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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 9, 2005

A plea for higher education access

As elected student representatives we fear the repercussions that cuts to the Federal Student Loan program will have on access to higher education. Financial aid administrators tell students that we can rely on multiple student loan borrower benefits to make loan repayment an easy process. Yet many of these benefits are in jeopardy because the government plans to eliminate them and make school more expensive for millions of students.

Through a special process known as Budget Reconciliation, Congress has proposed to repeal repayment benefits and make other cuts to the Student Loan Programs that will hurt students. On Nov. 4, Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., voted in favor of the Senate&

s version of Budget Reconciliation, on Nov. 17 Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., voted in favor of the House version of the bill. Both of these representatives will have another opportunity to represent students and support access to higher education. In December, a final version of the bill will be put to vote in both houses, and &

No&

votes from Senator Smith and Representative Walden are needed to defeat this dangerous legislation.

A &

No&

vote from Sen.Smith and Rep. Walden will help guarantee access to higher education for many students and their families.

Kurt Manseau

ASSOU President

Evan Bell

ASSOU Director of

Governmental Affairs

Playground is no place for dogs

Briscoe&

s playground is my almost 4-year old son&

s favorite place to play in town. Between the great equipment, the huge open field, and the ramp near the basketball court, he is in heaven. It is frustrating for me, then, that every time I take him, the dogs outnumber the children two or sometimes four to one. Dog owners let their dogs off leash inside the safety of the fence, and the dogs run around and go to the bathroom at will. I stopped going to the dog park when I became a parent because small children and other people&

s dogs don&

t mix. My son knows how to behave with my dogs, but when small dogs run over to him, bite at his ankles (or his face), or bark, he doesn&

t know what to do. Briscoe isn&

t a dog park. Please let the group it was designed for enjoy it.

Robyn Hernandez

Here&

s one more reasonable house

Regarding the Dec. — article, &

Businesses seek solutions to employee housing woes,&

I have a couple of nits to pick. The photo caption refers to a house, but it&

s actually a townhouse, as is apparent from the picture. The caption also says that it&

s the only home listed that a family earning a median income could obtain a mortgage for. In the body of the article, a housing consultant refers to &

only one house on the market.&

I assume she was talking about the condominium (not a house) in the photo. I&

d like to point out that &

listed&

means listed in the Multiple Listing Service and &

on the market&

means available for purchase, even if not &

listed.&

I bring this up because I&

m selling &

without a Realtor or an MLS listing &

another condo in the same complex, so mine isn&

t listed, but it is on the market, and is advertised in the Tidings&

Classifieds, so the author didn&

t have far to look to find it. Assuming that the well-worth-it extra $5,000 I&

m asking for my unit hasn&

t knocked it out of the category of being affordable for median income buyers, there are, then, two such homes available. It&

s funny, in a sad way, that Ashland&

s affordable housing stock is double what you reported: not one home, but two.

Ron Elterman

Leaders must set a better example

Some people believe that what they do is more important than what they say. For instance, it is more important to them that they repay a personal loan than to confidently promise that they will &

then don&

t. Other people believe that what they say is more important than what they do. For instance, President Bush believes that saying &

America does not torture prisoners!&

is more important than the fact that American soldiers have been torturing prisoners and continue to do so in secret, with his blessing.

Interestingly, many of those who value words above actions have powerful religious convictions. Born-again Christians &

and President Bush says he is one &

will say &

I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.&

But Jesus was a pacifist. He talked about not killing, turning the other cheek, not judging, and loving your enemies. It seems for many who profess loyalty to this teacher that revering and repeating his words are more important than acting the way he did.

I&

ve heard that consistency between what we say and how we act is one definition of integrity. Conversely, then, inconsistency between what we say and do could be called hypocrisy. Too bad that so many of our current political leaders have chosen this course. It&

s not much of an example for our kids.

Will Wilkinson

Ashland

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