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Letters to the Editor, March 10

Energy is misplaced

In the past few days, I have read with chagrin some of the negative comments about the proposal of the DeBoer family to build a private residence on the site next to the winter ice rink/parking lot. We do not know Mr. DeBoer, but find the attacks against him and his family to be profoundly disturbing.

His plan to build a family home on the site is hardly revolutionary. It will be on a privately owned parcel that is zoned by the city for residential use. It will replace a crappy, run-down commercial building with a thing of beauty, a family home actually occupied by people. The city does not own the property, it is not a part of “our” park land, the ideas to have a city-owned “seasonal café” on the site are mere pipe dreams, and we citizens have utterly no right to delay their plans, let alone harass these people.

I hope the DeBoers stick with their plans. As for those who would join a “protest,” go find something that is worthy of political action. Your current energy is misplaced and an ugly expression of your humanity.

Art Mills


Elect Pam Marsh

I became acquainted with Pam Marsh while working with a program that helps court involved individuals address substance abuse and other life-disrupting issues.

Her respect for the people we served impressed me. So did her skills organizing and tracking the detailed records related to the project. She showed the ability to work both from the heart and the head.

In my opinion, this balance will work to the advantage of the people of her district, and I encourage the voters of District 5 to elect Pam as their state representative.

Andrea Bearden


Build it elsewhere

The City of Ashland is remiss in its duties by not changing the zoning on Winburn Way and thus allowing a millionaire to put up an opulent home in an area that is distinctly not residential.

Mr. DeBoer is remiss in his duties as a considerate human being for deciding to build a home in an area that should be set aside for public use.

Jeffrey Gillespie states in his commentary in the Daily Tidings that the DeBoer family has lived in Ashland since at least the 1940s, and has contributed a lot to the City of Ashland.

We are all appreciative of the fact that Mr. DeBoer’s family has a long history in Ashland and has been generous. Perhaps he can do another great thing for this community — donate the land on Winburn Way for the use of all Ashland citizens and build his beautiful house in a more appropriate location.

Judy Emanuel


Blind bulldozing

The Southern Oregon University pool was used by a national-level water polo team in the early '80s, master swimmers who trained for swimming to Alcatraz, and thousands of college, university, high school, junior high and elementary aged youth, and parents who became better citizens and went on to make huge contributions to society.

That olympic-sized pool that is now being bulldozed had transcended the standard classroom educational investment output, and gave back 100, 1,000, 10,000 times the initial cost and ongoing maintenance of the pool.

With all due respect to Roy Saigo: This is a microcosm of what is wrong with administration-heavy  academia all across our nation. Since 2006 the cost of SOU tuition has doubled. This blind bulldozing ahead in the name of progress is a complete shame and an affront to those who have walked the halls of Southern Oregon Normal School, SOC, SOSC and SOU. Pay the underpaid professors more, fire all the overpaid administrators at SOU, except for Roy! Reset the tuition level back to 21st century wages instead of adding to the national level of close to $1.5 trillion in student debt. The supposed student vote throws the students under the bus in the name of budget cuts.

In 2007, the Mail Tribune reported the pool was closed after a failure to raise $112,000. Later a supposed $3 million dollar new pool vote for the student body — who is going to want to pay for that extra $3 million from their meager student-loan billfold, plus other ghost fees such as grounds maintenance fees, what the heck!

Tom Frantz


Vote sabotage

Who are these Republican establishment people anyway, trying to sabotage my vote?

I've almost always supported the Republican party. When I haven't, I've been sorry. Shameful case in point: Bill Clinton.

In the last election, I voted for Romney, who presented himself as a fine, upstanding man. So presidential! (Look where that vote got us!)

Because of his recent turn-tail speeches betraying Donald Trump, I have lost all respect for Romney and his establishment buddies. I might not make the right decisions at times, but it's not their right to manipulate my choices.

So, here we are in an Oregon sea of Democrats and my little vote sure won't go far. But, for the establishment to try to deny me the right to vote for the person I want is wrong. Every one of us is different, and as such, we should all have the right to vote for the candidate we believe in. It makes for a vibrant, creative USA.

Keep out of my business, Republican establishment. I want to and will vote for Donald Trump.

Judie Bunch


Thanks for support

Recently the Oregon Shakespeare Festival rolled out four spectacular productions to delighted audiences. It was a grand unveiling, made even more special by the festival’s decision to partner with Ashland Emergency Food Bank in a preview-week food and support drive.

Theatergoers were invited to purchase rush tickets for just $10 and to donate food or money to AEFB. Many jumped at the opportunity, lining up hours before the tickets went on sale each morning with bags and cans of food in hand.

The preview week promotion allowed many local residents to share the season’s first peek at an OSF production at a modest price. It also produced 1,704 pounds of food and more than $800 in donations for the food bank.

Much of the food we received has already been placed on our shelves, ready to fill plates for some of the 600 families who shop with us each month. Money will be used in the coming weeks and months to fill gaps in our inventory, to purchase fresh items like milk and eggs and to augment the nonperishables we receive through Ashland Food Project and other local food drives.

Over and over again, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival demonstrates its commitment to use the talents and reach of the organization to serve our community. My heartfelt thanks to festival staff and patrons for their extraordinary support of Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

Pam Marsh, manager

Ashland Emergency Food Bank