Letters to the Editor, Sept. 17

Support SOPride scholarship

Did you know that this is the third year that Southern Oregon Pride, in conjunction with Southern Oregon University, will present our SOPride Scholarship to a student of the university?

We are committed to the constitutional guaranteed right to liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all. We are committed to equality under the law for all. We are committed to an educated proletariat in a democratic America.

Thomas Jefferson observed, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Another founding father, Benjamin Franklin, stated, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it from him. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

It is to this end, education, that we dedicate our fundraising efforts. Being an all-inclusive lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and nonprofit organization, we have established and produced, for the last five years, a gay pride event that included a kick-off ball on Friday night, followed the next day by a gay pride parade and concert in Lithia Park. We have now channeled our fundraising efforts into our scholarship program.

For each of the past two years, under the auspices of the SOU Foundation, we have awarded a scholarship to an undergraduate student.

First, I would like to thank all of the businesses, corporations and individuals who have contributed to a better Rogue Valley through education. Second, if you haven’t already contributed to our scholarship fund, I challenge you to put us over the top as we kick off our fundraising season. SOPride is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, as recognized by the IRS, so your entire contribution is tax deductible.

There are several ways to contribute. Go to our website, www.sopride.org, and select one of the options listed, or just send a check made out to SOPride Scholarship Fund to:

SOPride, P.O. Box 928, Ashland, OR 97520.

Thank you for your support and don’t forget to exercise your education and vote.

Gina Duquenne


Intrusive trains

When we moved to the Railroad District in Ashland 21 years ago, there were two trains passing through our community, each day, during the daylight hours. We enjoyed seeing and hearing them, blowing their horns at each crossing — something about nostalgia & a "small town feeling," along with the environmental benefits of less truck traffic. Some years later, they started coming through during normal sleeping hours. That, sure, stopped the positive feelings.

Then, there were problems with tunnels, or some such things, and the trains stopped. Blessed relief!

Now, the trains have started again. At first, during the daylight hours. But, recently, some have come in the middle of the night, again. What a shocking, "rude awakening" that must be for folks that have moved into the area in recent years, when there were no trains.

We all have read about how important a good night's rest is to our mental and physical well-being.

I would hope that our local elected officials along the train route will use whatever power and influence they have to appeal to the kindness, consideration of others, compassion and simple common decency of the railroad company. Then, rather than scheduling their trains at their convenience, they may choose to schedule their trains in a way that will cultivate good will, rather than animosity among the people of the Rogue Valley.

Morty Smith


Tonia Moro for State Senate

Tonia Moro is now our Democratic candidate for State Senate District 3 after the unexpected passing of Dr. Bates. Tonia is an intelligent, hard-working, local lawyer. Tonia is fully capable of carrying on the Bates legacy of giving voice to the issues Southern Oregonians care about, like education, affordable housing and fighting for working families and the environment.

Most recently, you know Tonia from her excellent leadership in the campaign restore and expand our valley bus service.

State Senate District 3 includes Medford and the rest of southern Jackson County. Learn more about Tonia Moro at her website, www.morofororegon.com.

Jan Waitt



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