”
Jessica Frances Kane
• “Cynthia Ann Park-
er,” Margaret Schmidt
• “She Said,” Jodi
Kanter & Megan Twohey
• “Blowout,” Rachel
• “Media Madness,”
Howard Kurtz
• “The Power of Eight,”
Lynne McTaggart
• “Annabelle Comes
Home” (Horror)
• “Deadwood: The
Movie” (TV/Western)
• “Mysterious Island”
(Family, 1961)
• “Local Hero” (Com-
edy, 1983)
• “Wonders of Mexi-
co” (Documentary)
Participants should arrive no later
than 8:45 a.m. in order to complete nec-
essary paperwork. AARP members are
asked to bring their membership cards.
The cost is $15 for AARP members and
$20 for nonmembers.
According to organizers, the AARP
Smart Driver training is designed to
help those attending:
• Learn research-based safety strate-
gies that can reduce the likelihood of
having a crash.
• Understand the links between the
driver, vehicle and road environment,
Continued from Page 1A
In written comments she
submitted to the Planning
Commission, Mehaffy wrote
that “It is unthinkable that
we must be dealing with
this again; especially after
the Planning Commission
decided then, in 2015, to not
allow a tower to be installed
in our neighborhood. After
all our collective hard work,
for decades, to make Baker
City such a unique, livable,
and beautiful small town, it is
preposterous to think a 70 ft
cellphone tower would have
any place in our Baker City
residential neighborhoods.”
Kristi Hensley told commis-
sioners she is concerned about
noise from the emergency
back up generator that would
be installed with the tower.
She said she has had no
trouble with her cell service
through Verizon.
As a business owner, Hens-
ley said she’s always inter-
ested in developments that
benefi t the city’s economy, but
that in the case of the pro-
posed tower she doesn’t “see
any benefi t at all to how this
would help our community.”
Verizon, however, says the
tower would improve cell
From its conditional permit
application: “Verizon’s custom-
ers currently experience a
signifi cant gap in coverage
$ 15 /Qt.
and how this awareness encourages
safer behavior.
• Learn how aging, medications,
alcohol and other health-related issues
affect driving ability, and ways to adjust
to allow for these changes.
• Increase confi dence.
• Know how to drive safely when
sharing the road with other road users.
• Learn the newest safety and ad-
vanced features in vehicles.
• Learn when driving might no longer
be safe.
• Explore other ways to travel.
in the area in Baker City, Or-
egon. The target search area
to fulfi ll this gap is generally
north of Campbell Street. The
gap is both a coverage issue
and capacity issue.”
Sophia Mekkers of Black
Rock Consulting, which is
working on behalf of Verizon,
attended Wednesday’s public
Mekkers told commission-
ers that according to Verizon
engineers, a 50-foot tower,
the maximum height allowed
without a conditional-use per-
mit, “just was not suffi cient.”
“The minimum height
required to provide the service
that we need to provide is 70
feet, which is why we’re here
this evening,” Mekkers said.
She also said the tower
would have space for an
additional cell carrier, one of
Verizon’s competitors, to add
its own equipment.
In a letter submitted to
the Planning Commission by
Hathaway Larson, a Portland
law fi rm representing Verizon,
the Commission’s 2015 rejec-
tion of the company’s applica-
tion for a 100-foot tower is
“The City’s denial of the
Application would be particu-
larly problematic because the
City already denied Verizon’s
previous project intended to
address the same signifi cant
gap in coverage and capacity
in 2015,” the letter reads. “The
current project is signifi cantly
shorter than the previous
project, by 30 feet.”
The law fi rm also argues
in the letter that Baker City’s
zoning ordinance does not
include provisions allowing
commissioners to reject the
application based on claims
about reduced property
Commissioners received
written statements from
several residents opposed to
Verizon’s application.
Tracy Howard wrote that
she recently moved to Baker
City to be near her grandchil-
dren. Howard wrote that she
would not have bought her
home at 2935 Elm St., about
one block west of the proposed
site, had the cell tower been
in place.
“This will hurt our ability to
resell it and it will destroy the
beauty we currently enjoy,”
Howard wrote. “I am a breast
cancer survivor and I am very
concerned about the RF (radio
frequency) my sister and I will
be exposed to. We do not want
this in our neighborhood.”
Jeana Hitzman, whose
family lives on D Street just
east of the property, said they
bought their home for the
view of the Elkhorns from
their deck.
“If you allow Verizon to
build their tower, we would
be looking directly at a 70
foot cell tower instead of the
beauty of this year,” Hitzman
is here to help you!
Go to our website at to purchase Sparkle Denture Cleaner
Beth has a new partner, Anita!
To place an order, please call
Anita 541-519-5573 or Beth 541-519-0187
Come see us for a free consultation.
C u r t i s Ta t l o c k , L D
2535 Myrtle St. • Baker City
(541) 523.4747 or 1(877) 523.4747
Continued from Page 1A
Baker County Library board changes
October meeting to Monday, Oct. 21
The Baker County Library Board has changed its
meeting date this month.
The Board will meet on Monday, Oct. 21, rather than
the second Monday of the month.
The meeting will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the
library’s Riverside meeting room at 2400 Resort St.
Library Board meetings are open to the public. Public
comments are welcomed as one of the fi rst agenda
items, a meeting notice stated. Guests are asked to limit
their remarks to fi ve minutes if they are speaking as
individuals or 10 minutes if they are speaking on behalf
of a group or organization.
Trunk or Treat event planned for
Halloween at Baker City Christian Church
The Baker City Christian Church, 675 Highway 7,
will have a trunk or treat event on Oct. 31 from 4:30
p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be free candy and games for
everyone, along with chili and hot dogs.