Letters to the Editor, Sept. 29

Deer problem has reached the tipping point
Having lived in Ashland for over 22 years, I know that one of the common misconceptions about the deer, "the deer were here first," is not correct.
When I arrived in Ashland in 1992 there were flourishing gardens and flowers all over the hills in Ashland. It was one of the reasons I moved here and bought my Victorian home, the original Swendenburg House, with its cascade of petunias and roses.
Now, 22 years later, I can no longer grow the petunias, or roses or very few flowers at all because the number of deer in my neighborhood, (Gresham Street), devour everything I plant. Yes, I have learned to garden with deer-proof plants, but it is not the same and does not address the large areas of deer feces that the deer leave behind in my yard.
I know that this is not healthy, especially when my dog runs out and rolls in them. I worry about the small children who might be exposed to deer diseases just by playing in their back yard.
I think it is important for people to know that the current population of deer in our community is not normal, and historically it was never this way. The earliest peoples here, the Shasta and Takelma, kept the deer population under control. Early pioneers saw the deer as a good food source and kept the population under control. Now, however, the deer population is completely out of control and, I believe, because of this the deer are becoming more aggressive.
I think we have finally reached the tipping point with the deer population and have to address this problem. How many people and their pets have been attacked by deer? How many people have ended up with Lyme disease be being bitten by deer ticks?
How many people have lost hundreds of dollars in landscaping or plantings? How many people have paid thousands of dollars to put up deer fences? And finally, do we want our beautiful city to end up looking like some besieged territory with eight-foot-tall deer fences on every corner?
I, for one, do not, and will encourage the City Council to address this problem before it gets even worse. But does anyone know how to build a Victorian deer fence?
Victoria Law, historian and founder, Ashland History Museum
Voting for Bates, Kitzhaber
Congratulations, Governor Kitzhaber and Senator Bates, for crafting a health care model that works after one year of operation.
The system helps people stay healthy rather than receiving care only when sick and avoid using the emergency room needlessly. This saves money and improves outcomes with the savings reinvested to help cover the cost of extended population care.
The emergency room is how most uninsured obtained health care, and the system now has processes and people in place that educate consumers about a better way to receive care through primary practitioners. I know this first-hand from a friend who, when trying to get care through the emergency room, was helped by a young woman to sign up for a primary care doctor. That’s why I’m voting to re-elect Senator Bates and Governor Kitzhaber.
Shirley Wilkes, Medford

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