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Letters to the Editor, Nov. 18

Welcome news

News that we Ashlanders are going to experience a reincarnation of Safeway, so that it will not be gone after all, is a development most welcome to this short-time shopper.

I was fond of “the old Safeway” as it served my needs as a single man (albeit an old one), was smack in the middle of the city, had ample and easy parking, and boasted the most agreeable clerical staff likely to be located this side of … well, someplace.

My memories of the old store are made more favorable by my residence in Ashland since 1963, so that I think I recall the pleasure felt as the mosaic walls went up in the then new Safeway’s front. (It was a cause of sadness as various quite necessary machines blocked that expensive, special and unique view.)

Perhaps this latest news about the Safeway name is not the last we will be getting, so this letter will be dated almost at once. No matter. Feelings need to be released now and then, don’t they? Those items we get off shelves or from behind glass — crab, whole roast turkey, ice cream, raisin bread, pink roses (especially) — they are part of memories that are quite special.

Vaughn Davis Bornet


Death Cafe fills need

Thank you to those who arranged a meeting of the Death Cafe. Not a rock group nor a Halloween event, but a meeting of those who want an open conversation about how they want to die. All say they want to die peacefully and without suffering.

Death has become a taboo subject among most families and friends. Life's most natural process is not discussed. How did death become so feared? How did such a religious nation get so uptight about the final glory of the big experience? It should be a mutually shared blessing.

Whether you believe in God, Mother Nature or nothing, the same ending comes to all. This is really an issue of choice and respect for the individual over the institutions. Those attending the Cafe are our pioneers for choice on this issue.

Instead, our lives and/or deaths are mostly about business. The artificially prolonged lives of most elderly and terminally ill is often decided by commerce. The elderly provide billions of dollars to the insurance, drug and medical establishment. Death should be primarily about compassion and kindness through choice for each of us.

In our time we've made great strides. Multiracial marriage is almost commonplace. Obamacare is here and homosexuals are becoming citizens with full civil rights. Now is the time for the inalienable rights of the elderly. Choice of death is one of our most important, deeply personal decisions. Why is choosing how and when you die a crime? The real crime is not allowing the natural right of choice to all.

Everyone deserves this sacred right. Thanks to the Death Cafe, the subject is at least out of the closet. Everyone is born with this right; it mustn't be taken away for profit. World wars are fought for choice. The foundation of democracy is about choice. Even elders are about choice.

The Cafe meeting was “up,” full of tears and laughter and the joy of the freedom of public sharing. Hopefully the Cafe will become a monthly or weekly regular instead of sporadic and hard to find out about. Why not make it part of the much-boasted and advertised progressive, liberal, good-life “Ashland experience”?

For information contact: ashlanddeathcafe@gmail.com.

Leah E.V. Ireland


Carry a big stick

Controversy about the deer in Ashland, but what about the vehicles of Ashland?

I reside slightly up the mountain, in a most peaceful area, with majestic views and awesome wildlife. The fresh mountain air is so invigorating and crystal clear, but when I walk to the downtown, browsing the quaint creative shops and fine eateries, I have to breathe spewing toxins from fossil fuel vehicles!

Of course this is not to say to rid every vehicle, but perhaps to become a bit more PROgressive, by creating an environmentally friendly vehicle transportation system. How's about a start: more walking, less driving? And the controversy with the deer here — well, just carry a big stick!

Jeff Kassman