Letters to the editor

Camper's death sends a warning

A man, apparently homeless, died from a fire in his campsite. I see this as a red flag, warning us to create a "tent city" like Portland has.

If this man had been able to camp with others, watched over by our community, I doubt he would have died this way. Any fire would probably have been seen by fellow campers, and the man would have been rescued before it was too late.

I'm mostly against abortion, but proponents are correct when they say, "When abortion was illegal, women died getting abortions in the underground market." These proponents say that when abortion became legal, it came out of hiding and got more public scrutiny and so was safer.

Similarly, when free camping is illegal, some will do it anyway. Illegal camping is underground, and the public can't scrutinize it until a man's body is discovered. To camp alone is risky even for a few days. Do it for a lifetime, and you're courting danger.

Let's legalize camping for Ashland's homeless, and give them a place where they can be watched over, and where they can watch over each other.

Ambuja Rosen

Why Ashland businesses fail

It was more than a strange coincidence that I was searching through the Daily Tidings obituaries and came upon Lance Pugh's column about the closing of Ashland Camera (Feb. 15, 2008).

My wife and I owned the Main Street store for almost twenty years, and even though we were aware of the inevitable closing, it still moved us. Lance is correct in his assessment of the reasons businesses fail so often in Ashland. There will always be stories of people coming with their life savings to invest in a business they know nothing about. These are failures we can understand. But, that's not the case here.

Ashland Camera had been in continuous operation for almost 50 years, half of them as Bach's Camera. Steve Sutfin was an expert photographer and had experience working with us for over ten years. He was eminently qualified. The reason (for the failure of the business) is only one &


I believe the landlords who have taken over downtown Ashland &

and Lance Pugh knows this well &

have been hell-bent on feathering their own nests while systematically bleeding the store-owners dry. Add to that, many of the people of Ashland for the most part, and oddly many local business owners are among them, have for years flocked to Costco, WalMart, Medford's Rogue Valley Mall and the Internet to do their shopping &

slowly destroying the small town atmosphere of the city that brought them there.

One less store to hand out Halloween candies to the children. One less store to support the Festival of Lights and the Christmas parade. One less store to donate to the schools, the theaters and the Wine and Art Festival. I'm sure Costco will take up the slack.

Doug Mitchell

Tucson, Ariz

Letter inspired by socialism

I think Gerald Cavanaugh's letter ("Religious beliefs misunderstood," Feb. 21) seems to be a Marxist-inspired response that should have read something like this. The Secular Progressive Preamble to the New World Order: "We the sheeple of the United States, in Order to form a more dependent Union, establish a welfare state, insure domestic handouts for all, provide for the common criminal, promote the general disdain of all rights, insist on hatred of all religion (including Christianity) from now on, do ignore and trample the Constitution of the United States of America."

James A. Farmer

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