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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 2

Band-aid or real fix?

In reference to the illegally installed guardrail at the top of Grandview Drive, the author of the Tidings "Our View" of July 28, wrote of the situation: "it makes little sense to ... remove a guardrail ... to avoid setting a precedent for something that is fairly unlikely to happen again."

I will point out to this author, as well as to the Ashland Planning Department, City Council, and mayor that we should all anticipate the same developer to build an additional guardrail above the adjoining property he plans to develop next. If any residence is in danger of cars going over the edge, it will be the next one.

The Tidings editorialist is naive. If that same developer is allowed to assume no responsibility for his unlawful actions the first time, contrary to what the Tidings wrote, it will happen again. Moreover, how fully the city penalizes the developer and how carefully the city modifies the guard rail, walking zones and driver sight lines on Grandview Drive will determine the quality of public safety Ashland provides its citizens.

Perii Owen


Reviews get political

I have to agree with Jeanine Grizzard's letter of July 30 concerning Jeffrey Gillespie's review of ACT's production of "Chatting with the Tea Party."

While Jeffrey Gillespie is a talented writer, who certainly possesses a knack for his own brand of socially oriented compelling prose, I find he too often melds his own political beliefs into his theater reviews. Rather than staying objective he becomes too subjective. Doesn't he have his own weekly political commentary column where he can get all of that out?

I read his review of OSF's "Richard II" where he simply couldn't resist making a comment about the recent Brexit decision and how "crazy" he thought it was, rather than sticking to the review subject at hand. Similarly, he probably mistook the costuming in ACT's production to be a form of liberal-bashing, when likely it was an innocent move. I'm sure Gillespie would have had no objection if they portrayed tea partiers as cowboy hat-wearing, gun-toting, dentally challenged morons.

The editorial staff needs to be more aware of Gillespie's tendency to conflate theater reviewing with ill-advised commentary on social injustice.

Kevin Simms


What was judge thinking?

I was shocked to read of the sentencing of the three recent Ashland High School graduates who pleaded guilty in the robbery and attack on pizza delivery person Nicole Shulters, and who essentially received a fine and a slap on the wrist.

From what I can tell, this was a premeditated robbery. One of the young men shot her with a stun gun, and the other two were accomplices to this assault. And they were allowed to return to school so they could graduate? And they were sentenced to probation so they could attend college and keeping playing football? We certainly wouldn't want to interfere with these thugs' bright futures, would we?

How would you feel if Nicole was your sister or daughter or wife? I wonder: If this had happened in Medford or White City or Los Angeles, do you think these guys would have gotten off so easily? Their parents will pay the fine and they will move on with their lives. She, meanwhile, is traumatized for life.

And does anyone really believe that these football playing creeps, as sentenced, will abstain from drugs and alcohol during their probation? Will anybody even be monitoring them? This is justice ill-served, and appears to be yet another example of privilege trumping the rule of law. Shame. What was the judge thinking?

John Enders