Letters to the Editor August 7

Poop is inhumane

As I was hopscotching through a maze of dog poop smeared across the sidewalk in front of Wells Fargo, I was reminded of a recent letter decrying the "insane" banning of dogs from Ashland parks (see Aug. 3 letters to the editor). Most dog owners are exceptionally responsible, but others are not, and the minority is ruining it for the rest.

Although dogs are banned from our school fields and parks, I regularly find defiant neighbors and canine land mines everywhere my children play. Even the deer poop less in our parks. Neighbors at Briscoe used to have a poop patrol every weekend to combat the poop plague.

Even some "responsible" dog owners seem to have a curious detachment (dare one say sense of entitlement?) when it comes to their animal's excrement. I frequently see leashed owners stop downtown to let their dogs spray flagpoles, newspaper boxes, bench legs, fountains, planters, hobos and literally anything along sidewalks. I realize it's organic and natural, but it's still pee. College students who do it at 2 a.m. get cited. It reminds me of the detachment cigarette smokers display as they flick burning butts onto the sidewalk, as if they magically and instantly biodegrade.

There are miles and miles of trails in Ashland perfect for dogs, including the TID and paths around and through Lithia Park via the old Pioneer and Loop roads.

Instead of complaining that you can't poop in our parks, why don't you help find solutions?

John Williams


SOU students need more access to OSF

I'm writing because I find the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's discounts and availability for Southern Oregon University students of Shakespeare to be insufficient.

SOU has an excellent English department and of course the Department of Shakespeare Studies. When I studied there as a Shakespearean specialist and teaching assistant, I enjoyed the festival often, but most of the plays would have been out of my budget had not a friend worked there.

I was able to fuse a lot of Shakespearean references, etc., with Ashland's hippie culture in my book "An Ode to Id" and made something of a creative career. But, alas, many of SOU's best Shakespeare students don't have access to the O' scene because they're young liberal arts students and not well-heeled California doctors.

Sean Lawlor Nelson


Kudos to police who cited dog owners

Kudos to the officers who cited the dog owners who left their animals unattended in their cars during the heat wave (see July 30 article "Dogs in Ashland found trapped in hot cars"). On a warm day, temperatures in a parked car can reach 160 degrees in only minutes, even with opened windows. This can lead to brain damage or death from heatstroke to these unfortunate pets. Jackson County Keeper Regulation 612.09(d)(3) provides that is unlawful for an animal to be confined within or on a motor vehicle at any location under such conditions as may endanger the health or well-being of the animal, including but not limited to dangerous temperatures or lack of food or water. Be a hero. Please report animal abuse or neglect. Stop the suffering one animal at a time.

Lisa A. Frost


No room for Israel in Hamas worldview

Regarding Dr. Gene Robbin's recent guest opinion critical of Israel (see July 30 opinion piece "'Rachel' controversy at film festival highlights split in Jewish community"), I would like to again express my deepest condolences for the death of his niece Rachel Corrie. My Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Israeli friends also grieve her tragic death, and for the dozen other young women named Rachel killed by terrorists over the past few years. The tragedy of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is that it could be resolved in a matter of weeks. Sadly, Jihadist theology openly teaches that there can never be two democratic nations living side by side with each other. These extremists are not interested in "Western" notions of pluralism, feminism and diversity. Nor are they interested in the idealism of the prophets Amos and Isaiah, who spoke in visionary language about the interdependence of Ishmael and Isaac.

Go online and look up the charter of Hamas — there can never be room for an Israel in the Middle East. There is no room in their reactionary worldview for a holy reunion between the children of Abraham. Hamas does not just espouse violence, but sanctifies it. And not just against Jewish Israelis, but also against Muslims and Christians who do not live by their distorted interpretation of Islamic law. As much as Israelis suffer from from terrorism, the greatest number of victims of Jihadist violence worldwide have been Muslims.

The Palestinian people are suffering under the weight of an intransigent and uncompromising theology as expressed by Hamas. Rachel Corrie is a victim of the Jihad, and not the actions of one Israeli bulldozer driver. I urge anyone interested in this matter to read "The Missing Peace" or "Myths, Illusions, and Peace" by Dennis Ross, former Mideast negotiator for President Clinton and current advisor to President Obama. Shalom/Saalam!

Rabbi David Zaslow

Havurah Shir Hadash, Ashland

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