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Hartzell's extra effort wins vote

Some excellent local candidates seek to represent us in — this year's election, Peter Buckley and Jack Hardesty among them. We're — also voting for Cate Hartzell in the Council race. When the Department — of Agriculture decided to spray our neighborhood for gypsy moths, it was — Cate who responded to neighbors' calls. For citizens disenfranchised by — the decision, she created a context for concerns to be heard by officials, — so we felt we had some voice in the decision. Cate is accessible, and — a good listener. She gets things done with a calm determination to do — what is best for Ashland. Her votes represent prevalent local perspectives — in many matters.

It's a challenge to serve in modern public life, and be — thoughtful in a thoughtless age. So often, people in politics manipulate — voters by hiding their agendas behind sound bytes and divisive issues — that play on emotions. Cate's approach is different. She has the wisdom — to think things through and consider the side effects before committing — to irreversible actions. We hope the good people of Ashland still recognize — leadership when they see it.

Rick and Lindea Kirschner

Disappointed with YMCA

I am disappointed as well as a bit outraged that the YMCA — would ban all residents of the local Hazel Center based on one resident — being "recognized" by a neighbor of the center.

This sounds to me not like caution, but discrimination. — The men and women who reside in Hazel Center were carefully screened before — being released to the community, and although they have committed crimes, — their being in the PSRB program, by definition, means their crimes were — due to their mental illness. They are now fully involved in treatment, — as well as being supervised while at the Y. It's far more likely that — unidentified, unsupervised felons frequent the YMCA and are much more — likely to be a cause for concern.

As a local mental health worker, I am disturbed by our — society's growing incarceration of those with mental illnesses. It is — sadly reminiscent of the years when individuals who were developmentally — delayed or who suffered from mental illness were locked away for life — in large institutions. My belief is that this was, and is again, not so — much about society's safety, as about the discomfort many of us feel when — faced directly with people with grave disabilities. It reminds us that — it could happen to us or someone we love. And you know what, it can. So — how about a more humane, respectful approach?

Kathy Huntley

Don't support Measure 37

A recent local poll showing local support of Measure 37 — tells me people are not reading the fine print. Whatever you may think — about land use rules, Measure 37 would be certain to make them worse. —

Imagine your life if your neighbors were all pitted against — each other. If you think a midnight garage band gets on your nerves, picture — your peaceful hearth when the son of a long-time neighbor insists on developing — a motocross track, 24-hour convenience store, metalworking co-op, whatever — they please. Measure 37 is written in such a way that this is entirely — possible. There is no additional money provided in Measure 37, so to avoid — paying claims the city may waive the rules and let the project go forward. —

What happens to your property value? You aren't necessarily — eligible to make a claim. If you sue, you and taxpayers would be stuck — with costs of litigation. Throughout the state, cities and counties would — be forced to make arbitrary decisions and face endless lawsuits - deciding — which actions lower property values, how much, and at whose expense. More — bureaucracy would be added to determine when family members bought property, — what the laws were at the time, hire appraisers, handle claims and litigation. —

Whew! Forget fast-track building permits! As chaos and — expense mounts, predict cuts in key services, public safety and education. — It's a badly written measure - even the title is deceptive. Spare your — wallet and protect your property values. Vote no on Measure 37.

Nancy Ames Cole

Ashland