Letters to the Editor

Parks drama could

be handled discreetly

Over the years, Parks and Rec employee Steve Lawrence could be seen working in the heat and cold with hardly time for a wave or a hello — never once have I seen him leaning up against his shovel. I felt a comfort in knowing a guy who took pride in his work for our beautiful school playing fields and amazing numerous well-maintained manicured verdant parks.

His project at the upper duck pond — the pump house shed — looked great, and I asked him, "Did you build those cool doors on that shed?" His positive response was that he took a lot of pride in building it, and every time I drove through Lithia Park, I enjoyed knowing that a Parks and Rec employee was taking pride in his work. Why involve the police when solid management practices could have solved this issue without turning this into a public drama, especially during the holiday season?

Now, in this time of cutting budgets and questioning management styles, we are putting scapegoats under microscopes. I am ashamed that we have more cameras watching our workers as they perform their tasks, and involve the police to inspect and bust, before trying ultimate management practices from outside sources such as mediation experts that can serve to clean up ethical in-house violations.

This is not the legacy we were handed from those great women who started Lithia Park and its world-class caretakers who maintain it and keep the candle lit.

Tom Frantz


Ticket soured him

on Ashland virtues

In 2003, I spent a delightful 10 days in Ashland attending a Neal Walsch seminar. I found the town to be fascinating, entertaining and a very special place.

This past year, my wife celebrated her 50th birthday and I wanted to treat her to something different, so I arranged a trip to Ashland again. I wanted to share with her the magic I felt so many years before.

We used a rental car and while there parked in a public parking lot. When returning to the car I was surprised to discover a parking ticket. The violation was puzzling: That I had backed my car into the parking space versus pulling into it. I have never in my life heard of such a violation and there were no signs indicating that it was.

Our plane left the next day from Eugene at 6 a.m., so I did not have any time to stop by the Hertz desk (which was closed at the time) to deal with this matter.

I now find that the Ashland police have pursued this issue across the country, from Oregon to New York through Hertz and my $15 fee has now been expanded to $30.

I find this deplorable. Not only is this violation nonsensical, its enforcement on out-of-state guests is absurd.

Is this how Ashland treats visitors to its city?

Needless to say, I will no longer be touting Ashland as a special place to visit. In fact, I will be telling people from now on to stay away.

Richard D'Angelo

West Amherst, N.Y.

Thanks to Schnitzer Steel, Kimmel Foundation

The Greystone Court food drive had its best year ever as hundreds of families celebrated the holidays by braving the cold weather to appreciate the wonderful Christmas lights and give food and cash donations for the hungry in Jackson County.

This year, incredible gifts from Schnitzer Steel and the Kimmel Family Foundation combined to make a generous additional $50,000 donation to the drive. Through its national company-wide "Racing to Stop Hunger" initiative, Schnitzer Steel donated $25,000 to match the $25,000 donation by the Kimmel Foundation. These gifts alone will help provide 250,000 nutritious meals.

ACCESS would like to thank Schnitzer Steel, the Kimmel Foundation, the residents of Greystone Court and all the donors for a successful holiday food drive. In all, the food drive raised 10,361 pounds of food and $58,735 that will provide enough food to feed the equivalent of every person in the city of Talent for two weeks.

Philip Yates, Nutrition Programs Director, ACCESS Inc.


Community advocate is a euphemism

"Community advocate" is a pseudonym meaning lobbyist for the losers.

Sure, Jeff Golden needs a job, but we don't need Ms. Mindlin's cyber-begging to fund more time-wasting, mind-numbing progressive mumbo jumbo. We heard it all already and our position was evident in November's vote count.

Get your tax deduction by donating to the charity of your choice instead of supporting Mr. Golden's consolation prize.

William C. Donlon


Better exampleof CommUnity

A solution to homelessness. There are two immediate options; look to the government to come up with a solution (historically hasn't helped us), or We The People can have some fun solving this one for ourselves.

So, the city doesn't want homeless hippies sleeping in the woods scaring away tourism? Yet, legally pushing them out of the community seems "un-peaceful" to tourists, after all hippies have made Ashland what it is. Building a shelter has unnecessary costs, and erecting more walls isn't helping "CommUnity" either. So, where can we find a place for the hippies to simply sleep, that won't segregate the community?

Imagine this: Houses start putting a simple tent in their yards, and "adopting" a hobo once in a while instead of giving them money. In this way everyone gets paid; the hobos get to sleep peacefully and wake as better people, the houseys learn some "urban survival" skills, the tourists get more Ashland good vibes and the government gets to keep sitting there while we pay them.

The natural progression would then lead to work-trade agreements between homeless and housed, much in the same way as WOOFing is done.

The guest for the night could be "charged" a fee of one hour helping garden in the morning. This would be especially mutually beneficial to those who have empty houses for sale. The house would sell much easier if a garden were established to come with it.

The next thing we know, Ashland is an even better example of CommUnity. From there, we're home free in creating our permaculture.

So, let's put a tent in our front yards and prot ... proclaim together, that we are the solution.

Aaron Lee Fletcher

home-free, Ashland

Who are the criminals?

The city of Ashland, along with countless other cities nationwide, needs to "pull its head out ... ." People are people, and people have basic human rights, even inside fancy city limits. Right now, the people of Ashland allow (consent to) their governing city officials voting "no" on temporarily lifting the camping ban, which is a blatant human-rights violation. This is a disgrace to the beloved American freedoms that used to be represented by the republic of the United States of America. It's sickening.

To make a criminal out of homeless disabled man, Joshua Scott (Zero), because he needs to sleep at night like everyone else, is criminal in itself.

How long will the oppressors succeed? Indeed how long? Not much longer, I pray.

Ashland has the opportunity to do the right thing before it's too late. All are free to use their voice. Join the fight for what's right. If you don't make human rights your personal issue, you may come to find you've lost your own, all while you were out to lunch.

Wake up now, America, let's show them the love.

Join your brothers and sisters on: www.zerodefense.com.

Stephanie Joy


Offering respect for

an unknown bicyclist

From my breakfast table I have a clear view of a portion of Highway 66 between Oak Knoll Golf Course and Emigrant Lake. Every weekday morning, around 7:30 a.m., often enough in rain or sleet or fierce wind, an unknown bicycler pedals toward town, presumably to work.

If Ashland named a Conservationist of the Year Award, I'd nominate this man. Since we have no such award, the least I can do is give him my admiration and respect.

Hilde Baughman


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