Letters to the editor

Yes on YAAL benefits kids

What's the alternative to the Ashland Youth Activities and Academics Levy? Since 1994 a school levy in Ashland has funded music and physical education for elementary students, Spanish for middle school students, speech and debate at the high school, as well as sports, math and science clubs, marimbas and a wide variety of other activities that happen both within the regular school day and outside of it. The levy now on the ballot, Measure 15-80, will also be able to fund some core academic programs.

Without levy funding, many programs that enrich the lives of our children will cease. How then will children in Ashland spend their time? Positively and productively? And how can we expect them to grow up to be engaged and contributing citizens, if they do not have opportunities to engage in meaningful experiences as children?

Measure 15-80 provides critical support for programs that for more than a decade have served 100 percent of elementary and middle school students and more than 70 percent of high school students &

and at a lower tax rate than we are currently paying. Please join me in voting yes.

Amy Cuddy

Vote 'yes' on youth activities levy

I am writing to urge everyone in the Ashland School District to vote in support of the Ashland Youth Activities and Academics Levy. State funding has been unstable for Ashland Schools since Measure 5 passed in 1994. The levy helps offset some of that instability.

Keep Ashland, with one of the best school districts in the state, a desirable place to raise a family. Let's continue Ashland's long tradition of supporting schools and vote yes on the Ashland Youth Activities and Academics levy.

Maura Van Heuit

Ministers united against Iraq war

We are ministers of the Unitarian Universalist faith in Oregon and are profoundly opposed to continuing the war in Iraq. We have asked members of the Oregon Congressional Delegation to stop the war by refusing to pay for it. If the war is 'criminal', as Senator Smith has stated, then it is criminal to continue it and criminal to pay for it.

All members of the Oregon Congressional Delegation have been asked to sign a Declaration of Peace in which they commit to voting no on any bill asking for further funding of military operations in Iraq. The Defense Department already has enough money for the safe withdrawal of American troops, so there is no question of putting American soldiers at risk.

Representative Blumenauer is the only member of Congress who has signed the Declaration of Peace, and we thank him most sincerely for his action. Senators Smith and Wyden as well as Representatives Wu, Hooley, DeFazio, and Walden have been asked to sign but have so far refused. We urge them once again to sign the Declaration of Peace and commit to ending this immoral, illegal, and wasteful war.

Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell

Rev. Thomas Disrud

Rev. Robert Schaibly

Rev. Kate Lore

Rev. Cecelia Kingman-Miller

Rev. Fred Keip

Rev. Susan Maginn

Rev. Sue Matranga-Watson

Rev. Patti Pomerantz

Rev. Emily Brault

First Unitarian Church

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