Letters to the editor

Vermont critique of Ashland's public nudity activist

Although I live a couple thousand miles away, I am compelled to share my response to your story regarding Jen Moss and the Fourth of July parade. I was curious as to what drives Jen's insistence of riding in this family-oriented parade half-naked. Is it really necessary for her to do this?

I am not a prude, but to force one's nudity on the public just because it's legal is both self-serving and inconsiderate of those families who come to the parade. What parent should have to explain to their children why this woman is naked at a traditional celebration?

We had our own taste of naked bicyclists recently at the state capitol. The show rode through town creating a stir, including driving by a funeral just as the grieving attendants were leaving the church.

My questions for Ms. Moss are: Are you really that militant about your nude rights? Have you no consideration for those who really don't want to see you naked?

While I applaud your right to ride naked, being a staunch supporter of freedom of expression, I do believe that we also have an obligation to use decorum when applying our freedoms. The right to express one's self does not give us the right to cram it down someone's throat, which is exactly what you are trying to do.

We here in Vermont have a reputation for being tolerant and supportive of our basic freedoms, even if we do want to ride naked through town on a bike. Why not forgo riding in the Fourth of July parade and establish your own on a designated date and invite all your other naked riders to join in? That way, the citizens of Ashland can make their own decision whether or not to join you curbside and see the spectacle you are so insistent on creating?

Susan Sanderson

Barre, Vermont

What happened to the prayer flags?

On Monday, June 2, Kellie Kinkead, owner of Eufloria Flowers, called me to say she had received a letter from the City of Ashland. The prayer flags in the garden next to her shop had to come down as they were in violation of a city ordinance against wind banners in the commercial district of Ashland. Following the non-resistance example of The Dalai Lama, I took the flags down that day.

A couple of months ago Kellie allowed me to put up prayer flags in her garden. prayer flags demonstrate an altruistic and peaceful intent when hung. The three flags, seven feet tall, had messages of peace, compassion and healing on them. One flag was in Tibetan and two were in English.

Tibetans were being brutalized and killed by the Chinese; the situation was serious and worsening. More awareness over their plight was, and is, needed. Tibetans have been making and hanging prayer flags for over 1,000 years; the flags symbolize Tibetans. It is their tradition that I borrowed when I started West Wind Flags in 2000. My company's flags are made by Tibetans living in Kathmandu, Nepal and I have a heart connection with them.

Shakespeare's Lion wind banners hang all over the downtown. They are a wonderful addition. I am wondering why Shakespeare Lions are allowed and not prayer flags? I believe we value cultural diversity in Ashland and the prayer flags were a way of expressing that.

While Shakespeare does seem to be the dominant theme in Ashland, humanitarians also contribute in a big way to Ashland. There are many spiritual teachers, retreat leaders, spiritual businesses, and authors who live and work here and have a positive impact on the well-being and economy of Ashland. Perhaps its time our group had representation in the downtown's wind banners?

I believe, eventually, world peace flags will accompany country flags. Now is a good time to begin, don't you think? I would like the city ordinance changed to allow prayer flags.

France Robinson

We like the parade, dislike the fly-over

Once again, Ashland is on the brink of celebrating its version of our nation's Fourth of July. While we look forward to this holiday each year, we do not look forward to the military jet fly-over starting the parade.

A few years ago someone came up with the idea to use military jets for this purpose instead of the wonderful old barnstormers that we used to enjoy so much. Since that time we, and many of our friends, have dreaded the ear-splitting noise, the waste of fuel, and most importantly, the terrible risk taken by our military that, with one small tactical error has the potential to wipe out an entire town. Why should we wait for a tragic accident before we cancel this madness?

The celebration should be joyful, not something to dread and fear. This year, one of us is celebrating the birth of a new granddaughter. She will be here for the Fourth. We plan to wait until the jets have gone by before we arrive at the parade to avoid frightening a new baby, not to mention the rest of us!

Please reconsider this extravagant display of military might in a time when perhaps such a display is no longer considered "patriotic," and represents invasion, strife and disagreement, rather than peace and protection. It most certainly does not show consideration for safety of the very people celebrating their independence!

Cynthia V. Dion

Thomas L. Regler

Suzzi ViTaris

Save the county's historical societies

We can keep the 14 historical societies in Jackson County alive and well.

Volunteers are circulating petitions to place on the May 2010 ballot a measure that would provide basic funding support for all the historical societies in the county, including the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the one in Talent. Historical societies not only help educate local citizens, especially children, about what happened in the past, but they are also play a major role in bringing tourists to our region &

an important economic benefit to Southern Oregon.

Signature gatherers, including myself, will be at the Ashland Fourth of July parade and in Lithia Park (fully clothed) carrying clipboards and petitions. Please look for us and sign the petition to help keep history alive.

Tom Pyle


Disaster looms with fireworks in the city

The ONE column that says it like IT REALLY IS. Our City Council could learn by listening to Lance's words. I cannot believe what is being decided by our Council, and our Mayor. Cannot believe some of the childish decisions that are being decided about!

We are raising utilities, plus other things, yet spent $35,000 dollars to teach grown people not to tell another person "Keep your f------ mouth shut!" Our mayor should have handled it.

And once more the Fourth of July is upon us and we will still allow fireworks of a nature to be used in our town. We have had another year of disaster fires, and once more we are not bringing the water into Ashland. Once more I will be prepared to leave quickly if necessary, but the destruction will be terrible.

Remember five years ago, near Gene Namanny's home, a house went up in 30 minutes and the father of the young boy was standing right there. If the wind had not shifted Gene's home could have gone up as quickly. So we will wait until a disaster strikes and THEN we will act! How responsible!

Penny Beck

Share This Story