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In support of local restaurants

Special recognition goes to Patty Thorton, owner of Hummingbird — and Ravens restaurant (in the Tolman Creek Plaza across from Albertsons). — After her business partner departed this past year, Patty has worked very — hard to keep this great little restaurant going and serving health conscious — Ashlanders. Patty greets customers with a smile, quick service, and strives — to serve your needs. My favorite is a custom order, chicken, spinach, — and egg whites omelet, served with healthy non-fried hash browns and a — fresh hot biscuit. If you haven't been to the Hummingbird, I highly recommend — you give it a try. Once you do, you'll return for the great food. Help — support a local, hard working and dedicated business.

Mary Smelcer

Loyalty to AFN needed now

When I read that the Ashland Fiber Network had saved over — a million dollars for all Ashland cable viewers, I started checking this — out. What I have discovered is that AFN has saved all Ashland cable viewers — well over a million dollars since 2000.

AFN cable TV rates are 30 percent below the national average! — This saving is solely due to the competitive environment created by AFN's — presence here. I noticed that when a temporary drop in Ashland prices — is offered by the competition, prices in outlying areas are raised.

Our out of town friends are shocked to realize the difference — between the rates they pay and what we pay. They would also like to have — some input on what to view, but they have to watch whatever a large corporation — decides. Here in Ashland everyone can meet with the program selection — committee and let them know what channels they want to see added to the — lineup.

AFN is considered to be tops among all the city-owned — cable companies in the nation. It was obviously created by people in our — town solely to protect us from the aggressive business practices that — are typical of many large corporations.

From here on out, everything depends on how many of us — are willing to support our own fiber network by taking advantage of its — state of the art internet and cable television services.

Launa Huffines

Open letter to the mayor

Mayor Alan DeBoer:

I want to appeal to you to please change your mind about — dismissing Colin Swales from the Planning Commission.

Anyone who has watched Colin in action as a planner knows — that he is among the most knowledgeable, most ethical, and hardest working — member on the whole commission. He understands how to read and interpret — building codes and municipal ordinances, digs the deepest for the facts, — researches historical precedent thoroughly and has never shown any conflict — of interest in his voting - only sincere conviction and a dedication to — upholding the spirit and letter of the law.

Your main stated reason for dismissing him is that he — "shows bias.'' Biased toward protecting the City of Ashland's character — and future, at the risk of being disliked by those more prone to rubber-stamping? — That's true. "Bias" is a totally subjective term and a faulty reason, — since everyone in city government has "bias" based on personal values. —

You yourself show clear bias against nay-sayers, should — you be removed? Replacing a commissioner of Colin's experience and distinction — looks clearly to the public like an act of personal retribution, falling — as it does so quickly after Swales' fight against your brother's controversial — project. In fact there really can be no credible explanation based on — Swales' performance...if there is you need to state it.

Please, meet with Colin as you've said you want to, work — out your personal problems, and reappoint him - or risk making a mockery — of all the sincere hard work, keen intelligence, and ethical action he — has brought to his job. Think carefully of what will firing him say to — others of his caliber who may want to serve Ashland in the future.

O. Spratt

A terrible crash avoided

A big thank you to the very kind man, Dave, who not only — did not hit me with his car, but helped me Friday after I lost my bike — breaks and streaked down Mountain Avenue and then flew through the Siskiyou — Boulevard intersection. Thank you to all the alert drivers and spirits — who cleared a path thru traffic so I could crash onto the nice soft grass — of a front yard. Blessings to safe drivers, bike helmets, kind strangers — and the upcoming bike swap May 8!

Linda Richards