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Letters To The Editor

My husband and I moved to Ashland in 1993 to raise our family with the great outdoors, a friendly community and wonderful schools. We have not been disappointed. Ashland is a fabulous city, envied around the country for its vibrant downtown and cultural amenities. Opportunities for citizen participation in government abound. My education is in conservation of natural resources and soil science. In 1985, I co-authored the book "Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook." My 25 years of professional experience all focus on preventing damage to our living environment. Ashland is hospitable to starting small businesses. We have operated two in Ashland: Anne Hathaway's Cottage Bed Breakfast, and Rural Resource Solutions, a land use consulting firm. After the 1997 Flood, I volunteered with Ashland's Public Works Department on erosion repair projects, and then to serve on city advisory committees for the replacement of Winburn Way bridge, Siskiyou Boulevard redesign, transit, transportation and parking planning and updating the downtown plan.

With citizen groups, I worked on the watershed fire resiliency plan and assisted local artists in establishing the Public Arts Commission. Lobbying the federal government, I helped obtain funding to expand the Wildlife Forensics Lab. With state, county and local governments, I participated in creation of the Regional Land Use Problem Solving Plan, chairing the policy committee. I led the city council to approve the grass-roots co-housing project on Fordyce; to ensure that the proceeds from the sale of city property on Strawberry Lane will be used for affordable housing; and to approve the use of the small Lithia Way parking lot to build workforce rental units. My Board of Director positions include the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, and SOREDI, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Institute. True sustainability integrates social equity, the economy and our environment. As a community we must embrace all three. Public safety, jobs and housing, energy preparedness, local and regional planning, water quality and conservation, fire safety in the watershed are sustainability issues requiring council action. I will make thoughtful, independent decisions, respecting the diversity of views in our community and among our professional staff. We must continue to work for more and better partnerships to get results that we cannot achieve alone. I have enjoyed serving the community as a city councilor. I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve another four years.

Please visit my website, FriendsofKate.org, for more information.

Kate Jackson

Support for Ron Grensky

I first met Ron Grensky when he returned to the Rogue Valley from law school and began practicing law. I was immediately impressed by his honesty, integrity, and how hardworking he was! Over the years I have watched his law practice grow to be very successful and Ron continued to work hard serving in the state senate and working as a fill in judge (Judge Pro Tem) while raising his family and all the while serving his hundreds of clients. We will be very fortunate to have him as a judge and I strongly support him for this position.

James G. Wegs

Medford

Support for Eric Navickas

Eric Navickas has devoted many years to this place he loves and to the beliefs he champions. He believes in many things, but has focused on protecting the environment; valuing the earth, and in protecting the rights of individuals; valuing diversity. He has consistently worked without monetary compensation. His reward has been scrutiny and criticism, from some and admiration and respect, from others. At an age when most people become jaded or weary, he is ready to continue to work, tirelessly, for us. As he has matured, he hasn't been silenced but has found more ways to be heard, more ways to communicate the finally popular message that the earth and the individual must be protected. Everyone has an agenda. Eric's is well known because he has been so consistent in his efforts. I imagine that Greg Lemhouse, the Medford police officer, who lives in Ashland, has the best of intentions, but it is Eric Navickas who has been working for us, all of these years. I will reward him with my vote and hope you will do the same. It is a case of an organic apple vs. an orange.

Jill Rothman

Support for Kate Jackson

Election seasons bring out many opinions. Some of our candidates run by airing what they believe to be the dirty laundry of their opposition. Others run against an institution such as OSF, the Chamber of Commerce, or city departments (AFN?). Dare I suggest that we look at all the candidates' qualifications and records in public and private service?

Kate Jackson is a life long environmentalist who approaches ecology with science rather than emotion. Her work as Chair of the Regional Problem Solving committee has taken the values we cherish in Ashland to the other cities in the Rogue Valley. Kate is respected throughout Southern Oregon.

Her participation in the Economic Sustainability Committee has helped bridge the gap between business and government. She voices opposition while listening to diverse opinions. Councilor Jackson is a leader who builds consensus. Kate understands that healthy businesses mean a healthy community. Kate knows that for us to have world-class restaurants, theaters, art galleries, and parks we must have visitors.

We also must have open-minded public servants. Again, doing her homework, Councilor Jackson brings study to the council meetings. She is not a one-issue member of the council.

Kate is a mother who wants Ashland to be a safe and healthy community: A community where downtown is attractive to locals and visitors; A place where family recreation is accessible and affordable; Neighborhoods where children can play without fear.

Collaboration between institutions is important to Kate. As a veteran councilor she has built the necessary relationships to continue having our city work with SOU, OSF, ACH, ASD, CoC, and citizens' groups.

On a personal note: We have been on opposite sides of issues. Conflicts have produced respect. I trust Kate to be honest, to inquire, to disagree, and to appreciate the outcome.

If you want Ashland to make progress in the next four years, Vote Kate Jackson.

Graham Lewis

Support for Carol Voisin

It is past time to clean house. Greg Waldon does not represent me nor I believe most of our district. He has voted with Bush to invade Iraq, to stay in Iraq and to cut budgets for children and health care. Carol Voisin has a new perspective, intelligence and the know how to bring benefits to Southern Oregon. Carol has my vote. Please join me and help make our country a place to be proud of. Vote for Carol Voisin.

Diane Taudvin

Support for John Stomberg

I have heard John Stromberg talk to and with diverse groups of people, and I am impressed by the depth of his knowledge on issues vital to Ashland's future, as well as by his ability to listen to ideas from others. His 27 years of business experience, along with his work on the Ashland Planning Commission and the Downtown Plan Committee, qualify him to do good work for the city. Please join me in voting for a clear-thinking, dedicated citizen: John Stromberg, Position 4.

Liz Vesecky

— Southern Oregon Media Group: