Letters to the editor

Proposal for Mt. A

"You can't use riparian land as part of the project, can you? The NFMA (the National Forest Management Act) has firm requirements and cannot be supplemented (by a new EIS)."

"" 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Milo Smith, referring to the proposed Mt. Ashland Ski Expansion at a July 2007 hearing in Portland

That was before the 9th Circuit classified landslide prone areas as riparian land in Sept. 2007. One of the runs in the proposed expansion is slated to cross four landslide zones &

areas where, according to the 9th Circuit, the Mt. Ashland Association cannot build ski runs. Yet, the Mt. Ashland Association plans to spend more money and time attempting to fix this NFMA violation with a Supplemental EIS, against the advice of the court. Building of these runs would cross landslide hazard zones in the City of Ashland's municipal watershed, draining even more sediment into sediment-clogged Reeder Reservoir, which costs Ashland taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each time it is dredged.

The MAA needed donations last year in order to open the ski area. It raised only half of the $1 million hoped for in a fundraising drive (money that was used to neutralize MAA's $450,000 loss last year). Yet, the Final EIS states that the MAA will fundraise every penny of the proposed expansion &

estimated at $17 million. To shave a few million bucks off of that cost, the MAA plans to install composting toilets on the Moraine (instead of a Moraine Lodge) &

a temporary tent-like structure for the new lodge near the parking lot &

and permanently defer other infrastructure and lodge improvements.

Yet, even then, the cost will probably exceed $10 million &

all to be paid by donations?

Many in the community, including the Sierra Club, have advocated for a healthy ski area that expands modestly and inexpensively outside of the Middle Branch; a ski area that improves the aging infrastructure and one that keeps prices low so people from every economic walk of life can afford to ski and snowboard.

This type of expansion could be done without more years of litigation and legal obstacles. It would be affordable, would improve infrastructure, create more terrain, replace the Ariel lift and be something that the community as a whole could support and be proud of. We urge the Mt. Ashland Association Board to join us in making this proposal a reality.

Tom Dimitre

Chair, RGSC

Ideals of a liberal

The dictionary definition of a "liberal is a freeman," one who offers greater personal freedoms. "A freeman and woman" are morally "tolerant and broad-minded." They favor democratic values that are progressive, open to reform and new ideas or ways of doing things. They value the economic concerns "of the people" when the cost of living increases and the national debt threatens the middle-class standard of living.

Liberal has been demonized and narrowly redefined by the neo-cons of the Republican Party. They've used fear, exaggerations and untruths to obtain power. Its "religious right" element replaced the democratic values that have traditional basis in GOP history by writing its beliefs system into the party platform. The platform institutes moral intolerance and narrow mindedness &

it is restrictive and strongly favors these regressive values.

A freeman and woman for real change ... it's a good thing. How sweet a Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton ticket would be?

Richard Altig


Legalizing marijuana benefits us all

The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act is now gathering the 83,000 signatures required to put the initiative on the November 2010 ballot. This initiative would overhaul Oregon's marijuana laws by allowing the state to take the industry out of "black market" control. This would be done by the renamed "Oregon Cannabis and Liquor Control Commission," which will license cultivators and sellers exactly the way it would handle hard liquor. Also, the act would completely deregulate hemp. "...No federal [or state] license [or fee] will be required to cultivate [industrial] hemp in Oregon."

Some opponents say that this would cause a breakdown in the moral and social structure of our state. I say that this would benefit all Oregonians, not just those over 21 who choose to use marijuana. The revenue from these now legal sales of marijuana would be close to $300 million. The hemp industry would save countless Oregon farms and ensure a sustainable future.

Also, drug cartels growing fields of cannabis on our hillsides would be ruined because industrial hemp farms would pollinate the illegal grows, making their product worthless. I ask all Oregonians to make the right choice concerning this legislation. See the entire bill at

Chris Perme

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