Applause

I recently read in the Mail Tribune of the $500,000 matching donation to Mt. Ashland by the Sid and Karen DeBoer Foundation. Having moved to Southern Oregon from Bend 14 years ago I know the power of ski and snow sports to the local economy.

Hopefully we will all chip in to match the DeBoers' generous gift and recognize not only the financial impact Mt. Ashland brings to our region but also the sheer enjoyment of skiing and snowboarding, activities that connect families and all age groups. Snow sports also specifically support the winter "off season" when revenue generation is critical for jobs.

The DeBoers' gift and our matching contributions will strengthen outdoor sports, which are in second place to cultural activities at Southern Oregon University, the excellence of theater at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and music at Britt.

Mary Arnstad

Medford

Idolatry and dictatorship

Humans are natural idolaters and will find something to worship, be it money, an icon or a self-elevated person charismatic or clever enough to attract followers. Unfortunately, a worshipful populous gives rise to authoritarianism.

Intense, often blind admiration for a leader is common in dependent personalities. They believe their leader's claims no matter how much fact-checkers debunk them.

A disturbing example of extreme adulation was displayed during the 2016 presidential campaign. Cheers erupted from the Republican debate audience in reaction to candidates’ right-wing talking points. Such blind worship bolstered Trump throughout his campaign and continues to date.

For this country’s sake, sycophants who embolden power-driven people to assert dominance over them and others should re-channel their energy into strengthening their ability to think independently, to distinguish between fact and fiction.

We’re already experiencing authoritarian rule under the Trump administration. Chief strategist Stephen Bannon and other cabinet members share a goal to weaken or eliminate vital government agencies, dangerously undermining U.S. interests — both domestic and foreign.

Americans must steadfastly resist this authoritarian takeover of our government. The Founders established a representative democracy; that is, a republic — not a plutocratic dictatorship.

Marie Arvette

Medford

Join the march

By now, many have realized this current situation as an extraordinary point in our nation's history— where we must unite to address the interconnected issues that affect our communities.

Community members, organizations and elected officials are invited to join in Southern Oregon's People’s Climate March for the Environment, Jobs, and Justice from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The march will start and end at Pear Blossom Park in downtown Medford. It will be the largest event of its kind in our region’s history, and part of a national day of protest; there will be sister events throughout the U.S and D.C.

Join in solidarity if you want to demand urgent action on climate change, support creating good-paying, clean energy jobs in our region, support family farms and a diversified local economy, respect tribal territories and culture, farm and forest workers, and protect the beauty of Southern Oregon and the livability of our planet for all life and future generations.

The march will hold accountable both corporate executives and elected public officials at all levels, regardless of party, who substantially affect our region and our planet.

Sign up for the event at: https://peoplesclimate.org/sister-marches/ and also "People's Climate March" on Facebook

Sarah Shaw

Ashland