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Joanie did have her serious side

What a loss for all of us in Southern Oregon now that — Joanie McGowan is gone. She was a bright light and a funny one, too!

Joanie could also be serious. I remember when she rode — the bus to downtown Medford a couple of years ago, just to tell the Jackson — County Commissioners how important it is for them to keep the air clean — in our Valley. She told funny stories about how bad the fog used to be — when the pollution was worse. Everybody smiled and listened carefully. —

We'll miss her!

Cond? Cox

Jacksonville

Community needs to prevent such tragedies

Joanie McGowan's tragic death leaves me painfully saddened. — Joanie inspired me. She lived every step of her life making her world — a better place. Her touch on this Earth was magical. She electrified energy — in a room, tickled smiles in sullen faces, and inspired a populous to — vote. Losing her persona feels like a significant loss for Ashland and — for me as a person who simply appreciated the "big person" that was Joanie. —

It seems impossible that we could let her die. We must — all learn something valuable from this; we need to come together as a — community and identify how we can prevent this sort of loss from happening — again.

Susan Roudebush, MS

'The Won-tons ... of my heart are weeping'

It is really sad to hear this news. People like Joanie, — and Marta Traister, Marty Ruddy, Leo deFlambeau - some perhaps before — a readers time here - who brought and have given so much to the life, — character and quality of our community. It so hurts us to lose them.

Joanie McGowan is one who lived with such great gusto, — unapologetic boldness, a hugeness of spirit and energy that it is hard — to imagine that she also must have lived with equal depths of pain and — disappointment. I am blown away, just knocked for a loop ... the Won-tons — and the Hamazons of my heart are weeping.

Joanie, you were such a real hero to us; so respected — for your imaginative initiative and willingness to just jump in and do — it!

Always with the high spirits, the widest of grins, an — earthy compassion, creativity and a wild woman's exuberant and in-your-face — laughter. You challenged us all to be bigger and more than we thought — we could be by your amazing example.

Sweet blessings to you Joanie as you make your way into — the spirit realms; I'm sure there will be dancing and joyous greetings — there ... but we here on the ground have lost someone impossible to replace — and we're really gonna' miss you.

Rob Hirschboeck

Tidings staff out of sync with community

As a public relations professional with more than 20 years — experience dealing with the media, I thought I had seen everything. But — nothing could prepare me for the irresponsible way the Ashland Daily Tidings — has dealt with the death of my dear friend and colleague Joanie McGowan. —

Contrary to Jack Moran's tasteful and thoughtful treatment — of Joanie's passing in the Mail Tribune, Jennifer Squires felt the need — to reveal all of the sad and distressing details of the condition of Joanie's — body when found, as well as detailed comments from Deputy Medical Examiner — Tim Pike.

And please don't tell me the public had the "right to — know." I am the public and I know what my rights are. The last thing I — or the community needed in our time of grief was the portrait Jennifer — Squires painted for us. For many people, this "snapshot" will play in — our minds for days, weeks and months to come.

And let's not forget John Darling's "reaction." The first — few paragraphs were the most self-indulgent and sensationalized piece — of writing I've read in years. It wasn't journalism — it was detective — fiction. But, in this case, it was a beloved member of our community he — was talking about.

Though his article went on to talk about many of Joanie's — achievements since she arrived in Ashland almost 30 years ago, and included — candid and heartfelt comments from some of the people who knew and loved — her, I believe all of that was undermined by his lead paragraphs.

Frankly, I don't expect your writers - whether staff or — freelance - to know better. But I do expect your editors to know better. — Perhaps it's time to take another look at the Ashland Daily Tidings editorial — team to determine if they are in sync with their community. From what — I read today, they aren't even close.

Deborah Elliott, Manager

The Hamazons LLC

Ashland

She deserved more respect than paper — gave

I can't say that I am a close friend of Joanie McGowan's, — but I had the pleasure of meeting her through two longtime friends of — mine here in Ashland.

When I saw her photo on your front page, I was surprised — that she received so much copy so quickly.

When I turned over the fold and began reading the story — written by John Darling, who says he had known her for about 30 years, — I was deeply disturbed that both Mr. Darling and your publication apparently — do not know the difference between a respectful obituary and graphic journalism, — and when the former requires dispensing with the latter for the sake of — all affected.

The lead-in of the article was like all the sensationalist — journalism about crime that I'm used to from having grown up in large — cities - a graphic description of the body. As Bernie Taupin (Elton John's — lyricist) wrote, to paraphrase, "all the papers had to say (about Marilyn — Monroe) was that she was found in the nude." To reduce a vibrant, creative — woman to nothing but a body at the moment of her untimely death speaks — in one respect to how our culture portrays women - as body only, first — and last. Joanie deserved much more than this, as do all women.

The memory of her that many readers will have as a consequence — of this insensitivity will be not of her humor, her comedy, her activism, — but perhaps most prominently of where and how she was found after death. — To imprint this memory on this community serves neither us nor her.

Joanie deserved a more respectful obituary from this community — than what you chose to serve up on the front page of your paper.

Isabeau Vollardt, L.Ac.

Eds note: Our editorial staff asked Tidings freelancer — John Darling to write a tribute to Joanie, giving him direction as to — what the story would be. We assigned Jennifer Squires a second story to — report the facts of this tragic event. She worked in conjunction with — Jack Moran of the Mail Tribune during the evening, and reported more information — as it became available, information that was then reported in the Tribune — in follow up stories.

Blame or complaints about the Ashland Daily Tidings — news stories and editorials should be directed to Editor Andrew Scot Bolsinger, — who assigned and edited the entire content of coverage.