Letters to the Editor

Pedestrians, drivers: use common sense

Driving through Ashland, one often sees pedestrians and drivers failing to observe common sense and the law regulating sharing the road. The following excerpts from the Oregon Driver Manual, with my parenthetical comments, may help all of us be safe.

"You (a vehicle) must stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk (intersection) when the pedestrian is in the lane in which your vehicle is traveling or in a lane next to the lane in which your vehicle is traveling. (Notice that this says "in" the lane, not "approaching" the lane from the sidewalk, or waiting on the curb. The flashing yellow lights don't change this.)

"Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk. When stopping for a crosswalk on a multi-lane road, you should stop about 30 feet (two car lengths) before a crosswalk so you don't block visibility to a driver in a second lane.

"You are not required to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk if you are traveling along the half of the roadway on the other side of a safety island from the pedestrian. (An example would be Siskiyou Boulevard.)

Although drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, pedestrians must not suddenly leave a curb or other safe waiting place and walk into the path of a vehicle if it is so close that it is an immediate hazard. Vehicles cannot stop instantly. (Like your mother taught you, look both ways and cross when it's safe.)"

John Ames


Senate ignores will of people on gun control

I am appalled that the U.S. Senate has ignored the will of the vast majority of Americans regarding the issue of universal background checks.

Ninety percent of Americans support universal background checks. (When do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything, by the way?)

I am saddened by the U.S. Senate's inaction. Have they forgotten that 20 6-year-old children were brutally gunned down in their classroom just four months ago? I will never be able to forget that horrible day. Neither should our senators. They have now added insult to injury.

Could it be true that as a country our reaction to Newtown is to do ... nothing? As a society, are firearms more important to us than our children or the safety of our citizens?

What have we become?

Melissa Mitchell-Hooge


County Extension Service is essential

The value of saving the Jackson County Extension Service from closing is most essential to help us meet the challenge of global warming in the valley.

Why? Because higher temperatures, loss of topsoil and the shortage of irrigation water for farming will be challenging without ready agricultural and forestry information from the local Extension Service.

Talk of closing the service doesn't make sense to save $204,204 while losing 31 personnel and $1,731,650 from state, federal and competitive grants. This service supports agriculture, forestry, youth and family development including 4-H, and natural resource management programs that are central to the economic vitality of this county.

We must find the funds to support the Jackson County Extension Service by including a levy, service charge and/or sponsors. Are there other ways to raise funds to support this important service?

Porter Lombard


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