Letters to the editor: Dec. 26

Lighten up, AHS

My son Will Nichols is a senior at Ashland High School. He is being told that the special senior photo he is submitting to the yearbook will not be allowed because he is pictured with a stuffed dog! I have a call in to the school's principal, Erika Bare, but have not heard back yet. Will's idea was to create an image that parodies old portrait photos and I think he did a brilliant job thanks to the help of local photographer William Babishoff.

This was just meant to make people laugh. Come on, it's time to lighten up, Ashland High!

Dave Nichols


Sex trafficking facts

The following information is from a handout card from Soroptimist, detailing the extensive sex trafficking and slavery of mostly women and girls worldwide.

“21-36 million people are enslaved in forced or bonded labor, child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude at any given time (Source: Free the Slaves)”

“98 percent of sex trafficking victims are women and girls (Source: UNODC)”

“About 80 percent of trafficking involves sexual exploitation (Source: UNODC)”

“$32 billion per year — the second largest criminal industry in the world (Source: ILO, 2005)”

“Only about 5 percent of trafficking cases are ever reported (Source: UNODC 2006)”

“Every country in the world is involved in sex trafficking (Source: UNODC)”

“12 to 14 the average age of entry into prostitution (Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, ‘Human Sex Trafficking’ 2011)”

“73 percent of prostituted women have been physically assaulted, and 57 percent have been raped (Source: ‘Prostitution: A Matter of Violence against Women,’ 2002)”

“89 percent of prostituted women want to exit prostitution but cannot due to a lack of healthcare, money, education and other basic resources (Source: Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries: An Update on Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)”

For immediate assistance: National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.

Help end trafficking: www.liveyourdream.org.

David McAlaster


Fake climate news

This age of misinformation and fake news makes it difficult to discover what is really happening. For reality we have to seek credible informed sources. For information about climate trends, NASA and the World Meteorological Union are credible.

Contrary to claims that have been floating around the fake news circuit to please science deniers, the global temperature has not been holding steady or declining. Indeed, since 2011, the global temperature has been climbing at an alarming rate, with the last two completed years each clocking in as the hottest on record up until that time. This year is on track to break the 2015 record.

The recent trend has even eclipsed the apparent (though actually unreal) slowdown since the turn of the century such that we are globally back on the steep trajectory established since the 1970s.

Anyone doubting that this trend is alarming should explore how temperature and water availability determine the survival of our natural systems (forests, grasslands, etc.), our agriculture, and our forestry. Absent substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, by the end of the century these natural systems, along with our agriculture, and forests, will likely be devastated.

Whether conservative or liberal, we shouldn’t risk it.

Through its Climate and Energy Action Plan, Ashland is demonstrating its concern for the issue and its refusal to take the risk. It would be very helpful if other cities in the valley, the county, and the state itself were to follow Ashland’s lead.

Alan Journet

Co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now


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