Letters to the Editor

Only those with no insurance may criticize

Who of the many in the Congress of the United States who are criticizing and working to repeal the Affordable Care Act is without health insurance? None. Which governor of a state who has refused to increase the eligibility of uninsured citizens in his state to receive Medicaid is without health insurance? None. So all of those who want to prevent the millions of uninsured from obtaining access to health insurance have health insurance.

In the Bible, Jesus says of those who were to stone the woman found in adultery: "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

Let those who are without health insurance criticize the Affordable Care Act and only those.

Frank Hieber


Local conservancy protects private lands

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, the Tidings ran a syndicated column on the back page called EarthTalk about protecting private land. The article described the many national groups working to protect private lands in the country and northwest. I want to share with your readers that there is a regional land trust, based right here in Ashland, that has been protecting private land for the past 35 years: The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.

Like all regional land trusts throughout country, we use a balanced approach to protecting our most precious working farms and ranches, wildlife habitats and forest lands. Over the past 35 years, we've protected more than 9,000 acres of some of the most beautiful and unique private lands in the Rogue River region using a balanced, proactive approach.

As Oregon's first regional land trust, we have a long record of success working with local communities, landowners, state and federal agencies and conservation organizations such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association, The Nature Conservancy and others.

We have a new vision for our region, VISION 20/20 to protect 20,000 acres of high conservation land by the year 2020. It's a bold initiative that has garnered tremendous support and enthusiasm from our local community as well as from private foundations and conservation groups. Today, we protect more land in Oregon than any of the other regional land trusts in our state.

For more information and to learn more about our work, "like" us on Facebook and visit us online at www.landconserve.org.

Diane Garcia, executive director

Southern Oregon Land Conservancy

Barreca column was appropriate, timely

Kudos to the words of Gina Barreca in the syndicated Tidings column Monday.

It was especially timely to publish that defense of a liberal education while SOU is undergoing its "retrenchment," a process that allows labor contracts to be abrogated and encourages the overvaluing of moneymaking at the expense of real education.

As Barreca makes clear, a university is not properly engaged in the business of training young people for making money. Training is the job of trade schools or specialized institutes geared to specific industries. A university is supposed to educate young people, whole people, to learn how to be citizens, how to appreciate life, how to live it fully, how to think. It gives students a path of entry to the culture we all share, the common ground of humanity that bonds us all.

If SOU trashes the humanities because it doesn't equip students to make money, then we will have moved toward something less than a university in Ashland, something that diminishes us all. I hope that Mary Cullinan has read the column and takes it to heart.

Avram Chetron


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