Letters to the editor

Random act of kindness

I left my day planner lying around somewhere at Ashland Ace Hardware on Saturday, and someone turned it in and I got it back. Thank you, kind person, for helping a stranger. And thank you to the staff at Ashland Ace for being so helpful and friendly.

Jim Chadwick

Forensics center landscape a waste

The Mail Tribune had a pleasant article on Nov. 6 about a thriving landscaping business, which has as one of its clients, the U.S. Fish Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland. There is another story that needs to be investigated and told, perhaps, by the Daily Tidings.

Why is there an elaborate landscaping project taking place outside of a government building which the Mail Tribune article said "is not open to the public"? I recall that since starting last April, with the removal of several trees and installation of ornate lamp posts ( the previous ones seemed to function just fine), there are now also numerous stone paths, meandering rock walls, an expensive irrigation system, lovely plants and I assume costly labor bills. How much cost exactly? Why? Whose decision? Tax dollars?

I live one block away from the laboratory. Each morning, my son walks by it on his way to school. He is thirteen, yet even he realizes the absurdity of investing all these resources at a place that is not frequented by the public and whose beautification is paid for by taxpayers.

Maybe the Daily Tidings will discover that this project was actually funded by a generous donation from a local benefactor. That would relieve me. But, I suspect this is not a gift. This is a forensic folly!

Azade Rosenberg

Green's rant lacks perspective

Mike Green's eruption on Nov. 9 (Public schools: America's secret society ) on what he alleges is "the overflowing cesspool of salacious sexual abuse" in the public schools demonstrably needed the steadying hand of a demanding editor. Opening his essay with the familiar news that public school performance tracks most closely with real estate prices and parents' income, Mr. Green chooses to avoid the fundamental issue: poor families, broken neighborhoods, unemployment, racism, exclusion and public neglect always produce underperforming students. So we blame those teachers and those schools.

This crime is apparently too much for Mr. Green to contemplate so he veers off into his fevered world of sexuality and child abuse in the public schools, his only evidence being that some 2,500 teachers have been charged with involvement in sexual crimes over the past five years. Considering that there are hundreds of thousands of teachers in the pool, this strikes me as the opposite of salacious.

Mr. Green makes passing reference to sexual abuse within the Catholic Church but by comparison the public schools are minor league; he might also have mentioned the Boy Scouts and their own predatory sex scandals extending over decades.

Is Mr. Green's point that humans have a powerful sex drive that manifests itself in myriad ways and that it must be repressed or channeled in ways that conform to what Mr. Green defines as "proper?" Why his view and not that of the Marquis de Sade? We need grounds more relevant than this.

Gerald Cavanaugh

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