We are all homeless
Imagine, despite your best effort to make the month’s rent, you find yourself being evicted and on the streets. You have a job, but the pay is not enough to make ends meet. And then you read a well-intentioned guest opinion in the local newspaper that assigns your new identity: “homeless.” The guest opinion explains that, with the assistance of concerned organizations, you can “rejoin our community as contributing members (sic).” It further informs you that you have a “unique path of recovery” in your “re-entry into the community.”
A recent Federal Reserve study concludes that 47 percent of us can cover a $400 expense only by borrowing or selling something. Meanwhile, the three richest Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the country.
The well-intentioned opinion suffers from a cognitive dissonance all too common in our community and with good reason. Because to entertain the reality that a “homeless” person could easily be oneself is a bridge too far to sleep under. Because to accept that our extractive, boom and bust, winner-take-all economy has stacked the cards against the majority might mean the challenge of creating a new economic model. Because to accept the truth that we, although we may be housed, are all homeless brothers and sisters, forever searching for home without realizing that we are going there all along.
Skinner is a winner
My first opportunity to check out Jamie McLeod-Skinner was a year ago at a meet and greet. Since then she has spent every day criss-crossing our state listening to the concerns of our district.
She is level-headed and pragmatic. Party does not define her. Her constituency will.
Greg Walden has gone AWOL. I think we could find him in the pockets of the pharmacetical industry. In November please vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner. Skinner is a winner for Oregon.
Support school bond
In the past year I have had the pleasure to serve on the Ashland Schools Bond Committee with a committed and wonderful group of people. Our charge was to help establish a plan focused on protecting one of our great assets in this community — our schools.
This November please vote to approve the Ashland school bond to help maintain the quality of our school buildings. Our students deserve a place that is safe and provides the quality learning experience we have become known for in this community.
Please recognize that you are not being asked to be taxed more; the current bond is about to run out and this really is simply an extension of the same tax and would pick up where the old bond measure leaves off.
Please join me in voting for the Ashland school bond this November. Please support the children of this community with quality school improvements.
A terrible idea
I am a supporter of solar power, and applaud the efforts of the city of Ashland to move in that direction. However, putting a large solar array on the Imperatrice property is a terrible idea.
I have ridden my horse on this unspoiled, open land for years, feeling so blessed to have such a pristine habitat just minutes from town. No fences, no sign of humans save the remnants of an old homestead orchard, some piles of rock and an ancient concrete cistern at the top. Instead, if you go there in spring, you see blankets of wildflowers, birds, butterflies, the occasional coyote, and a wide-open, 360-degree view of the whole valley, with Mount Ashland in the distance. I’ve seen herds of elk wandering through: It is breathtaking, and makes you feel like you’ve stumbled into a landscape from “The Sound of Music” — no joke!
In my opinion, this property should be designated a park, or nature preserve, open to hikers and horseback riders, and certainly not degraded by any development, solar or otherwise. We humans seem to be unable to stop our relentless use of nature for our own purposes, at the expense of other species. The city owns a gem in this property: Let’s preserve it.
Take a hike up there in May, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me. These hills are indeed alive, and I want to see them stay that way.
In the article, “Wildfire divisions cloud fire debate,” published Sept. 21, Annette McGee Rasch did an outstanding job of explaining opposition by scientists to the removal of fire-resistant trees in the name of forest resiliency. However, I would like to clarify my misleading remark that smoke from prescribed burns is more harmful than typical wildfire smoke.
Wildfires produce far more smoke than prescribed burns, are unpreventable, and are therefore a far greater health concern. The point I wanted to make is that the smoke from prescribed burns has a higher proportion of small, respirable particles than typical wildfire smoke. As explained at the Sept. 15 smoke summit by Dr. Richard Leman, chief medical officer for the Oregon Health Authority, the smaller a smoke particle, the deeper it penetrates into lungs.
Current proposals to greatly expand logging followed by prescribed burning would create many days of insidious smoke, especially from prolonged pile burning of slash, biomass that, ironically, is not consumed in a wildfire. This produces respirable particles that can be trapped under winter inversions. With slash production outpacing burning, and increasing with tree size, fire hazards and smoke increase. This concerns many scientists who favor more practicable options.
Dennis C. Odion, Ph.D.
I’ve known Stephen Jensen for many years. We first met when we were both high school teachers in the valley and he impressed me a great deal. He was a dedicated educator, had great people skills, and worked well with staff and administration to enhance teaching and learning at the school.
Stephen’s broad experience in local government shows his commitment to community. Stephen values common-sense approaches to complex issues affecting the future of our city and seeks to find common ground. He listens well and has the unique quality of coming into a conversation with an open mind, free of a pre-set agenda. Besides being perceptive, Stephen is humble, compassionate, honest, and respectful.
Please support Stephen Jensen in his bid for Ashland City Council. Stephen represents the values that make Ashland the unique, caring place we Ashlanders call home.