Letters: At length

Plans for the county library system

Ashland says it will pass a levy and open its own library. They say they have a plan, will it really work? I understand that Ashland used to run its own library. When it became financially unable to do so, it became part of the Jackson County Library System.

Now there is talk of privatization. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to surmise what will happen. Most of the branches will close. A private company won't be able to make money. There will be increased fees and decreased service, and the library system will no longer be public.

This is what I would like to see: A study committee made up of representatives from each branch library and city council, a County Commissioner, someone representing the state government and someone representing the federal government. I can see this committee breaking up into smaller groups to explore all the aspects of funding and running JCLS. Areas they can explore will be why don't property taxes bring in enough money (houses are expensive enough)? Does the federal government have any obligations to the states when they hold state lands? Does Oregon need a different tax structure? When the subcommittees have all their information, they come back as a whole and draft a plan. They take this plan to all the people in the county with plenty of time for public input. They come up with a viable plan to keep our library system running in perpetuity. Finally they take this plan to the voters. The voters will have the information they need to vote responsibly. This will take time. But we will come up with a system that we can be proud of.

We are in a crisis. Knee-jerk responses will not solve the problem. Ten years ago, Ashland faced a crisis when a flood damaged much of Lithia Park and the Plaza. It took a year or more to bring everything back. It happened because people worked, met and had the opportunity to learn together about the different plans for solving the damage. The result is a Plaza and a Lithia Park that are more beautiful than before the flood. The same can happen with JCLS. It just takes the will and a vision.

Edith Montgomery

Eating my words

Well, OK, I remember complaining a little bit about the third-degree I received recently from Britain when my flight landed in England before heading to Dallas. I had the most wonderful time in Ireland and Scotland, and it was time to go home.

At a recent barbecue, I relayed the third-degree story (including the fact that I was sweating bullets due to a hot-flash, thus looking nervous about something I wasn't doing or did), and we talked about the fact that it's necessary to have security, including removing shoes, but the asking of umpteen questions about where I was, where I went and what I did on my vacation did seem a little annoying.

After that, I woke up to the news about the Glasgow airport and ate my words. Maybe, just maybe, the extra precaution and questions could just thwart a possible attack. Does it take it actually happening to us personally to change our minds? I really didn't mind the removing of my shoes, X-raying of my luggage and removing of my laptop from its well-packed and arranged case. Or even the very long lines or, worse, no lines at all and tossing my items flying on the conveyor belt while stumbling, almost falling on my bum, to remove my shoes and coat. But the questions about all my moves in my four and a half weeks, was it necessary? Maybe it was.

I am no longer going to fight the world with its overpopulation-generated problems. I am going to consolidate, in my reasonable mind, all those minutes I had to spend in security, dismantling and mantling again so I, and others, can have a safer flight, realizing that it really wasn't that much time spent.

That will leave me more time to worry about the more important things, such as how the heck they are going to get that 767, the size of a football field, in the air, and the conversion of the euros and pounds.

Yes, I will worry about other things now and hope I don't ever have a personal story to tell about a tragedy that happened while flying to my "dream" destination across this shrinking globe. My "worries" I can have control over, and I will let the world just be the world.

Candace McLaughlin

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