Letters to the Editor, Tuesday, Aug. 12

Connect the dots on climate change
Climate is weather averaged over time, influenced by local geography, distance from the equator and ocean, local topography and elevation. Within the constraints of climate trends, daily weather is somewhat unpredictable. Unfortunately, we are experiencing rapid global-scale climatic changes producing increasing high temperatures, rising sea levels, ocean heat content, water vapor and sea surface temperatures with dwindling glaciers, ice sheets, snow cover and sea ice and weather chaos.
Although forewarned, we are unprepared! Temperature is not increasing equally everywhere, but average global temperature is increasing. Climate change is the big picture.
On a planet that experienced the hottest May and June since records began in 1880, we learn that July was the hottest Medford July on record, an event totally consistent with the century-long trend of increasing local temperature.
We are gambling with our future! Is it wise to continue adding pollutants to the atmosphere on which we depend? We all have to breathe, so we breathe our pollutants. The health and safety of Oregonians is at stake; we face water shortages, coastal vulnerabilities, forest impacts, and agricultural threats.
Our media should help connect the dots. Southern Oregon can be proactive or reactive. Think about it!
Louise Shawkat, Ashland
Even well-mannered dogs poop in the park
This is in reference to Mr. Mike McDonald's letter to the editor, published on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.
I like "well-mannered dogs and owners," there is no question about that. However, if the city of Ashland followed Mr. McDonald's advice, to welcome "well-mannered dogs and owners" to Lithia Park, my question is: How do we distinguish between well-mannered dogs and owners and not so well-mannered dogs and owners? Whatever your answer to this question might be, I continue reasoning as follows: I like to stretch out on the lawn in Lithia Park and relax. I am sure I am not the only person to do this.
My second question is: How many gazillions of bacteria are left on the grass after he picked up after his dog. Does he really think that spot is clean? Who wants to lie on the grass where his dog left its feces? In addition, I have never observed any dog owner rinsing the grass after their dog urinated there.
My last question is this. What should take precedence: the right of tax-paying citizens to sit on the lawn in Lithia Park or "man's best friends' " right to poop wherever they need to?
Udo Gorsch-Nies, Ashland
Reference to Seda was unnecessary
The front page story on the maple that died after the Plaza remodel (Monday, Aug. 11) is a good example of a local story of interest to most Ashlanders — kudos. However, the last paragraph in the story written by John Darling left a sour taste in my mouth. It references Pete Seda, formerly a well-known arborist in Ashland, as having been instrumental in the planting of the tree, but then goes on to recount (for probably the 20th time in the Tidings over the years) that he was convicted on tax charges, after having had a more serious conviction overturned.
Mr. Seda has served his time, and has been retried in the press a dozen times. Wouldn’t a more gracious story have simply concluded with the praise given him for his arborist work by Dave Chasmar, and left it at that?
Keith Chambers, Ashland
A fond look back
After 42 years of working with children and families with special needs, it's time to hang up the gloves and retire.
What have I learned from years at The Olalla Center and Plowshare, Inc.?

  1. That I was lucky to work with serious, good people in Grants Pass, Ashland and Lincoln County;

  2. That children with unusual problems can be helped by firm, consistent, gentle adults who are willing to listen to medical doctors.

As I step away from full time work, I want to thank a group of unusual people from all over Oregon: Dr. Dennis Reynolds, Dr. Jack Kaczmarek, Dr. David Oas, Dr. Sean Rash, Dr. Stephen Burns, Dr. Ron Taylor, Dr. Jerry Vergamini, Dr. Wendy Seville and Dr. Birgit Meyer. Also, a very special thank you to John Arnold, who always provided inspiration and support.
My continuing concern is that we professionals always remember that parents may need help at odd hours, evenings and weekends, and that we should keep searching for ways to help in those times. My concern for parents is that reading one article in Time magazine, Psychology Today or going on the Internet cannot be substituted for the advice of a doctor or therapist who has put in post-graduate studies for five to 10 years.
I must add a thank you to all the parents who have let me sit at their kitchen table, night after night, in Grants Pass, Medford and Lincoln County to try to solve problems. I appreciate your trust and your very hard work to make a good life for your children. Remember there are still a fine group of therapists, doctors and special education staff at the Olalla Center ready to offer you help with diagnosis and successful interventions. See you around!
Ray Burleigh, M.Ed, Retired, Wilderville

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