June 8, 2006 ‘Watch list’ animosity The APD “watch list” may be good policing, within certain restraints, but when it is used as a community tool to frighten, intimidate and humiliate it needs to be controlled and explained.&nb

‘Watch list’


The APD “watch list” may be good policing, within certain restraints, but when it is used as a community tool to frighten, intimidate and humiliate it needs to be controlled and explained.

How do you get on the “list”? By being a law-breaker? Being in need of some personal hygiene and grooming? Beinga young male'Surly? Smart-mouthed? Or maybe mentally ill?

The “list” contains at least one person who is mentally ill and is not a lawbreaker, maybe there are more. This person should be watched with care and concern. He needs his medication, he needs housing andsupervision. Is this how he is being watched? I don’t think so!

An article such as that creates an atmosphere of fear andmistrust. It encourages the stigma about mental illness that the National Alliance on Mentally Illness (NAMI) fights daily. Mental Illness is a chemical imbalance of the brain. It is a condition that can be treated. Recovery of a productive life should be the goal. Making a community fearful of the person is not helpful!

I believe in freedom of the press and the people’s right to know. I also believe in the right to privacy and respect for individual liberties. Taken away, we are all damaged.

For a real story try investigative reporting on how the mentally ill are treated in the Rogue Valley. That is shocking news that might help and enlighten the community.

Estelle Womack

Southern Oregon

Request for

bike return

Would the person who removed the (unlocked) bicycle from the rack at Ashland Hardwired during the early morning hours of Saturday, June 3, please return it?While it is not an expensive one (it was purchased at the bike swap last month for $45), it was just perfect for me, a 50-something woman who is learning to ride again. Thank you.

Pam Vavra

Wrong Robert

The purpose of this note is to clarify a possible misunderstanding concerning the June — letter by “Bob Nelson.”

I was the Director of Finance for the City of Ashland from 1969 through 1987, but I am not the person who wrote the letter in that day’s edition.

Robert D. Nelson

Keep the benches where they are

I hope the city will let the new homemade benches on the plaza and in front of the Chamber of Commerce stay right where they are. They are very comfortable benches and have avery good vibe. I find them more comfortable than the city’s benches.

If the city has other benches that they’re ready to place out in public, the plaza can always use more benches: It is a very nice place to sit and watch the world go by, and socialize.

If the designs of the two kinds of benches seem to clash, side-by-side, let that be even more of a testament to our tolerance of diversity. Let the exactplaques stay on the homemade benches, and may such clear actions of citizenry in the sunshine abound.

We really can help ourselves, without red tape, beggaring the budget, or consulting firms.

Neti Rest


theater a gem

My husband and I stumbled upon a little gem here in Ashland. It’s the Ashland Community Theater’s cleverly staged production of “Duke,” written by award-winning playwrights Arne Sultan and Earl Barret (“Get Smart”, “Barney Miller”, etc.). I won’t give away the zany plot, but we weren’t prepared for such professionalism. Unfortunately, it closes June 11 at Ashland Middle School. Ashland can boast of having the world premiere of this play that ranks with the best of them. Don’t miss it!

Carol SeCoy

Props for


Randy Dollinger’s thoughtful words on “The Changing Face of Ashland” (June 5) merit our serious consideration. He reminded me of what economist Jared Bernstein recently observed: in the face of the challenges confronting us in working out our common destiny there are two main groups. There are the YOYOs, those who say, “You’re On Your Own,” with all the baleful social results that attitude always implies.

And then there are the WITTs, those who say, “We’re In This Together,”with all the positive and progressive social possibilities that moral attitude implies. Intelligent, decent compassionate citizens are with the WITTs and one hopes they are in the great majority. It is the only camp to be in if one is for justice and fairness. For what it is worth, it’s a Christian ideal as well.

Gerald Cavanaugh

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