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I too was a kid outraged by the military-industrial complex and cold-war blindness when I joined the Peace Corps in 1962 and volunteered two years in Morocco. President Kennedy convinced us that we could change the world. We returned home ourselves changed, and battled to end the Vietnam war. Several years later, I ran Peace Corps training programs for volunteers going to India and Morocco.

Peace Corps at its beginning was careful to avoid any taint, any hint, of State Department influence or political pressure; at least that is what we were told, and it was probably true.

I doubt that today. Derek Volkart is correct, in my opinion, to sense the connection and see the tarnishing hand of the current administration.

Arab societies with their major cultural and religious differences are potential tinderboxes. Peace Corps is, and should be, concerned about incendiary behavior in that part of the world. If Derek Volkart spoke his mind as freely in Morocco about the Moroccan monarchy it could cause major problems for himself and other Peace Corps volunteers.

Peace Corps has handled this case badly. After all these years you would think they would know how to handle angry idealism. Is this yet another example of political administrative bungling? As for Derek, he would be well advised to accept the slap on the wrist, and to take the assignment in the South Pacific where he would have a more rewarding two years anyway.

Lew Nash

AHS tech crew hard at work

I would like to thank you for featuring &

Guys and Dolls&

as the cover story of Revels and printing a review Friday.

However, in neither article recognized Jane Hickinbotham, the technical director. As the Stage Manager for &

Guys and Dolls,&

I have been an active part of the production since last December, and my assistants, Rose Shaw and Sage Jensen, have attended every dance, music, and scene rehearsal.

The student stage management crew is an essential highway of information. We update schedules, oversee all rehearsals, and bridge the connections between designers, producers, directors, and students. During the show, we organize the stage, every light, fly, and sound cue.

Jane Hickinbotham, our technical director, oversees the construction of the set. Without her, Jay Fenton&

s beautiful set would not have been built. Jane is a mentor to every technician involved at Ashland High School. Jane&

s job is difficult and thankless, but she still shows up to finish the work, exemplifying a true dedication to the school&

s theater department.

Lastly, our technicians have been working backstage, building the set, wiring the piece of work that is the flashing &


sign, and managing costumes, props, and monitors. The amount of time they have dedicated to this show is amazing. For many, this is a true passion, and the students develop close bonds that hold for many years. Outside of the theater, our &


are friendly and entertaining teenagers, but inside, they show maturity, strength, and skill beyond their years.

Ryanna Koppel

Ashland High School

Bush rhetoric breaks policy

The Tidings has guidelines for the opinion page. These include &

priority to letters on local and regional topics,&

seeking &

thoughtful, well-reasoned letters and to discourage personal attacks, repetitive messages and personal disputes.&

Saturdays editorial from the Tidings managed to meet all the criteria for exclusion.

Geez, am I tired of the silly, un-reasoned, disrespectful, everything is Bush&

s fault editorials. And how about putting your name to your opinion, just like is required of everyone else? Editorial comments are just one man&

s opinion and hopefully there are some freethinkers and real reporters on staff.

The editorial complained about the Katrina disaster, as if the president himself didn&

t tell people to flee, blamed the president for city and state inability to use hundreds of inactive school buses and even brings up the &

absolute carnage inside&

the Superdome, carnage that did not happen!

More of the editorial rehashes old news and complaints, forgetting to mention that 3,000 innocent souls were slaughtered on 9/11 and that many of those currently slandering and belittling the president shared his opinions and views previously.

Most of all, the Tidings editorial bothers me because of it&

s feeding into the repetitive, disrespectful, name calling that has replaced constructive criticism and debate.

Richard Glimpse


The Tidings gives priority to letters on local and regional topics of current interest. It seeks to encourage thoughtful, well-reasoned letters and to discourage personal attacks, repetitive messages and personal disputes. Form letters are not published in the Tidings, nor are letters identified as having been published in other publications. Contributions to the Opinion page should be e-mailed in text-only format to tidingsopinion@dailytidings.com. Please include your address and a daytime phone number where you can be reached for confirmation. Letters are limited to 250 words. At Length submissions are limited to 400 words. Submissions may be edited for length, content and clarity. See www.dailytidings.com for our expanded letters and opinion section.