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Letters, Sept. 25

Wildfire and pipelines

The wildfires in our area have been very destructive and disruptive for all of us.

Lives have been lost. Homes, businesses, infrastructure and forests have been lost or damaged. Some people may never recover their former lives. Forests will take decades to come back as they were.

The fires are still burning and we are faced with the Canadian corporation that wants to put a natural gas pipeline through Southern Oregon. This is a 36-inch, high-pressure pipeline filled with invisible and odorless deadly gas. After breathing smoke all summer and watching endless destruction on television every single day, how can anyone with a lucid mind think this pipeline is a safe and plausible idea?

Tom Collett

Gold Hill

Re-elect Sickler

I hope everyone pays attention to the election for Jackson County sheriff.

Some counties in the West now have sheriffs that actually encourage neo-Nazi activity and violent actions like the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

We’re lucky we don’t. Let’s keep it that way.

Sheriff Nate Sickler is a true professional. He provided anti-bias training for deputies to help reduce profiling and ensure protection for LGBTQ people. He also held open meetings in communities where people may not trust law enforcement officers and therefore may not report information about crimes.

His opponent is new to Jackson County, recently appearing from Idaho and Utah. When he unsuccessfully applied to fill a vacancy in the Jackson County sheriff’s job (for which Sickler was chosen), his answers in interviews were long-winded but evasive.

Please vote to retain Sheriff Sickler — a professional sheriff for all of us.

Edwin Johnson


Supporting Kochlacs

We got to know Charles Kochlacs through Mediation Works (now Resolve), where he and Jane served on the board of directors through the difficult years of the last recession.

During that time, Charles stood up to save the restorative justice and mediation programs in the schools and juvenile detention when others argued that it would have been easier to let them die.

His ability to see through the moment to the bigger picture, and his fair and thoughtful approach to problem solving was crucial to the continuation of these important programs which now thrive through out the region.

Charles’ commitment to the betterment of our community, together with his intelligence, integrity and years of experience representing Rogue Valley residents in domestic, juvenile and criminal legal matters, make him the stand-out choice for Circuit Court judge. Join us in electing Kochlacs for judge!

Jane & John Stromberg


Why I’m a YIMBY

Wikipedia defines YIMBY as an acronym for “Yes In My Back Yard,” a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY “Not In My Back Yard” phenomenon.Typically the YIMBY movement supports development of new housing in cities where rental costs have escalated to unaffordable levels.

It is increasingly difficult for people who work in Ashland to find affordable housing. The proposed development on the corner of Siskiyou and Park could be a step in the right direction.

I live off of Park Street. Yes, there will be more traffic, and for some there will be a loss of view (which should be expected on properties close to a vacant lot with R-3 zoning.) It should be noted that on either side of the proposed development are two large apartment complexes.

If this development meets all the zoning requirements, it’s a great way to “walk the talk” and support affordable housing.

Adrienne Simmons


Treatment is not kind

In response to the guest opinion written by Kelly Madding and John Stromberg:

I understand that the Ashland city attorney believes that Ashland is not in violation of the 9th Circuit Court decision regarding homeless camping because Ashland treats camping on public property as a violation, not a misdemeanor. I’d like to point out that morally, Ashland’s treatment of homeless people who are sleeping on public property is cruel and unusual punishment.

Sleeping people are awakened and, even if they are not given a ticket, they are told they must move. If they ask where they can go to sleep, they are told that there is no public property in Ashland where people can sleep outside. If it’s winter, and the homeless shelter is open, that shelter is usually full moments after it opens, so that is not an option for a large number of homeless people.

I have one friend who was told to get up and move in the middle of a storm, with high winds and rain.

I’d prefer to live in a kind, compassionate city. I do not think the city of Ashland’s treatment of homeless people is kind.

Marion Moore


Elect strong candidates

I and those I care about have suffered through a summer of fire and smoke, caused to a great extent by atmospheric pollution: the greenhouse gases that drive climate change. Governor Brown with Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek have vowed to bring proposals to the Legislature in 2019 for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. During committee hearings, Republicans consistently argued against addressing this issue.

So in November’s election, we have a chance to elect candidates who will support reducing emissions and promoting renewable energy, as well as energy conservation. We need a state government that will help communities adapt to the changes forced upon us. Their proposals should address our transition to a clean energy economy in ways that are socially just and promote rural economic progress.

Ken Deveney


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