Letters to the Editor

'Sore losers' of November election

Interesting news that a few Ashland merchants are rounding up their usual gang of loudmouth bullies to overturn the results of the City Council election we just had in November. These folks are sore losers who don't have the guts to run their own candidates in a real election.

The recall organizers are not able to participate constructively in civic matters and prefer instead to subvert the will of the community with a divisive diversion that will accomplish nothing. Also disappointing that former Mayor Cathy Shaw stoops to demeaning herself by throwing bombs from the sidelines to validate this disgruntled band of fringe malcontents.

The truth is that Navickas, Hartzell and Hardesty have been working diligently and effectively on a range of issues, from reining in the city budget to protecting our precious Ashland watershed to finding a way to reopen the Ashland library soon. But of course the recall organizers have a right to use the democratic process to pursue their goals and the voters can be trusted to decide if a recall is a wise approach to resolving political differences of opinion.

Paul Copeland

Ashland benefits from tourism

With regard to Julie French's story on the summer tourism season ("Season of sightseers"), it's important to note that with additional guests the whole community benefits. For example, those of us running bed and breakfast inns are:

1. Spending more on staff, either by hiring additional people or having staff work additional hours.

2. Buying more food and essential products &

from fresh fruit at the Farmers and Growers Market to flour and sugar at local grocery stores to paper products and cleaning materials at markets and hardware stores to plumbers, electricians, handymen and other service providers.

3. Bringing in more tax money for the city.

4. Booking more tables at local restaurants.

And, we watch as our guests bring back packages of books, clothes, shoes and other great items from Ashland's fabulous local stores.

David Runkel


Ashland's Bed and Breakfast Network

'Too grandiose? I think not'

I heard the Republican Presidential candidates say, "My top priority is to keep America strong," more than one. I couldn't sleep thinking about a worldview where strength is defined as force, violence, war &

the 14th century concept of the mailed fist. I have a different vision, and I believe that we, the United States, missed an opportunity to change the planet's future. Too grandiose? I think not. During the days following the demolition of New York's Twin Towers, the world inhaled, held its breath. In this pause, we had the compassionate attention of people in poor and rich nations with diverse ideologies including moderate Muslims.

The operative words are compassion and empathy. In this small space before the exhale, the U.S. could have responded to violence in a new way, gained respect and allies, demonstrated leadership. For example:

"To All: We are deeply affected and grieved by the death of innocent Americans. It brings to our hearts and minds remembrance of loss through violence in your countries.

We considered responding with force. However, it is time to change ancient paradigms. Nothing can be gained in this 21st-century world by branding any nation 'the enemy.'

Our pledge: To protect ourselves, to raise our level of communication with a suffering world.

Our priority: Commitment to protect the planet, home of all living beings.

Our first step: To view the Twin Towers' site as sacred ground and create there organic gardens to feed New York's inhabitants.

We are learning that violence cannot solve problems, only worsen them and causing horrendous loss of the innocent. We invite you to join us in a new approach to the task of living together. Thank you for your empathy. (Signed) With deep gratitude, People of the United States."

The world would have exhaled. Terrorism would be recognized for the crime that it is. Each country would respond in its own way (as now). The U.S. would have applied the billions of dollars spent in the Iraq disaster to reduce greenhouse gases, increase support of organically locally grown food, become increasingly energy independent, and educate the world's children working with local groups everywhere who desire what most of us want.

Following this course, would we be any less "safe"? Would we be any less "strong"? I will vote for a candidate who pledges to move the U.S. into the 21st century.

Janet Boggia

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