Reason returns

As we drive on Rossanley Drive each day, a sense of joy has returned as we view the best farmland in the Rogue Valley and know that it will not be blighted by solar panels. On many days, we would see workers in those fields and were saddened to know that scores of them would lose their jobs because of someone’s greed. Thanks to the efforts of 1,000 Friends of Oregon, LUBA has ruled in favor of sanity.

Another bit of Southern Oregon history was protected when the decision was made to keep the current name of Dead Indian Memorial Road. Why is it some folks move into our valley because of its many nuances, and then want to change the things which make the Rogue Valley unique? Many people move here because they were exhausted by the environment they left only to try to recreate it here.

If only we could honor Wes Howard’s wishes for the property he left and create a park space that is truly free for all children to use. Charter schools are not free.

Hopefully, honor, as well as reason, will surface on the corner of Rossanley Drive and North Ross Lane.

Robert Simpson

Central Point

Use locking carts

Regarding a wonderfully succinct letter from Judy Kerr on Nov. 3 on the grocery carts:

A similar locking mechanism (put in coin, unlock cart; return cart to queue, get coin back) is used on the carts at Aldi's, a grocery chain in Ohio. No roving carts, central collection site, hired cart wranglers, fines, imprinted phone numbers or angst over homelessness or cleanup, repair and disinfection of carts.

I recommend this be optional for those businesses for whom it makes economic sense.

Anne H. Dennehy

Medford

What a resource

What a valuable, early-20th-century resource our local Hubert "Ax Handle" Smith is. Focusing his discerning gaze on what he wrote as Medford’s “homeless problem” — his quotation marks used to negate the quoted material — he laments that, unlike government and charities, private citizens have been largely forbidden from getting involved with the non-problem. (Leave aside the question, when aren’t charities the collective actions of private citizens?)

So, how does the 21st-century private citizen get involved? “I’ve heard that, back in the day, Medford businessmen would greet hobos with ax handles, politely inviting them to keep moving. I’m afraid that, in today’s topsy-turvy world, such a civic-minded citizen would quickly run afoul of ‘the law.’ ” Ahh, hobos — what charming, roguish and, yet, quintessentially American folk characters they were. Didn’t Roger Miller do a best-selling song about them?

Everything is certainly up-to-date in the Kansas City of Ax Handle’s mind.

And don’t get ol’ Ax Handle started on the demise of the sundown laws. Now there’s a solution every right-minded, private citizen can get behind, if only the government and charities would just get out of the way of progress.

John Gaffey

Ashland

Vision clinic made a difference

On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Southern Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Center, along with six local Lions Clubs, volunteer optometrists, opticians and community members, came together to help 101 low-income residents of Jackson and Josephine Counties receive a pair of “Recycled for Sight” eyeglasses through the Center’s annual community vision clinic.

These community vision clinics are a great service opportunity for Lions Club and community members. They gladly give up their time on a Saturday to really make a difference in a person’s life. Additionally, the used eyeglasses donated by local residents stay right in the community to assist those in need.

The next clinic will be held in the summer of 2018. Call 541-779-3653 or email solshc@riousa.com for more information.

Glory Cooper, executive director, Southern Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Center

Medford