Respect all road users
Kudos to Medford, Talent and Ashland for sweeping gravel from city roads following the snow in early January. Regrettably, ODOT and other local governments have not swept roads or have been slow to do so.
Most motorists won’t notice the difference between swept and unswept roads. That is because the gravel is thrown out of the travel lane by passing traffic and into bike lanes or shoulders. It is a very different story for bike riders getting to work, school, or out to enjoy the beautiful Rogue Valley. The gravel forces people riding bikes to drive their bikes further into the travel lane to avoid the accumulated debris.
Please be aware that cyclists must often ride (and are legally permitted to ride) in the travel lane. Too, cyclists may quickly swerve out of their chosen line of travel to avoid rocks, sticks, glass, etc. and use part or all of the travel lane.
As motorists, we need to be sure to give bicyclists a lot of room and use the adjacent lane (slowing and yielding to oncoming traffic as necessary). That will help make the roads safe for everyone (see ORS 811.065).
Far more choice
I was so excited to see that we have 14 candidates vying for the vacant seat on the City Council. We certainly have far more choice for this one seat than we did for any of the three seats in November.
Since we have clear evidence that there is no shortage of citizens willing to serve our city, the question for me is why not the same outpouring of talent at election time? My conclusion is that we need to open up the election so that all candidates run at large for all seats, allowing us, the voters, to get the best candidate for each seat.
In November, we had an unchallenged incumbent who may or may not have been the voter's first choice. We will never know for sure. Now is the time to correct the elections process, well before the next council election cycle in 2018.
Back of the theater
Yesterday, my sister and I attended a very fine performance by Cynthia Tank at Ashland Contemporary Theatre in "Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey," based on the 1979 novel by the playwright, Rhoda Lerman. But I must say I was surprised and very disconcerted when we entered with tickets purchased a week before the play's opening at the Grocery Outlet in Medford that we were to be relegated to the back rows.
The first six rows were reserved for people who purchased on line and the next row for people who purchased their tickets at Paddington Station. And the last for Grocery Outlet ticket purchasers. This seems very discriminatory towards people who do not want to give a credit card over the phone.
We have attended plays at this venue for over 10 years and this is the first time this has happened. Is this to be a new policy? And why? And if so, when people go to Grocery Outlet to buy their tickets there should be a caveat on the back of the ticket saying that if you purchase this ticket from us you will only be able to sit in the back row. Be forewarned.