Letters to the Editor August 28
'Real world' police
I just read Wednesday's Ask APD on the matter of some kid calling a local policeman a pig. I think that kid is due for an education, and I have no doubt that he will get one before long. Simply behaving in such a manner in almost any place but here would do the trick. I am a recent arrival to your fair city and was immediately impressed by the outright gentleness and civility of your police force. Those who have grown up here have no idea what the "real world" is like, in the matter of police versus citizens. It is not necessary to consider Russia during most of the last century or Germany before the war. Selma, Ala., say, or even Berkeley or Oakland in the '60s (which I am proud to say I survived) will do. The police did not "roll their eyes" with humor upon being insulted by some kid who didn't know any better.
Ashland is a wonderful, protected place to grow up, but I wonder sometimes if a major part of these children's education is being omitted and they are being set up for a serious fall once they encounter the rest of the world.
Curtailing water use
Clearly, when there is a water shortage, waste and excessive use must be curtailed. So what is wrong with Ashland's water-use curtailment ordinance? Answer: It blindly applies the same one-size-fits-all restriction to every household. A family of eight in a house with four toilets and a quarter-acre vegetable garden is restricted to the same amount of water as a single 20-year-old living in a 700 square-foot cottage on a postage-stamp lot with no lawn. So ... the large family raising their own food is punished while the single person can waste water with impunity. This surely wasn't the intent of the ordinance, but apparently it wasn't thought through completely.
The article in the Ashland Daily Tidings referred to a "typical" household being restricted to a certain number of gallons, which seemingly implied that the figure was some sort of average. But there is actually no variation in the law, no allowance for circumstances, family size or garden use: The same punitive rate goes into effect after a certain number of cubic feet of water usage per water meter!
How about water restrictions based on number of toilets or number of persons for residential use ... and how about considering cultivated area in limiting irrigation use? How about a base curtailment usage based on the average household and average lot size, but vary it based on actual size of household and actual lot size?
Is there any reason not to fix this? Looking at the ordinance as it now stands, the word that springs to mind is "inequitable."
Conserve water at SOU
I'm sure everyone in Ashland will do their best to conserve water during the rest of the summer and, hopefully, beyond. It is good to hear that the city is also cutting back on irrigating Lithia Park and the median strips. But how about SOU? Water is pouring down the drain (literally at the corner of Indiana and Siskiyou) and the lawns are soggy from overwatering. Many of the sprinkler heads on campus need attention and the timers should definitely be cut back.
Pioneer Press online
I'm a paid subscriber to the Ashland Daily Tidings and as such receive the Sunday Medford Mail Tribune. I read the Tribune online daily.
In addition I likewise read online the Klamath Falls Herald and News daily (see www.heraldandnews.com). I also subscribe to two regional weekly newspapers: the Lake County Examiner in Lakeview (www.lakecountyexam.com) and the subject of this letter: the Pioneer Press located at Fort Jones, Calif. (also includes the community of Etna) in the Scott Valley in Siskiyou County outside Yreka. The Pioneer Press is "The Official Newspaper of the State of Jefferson" and as such is "A Daniel Webster Publication."
Now The Pioneer Press can be viewed online at www.pioneerpresslive.com. This weekly program is presented every Tuesday. Thus, people here in Ashland can access what is happening down in Siskiyou County, our Northern California neighbor to the south. As a recent letter writer states in the Pioneer Press for Aug. 26: "Publishers around the country have battled the Internet for years; you've conquered the beast and made it your own." I sort of dig this weekly online video presentation of what real people are doing.
Therefore, for those interested in rural Siskiyou County there is now an outlet available for public viewing: the Pioneer Press at its new website.
James A. Farmer