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St. Jude's Ranch for Children

100 St. Jude St.

Boulder City, NV 89005

They cut them up and paste them into unique collages. — Thanks!

Carola Lacy

Thanks to ACH

It was recently my misfortune to require a few days stay — in the Ashland Community Hospital.

Now, being hospitalized is never a very pleasant experience. — You are there to be cured, not to rest, and the process can be distressing.

However, because of the attitude of the staff at ACH - — positive, pleasant, caring - from top to bottom, my stay was as tolerable — as it could possibly be. I thank them for their truly concerned care, — their smiles and their cheerfulness.

I sincerely hope I will not be needing their services — again for some time, but should that be my fate, I can't think of a better — place for it to happen.

Robert Graham

The loss of one bears light on loss of many

The front-page story of local activist, artist, comedienne, — and writer Joanie McGowan's suicide was an unbearable headline of atrocity — here at home. It is odd how many of us can't conceive of the death in — the hundreds of thousands that we pay for with our tax dollars, but when — death hits someone we know, we get the concept.

Though McGowan's reasons for suicide are private, her — struggle with depression shows how much we need to support our mental — as well as physical health facilities in this town. No matter how rich — and privileged Ashland is, we've achieved nothing if we do not care for — those in need.

We enter a world of those with dazzling teeth or none — at all, those who have too much money and those who can't work hard and — fast enough to survive. McGowan's death is about many things, but it is — also about how hard our dreamers, poets, movers and shakers, artists, — writers, thinkers, entertainers, musicians, have it here in art-land.

Then there is this "Neo-Con" Fascism Hummer world America — has become that has no tolerance for free thinking, creativity, and freedom — of speech on any level, and wages a war on freedom and development of — the mind as well as a war on all artists except those that play at their — conventions.

We live in a culture at war with our best and brightest, — especially any who speak truth to power. We are a nation at war with intelligence — itself, where governors rise from violent movie stars, and presidents — proud of their ignorance are allowed to wage war on innocents because — they are Christian and have "family values."

What McGowan epitomized was the individual spirit and — its power, that we have to be do-gooders not good-lifers. Living in a — country that spends a billion a day to kill and control foreigners while — it spending nothing to care for its citizens, is something we let happen — and must change no matter what.

Unless the world is a safe place for our gifted ones, — unless those with a passion for heaven on earth can thrive on earth, it — will never happen. Unless the innocent and simple are safe in our world, — it is no world at all. We know an empire is dying when its gifted are — silenced in the struggle merely to survive.

The suicide reflects how terrified of death we are as — a culture. Suicide is the taboo subject no one wants to talk about, even — most therapists and religious leaders. Nature's most natural and inevitable — occurrence must not be one of such defeat and despair.

Death should be an experience of travel, not tragedy, — transformation not disintegration, of life to light. Maybe it is time — to take death out of the hands of greedy insurance companies and the AMA, — and back into the realm of care, love, and yes, even great hope. The death — of spirit is one no realm can afford.

Suicide teaches that suicide must no longer be a taboo — subject, especially among family, friends, and therapists. Isn't it time — we talk about it? The suicide of our children is our greatest tragedy — and failure, but also a demand from God that we make life better for everyone.

Joanie is in the magnificent mural she painted at Geppettos. — It is a world of environmental bliss that encourages its artists and activists, — its funny ones, praising as heroic the misfits on earth, placing as divine: — the faithful dog. This is the place all great religious writing, including — the Bible, have been trying to tell us about.

is a former commentator for the Ashland Daily — Tidings and a frequent contributor to the editorial page.