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Letters to the editor, February 10

Please stop removing musicians' flyers from downtown kiosk

Ashland has had a long-standing tradition of providing a space for local musicians and businesses to advertise their events and products by posting a flyer on the kiosk downtown.

I have found everyone to be very considerate, being careful not to cover any other poster. Every Monday the posters are removed to make room for new ones. It is a great free service and much appreciated by local bands!

However recently someone has taken to removing our posters without permission. It has happened for two events now. Fortunately we have still had good turnouts at our dances.

It has always been the tradition that all posters have been respected by everyone. I have no idea why this mystery vandal feels so inclined to deny others the opportunity to view our pretty posters and find out when we are playing!

So friends and fans please check out our Web site and other local listings for when we are playing or sign-up to receive our e-mail list for event notification!

Christina Marsilia

of ¡Salsa Brava!

Talent

Join a conversation about welcoming returning veterans

We are writing to invite readers to attend an exciting and unique community conversation about veterans and their return to society. On Thursday evening, Feb. 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hidden Springs Wellness Center (behind the Tidings), psychologist Dr. Ed Tick and Dr. John Fisher, a decorated Vietnam vet, will lead an unusual conversation which will address issues facing returning combat veterans and their families and how the community plays an essential role in assisting vets with the transition back into mainstream society.

Dr. Tick is the author of "War and the Soul," which describes the ancient process that cultures have had to welcome their warriors back with ritual, support and assistance in helping them cope with a dramatically changed identity. His goal is to help communities understand what we can do to make this transition easier for returning vets of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and vets of all wars.

Please join us. A $10 donation is suggested and everyone is welcome.

Bill McMillan

The Welcome Home Project

and Paul Giancarlo

Mental Health Resource and Education Network

Ashland police acted irresponsibly in shooting the cougar

Saturday morning here in my trailer park in Ashland, a cougar sleeping in a tree was shot. Not only did it get shot, but then out of complete disrespect it was shot three more times, just in case a bullet and 30-foot drop from the tree didn't do it.

A crowd of about 100 people witnessed this completely irresponsible and sad event. Children went home crying as well as adults.

This is an example of a lack of patience and respect for wildlife. The compassionate and responsible way to go about it would have been to station a couple of police at the scene while someone called in an experienced person with a tranquilizer gun and cleared the people from the area while they then humanely removed the cougar from our park to a safe area in the mountains. It may have taken all day and the cougar may have just slept the day away while people went about attempting to do the right thing.

Now a beautiful animal is dead, people are traumatized and the police are considered ridiculous and unkind. As my 13-year-old put it, "They wouldn't shoot an endangered Bengal tiger. The cougar is our Bengal tiger."

Elise Thiel

Ashland

Israel keeps casualties to a minimum while defending its people

Israel, after years of restraint from relentless attacks on her civilians, finally responded to terrorism inflicted by Hamas. Ashland's Israel bashers reappeared with numerous unsubstantiated myths. Isaac Walker's letter (see Feb. 5 Tidings "Letter ignores brutal reality of beaten protestors in Israel") even attempted to discredit Dennis Ross, a Middle East expert, as a "Zionist source." Walker included unsubstantiated misstatements stating "the evidence for this is all over the Internet, though it won't of course be found in our mainstream media."

Consider these undeniable facts:

  • Approximately 1 million Israeli civilians were terrorized daily by Hamas rocket fire.
  • Since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas fired 3,484 rockets into Israel.
  • Under international law, and the UN Charter, Israel has the right to respond to these thousands of armed attacks. Indeed every rocket fired into Israel is an armed attack, and Israel is entitled to take whatever military action is deemed reasonably necessary to stop these armed attacks from occurring.

Israeli military doctrine requires minimizing civilian casualties.

Extensive measures including warnings to the residents by dropping leaflets, making thousands of phone calls and commandeering local radio and TV stations saved many thousands of lives.

Tragically, there is no avoiding civilian casualties, especially when Hamas uses them as human shields.

According to a Jan. 9 BBC News military analysis with British Colonel Richard Kemp (fought in Afghanistan with British Forces in 2003): "There has never been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and death, than the IDF is doing today in Gaza."

Gary Acheatel

Ashland

Disappointed in how police handled cougar situation

I am very disappointed in the way in which the Ashland Police Department handled the cougar situation. It is my hope that the shooting of this animal provides an opportunity for the APD to learn, get prepared for situations and show the people of Ashland that they (and we) can respect and protect wildlife.

Rebecca Bjornson

Ashland

Without jobs, tax cuts won't help

Tax cuts are of no benefit to someone without a job. Spend my money on projects that create jobs, repair and upgrade our infrastructure and create a sustainable future for our nation. The ideology of those in power the past eight years has proven a failure. We have elected a new president. It's time to move aside and let the Obama administration try to clean up the mess that has been made of our economy.

Barry Peckham

Ashland