Letters to the editor

Food sovereignty not biotech for world's hungry

The Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) of the United Nations met recently to address the growing global food crisis. The United States delegation, led by USDA Secretary Ed Schafer, proposed that the world adopt Genetically Engineered (GE) crops as a silver bullet solution. However, Secretary Shafer's GE "solution" is little more than a thinly-veiled attempt at subsidizing biotech corporations and advancing the genetic contamination of organic and non-GE crops in famine stricken countries.

GE crops are untested and unwanted by the majority of the planet's population. Dozens of countries around the world currently ban the cultivation of any genetically engineered varieties as they have yet to be proven safe for the environment or for human consumption. Additionally, GE crops have not been demonstrated to significantly increase yield, but rather force farmers onto a deadly spiral of agri-chemicals and corporate patent monopolies.

GE crops will only deepen the global food crisis. Impoverished and famine stricken countries need to be supported by redeveloping their food sovereignty to avoid deepening the crisis. Global security is dependent upon long-term sustainability, not short-term corporate subsidies.

Annie Hoy

Rankling over Walker not warranted

I have read, with surprise, a number of letters to the editor in which various people have expressed remarkably aggressive and loaded personal comments directed toward Dean Walker and other city employees.

Part of my surprise arises from my perception, perhaps an erroneous one, that a local paper should give citizens a public voice, without allowing it to be used as a vehicle for delivering vengeful personal attacks. The other source of surprise is the evident ease with which an individual can be mischaracterized in public.

Like many in the Rogue Valley, I know Dean Walker well and can affirm that I have never met a more caring, balanced, and responsible person. To my certain knowledge, he is extremely conscientious about supporting his community and he does so to the best of his ability. I have watched him dedicate a great many hours of his own time to a thoughtful examination of the nuances, often contradictory demands inherent in his duty to our community.

As someone who is charged with enforcing our own ordinances, it may be natural that he has become a lightning rod for the gathering discontent surrounding our need to re-examine prevailing sign laws.

Still, I am saddened to see the publication of these and other poorly advised personal attacks, which in the end reflect less than ideally on our community. I, for one, appreciate the services of Dean and our other heavily-burdened city employees. I also appreciate the Tidings.

We all obviously need a forum to express concerns and grievances. But the use of these outlets is serious and has consequences. Let's clean up our act.

Paul Richards

Resist special interests; keep the gun club

I find the current Ashland Gun Club issues quite ridiculous and based on hyperbolic and misguided arguments. In fact, the removal of the facility would actually cause the very issues being leveled at the gun club now.

If the gun club were removed, the maintenance, security and managed use of the area and its infrastructure would be gone and could see destructive use by off-roaders and people shooting haphazardly. Only then the local governments would be fiscally responsible.

And worse yet, it then could become a mini-mansion suburb. Just what we need, more housing only a few can afford.

Any archeological potential would be pressured by development instead of preserved, as it is now. The lead shot issue could be easily addressed as many local governments are doing around the country: ban lead shot. The most sickening aspect of this ruse is that it is a backdoor attempt &

again, by a few new residents &

to grab the land and develop it for their interest.

How else is it that a gun club, which has functioned easily for decades, is suddenly fraught with problems? I say, do we keep the gun club, which serves thousands, to preserve a heritage for our children and teach responsibility, or do we let the gentrification of our town keep sprawling and claim yet another of our local traditions for the special benefit of a few?

David Q&



Gun club: Healthy future for all

We all need to think about our future, we all need to do it every day, so today is the day to lay out a futuristic plan for Ashland's Gun Club.

The lease should be renewed but under acceptable conditions for ALL: for the gun club members a healthier environment and a secure area for their sport; for the citizens of Ashland, appropriate income from city property and protection from lead for the water and land.

There is no need to renew the lease contract for the gun club in a haste, the existing one is good until 2009. All issues need to be considered to create a fair new contract.

Sabina Nies

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