Letters to the editor, June 4

Teaching kids a nude body is bad results in body image problems

I have no opinion about a naked man appearing in Ashland, since there's too little information about that (see June 2 article "Nudist in Ashland draws gripes"). But the crossing guard quoted about it is doing some harm.

Her declaration that a little girl who started crying "is going to be scarred for life" is a fine example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you teach kids that every unusual stranger is out to get them, you will indeed give them a debilitating phobia. If you teach them that the unclothed human body is bad, you play right into America's epidemic of body image problems, sexual obsessions, and other social ills.

Let's stop pretending that false assumptions and fear-mongering protect children.

Paul Rapoport

Editor, Going Natural/Au naturel

Federation of Canadian Naturists

Ancaster, Ontario, Canada

At best, public nudity is bad manners, at worst, child abuse

When I read about the latest nudie roaming the streets of Ashland I admit I was a bit irritated (see June 2 article "Nudist in Ashland draws gripes"). "Great" I thought, "another dingbat taking advantage of our lax laws." When I read further and saw that he was exhibiting himself near an elementary school, my blood began to boil. By the time I read about the little girl who was so distressed by what she saw that she burst into tears, my blood boiled even more. The last straw was the comment by our esteemed chief of police that the man was breaking no local ordinances and people should "probably speak to their children about this."

And say what exactly? That we're so uncaring about our children that we allow this senior citizen to publicly display his shortcomings? That we're so afraid of denying someone their so-called rights that we trample on the right of those of us who'd rather not have to look at unclothed people roaming the streets? That we're so "Ashland" that we can allow anything because "only in Ashland" is something to be proud of?

The definition of good manners is to take into consideration the feelings of other people. This public nudity nonsense is at best, bad manners, and at worst child abuse. What purpose does it serve to warn children about sexual predators when we allow a naked man to exhibit himself near a school. I noticed that he's from out of town. Of course he is; he wouldn't be allowed to do this in his home town.

Please don't give me any bull-pucky about "being proud of our God-given bodies." Go ahead and be proud, just don't do it in public, especially around the children of this town.

Chris Amorelli


Business owners have become TARP funders for Ashland

Let's ask the local business owners, I mean taxpayers, if they are getting their COLA/STEP this year. Or, having a good year?

The city councilors have voted on a tax increase for all without really cutting the fat. We are now the TARP funders for Ashland's lack of fiscal planning.

I guess that those who approve of the federal bailouts are our same locals who will keep quiet while we raise taxes during this boom time for Ashland business.

I wonder how many business owners have health care and, if so, only a $100/$200 deductible.

Time to really cut costs councilors.

Donald Politis


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