Letters to the editor

Tax everyone, but equally

Dear Fire Fighters,

First of all, thank you for all that you do to serve our community. You deserve, and it should be without question, that you be well-funded by a stable, dependable and non-fluctuating source. I also believe in the importance of the entire community supporting all community services, ie., libraries, health care, education, fire department and police department.

We have no sales tax in Oregon nor for the City of Ashland. No taxation equals no or inadequate services. As a property owner I have always been willing to pay more than my share, considering myself fortunate to be able to own a home. But, it seems that an increasing financial deficit is being dumped on, and paid for, by property owners.

A democracy and a true community is about everyone contributing. Even a five-cent sales tax is equitable in terms of responsibility for what all of us gain.

In addition, Ashland and the state of Oregon have thousands of tourists streaming through, using our services tax free. Are we crazy, naive, stubborn, and business selfish? Do we expect everything for nothing? We are one of the few states in America that does not have a sales tax.

I support our community services paid for by equitable taxation. One sustainable solution is a state and city sales tax.

Kathleen Meagher

Local food grower

As a participant in the AnamCara Gardens booth each Tuesday at the Ashland Growers Market, I feel compelled to correct an error in the Eat Local article by Robert Plain. He stated that only one farm at this market is from the local area. We, too, are local and offer small fruit trees, vegetable starts and herbs, all grown organically. We make it possible for people to easily grow their own food. What could be more local than that?

Midge Binnewies

Appreciative of Haines' gift

Lloyd Haines has created an aesthetically pleasing, safe environment for our fair city in an area that had attracted rats and drug users. ODOT has assured us that the installation of murals by local artists has not compromised the bridge structure and will not endanger lives, in fact more lives are endangered by drivers exceeding the speed limit (breaking the law) on the road above.

Please encourage our city leaders to accept this fine gift and revise the "rules" that prohibit all murals.

Judy Howard and Steven Dewey

Support the Iraq Study Group plan

General Petreaus' and Ambassador Crocker's testimony includes plans for the withdrawal of a few troops from Iraq. But the general and the ambassador also laid out plans for a long-term U.S. military occupation of Iraq, creating a compliant, protected regime in the oil-rich heart of the Middle East. A long-term military occupation of Iraq is a bad solution to a failed war policy. Our members of Congress should be working towards an end to the war that people in this country of all political parties can unite around.

One such proposal has already been put forward and would enact into the law the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, including a firm commitment for the withdrawal all U.S. military troops from Iraq, full support for regional diplomatic negotiations with all of Iraq's neighbors, and a commitment to assist in rebuilding a country that U.S. military troops have helped to destroy. I hope that we can count on our members of Congress to support this bill and a real end to the Iraq war.

Steve Lanusse-Siegel

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