Letters to the Editor

Affordable housing options in Ashland scarce

The problem of "affordable housing for Ashland" is one of those issues (like Iraq) for which feasible solutions that are desirable are scarce, if not non-existent. The real choice is to find the least undesirable.

It is hard to overcome basic economics. When demand exceeds supply at existing prices, something has to happen. Prices will rise, or demand or supply must somehow be monkeyed with. Not much can be done about demand.

As for supply, Ashland is widely acknowledged to be one of the prime living locations in the entire country, because of its small-town, high-culture, scenic ambiance. To expect "affordable housing" under any conditions while retaining this ambiance is a little like calling on the tooth fairy. It is not going to happen.

One of the dumbest of all ideas is to attract new business, as though what we need in Ashland is more people and everlasting growth. With heavy government subsidies, little enclaves could be created with low-rent housing, and maybe people could draw straws to see who the lucky new residents would be.

How these subsidies would be paid for would be a challenging issue. I doubt if the federal government, or the state or the county would be so generous, which leaves it up to us Ashlanders. I really doubt if many residents would vote higher taxes on themselves to finance this chimera.

I think that such a defeatist attitude as outlined above, at least raises some issues, and throws some realism into this ambiancilly (I made that up) suicidal idea being promoted to solve the problem by unending business and population growth

Harry L. Cook

Slow down for better gas mileage

To all who are bemoaning the current exorbitant price of a gallon of gas, I have this advice: slow down! On our Memorial Weekend visit to the Oregon coast our 14-year-old sedan car, with 104,700+ miles on it, got 39 miles to the gallon. How? We did not drive over 55 mph the entire way &

freeway or mountain roads. This requires a little concentration, as it is seductive to "keep up with the traffic." Of course everyone passed us, including the trucks whose posted maximum speed is 55 mph. The additional time to arrive at our destination was about half an hour. However, the ends certainly justified the means. In addition to the reduced speed, we did have the oil and air filter changed and the tire pressure checked just before our trip. So, remember that the Indianapolis 500 is an event that does not apply to your getting from Ashland to Medford, and drive accordingly. Your pocketbook will thank you.

Mary Louise Lyman

Thanks to all who supported Ashland schools

As a board member of the Ashland Schools Foundation, I have been involved in fundraising activities for the past four years. ASF gratefully accepts and appreciates donations from anyone at any time; after all, education is continuous.

At this particular juncture, I would like offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped with our recent phone-a-thon: Jon Warren for generously allowing us to use the Windsor Inn to hold the phone drive, James Stephens Verizon for providing cell phones for our callers to use, and to the many parents, teachers, staff, students and community members who volunteered to help us call, share our story, and process paperwork.

I would also like to applaud the following businesses who helped to provide wonderful meals to feed those phone volunteers: Alex's Restaurant, Apple Cellar, Ashland Food Cooperative, Bi-Mart, Costco, Giseppi's Pizza, Greenleaf Restaurant, Happy Falafel, Mijama's Teriyaki Grill, Pasta Piatti, PC Market, Quizno's, Rite-Aid, Safeway, Shop 'n Kart, Sodexo, Standing Stone and Village Baker. Lastly, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who made a donation in support of the children of Ashland.

Thank you!

Karen Amarotico

'Voices of the Veterans' opened viewer's eyes

Thank you Kim Shelton and Bill McMillan for the spectacular "Voice of the Veterans." In a the Bowmer Theater, we were intimately drawn into the courageous hearts and souls of some of our country's veterans and families. Thank you again for creating an opportunity for these men and women to spend a weekend of sharing and healing.

Their stories culminated in a night of beautiful, rich, and sometimes heartwrenching poetry. By the end of the evening, my hands hurt from clapping, my eyes were red from crying and my heart was full of love for these brave men and women.

The evening opened my eyes to the full spectrum of pain and suffering these veterans and their families must live with for the rest of their lives.What will it take to end this war? All wars?

Beryl Patner

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