Letters to the Editor

Don't advertise free animals

April is prevention of animal cruelty month. One way to help is to not advertise "Free to Good Home" when relocating pets.

Often these pets end up in research labs, are used as bait to train fighting or hunting dogs, used as snake food or used for malicious pranks. On March 9 in West Virginia, Jeffrey Nally Jr. was arrested for the months-long abuse of his ex-girlfriend. Nally allegedly terrorized the woman by sadistically torturing 29 dogs which he reportedly obtained via "Free to Good Home" classified ads over a two-month period, during which he allegedly kept the woman captive at the property. After the dogs were killed, he would make her clean up the remains. This case provides a disturbing reminder of the link between cruelty to animals and domestic violence.

If you must give your pet away, charge at least $25 to discourage criminal activity or resale to labs. Ask each prospective owner for his/her veterinarian's name as a reference and check it. Spay/neuter the pet to avoid attracting backyard breeders or puppy mill operators. Learn more at www.pet-abuse.com. One abused animal is one too many.

Lisa A. Frost


'Girlfriend' label is demeaning

This is about references to Gov. Kitzhaber's partner, Cylvia Hayes, as his "girlfriend" in recent editions of the Ashland Daily Tidings. I've noticed, for instance, that even in internal emails from the Ashland Food Project, she has been more-appropriately referred to as "Oregon's first lady."

Come on. "Girlfriend" is a designator we maybe used to use in high school parlance. Beyond that stage in life it comes across as demeaning in this, the 21st century.

Is that the real intent of the Tidings, to cast a demeaning aura about our governor's recent visit to Jackson County? Please update your print stylebook. Thankfully, you have chosen not to refer to the governor as "Cylvia's boyfriend."

Michael Ross


Ghitis is wrong about Goldstone

Frida Ghitis' April 12 commentary about Judge Goldstone's retraction is totally wrong.

All Goldstone said is that Israel didn't actually have an official policy to kill civilians. He stands by the rest of the 300-page report (as do the other four authors), which details numerous Israeli war crimes (and a few by Hamas as well) during the three-week invasion of Gaza two years ago.

Ghitis implies that Israel is the victim in this conflict. That would be ludicrously funny if not for the fact that millions of innocent people (Christians and Muslims alike) are denied equal rights by the government of Israel all because they're not Jewish. Religious discrimination is not funny.

Bonnie Brodersen


Food Bank mourns longtime supporter

The Ashland Emergency Food Bank lost one of our dearest friends and a "founding mother" recently.

Alice Sessions has been a supporter of Ashland Emergency Food Bank since its founding in the mid-1970s. At that time people who needed help called one of the local churches that staffed the program. Food was delivered to them by a volunteer.

Alice told of one trip out Dead Indian Memorial Road where she met a man on the side of the road. Looking into the food, he spotted a box of macaroni and cheese and declared, "this is the best gift I have ever been given."

Over the years, Alice remained one of those special people that help keep the food bank going. In 2010 Alice was honored as a food bank pioneer. She remained a devoted supporter both financially and as a volunteer. Her daughter, Mary Woodard, continues the family tradition and is often seen working at the desk.

Alice will be missed by many in the community, including those of us at AEFB.

Ellen Wilfong-Grush, board secretary, Ashland Emergency Food Bank

Max Doty carries on a film tradition

Your story of the recent Ashland High School graduate Max Doty and his new movie, "Almost Kings," was great coverage of local talent. But you missed an opportunity for a "deja vu" moment.

Another AHS student who graduated 20 years earlier than Doty, David Fincher, also went into the film business, with extraordinary success. He has directed eight major Hollywood movies, from the cult film "Fight Club" to the recent Oscar contender, "The Social Network."

One more surprising parallel with Doty is Fincher's continuing tie to Ashland. His mother, Claire, lives in Ashland, as does Doty's mother.

Put together, these two stories of filmmakers may well portend the beginning of a great tradition of film talent at AHS.

Les Jensen


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