Messing up the anthem

Here we go again!

Seems that this older man recalls that way back in the 1930s a Disc Jockey whose name I cannot recall was ruled off the airways for putting swing notes to our national anthem. And now we have Fergie, the latest one to mess it up with her "rendition."

On the internet I just saw a list of the 10 worst, but I did not listen to them. Seems that the current artists just want to make a point for themselves with their versions.

We do know that the anthem is difficult to sing, but just a good try at singing the lyrics as adapted from the way the tune "Anacreon in Heaven" was written will do. It was the official song of the Anacreontic society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London.

Bill Branham


Safe schools

I listened in horror as the news reported President Trump’s ideas of re-opening mental institutions and arming teachers in response to the recent Florida school shooting.

I recognize the importance of our constitutional right to bear arms. I believe the problem is easy access to bullets and guns. Let’s not be distracted with a societal issue of mental illness, as important as that is, nor fooled by a false security that allowing guns in schools won’t have a tragic outcome.

Let’s think together, people more intelligent and informed than I am, about how to limit access to the bullets that kill and the weapons that fire them continuously. Surely we can reach agreement on limitations for guns and bullets while treating the mentally ill and keeping schools gun-free.

S. Ducharme

Central Point

Pay attention to kids

The man silently and without a word crossed the dark parking lot and struck my friend full on in the face, while holding a roll of dimes in his clenched fist. The resulting blow almost detached my buddy's nose. Blood was streaming everywhere.

Not a word had been spoken. My friend had issued an insult, in passing, to the stranger, whose ability to suddenly and without notice deliver such a violent blow was notable, even in the urban setting. Extreme violence.

A gun would not have stopped it. Too fast! No convenient advance notice was given. It usually isn’t. Things happen quickly, shocking people.

Would we really ask a teacher to be able to meet such an easy ability to do violence in kind, instantly? To carry a gun, all day, and be ever prepared to respond like that? While teaching little kids, and having fun with them?

We’re not living in a movie or a game, are we, where nothing hurts, or lasts? There are those who should never have access to a gun, particularly a weapon of war. It’s not an answer to hand out guns. It’s time to pay more attention to the kids.

Lars Svendsgaard


Vote no on recall

I urge voters in Ashland to vote no on the recall petition. Knowing the three commissioners being recalled, I'm convinced they represent my interests in a well-researched and responsible way.

A recall petition is the wrong way to voice a disagreement about a decision made by the commissioners. If the recall petitioners feel strongly about an issue, put yourselves on the ballot. Warning. Be willing to spend many hours each week for four years listening to citizen input, expert advice and staff recommendations. I'm thankful these three commissioners have done that.

Barry Peckham