Letters to the editor

Considering the candidates

With convention pandemonium just around the corner it's time to sift seriously for the real issues. That is going to be hugely difficult this time though electing either candidate would seemingly have advantages. While McCain's freedom from racism is proactive and notable, there is no way his presidency could do as much as Obama's to heal America racially.

On the other hand, McCain's distance from, and challenge to the entrenched corruption of both party establishments, may be more promising than Obama's. For this reason, I, for one, am disappointed by the latter's aversion (however expedientially correct) to increased head to head debates.

Andrew Foster

Remembering Mel

Last week, Ashland quietly lost a very special resident &

and for the most part, her passing went unnoticed. Mel Canate was a very private person, and I know that it was her wish to fade quietly and without fanfare.

I can only guess what it is like knowing that you are leaving this world for destinations unknown. While I wish to respect her privacy, at the same time I feel the need to mark and announce the passing of Mel, for her and the people who didn't realize she was gone.

I first met Mel in the early '90s through our respective children, and over the years watched her raise her great kids &

alone and without help &

and for the most part on foot, as she didn't have reliable transportation, especially in the early years. I never heard her complain, yet she somehow mustered the resources to give our entire family gifts for Christmas, birthdays, etc., sometimes the creations of her beautiful artwork that many have never seen. I hope that her children can let it be seen.

Many of you have spoken with Mel and perhaps never realized it. Over the years she struggled &

working at McDonalds, Wendy's and the Ashland Daily Tidings among a number of other local businesses.

As our kids grew into adults, I lost touch with Mel, but I have never forgotten her. I swear I think of her every time I drive down lower Tolman, still watching for her to be walking her kids to or from the stores, from memories in the past.

I may not be thought of as a religious person, but I feel very spiritual inside and will always wonder why God calls the best folks away early. Mel was only 44. I am very sorry to see Mel leave our dimension but I am sure that she is bringing great happiness to others somewhere.

George Pearson

Thanks, Ashland restaurants

I have lived in Ashland for more than 12 years and have had an opportunity to dine at many of our great restaurants and work in the industry and meet the colorful owners and operators. I am constantly impressed by the work of many restaurateurs in Ashland. In addition to working well over 40 hours a week, some 24/7 and 365 days a year, they raise families, volunteer for organizations, etc.

In Ashland they feed an ever-vibrant tourism industry, provide living-wage jobs, and provide many support industry jobs, from accounting to farming to wineries.

They collect our City of Ashland meals tax to pay for our waste water treatment plant and provide open space in our community for our families to enjoy.

Last year approximately $40 million was spent in Ashland restaurants. We know that money has a trickle down effect supporting many other business and employees. Ashland restaurants provide donations to our local nonprofit organizations in food and monetary donations.

The next time you dine in Ashland take a moment to thank your server, the owner, the chef, the cook and the brewer. I just did.

Drew Baily

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