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Cheney could learn from Phelps

Dick Cheney could learn a lesson or two from Olympian — Michael Phelps who gave up his spot on the 400-meter medley relay team — to teammate Ian Crocker.

Michael Phelps was Mr. Olympics, winning five gold and — two bronze medals going into the 400-meter medley relay, which the U.S. — was a heavy favorite to win. His gracious action gave Crocker a chance — to win an Olympic gold medal. Phelps did not lose anything by giving his — spot to his teammate. Because he swam in the qualifying heats, he would — earn a medal if the U.S. team placed in finals. What Phelps displayed — and gave as a reason for his actions was that he was being sensitive to — the other members of the team. By giving this teammate an opportunity — to participate and shine, he strengthened team spirit, received goodwill — from other competitors and the world, and showed true leadership.

Contrary to Dick Cheney's assertion, Michael Phelps showed — that sensitivity to others is a sign of strength and leadership not weakness.

Bruce Evans

'Democracy Now!' on JPR

Having just returned from a visit to southern California, — I was informed, enthused, and charged by hearing Amy Goodman's "Democracy — Now!" starting in Chico and then all the way to Santa Barbara and back. — Imagine: a whole week of authentic, true public radio; something we are — denied in our "JPR" listening area. Don't misunderstand me; I am a supporter, — contributor, and volunteer for the past 20+ years at JPR but we do not — enjoy the same listening diversity that the public does south and north — and east and southwest of our listening area. We enjoy "alternative" radio — as in not commercial radio, but the "public" is denied us by the management — at JPR.

I'm tired of petitions: I'm tired of offering to double — my monthly contribution to JPR if they will include "Democracy Now;" I'm — tired of demonstrating and pleading to be heard. As one of many, many — listeners who have traveled and lived elsewhere and experienced the complete — coverage that "Democracy Now!" offers, I want us to be heard.

My point is: I want the listeners in the JPR area to help — me put the "public" back into Jefferson "Public" Radio. It isn't truly — public now, and I love this station and most of the people who work there. — Maybe it is time for "regime change" a little closer to home, like our — listening area!

So, repeat, I will double my contribution the day the — "Democracy Now!" starts being broadcast, and it's free for the first year! — Do we really need all those hours and hours of "All Things Considered"? — (A commendable news program that I really appreciate.) But, couldn't one — tinsy, winsy little hour be given to the award-winning, inspiring and — courageous reporting of "Democracy Now!"

If not, why not?

Venita Varga

Golf course fuels wrong growth

Do those who advocate building the proposed Billings golf — course feel that a high-end golf course (irrigated by sewage effluent!) — will enhance Ashland's small-town livability? Young families will not — be moving to Ashland to play golf, so an upscale golf course will accelerate — Ashland's transformation from a family-oriented community into an enclave — for the affluent retired. Young families will be increasingly priced out — of our community.

Some favor the golf course because they prefer it to a — subdivision. Of course. But a subdivision is not a likely alternative. — The area is not only outside Ashland's city limits, it is also outside — Ashland's Urban Growth Boundary, so the city council would first have — to vote - after required public hearings - to expand the UGB, and then — annex the area after more public hearings. That is not a likely process, — given Ashland's increasing doubts about the benefits of growth.

The one claimed benefit the golf course developers have — offered is to exchange Ashland Creek water rights for sewage treatment — plant effluent. Considering the outcry at the proposal to spray effluent — on farmland across the Valley, do the developers really think that a golf — course irrigated with sewage effluent will attract players? Nor has either — the city or the developer explained just how this exchange would work, — what the effective temperature reduction would be, nor what alternatives — there are.

Obviously the developers would benefit from the golf course, — but would the community?

Connie Battaile

Ashland