Letters to the editor, July 1

Evidence lacking on issue of cell antennas

I'm confused about the opponents' arguments against a cellular tower in their vicinity. I'm also wary of AT&T's distant approach by the absence of a representative who can engage in a dialogue.

Exactly what is the evidence that these towers emit harmful radiation? What are the benefits of these to the community? Can someone from either side tell us how they compare to radio towers, microwave towers and where they fit in on the electromagnetic spectrum. Perhaps the Tidings should take the responsible path and present both sides. Can we put our passions aside for a moment and look at the evidence? Anyone?

Patrick Honsinger


Planners' decision provided city safety

Thank you, Ashland Planning Commission, for your brave vote against the outcry. More than 6,000 students and staff at Southern Oregon University (and countless residents in south Ashland) thank you — for better education, communication and our lifelines. Who knows "… maybe someday an SOU student will solve the problems with cell technologies. In the meantime all of us will be safer.

As cell phones are more hazardous than cell towers, and cell phones even more dangerous the harder they have to search for signals (proven science), you'd think all those concerned citizens would be clamoring for more cell towers — to mitigate the damage throughout Ashland "… to all citizens.

Karen Jeffery


Fireworks ban takes rights from citizens

Upon receiving my June utility bill, I was amazed to see that the city has outlawed fireworks in town. Having lived here for 24 years I cannot recall a single serious structure fire involving fireworks. I am sure our reliable fire crews have prevented some fires from getting out of control.

Good for them; that is their job. I find it insulting that our City Council feels the need to protect us from ourselves. What will be next? Remove all sharp knives from peoples' kitchens? We the people have been having fun with fireworks as long as I can remember. Who does our City Coucil think they are? Heaven forbid that people get a little wild one day a year. The result of this ordinance will not be a safer town. Instead of lighting fireworks on the paved streets and sidewalks, people will light them in backyards to avoid Ashland's finest and the chance of fire will increase.

At least it is reassuring that the city urges us to watch our evening display. We are all allowed to spectate! Hurrah! Welcome to the 21st century — the land of the constrained and the home of the cowed.

Sean Downey


Superintendent raise had very poor timing

Showering the Ashland superintendent of schools with a raise in an already munificent salary and plying her with other benefits is insane in this recession.

At a time when the governor calls for 9 percent reductions in spending, when many are out of work, teachers are being let go, when having a job is a reward in and of itself, it's foolhardy to increase any wage. What were they thinking?

Maxine Scott


'Breaking the Code' is worth attending

My wife and I recently attended Ashland Community Theatre's production of "Breaking the Code" and found it to be one of the finest evenings of theater we've had the good fortune to enjoy since moving here four years ago.

There are two performances left — Friday and Saturday — and if you relish superb acting and a moving human story you ought not to miss it.

Roy Glassberg


Parks policy no good for the community

On June 28, I asked the city's Parks and Recreation Commission for a one-time waiver of the 90-minute time limit at Lithia Park's bandshell. My hope was that I could provide a free acoustic guitar concert for the community, at no cost to the city, on a Saturday afternoon, featuring a Nashville-based recording artist I know, as well as a few notable local guitarists.

Surprisingly, the Parks and Recreation Commission refused to even put the issue into its agenda for discussion, bluntly explaining that they discourage such use of the bandshell despite the fact that, well, it's a community stage. They said they were afraid that if my concert was discussed or approved it "might open the door" for similar music events. Why is that horrible?

I can sympathize with the rationales to discourage a "head-bangers ball" or a nude City Council karaoke contest. But solo acoustic guitarists playing classical/folk songs on a fine summer afternoon? I found their outright dismissal of the idea short-sighted, out-of-touch, bureaucratic, anti-tourist, elitist and contrary to the values of our community. Their stated mission is to "promote recreational opportunities."

For a commission whose swan-less department delays solutions to keep our ponds clean and habitually defers simple, chronic maintenance, perhaps it's time for a change in our park leadership. Most commission members have been in place for the better part of a decade or longer.

John Williams


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