Letters to the editor

Isn't it time to step it up?

I just got another request to appear at a demonstration, to stand on the corner in Medford once a month till Bush and Cheney are impeached.

We stand on corners holding signs or dressed in black, then Congress votes to bring down the administration? That's the same Congress that's elected by big money, that refused to bring the troops home for another eighteen months, thus murdering several thousand more human beings, that tacked onto the same bill a provision giving two-thirds of Iraqi oil to private companies (mainly Chevron and BP), that has not made a move to cut carbon emissions or fund solar/wind/wave power to generate electricity, while refusing to raise the minimum wage by one cent.

I vote, I sign petitions, I block the streets and get arrested with other peaceful demonstrators, I pray/sing/drum for peace with millions around the globe and grow my own food.

Is it time yet to really step it up? How many more of our civil rights will we lose? How many more elections will be stolen? How many innocent children will be starved, maimed and murdered by U.S. foreign policies, while we go on paying taxes, which buy the bullets and missiles, while we stand by and let the military come into our schools to prey on our sons and daughters?

Is it time yet to act for change?

Kayla Starr

Gardeners need help

Does anyone remember the flower garden at the end of Walker St. next to the Beanery at the Pines Trailer Court? Early in the mornings as one would walk or drive by, you could see the couple out watering the flowers. He would be working the earth, planting flowers, or just appreciating the relaxing beauty of his work. Every day different people would stop, get out of their cars and tell them how much they appreciated the work put into their gardens and take pictures of them.

But now, these same people have been visited with misfortune since last fall. He got a life threatening infection at work and is now faced with a mountain of medical bills. She just had surgery. They are just getting by and appear happy in spite of their problems. They are afraid they can't have the flowers they provide us with year after year.

They are unaware that I am writing this, though I know they would be extremely grateful for any help we could give in the way of gift certificates, potting soil, plants, etc., to help them keep their garden for all to enjoy.

Barbara Morris

Call for impeachment

For the good of the world, not just America, and for the sake of justice and peace, we must remove these cowboys from the helm of the largest military known to mankind. We, Americans are not going to tolerate their lies, manipulation and thievery any longer. Impeach them all!

Dr. Lora Chamberlain, D.O.

Let's say no to militarism

Thirty-seven years ago (May 4), when some of our children were killed at Kent State, we were shocked into seeing what happens when an atmosphere of militarism prevails; when we think that problems can be solved by shooting or bombing people.

That atmosphere has been fostered again, ever since 9/11.

Do we really want to reap the harvest of that? Can we say no and make it stick this time?

Ken Deveney

Support for Wallbank

I've had the great pleasure of working closely with Erik Wallbank over the past four years as we shared positions on the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors. Erik has been a major contributor in helping the store achieve fiscal soundness and the reputation it enjoys. My relationship with him (he as President, I as Vice President) allowed me to see him handle with style, patience and grace the most trying of circumstances. His integrity and skills are unquestioned among those who have worked with him. Erik will surely bring these attributes to the Ashland School Board of Directors. I urge your vote for him as the candidate who will excel in Board Position 5.

Herb Heiman


Support for Massie

Keith Massie will do a fabulous job for our kids and schools as a member of the Ashland School Board. Keith demonstrates his genuine concern for the continuing quality of the school experience for students by volunteering time for many school-related projects. Keith champions high achievement and high standards for all students. Keith is knowledgeable about managing government funds through his government sector work, and as a cartographer, he knows how to pay attention to detail.

Please cast your vote for Keith Massie for Ashland School Board on May 15.

Karen Smith

My choice is Massie

The upcoming election has many important issues to decide, including a seat on the Ashland School District Board. Keith Massie is my choice for Ashland School Board member.

Keith consistently demonstrates those rare abilities to examine facts without bias and to reach conclusions based upon logic and fairness. His approaches to conflict and multidimensional problem solving are always marked by calm rationality and teamwork while at the same time having a genuine sense of compassion for those affected by the situation.

Moreover, while Keith has a child in the district, his District experience and focus have always been to examine what benefits ALL Ashland children, not just his own. Keith Massie's reputation for clarity, fairness, logic, compassion and his willingness to embrace and solve problems makes him a most outstanding candidate.

I hope you will join me in supporting a remarkable person, Keith Massie, for Ashland School District Board.

Bonnie Frol


Appalled at Dennis Richardson

I was appalled to read that Dennis Richardson, House Republican Whip, implied that the passage of an equal rights bill is a tragedy. He wrote:

"This past week has been like no other. On Monday the world witnessed the tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. On Tuesday Oregon witnessed the passage of Domestic Benefits for same-sex couples (HB 2007) and Civil Rights based on sexual orientation."

Mr. Richardson will see that his continued opposition to equal rights, not special rights, for the LGBT community, is a tragedy, for it perpetuates a philosophy of discrimination based on his personal and religious views. Unfortunately, some of our politicians are the biggest offenders when it comes to mixing church and state. They offend when they try to force their religious beliefs on others.

The message he is sending to our children is reprehensible. Where is the love and compassion that should be central to any religion? Mr. Richardson owes his constituents an apology for linking the tragic deaths in Virginia to the Oregon Legislature's efforts to end discrimination based on sexuality.

Mr. Richardson should take a long, hard look at himself and the example he is setting. Shame on you, Mr. Richardson.

Leslie A. Stone

Board Chair

Abdill-Ellis Lambda Community Center

Invest in the Library

We have a young child and tend to socialize with others in the same parental circuit of play dates and preschool at this time in our lives. We were deeply saddened and shocked by the funding situation that has forced the closure of the libraries, as we use them often. Additionally, we personally value the libraries in much the same way we do the public schools; an avenue to class mobility and personal change that is becoming rare in our society.

This all is our personal point of view. And in the spirit of free expression, we can understand that others feel that the libraries are not necessary or outdated.

Whichever side of this debate you stand on, we thought it important to point out that there are real ECONOMIC reasons to keep the libraries open, even if you personally do not feel as we do.

We own a real estate company here in town, and feel that the Buyers who come to the area in search of "quality of life" are looking for things like parks, libraries, walking trails in the community. We certainly were when we moved, and feel most others are too.

When deciding weather or not to pay higher property taxes to have a library system, please consider what it may do to your property value to have lost the libraries"&

166; and even if you do not agree with me on the moral issue, can you see the economic one?

In our opinion, it is a great investment in our community, which in turn is a great investment in your stake in the community, your property value.

As Benjamin Franklin said "an investment in knowledge pays the best interest", and this may be true both literally and metaphorically.

Bonnie Wedemeyer

Full Circle Real Estate

Let's walk our talk

It is a breathtaking moment in our history &

when the people are awake enough to see deception for what it is, to know what is right and what is wrong and then to take a stand. It is a moral imperative to remove from power who have lied and deceived for their own gain at a price of immeasurable suffering and damage to all life forms on this planet. The democracy we are so keen to share with the world is begging us to walk our talk. We have the power to change this administration &

we need to exercise it now.

Dr. Abigail Lewis

Thanks for supporting Ashland schools

Ashland Schools Foundation recently held its annual fund drive. On each of the calling nights between 25 and 30 volunteers helped us and to entice them we served wonderful meals donated by merchants and restaurants in Ashland.

This year we were treated to delicious food prepared by Apple Cellar Bistro, Great American Pizza Company, Greenleaf Restaurant, Happy Falafel, Northwest Pizza and Pasta Company, Pasta Piatti, Pipon's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, and Standing Stone Brewing Company.

The following merchants were also generous with product donations: Albertson's, Ashland Food Cooperative, Bi-Mart, Market of Choice, Rite Aid, Shop 'n Kart, and Sodexho.

We greatly appreciate support from these members of our community and invite you to thank them personally.

Karen Amarotico

ASF Board

Did Navickas violate ethics code?

I just finished reading about the illegal transient camp located in our watershed in Ashland. How is it that Eric Navickas, as a city council member, can be aware of illegal activities and agree to keep this information secret?

The code of ethics for the City (3.08.020) states that employees are "employed for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the Constitution of the U.S. and the Constitution of the State and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state, and City."

The code goes on to say that employees must do so "regardless of personal considerations." It appears to me that Eric Navickas has allowed his own personal beliefs to supersede the code of ethics he has agreed to follow by not reporting this camp to local law enforcement.

Irregardless of what Eric's personal feelings are regarding the homeless camp, if he wants to be a city council member (and therefore a city employee) he cannot pick and choose which laws and rules he wishes to follow. If he agreed to keep the illegal camp location a secret, he should not have done so, as it violates the code of ethics.

Chris E. Duran

Closed libraries are shameful

While attending the Shakespeare Festival last week, I was astonished to learn that the county's libraries and branch libraries have been closed due to the long-anticipated end of federal timber subsidies.

I find it incredible and irresponsible in the extreme that a county would close its libraries. Easily available information is the basis of a democracy and a free society, and much of this information has now been locked away from county residents.

Why doesn't the county change its priorities in using the money it does have, at least so as to have its libraries open half time? Why doesn't the county institute or increase its transient occupancy tax or a restaurant tax? As a visitor, I would not notice the difference in what I paid and, if I did, I would be willing to pay it.

How can you even think of closing your libraries? It is shameful.

Bruce Kennedy

Carmichael, Calif.

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