Letters to the Editor

Sex abuse story was irresponsible

Your article reporting accusations of a Little Butte teacher and counselor molesting two young girls was horribly irresponsible. Three independent, grueling, in-depth investigations by the police and D.A., by the school and by the stringent Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission exonerated him of any wrongdoing.

Fifth-grade gossip overheard by parents presumably devolved into an entrenched falsehood, abetted by an ambitious attorney. Every public servant working with children has this kind of nightmare hanging over their head.

The attorney, not having a case with any substance, is using the media to play into the understandable fears of the public, and you have played right into it. By the time this teacher has again been cleared of any misconduct, his career will have been ruined.

We have known him since 1983, both professionally and personally. The charges are ludicrous. An exemplary father and one of the most popular counselors in the valley, there has never been, after 20 years of working with children behind closed doors, any previous sexual allegation. Two adults and 30 children were present during the time of the alleged "incidents" in front of his classroom, and what is being alleged simply did not happen.

Donna Eden and David Feinstein


City's solar rebate program is stingy

I recently investigated and received two detailed analyses of the costs and benefits of putting solar panels on my roof. My goal was to install a system that would handle around 80 percent of my electricity needs and one that would pay for itself within about 10 years.

The best I could manage, even after removing or cutting back neighboring trees, was 75 percent of my electricity. But the real stopper is that the system wouldn't pay for itself in cost savings until 2034. And the reason is the city of Ashland's Solar Electric Rebate Program which, I'm told, is one of the stingiest in the state. I discovered that if I lived in almost any other city in Oregon, the cost of my system would pay for itself in about 10 years, so I would have gone ahead with the work.

Global climate change isn't a theory. We're living it right now: 70 degrees in Chicago in December. Hurricane Sandy. A rise in ocean levels and temperature that's occurring faster than even the direst predictions. It's real. It's here. What are we going to do about it? Think globally; act locally. Individually, we must each reduce our carbon footprint. A more generous city rebate program would be a good start.

Nancy Parker


Commuter says hooray for road diet

As a daily Ashland/Talent commuter I feel obliged to speak up for the road diet.

When I'm on my bike I feel considerably safer — no longer am I riding on a narrow strip wedged between the guard rail and speeding traffic, and when I'm in my car, traffic doesn't react to left turns blocking the lane by quickly racing around the right side of the turning vehicle.

I'm on North Main during the busiest parts of the day, and traffic flow and left turns are safer and better due to the new configuration. I for one am impressed by the road diet.

George Sexton


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