Letters to the Editor

A call for candidates to come together

I can't exactly call my primary election victory "hard-fought" in my slot; there was no other name on the ballot. Now I'm one of four candidates for two County Commissioner seats in November. I admire how the other three walked the campaign trail. They answered voters' questions thoughtfully and respectfully, running just the kinds of races we want, but don't get, in national politics.

We can keep doing that. One suggestion: Let's collaboratively hold six community forums focused on solutions, not political slogans.

Each would focus on one topic (possibilities: job generation, long-term county funding, foreclosures, food security, water, transportation). Each would take place in a different town; we'll ask city councils or service clubs to host/moderate. Each would specifically invite citizens who've been studying and working on each topic. And, really stretching, the four of us would limit our talking to 20 percent of the time and listen the other 80 percent.

If these events produce even a few ingredients for practical, effective solutions, then county residents win this election no matter which two of us end up taking office. I'd like to work on this with all interested candidates. Call 541-858-0585 and we'll work out details.

Jeff Golden


Public input on city parks pesticide policy

During the last year in Ashland, Grandmothers and Friends in Green garnered more than 600 signatures of citizens and businesses who want the Parks and Recreation Department to emphasize prevention and improve its Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) by requiring, for example:

  • At least 24-hour posting before and after all pesticide applications.
  • A plan of 30 percent phase-out of pesticides per year with the goal of reaching completely pesticide free parks.
  • Fifty-foot buffer zones along water, playgrounds, picnic areas and gardens rather than the current 25 feet.
  • An independent Citizen's Oversight Committee.
  • Take into consideration up-to-date information related to bioaccumulation and chronic toxicity of pesticide ingredients on the environment.

Please attend the parks department's May 24 meeting at the Civic Center on East Main Street when the parks commissioners may vote on their substandard IPM.

Angelika Thusius


Those who use cells should accept tower

Yes, this is a Not In My Back Yard response. So, Ashland, I wonder how many of the NIMBYs have cell phones and the cell coverage dependent iPhones?

If it's not the cell tower, cell phones or health effects, what's the problem? Do the NIMBYs not walk, eat or shop downtown? I wonder who they feel should have a cell antenna in their area so they can use their cell.

Please approve this new cell tower. I don't have AT&T, but maybe someday and I do want my phone to work daily and in an emergency.

Donald Politis


New plan does reflect AT&T previous stand

We moved to Ashland in 2008 and at the time had AT&T cellphones. When we arrived we discovered that the cell coverage was very spotty here, and there was no signal at all in the area of our new home at the southern end of Ashland.

I contacted AT&T on numerous occasions that fall, asking for a release from our contract. The company's answer was a resounding affirmation that Ashland has excellent signal strength, so it refused to cancel our contract without penalty. I wrote letters showing medical needs for a workable cell phone, but the company was adamant that its service was adequate, and we were billed more than $400 as a penalty for discontinuing AT&T's "service."

I find it interesting now that AT&T is so eager to add cell towers in the southern end of Ashland, and it seems ingenuous to me given their firm stand in 2008. In addition, I believe that electromagnetic wave concerns are a real issue, with more medical research proving that all the time.

I say let AT&T place its towers where they will impact as few people as possible, certainly not directly over theaters or within a short distance of healing arts buildings.

Nancy Wynkoop


Cell opponents need to look in the mirror

I wholeheartedly agree the AT&T cell apparatus should be installed elsewhere — co-locating it in the Holiday Inn Express just makes sense in so many ways. I find I am conflicted about this entire subject though.

I'd like to offer some food for thought — my guess is the majority of people on both sides of this issue own cell phones, as do I. Where is the personal responsibility here? If we all (or most) depend on our cell phones, then cell towers go hand-in-hand with that convenience. And of course we want the best cell phone coverage and all sorts of apps to go with it too, right?

Then perhaps we need to get used to having these arrays in our neighborhoods. Ugly, yes. Hazardous to our health, most likely. Necessary? You betcha. I rarely use my cell phone — I depend on my landline primarily. So unless we opposers want to protest by giving up our cell phones, then perhaps we just need to realize this downside exists to owning and using cell phones and wireless technologies.

As a side note, it would behoove all of us to have a hard-wired landline — in the event of a wide-ranging local emergency, cell phones will easily become overwhelmed but a hard-wired landline will be reliable. Your cordless phone will not work if the power goes out.

Lisa Garnett


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