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Letters to the Editor, March 7

Editorial fantasy

The Tidings made some valid points in its editorial about the DeBoer's plans to build a home adjacent Lithia Park. You eliminated the possibility however, that the city should have offered long ago to purchase that private property for the public's benefit.

But to say in your editorial that the public is "justifiably proud" of the Plaza is frankly, fantasy on your part. Our current Plaza is the shame of Ashland's Public Planning Department, council, mayor, administrator and  Public Art Commission, and is a great and continued embarrassment to all of Ashland. The barren, denuded, hot Plaza is disliked by far more people here and our visitors, than like it, that's an established fact. In fairness to the truth, and to your responsibility to the public to present factual information within the context of news and editorials, I ask you to please stop this continual "Newspeak" propaganda by the Tidings on the present glories of our Plaza.

The city will be making the first major improvements to the Plaza, this spring (See Ashland Plaza Restoration Project's FB post Wednesday), adding 67 more plants and 3 planters; it's a positive, albeit small, first step toward improving our Plaza.

APRP supporters recently saved our city over $6,300 (more likely closer to $8,000), by successfully arguing to stop the planned Plaza iron fences. Let's encourage the city to use these saved funds to add more and larger plants and trees to benefit the Plaza, as recommended by the Historic Commission, the public and landscape architect and architect, Kathryn and Barry Thalden, respectively.

Hopefully your paper will encourage more such Plaza improvements in the future, and not continue to laud that gray, lifeless heat sink in the epicenter of our town that was devastated by the city three years ago.

David Sherr


A successful pickup

The Ashland Food Project had another successful food pickup in February, thanks to the generous support of the Ashland community. More than 26,000 pounds of food and hygiene products were turned in to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank in more than 2,000 green bags.

Wow! Give yourselves a pat on the back. Many of our donors gave more than one bag, and a growing number of our members are contributing checks to either the AFP or the AEFB. All of your support allows the Ashland Emergency Food Bank to better serve people in Ashland and Talent, mostly single moms and senior citizens.

My feeling is there are two types of people in our community: those that need the emergency food supplied by the AEFB, and then there's the rest of us who can help make our food bank the best in Jackson County by joining the AFP and giving your support. Those who join immediately feel the joy of really helping in an easy and effective way. Our website has been improved to make it even easier to sign up as a member. Check us out at: ashlandfoodproject.com. Thank You.

And thanks to local businesses for their support!

Shop'n Kart sponsored our February thank-you cards, which gave the date of the pickup.

And these coffee providers donated gift cards to our Neighborhood Coordinators, who picked up all your bags: The Human Bean, Rogue Valley Roasting Company, Noble Roasting Company and Pony Expresso Coffee House & Cafe.

Rich Stickle