Letters to the Editor

Remembering the Palestinian exiles

May 15 was the anniversary of al-Nakba. I looked at a display of photographs of refugees from 1948. The pictures brought home to me once again the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people since Palestine was taken over by the Jewish Zionists in that year.

I can hardly believe the faces filled with pain and horror, the children being desperately bundled onto trucks, people pushing the few belongings they could wheel by bicycle or wagon. It was and is all too horrible — a people being stripped of everything — their land, their homes, their fields and orchards — all by the force of another people who had not long before been such victims themselves.

What happens in the hearts and minds of a once suffering people that urges them on to commit such crimes against another helpless group? When, one wonders, will the Israeli people feel safe enough, have enough of wealth and land, water and military power, to call an end to their shameful abuse of a people whose only crime was to have called home a land that Jewish Zionists had come to possess by force, by acts of terrorism and by a seemingly complete lack of compassion for their victims?

Who were these Palestinian people that stare out at us from the photographs, before they were turned overnight into refugees? The great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish speaks to us:

"I come from there

And I remember,

Born as mortals we,

I have a mother

And a house with many windows."

Who were they before?

Had their lives been happy once, the 120,000 Palestinians who fled Haifa, the 123,000 who fled Jaffa — who were they? Had they loved? Had they married? How many children — what were their names? What were their lives a year, a week, a moment before Nakba — before catastrophe?

Cynthia Zavatski

Ashland

My family's own Smart Meter story

Nine months ago, when I was away traveling on business, my wife called me, saying the electric guy just showed up and said that our meter was broken so they needed to replace it with a "smart meter." Since then, my wife has been experiencing headaches, depression, ringing in the ears, fatigue and heart palpitations (she is 35 years old). She is in bed most of the day, without enough energy to drop the kids off at school. The doctors have been expensive and have failed to help her.

Her own research made her suspect that the smart reader could be the cause. So I contacted the city and asked them to remove it. They put me on the waiting list. My wife's symptoms got worse, and I became desperate. I called the city four more times pleading with them to remove the meter but got no response, so I sent them an eight-page letter demanding they remove the smart meter within 21 days.

About 18 days later, I drove my wife to Newport for surgery, and we spent four days there. Her symptoms disappeared while we were there but returned the moment we got home. That night, I removed the smart meter myself and replaced it with an analog meter that I purchased online. Again, her symptoms went away almost completely.

It is only fair that an opt-out program be free.

Adam McEnaney

Ashland

Food Co-op should promote ride-share

I am responding to "Ashland Co-op proposes change to drive-through law" by Vickie Aldous. As a member/owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, I would like to see the Co-op put as much effort into promoting a ride-share among its members and Rogue Valley Transportation District use as it does toward trying to secure the use of more parking spots.

Allowing Umpqua Bank to transfer the location of its drive-through window seems reasonable and fair, but is only a short-term fix. As the Co-op continues to grow in operation, it will continue to perpetuate an ever-increasing need for more parking space. Just as it responded to the values of its membership when it ceased single-serving water bottle sales, I believe that the Co-op should lead the way toward reduced dependence upon cars.

Cynthia Parkhill

Middletown, Calif.

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