In the early '80s, a Jackson County Sheriff's Department corrections officer was killed in a home accident. His name was Elzy Kees. Elzy was a retired senior sergeant from the Marine Corps. For years he worked as security at the airport for the Sheriff's Department. He then transferred to be corrections deputy at the new county jail. Elzy was well-known and well-liked.
Shortly after Elzy's death, I received permission to install a flagpole east of the jail in his honor. I did it through donations. All Jackson County police departments, Josephine and Jackson County sheriff's offices and some law offices donated. It took nearly four months to get the pole, flag, the base and night light. It was put together by a deputy's husband.
A few years later, county commissioners named Elzy's pole area "Singler Plaza" to honor fallen officers. I am happy with our contribution. My only wish is that occasionally Elzy Kees would be mentioned at the memorial services. — W. Leitz, retired sergeant, Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Medford
Everyone wants the Ashland Forest Resiliency thinning project in the town's municipal watershed to succeed, not least because it is important to public health and safety, and it has created dozens of skilled jobs. A federal subsidy of $6.5 million has paid for the project to date, but it will expire this year. The U.S. Forest Service anticipated a funding shortfall and decided in 2008 to allow logging up to 85,000 of the largest "old-growth" trees to pay for fuel reduction.
The community understands that large trees are the most fire resistant and removing them is counter to the purposes of hazard reduction and forest health. Ashland should find a way to pay for completion of the project without resorting to old-growth logging. — Jay Lininger, Ashland
If you please, a small correction regarding the story on the Ashland Middle School fire: "... Di Chiro described the building as 'old slap-dash construction from the '70s, with no crawl space and no sprinkler system, built for the rush of baby boomers of the day ... .' "
Actually, the junior high (middle school) opened in the fall of 1961. Secondly, it had nothing to do with the rush of baby boomers. The old junior high (East Side School) was in serious disrepair. The top story was condemned the last year it was open, so a newer, safer school was needed, baby boomers or not. — Michael Dawkins, Ashland