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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 5

Story went too far

I was saddened when I read the story about Jeff Zundel being arrested for allegedly being guilty of sexual abuse on the front page of the Mail Tribune. The letter to the editor written by Donnelly Fenn in Saturday’s paper is 100 percent on the mark! Mr. Zundel has not been found guilty, but many people will believe he is before he has had a chance to prove himself innocent. This is carrying sensational journalism too far! Bringing his wife into the article is also very inappropriate! The Zundels have been one of the most respected couples in the Southern Oregon educational community for many years; to slander them on the front page of the paper is unacceptable.

I met Jeff when he was a junior high student in my art class at Talent Junior High School many years ago; he was a good kid then, and when I’ve run into him over the years, I’ve always found him to be a fine man. I hope that he is not guilty of what he’s accused of, but let’s at least give him time to prove his innocence before destroying his career and possibly his family.

Sam Whitford


Failing the homeless

John Wieczorek speaks the truth in "Don't fear Ashland's homeless." I've been homeless in Ashland for a year.

I spoke to a merchant downtown who is a bleeding heart hippie but dismayed to see how the street culture has gotten so bad recently. Things have gotten rapidly worse due to rampant gentrification and the ensuing anti-homeless laws that push us further and further to the edge.

These kids no longer have anything to lose. They see you downtown eating expensive food while they get rotten throw-away food; they see you buying your brand new shoes while they sew their shoes together with dental floss or just let their feet rot; they see you avoiding, judging and despising them while heading to your warm homes and beds as they sleep in the cold and dirt — and they start despising you, too.

They have no guidance, no safe place to go, and don't trust authority figures at whose hands they have ended up in this hell in the first place. If you want to see an improvement in behavior, invest in helping them, not running them out of town. We are failing our social contract to them, not the other way around!

Kate Wenzell


Monster Dash a success

With support from over 800 race registrants, 500 Monster Ball Pasta Party guests and over 100 volunteers — and generous donations from nearly 150 corporate, business and individual sponsors — the Seventh annual Monster Dash Run for Education and the pre-race pasta dinner and party were a huge success. Thank you one and all!

This event was hosted by the Ashland Kiwanis Club, leading sponsor Yogurt Hut, and the Ashland Schools Foundation to raise funds for the foundation’s Impact Grant program available at all Ashland public schools. Because of this event, hundreds of students will receive an enriched education in the arts, sciences and across the curriculum via the grants available to teachers.

Congratulations to the race participants, and a big thank you to all of the volunteers and sponsors, and to the general public for coming out to support this fundraiser.

Ron Parker, president

Ashland Kiwanis Club