I was surprised — no, astonished — to read in "Since You Asked" that OSF flags will not fly at exit 14, because they have to reflect "Ashland in its entirety."

I was surprised — no, astonished — to read in "Since You Asked" that OSF flags will not fly at exit 14, because they have to reflect "Ashland in its entirety."

Hmmm, what could that be? Ravening deer? No, they don't destroy everyone's yard.

One of the shortest school years in the state? Nope, that only reflects students, teachers and parents. Lithia Park? Oops, no dogs allowed there — not reflected.

Road diet traffic jams? Nope, inconveniences only drivers.

I have it: the cemetery. We all die! But wait — some of us will be cremated

I guess we'll have to wait to see what the new "branding" is to reveal what might represent "Ashland in its entirety."

This rule reflects the same kind of parochial, small-minded bureaucracy that decreed that Wiley's waiter, the Main Street bear and the lions on the Plaza (all quintessentially Ashland) must be removed.

Cities like Oakland and San Francisco fly banners touting their symphony, opera and museums, etc. Does anyone really believe that Ashland would be anything more than a small, undistinguished college town without OSF? If OSF sneezes, Ashland gets pneumonia. Just ask the downtown merchants.

How do we get this stupid and nonsensical restriction changed? — Don Stone, Ashland

Bill Varble's recent column did a great job of summing up local antagonisms over the Ashland Plaza redesign. I'm hopeful that the warring camps can reach a compromise.

Most Ashlanders prized the old Plaza for its beauty, its historic qualities, and its function as a grassy, shaded oasis on hot days. Clearly, the City Council had other priorities when it selected a design that privileged durability and low maintenance over green space. Still, I think we can find middle ground between community aesthetics and City Council pragmatism.

To satisfy the community, moderate the heat of the now black-surfaced plaza and distinguish it visually from the surrounding asphalt parking. To satisfy the City Council,keep the Plaza durable and tidy.

I suggest this compromise: 1) create a narrow green space between the curb and the paved interior as a visual break; 2) build raised planters to reduce the remaining black, hard-surfaced area. The result would be a Plaza that is tidy, but also greener, cooler and more attractive. Whatever the long-term compromise will be (and I think there must be one), let's make this Plaza look more like a park and less like a parking lot. — Sean F. McEnroe, Ashland

Heartfelt thanks to the gentleman who found my missing keys and took them to Bi-Mart where I was identified by my Bi-Mart tag. A Bi-Mart employee was kind enough to look up my phone number and call me. It's good people like these who make living here worthwhile!

Thank you! You are appreciated. — Lois Wilson, Eagle Point

It seems to me that the potential for social control from the powers that be is inherent and unavoidable as per the current big government data sources and reflects a "Big Brother" stamp on our foreheads. — Jerry Sawtelle, Medford