Keep our libraries
I don't know where I'd be without our public library. I'm a writer, and I read many books from the library to research my topics. I use the Internet there. Sometimes I've brought my laptop in to use wi-fi. The librarians have been a tremendous help to me — all the way from helping me navigate the cyber world to recommending books to answering reference questions.
The public library is a community hub of lectures, films and music offerings. It's a warm haven for homeless people who have no other place to sit, especially important in winter.
How many of us have found out life-changing information at our library? Please vote yes on the library funding measure this May, so that Ashland doesn't lose this priceless treasure.
Don't chisel away our liberty
The proposed "loaded open carry ban" takes away the right to self-defense of a significant portion of our adult population, including highly trained soldiers. A person can not get a Concealed Weapons Permit until age 21. A young soldier, highly trained, would be denied her freedom to protect herself in Ashland if this intolerant ordinance passed. Secondly, public places are not just downtown, the legal definition extends to your front porch, walkway, driveway, even your car! Yes, sipping wine on your porch is illegal according to the definition of public place! The Greenway bike path — one of the most dangerous areas of town, and other public trails where I feel most vulnerable due to not only strangers, but large wildlife too would be included. Related, we still have a brutally violent unsolved murder in our town, along with a high rate of sexual assault. Finally, the only way for such a measure to be "enforced" is to make the violation of our Fourth Amendment protected rights necessary by searching our persons and homes without probable cause.
An individual's right to self protection is their business, and their lawful and moral civil right. In a free society of "Rightful Liberty," there is no protection or guarantee against 'being offended' by the choices of others. Are "peace officers" offensive as they open carry?
Liberty: "the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views."
Don't chisel away our liberty.
We can restore theclimate of the '80s
Six Ashlanders attended the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) conference in Portland this past weekend. For me, a newcomer to CCL, it was awesome and inspiring. There are thousands of folks worldwide who are struggling to restore the earth to good health.
Top scientists confirm that we can restore the climate of the 1980s by 2070. And, it won't require a miracle, nor big sacrifices, just the will and policies to do it.
We need to phase out fossil fuels with clean energy. Following is a statement by Peter Fiekowsky, physicist, business owner, and volunteer with CCL:
Two policies are critical to achieving our rapid transition to renewables. First, is instituting a gradually increasing carbon disposal fee, aka a carbon tax, as recommended by almost all economists. Political expediency requires that the fee by revenue-neutral, returned 100% to households and corporations. This fee will send a convincing message to corporations and investors that society is placing a value on its future, and that smart investments from now on will be in clean energy. The second policy is promoting investments in clean energy. Fossil fuels still receive six times more subsidies than renewables, and they attract more than twice the investment. For companies that are installing renewables, the factor limiting their growth is acquiring capital, despite good returns. That will change when investors see that we're committed to, and headed to a future of a healthy climate.
Tell your children, President Obama, and your representatives the legacy you want to leave: A healthy climate by 2070.
Go for it. Call our Representative, Greg Walden, at 541-776-4646, to say you support a carbon fee.
Letters to the Editor
Keep our libraries