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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 6

Mt. Ashland thanks DeBoer

Four years ago when I arrived to take on the challenges facing Mt. Ashland, many people stand out in my memory, but none more than Alan DeBoer.

Alan helped Mt. Ashland through a difficult reorganization, and laid the foundation for a more sustainable ski area. Alan was instrumental in running the area and providing leadership during this transition, and upon my arrival, things were very much in order considering the amazing difficulty the organization was facing.

Along with the rest of the board of directors, Alan helped guide me through an incredibly difficult first year with great leadership and business acumen. Alan has been an incredible supporter and friend of Mt. Ashland for many years, playing a large part in the 1992 community buyout of the mountain. His impact on me personally, and on the organization, has been immeasurably beneficial.

He forged the new direction for the Mt. Ashland Association, insisting that we develop a business plan that supports opening the area whenever possible, despite the ups and downs of weather and the increasing costs associated with safely running a ski area. He focused intently on making sure Mt. Ashland remained a valued community resource for all future generations, no matter what the economic or snow conditions.

Having benefited from his leadership and tremendous ability to run a lean business, Mt. Ashland now has a rainy day fund so we can weather difficult times without the fear of closure. Our current manageable financial situation, despite the delay in opening for this season, is a testament to his tremendous influence and volunteer work over the years.

Without Alan’s fundraising and selfless volunteer efforts, Mt. Ashland could quite easily have been shuttered. We owe so much to Alan DeBoer and his wife, Becky. They have done such great work to make the Rogue Valley such a wonderful place to live. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will always hold a very special place in the hearts of all who love Mt. Ashland.

Hiram Towle

General manager, Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Mayor's speech disrespectful

I enthusiastically attended the State of the City meeting a few nights ago. I was eager to participate in honoring our fantastic leaders, Administrator John Karns and Diana Shiplet, who consistently create such outstanding quality of everything about our beloved town. The whole experience of being so privileged as to live in our wonderful town, Ashland, is worthy of honoring our leaders.

When our mayor got up to speak I was full of respect and admiration for the position and the man.

But!

The mayor of our city, speaking in the professional capacity of our elected mayor, publicly, and to a large gathering of our most involved citizens, felt privileged to demean and malign the president of our United States. He compared him to Hitler and called him racist, going on and on in his mean-spirited deprecation. There is absolutely nothing but small-minded, totally inappropriate behavior on the part of the mayor of our town to speak publicly of the president in such a way while he is speaking as the mayor.

He has every right to his political position and perspective as a private person, as do each of the rest of us. And I completely respect his freedom and that of each and every citizen to hold and communicate their personal opinion. But to have to face the disgraceful and disgusting lack of honor in the mayor of our town to so diminish the position he holds as to berate the president at the State of the City meeting is nothing less than heartbreaking, gut-wrenching and deeply tragic. What kind of man has our town so wrongly elected as our mayor? I am not disparaging his political stance, but only his feeling so erroneously privileged as to force a whole audience of our citizens to sit through his pompous, arrogant and ugly presumption that speaking as the mayor of our whole town he can indulge in disrespect for the president of our nation.

I cannot, with mere words, adequately express the oh-so-beyond disappointment that overwhelms my heart to find that my beloved town, Ashland, holds in its highest position a man who has no respect for the highest position of our nation and the person we elected to be our president.

Willow Morningsky

Ashland

The Paris workaround

When I read last summer that the United States had pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, it felt like a betrayal, a punch in the gut. By now, every other nation has signed on, pledging to restrain the rapidly rising global average temperature by promoting safer, saner energy policies.

I want a do-over. But how?

True, Oregon isn’t a nation. We can’t sign on to the Paris agreement. But we are not helpless. We can do something practical, sensible, and powerful — and we don’t need permission from the Oval Office.

The Clean Energy Jobs bill is coming before the state Legislature in February. This measure would:

Cap Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions, incentivizing top polluters to find cleaner ways of doing business

Steer an estimated $700 million toward a greener, more stable economy, investing in job training and rural areas

Protect Oregonians hardest hit by climate change

We can make this happen by reaching out to our two state legislators (senator and representative) by phone, email or an old-fashioned letter. Find out who your legislators are here: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html

We can’t wait another year.

Eleanor Ponomareff

Talent