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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 2

Merkley is inconsistent

Thanks to Sen. Jeff Merkley for his leadership on trying to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. He has stated, “Carbon pollution and climate change are already threatening Oregon’s farming, fishing, and forests and our middle class jobs in those industries. Our future depends on taking action now to avert catastrophic climate change, and that means we must leave four-fifths of conventional fossil fuels in the ground.”However, It is hard to reconcile his opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline with his support for the Jordan Cove LNG pipeline. The Jordan Cove LNG project facilitates increased fracking in the USA at huge environmental cost; necessitates the use of eminent domain and violation of Oregonian’s property rights; just to send more fossil fuels to China: for the profit of Veresen, Inc., Canadian corporation. The relatively small number of permanent jobs this project would make could easily be created with an aggressive approach to expanding renewable energy in Oregon.I hope Senator Merkley will reconsider his support for the Jordan Cove LNG project. He should be consistent in his opposition to building new fossil fuel extraction and transport infrastructure. Lets work to making Earth a better place for future generations.Bryan Sohl,  Ashland

Feeling fortunate

People started lining up at our doors at Ashland Emergency Food Bank before 9 a.m. last Wednesday. By 7 p.m. we had distributed Thanksgiving boxes — a turkey or turkey breast plus ingredients for trimmings — to 225 grateful customers. It was joyful holiday chaos, orchestrated by a team of fabulous volunteers and made possible by donations from the Albertsons Turkey Bucks campaign, Ashland Food Project, and many other friends of the Food Bank.

For a week prior we had people showing up at our doors bearing turkeys and bags and boxes full of food to share — determined to see that their neighbors are cared for during the holiday season. Food drives by the City of Ashland, Siskiyou School, the Oak Knoll Mens Club, Ashland High School, Paddington Station, OSPIRG, the Cabaret, faith groups, service organizations and others brought us goods to fill the gaps on our shelves and tuck into holiday boxes. The Grange Co-op donated two pallets of potatoes, and Dagoba Chocolates brought us pounds of wonderful almonds.

As our operations assistant, Ray, said yesterday, "Working at the Food Bank makes it easy to feel good about people." Yes, it does. I feel very lucky to be reminded, on daily basis, of the goodness in our community. And I am deeply grateful to my neighbors for their compassion, faith, good spirits and many, many contributions that inspire and sustain our work.

Pam Marsh, manager, Ashland Emergency Food Bank

'Citizenfour' is consequential

It’s true that “Citizenfour” is not a Bourne film. And that the movie has no car chases, no aliens from outer space: instead, it requires a minimum of thought to realize how amazing it is, and how consequential.

In an age of cellphones we expect to be able to see almost everything, but it’s close to a miracle that we have documentary footage of Edward Snowden meeting with journalists in a hotel room, and that we can watch just by going to the Varsity. This was arguably the biggest story since June 2013, and we see it happening, along with images that set it in context.

Snowden was matter-of-fact because in part because he wanted the story to be not about him, but about the revelations in the documents that he made available. Damage was done, but was it to national security or to the rulers who have decided to spy on everybody?

The argument that “I have nothing to hide” is shallow because we all depend on news that will never emerge if every source and journalist is watched, and on action that may never be taken if any opponent of the spying can be smeared.

Craig Comstock, Ashland