Letters to the editor

Taking delight in sidewalk animal store displays

So, let me get this straight &

delight, big hugs and grins, giggles and snuggling are out in Ashland if it involves squishy stuffed animals? This letter has been circling in my head for months, but I kept thinking rule-makers would keep thinking too and all this silliness would pass. But alas ... .

You see, I stand with Women in Black on most Friday's and Saturday's at noon. We stand across from Bug A Boo!; the children's store with the giraffe in front (in previous times). My bet is that most of us who stand would say that we take tremendous delight in watching families and children stop and wait while hugs are shared with the giraffe. We smile while watching them smile.

I am always struck by how perfect these love displays are. As Women in Black we are standing for peace and non-aggression, and across the street we watch snuggles with bears and hugs with a giraffe right here in our own backyard &

that is where peace begins, in our own hearts, in our own backyards &

on the street.

Bug A Boo! has, for many years, stored in their tiny closet all of Women in Black's signs, banners and materials (thank you). I don't know, or can begin to understand all the issues of concern about Ashland turning into a small Las Vegas. I have never been to Las Vegas &

but if it, or any other town, is well known because of sculptures, art, stuffed animals or anything else on the street that brings delight, big hugs and grins, giggles, snuggling or a sense of peace and love, then I am traveling there.

Sharon Wendt

Enjoying the use of the Ashland Gun Club

I am Tom Kennedy, an Ashland resident of many years. I did send a letter to the city manager's office late last year citing my pleasant experiences using the gun club premises. The memories include teaching my family, wife, children, and grandchildren the do's and don'ts of owning and shooting a gun.

I enjoyed watching the Boy Scouts learning the procedures of safety and accuracy. I am proud to watch the military practice and marvel at the young age of some of their sharpshooters. The premises are kept very clean, due to many volunteers and their proud relationship with the gun club. The buildings maintenance is in perpetual movement and always ahead of deterioration.

I think the knowledge and use of a firearm is a good idea for those who desire to protect themselves and their property. I think it is a community benefit to offer the most exposure to measures that will assist in protection of persons and property.

Tom Kennedy

Had enough of thought police

An unhealthy malaise has descended on our beautiful town. Two city employees with the Orwellian job titles of "Code Compliance Specialist" and "Permit Center Manager" have become self-styled "Sidewalk Gestapo." They spend taxpayers' money harassing and threatening to fine local business owners who make their stores and restaurants unique in attempts to attract customers. Enough of your tomfoolery, gentlemen!

City Administrator Martha Bennett certainly can find meaningful, productive work for Dean Walker (no relation) and Adam Hanks. Do the windows of both City Hall buildings need to be washed? Lawns to be mowed? If not, Ms. Bennett, please recommend these two city employees begin sending their resumes elsewhere.

A lump of coal to Ashland Chamber of Commerce representative, James Kidd. He was reported in the July 9 edition of the Tidings to claim a popular Ashland stuffed bear could not ride with former city councilman and retired SOU professor Don Laws in the Fourth of July parade because "that would be using the dignitary float to make a political statement," according to Jeff Compton, owner of the chocolate shop where the bear is banned from being outside on the sidewalk.

Mr. Kidd's thinking is similar to that of fifteenth-century English Puritans. They asserted, "Human beings are not supposed to enjoy life on earth." Please back off, Mr. Kidd.

Ashland's allure attracts large numbers of tourists to our unique city. When we lived elsewhere it's what brought us here during many summer vacations to attend the Shakespeare Festival. We chose Ashland as the place where we wanted to live when we retired. We've seen many changes in the years since we moved here. Unfortunately, this change is not for the better. Thought police or naysayers have no place in Ashland.

Chuck and Sarah Walker

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