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Letters to the Editor October 8

Imagine being proud of health care system

"We're in hospital with Dylan who has breathing problems," informed the message sent by iPhone to cancel our scheduled Skype session. I worried until I heard from my English friends that six-week-old Dylan was OK.

During our eventual Skype conversation, I learned the following. In the UK, all newborns have a routine check-up at six weeks. It was during that exam that a doctor noticed Dylan was struggling a bit to breathe. Within 1 1/2; hours, parents and baby were being attended by a specialist at a pediatrics hospital. Doctors there kept a watch on Dylan for six hours with the option of having mother and child spend the night in a comfortable and attractive room to receive further care.

It turned out this was not necessary as Dylan was diagnosed with a simple cold. Dylan's family received all this care free of charge.

"I'm rather proud of our system," the new father said to me, "as I think all Brits are."

Imagine being proud of a health care system that serves all of us. Imagine taking a deep breath and knowing, as you relax, that your national health care system has your back. It's possible.

Don't give up.

Selene Aitken


Support FOTAS at the Puss 'N Boots ball

The Friends of the Animal Shelter, aka FOTAS, is a nonprofit organization that supports the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Their mission is to increase pet adoption by improving the quality of life of the shelter animals and to promote spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.

Every year they hold the Puss 'N Boots Costume Ball to help raise money for these programs. The event will take place on Oct. 24 and, for $35 per ticket, you can have fun eating at the buffet catered by Café Dejeuner and dancing to live music by The Rogue Suspects. This annual event, now in its 18th year, has been voted the "Most fun fundraiser" in the valley. Hope to see you there in costume. Call 541-774-6646 or go to www.fotas.org for more information.

Lisa A. Frost


Clearing land helped keep fire in check

Be aware that most of the homeowners and landowners like myself cleared our land for the last few years with a grant. I cleared six acres of my lower 24. My neighbors cleared even more, all the way down the Talent irrigation ditch where the fire started, almost to Tolman Creek. The theory was: If there ever were a fire, the firefighters could keep it above the TID ditch. Judging by what I saw, it worked pretty well at keeping the fire from spreading down the hills to the lower homes in the city of Ashland to I-5. I wish I could remember the name of the man who helped us homeowners use that grant. He's the man!

P.S. Thanks to all the brave firefighters.

Rick Sultan


Bring back the online forums at the Tidings

It's sad that we can't respond to Jeff Golden's column in a forum manner. It brings up all kinds of issues, such as the future role of newspapers.

Everyone knows that the printed paper is naturally phasing out in favor of the web versions. So why is it that one of the most reader-enhancing features was taken away? By that, I mean the ability for readers to respond to articles in a forum manner. It could be cultivated as a pseudo town hall meeting. Readership would be attracted to it.

With the way things are now, the Tidings is a little tame, becoming boring. There is not much of a reason to really read the articles. Now I just go there and take a glance. The longer I am there, the better the chance I may see an ad.

Whoever decided to do away with that feature wasn't very farsighted. Did some faraway entity purchase the Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune? I am no conspiracy person, but it seems we are seeing the continuation of the dummying down of America through the corporate gentrification of information and current events.

If the established newspapers don't adapt, improvise and overcome the challenges of world change, they'll be replaced piecemeal by bloggers and those in touch with the ever new reality of change.

Sorry Jeff, I'm blocked from enjoying the responses to your article, so I'm boycotting responding to it on my own.

Bring back the forums!

Mark Jaynes