Letters to the Editor

Valley-wide League stronger than ever

During the recent election for Ashland City Council, an ad appeared in the Tidings with erroneous information about the League of Women Voters of Ashland. As a former president of the LWVA, I would like to set the record straight on what occurred with the Ashland League when Regina Ayars was president.

For many years, the Ashland league had considered a merger with the Rogue Valley league, but because the process was so complicated, the necessary action kept being postponed.

It was apparent that our two local leagues had much in common and needed to speak as one voice on issues that affected the Rogue Valley as a whole. Over the years, both leagues undertook joint studies, most recently to assess the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the Jackson County Budget and the local homeless youth problem.

Normally, a local league geographically covers one or more counties that make up a region. It may be subdivided into units for members who live in the same town or neighborhood to enable meeting more often to focus on a community issue or concern. Typically, however, only a major city like Portland has a league of its own. Ashland has been an historic anomaly.

The merger began under Regina Ayars' leadership and successfully culminated in February 2011. LWVRV's sponsorship of the recent Ashland Candidates Forum, its participation in Ashland's Fourth of July Celebration, and Ashland schools' use of the league's Mock Election Program signify that the league is alive and well in Ashland. The merger has achieved its objective in producing a larger, stronger organization.

Persons interested in finding out more about the activities of the League of Women Voters of Rogue Valley will find information on our website: www.lwvroguevalley.org.

Iris Milan

officer, League of Women Voters of Rogue Valley

Keystone Pipeline is a bad idea

The Dallas Morning News editorial in Saturday's Tidings urging the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline shows a head-in-a-hole-in-the-ground mentality and should not go unchallenged.

First of all, none of the oil flowing through the pipeline will stay in the United States. The terminus of this pipeline is the gulf of Mexico, so that it will be ready for export. Therefore, it will make no difference in satisfying our energy needs. The number of jobs provided will be relatively few and short-lived, especially after the construction is completed.

The dangers to the environment, including pollution of the water table in the perennially dry western prairie states, is real. The processing of tar sands to extract oil uses much more energy than conventional oil wells require, and is dirtier as well. And finally, we simply will not move toward energy self-sufficiency by beating this dinosaur into the ground.

It's time to say no to outmoded, high-pollution fossil fuel dependency and get on with the inevitable realization that sustainable energy sources await our commitment.

Avram Chetron


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