Letters to the editor

Dog owners should be more responsible for aggressive pets

This letter is in response to Shannon Rio's letter of Feb. 21.

I want to express my deepest sympathy for the loss of your pet and to say I found your letter especially upsetting. This is because I was reading it as my own dog &

a 100 pound lab &

was spending the night in the hospital due to an attack he'd suffered earlier that day on the Toothpick trail. Luckily, my dog will be fine, physically. But, psychologically I can see it will affect him for some time.

My dog is very outgoing, and perhaps his excitement provoked the other dog's aggression. I generally keep an eye on him, because I know his behaviour can make other dogs nervous. However, we had just encountered this dog &

not 10 minutes earlier &

and they seemed fine. It appeared my dog had remembered the other dog and ran up ahead to greet him, which was when the attack happened.

I think what upsets me the most is that the owners of the other dog did nothing to stop the attack. They only made an attempt to get their dog when I began screaming. And the clincher: After it was over and their dog was on his leash, the woman said "He hasn't done that in a long time." So, they knew their dog could be aggressive; however, they appeared too oblivious to notice their dog's aggressive behavior.

So, in the span of one week we have one dog dead and another in the hospital. That's a problem.

Dog owners: We need to be aware of our own pet's body language, and act when the behavior crosses the threshold from play to aggression, to prevent incidents like these. We need to work together to keep our streets and trails safe for both ourselves and our pets.

Anne Taylor

Let's consider skateboarders while on the road

I as I was reading "Rules of the Road" (March 1) I was annoyed that our Ashland Chief of Police overlooked a relatively small but prevalent group of people that use our sidewalks and roadways. The article quotes:

"We're working on the issue for all three classes of people &

motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians," Holderness said.

What about us skateboarders? Are we included in the city's picture of the roads? Or are we simply regarded as a nuisance as usual? Do we have a place on the roads too, or no?

The law regarding the use of the bike lane for skateboarders is too strict, saying that we can only legally ride there if the speed limit is 25 mph or less, meaning about eight blocks on East Main Rd. is the only stretch of all of the three main roads in Ashland that we are allowed on.

If the speed limit on Siskiyou Blvd. drops to 25 around SOU, then that too would be available, but what about the rest of the main roadways? I realize that the 25 mph limit on where we can ride is for our protection, and granted, skateboarding is riskier than riding a bike, but I think at least allowing us in the bike lane downtown would be reasonable.

To increase the 25 mph-or-less limit to 30 mph wouldn't be too dangerous either. It's about time for skaters to be taken seriously as users of our roads. Skateboarding isn't simply a fad anymore.

Dashiel Bivens

County's claim against Brain is bad business

Well, let's get this right. The Jackson County Commissioners unanimously rejected Wes Brains' appointment to the open spot on the Rogue Valley Workforce Development Council, after being recommended by the Southern Oregon Central Labor Council, AFL, CIO, because county commissioner Jack Walker said he had "heard rumors" that Wes had burned an American flag in 2003, during an Ashland anti-war protest rally.

Then, commissioners Gilmour and Smith both voted against Brain because they couldn't support someone if they thought he'd burned a flag. Did they try to verify this "rumor"? Please read the report in the Mail Tribune of Jan. 24, and see Jack Ashcrafts' political cartoon, "Drawn Conclusions."

I have known Wes Brain for 30 years, and I respect his views, even if I don't always agree with him. As adament as he can be on occasion, he has the right to express them as he sees fit (see the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution).

To have an elected official to slur and impugn Mr. Brains' credibility and patriotism in open session of a meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners is an affront to our system of government, and Walker should be sued for defamation of character, and be recalled from his position of authority on the board.

Robert Munroe

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