Letters to the Editor

Some perspective on drive-through

The genesis of Ashland's drive-through-window ordinance wasn't pollution (as reported), it was about community engagement: The more we get out of our cars, the more we interact, window shop and potentially buy from local businesses. Further, restrictions help keep fast-food chains out of the downtown, so beware of what you wish for.

Important to the discussion is that the A Street neighborhood was taking off long before the Co-op moved in. Further, its previous location, near US Bank, enjoyed more revenue per square foot than any co-op in America (according to Co-op Banks of America), so how could they possibly be surprised at current business volume?

Besides, parking isn't the problem; layout of the parking lot is (as noted during the planning process). The deal is, the Co-op board eschewed the empty Cantwell's Market location and the bank sweetened the package to win them over. Decisions were made: live with it.

Besides, there's plenty of parking nearby in underused lots where the Co-op should purchase use of existing space. Patrons can also help by bundling their errands or walking to do their shopping. And the Co-op could encourage off-hour shopping by offering 10 percent discounts between 5 and 8 p.m. when the bank is closed.

Catherine M. Shaw


Exclusion zone is appeasement

The City Council seems intent on passing an ordinance that selectively focuses on one section of the city — downtown — and one section of the population — homeless and transients. Do not expect to see well-dressed theatergoers expelled from downtown, no matter how they behave.

The arrest record for last year shows overwhelmingly that offenses are alcohol consumption, littering and lesser infractions, not acts of violence. However, Ashland does have unsolved crimes of real consequence (murder and rape). How do minor nuisances rise to such a high level of priority?

Moving minor offenders to another part of town, or into the watershed, is only an appeasement to downtown business interests. If the focus is the downtown, and not citywide, wouldn't a conspicuous police presence, on foot or bicycle, rather than cruising in cars, do more real good than a discriminatory, and probably unconstitutional, ordinance?

Allan Peterson


Money will change drive-through rule

I'm confident the Ashland Food Co-op will have no difficulty working with the city of Ashland and Umpqua Bank to develop more parking spaces for the many SUVs currently occupying the Co-op's small, crowded parking lot (Tidings, June 1).

Big money talks. The city will approve a drive-thru window in the downtown area for Umpqua Bank — and all will be well here in DeBoerville.

I suggest that both parking lots be painted green — in keeping with the local progressive attitude toward sustainability. In this way, Ashland's reusable-cloth-bag liberals can brag about the greenness of their Co-op. It makes perfect sense.

Robert Simms


Memorial flyover would be nice

On the 4th of July, we celebrate our freedoms. On Memorial Day we honor the over 1.3 million men and women who have died while serving our country since 1775 ensuring those freedoms.

On this Memorial Day, aircraft flyovers were performed by the Oregon Air National Guard for 33 observances in Oregon and Southern Washington. Ashland was not among those so honored because a request by local veteran organizations was rejected by the city.

Some in Ashland object to flyovers; however, when the issue was last polled regarding an upcoming July 4th parade, 87 percent favored the display. A majority of council members have privately expressed a positive attitude toward such events.

World War II was second to the Civil War as the most deadly war in our history. Ashland lost one of the aviation heroes of that conflict last March, Lt. Col. Charlie Beecham. He was honored in silence at the local memorial service. A flyover would have been appropriate.

Jo W. French Sr.


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