A letter in Saturday’s paper by Councilor Rich Rosenthal incorrectly stated that Susan Wilson, the author of a letter about Oak Knoll Golf Course, was active in the attempt to recall Parks and Recreation commissioners earlier this year. That was Susan M. Wilson, not Susan T. Wilson, author of the golf course letter.
Housing at Briscoe
On March 20, the Ashland City Council voted to buy Briscoe School from the Ashland School District for $2.4 million. The district had determined that Briscoe would need $6 million to $10 million of maintenance and repairs to return it to use as a school.
If Ballot Measure 102 passes, the city will be able to float bonds to finance affordable housing. It should do this with the Briscoe School property.
The Briscoe site is a square block, or 100,000 square feet (the size of two football fields). The city code, Table 18.2.5.030.A., Standards for Urban Residential Zones, allows building heights up to 50 feet with a conditional use permit. A 5-story building on the Briscoe property would allow up to 100 dwelling units of 900 square feet, with the bulk of the property left for playground, open space, and parking.
A two-story building could accommodate half that many units, or more, if the dwelling size were 350 square feet for a studio and 525-740 square feet for a one-bedroom apartment, as is done in Eugene.
I strongly urge the city to give up any plan to build a new city hall on the Briscoe site and instead devote that property to affordable housing.
Our Jewish community
In light of the tragedy that occurred in Pittsburgh whereby a gunman once again murdered several people exercising their right to worship on their Sabbath, I write to ask our community in the Rogue Valley to realize that it is not only the Jewish people who were targeted.
The ugliness of anti-Semitism is the fear of the Other, whether it be anyone who is different in some way, and in the diversity that is America, each one of us is the Other. I urge all Americans, all Southern Oregonians, every one of us to rise to the occasion and act to support the Jewish community in Oregon in every way. Do not think that because you are not Jewish, you can be detached as the words of the poet tells us:
“... Then they came for the Jews / and I did not speak out / Because I was not a Jew. / Then they came for me — / and there was no one left to speak for me.”