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Letters to the Editor

To whoeverstole my bike

Whoever came up on my porch in the last week and took my bike, I'm going to assume you needed it more than I did.

I bought it at the police auction in Central Point 10 years ago so I have had good use of it. I added the basket on the front and even though it looks a little ragged, it is still strong enough to hold my 14-year-old dog Pete, who loved to go on rides with me. Be careful if you are pedaling hard as the gears slip sometimes.

Just so you don't lose it the way I did, I will leave a key for that great big lock wrapped around the seat out for you. I will leave it hung on a string on the fence by the sidewalk at Seventh and C so you don't need to come up on my porch again.

I hope it serves you as well as it did me.

P.S. You can always return it if you find you don't need it anymore.

Randy Ellison

Ashland

Ashland is notfriendly to dogs

My wife and I have always enjoyed stopping in Ashland to rest, shop, eat or visit friends on our way to visit my in-laws who live in Grants Pass.

This past July we adopted a 1-year-old puppy that we took with us on our recent trip. We were surprised to discover that we weren't allowed to stop and walk our dog in city parks and were supposed to use a dog park that was out of our way. We always clean up after our dog but felt Ashland's attitude was very dog "unfriendly." It was a hot day, and leaving our animal in the car was out of the question.

Most cities post warnings that dog owners must clean up after their dogs or be cited. Carmel, Calif., even allows dogs on outdoor restaurant patios. Sadly, we won't be stopping in the future and giving our business to local Ashland merchants with these restrictive regulations in place.

Gary Krejsa

Marina, Calif.

Learn aboutIslam — it's easy

The next time you get some crazy e-mail rantings from people who are worried about a mosque near Ground Zero and think that they know what Islam is all about, while knowing absolutely nothing about it, you might suggest that they buy an inexpensive paperback version of "The World's Religions."

It was written by Huston Smith, an author and professor of religion, who was born in China in 1919, to American citizens who were Methodist missionaries. He lived in China for 17 years. He has taught at the University of Denver, Washington University in St. Louis, Syracuse University and the University of California at Berkeley.

This book was first written in 1958 as "The Religions of Man." It was updated in 1991 and renamed "The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions." 1n 1996 Bill Moyers devoted a five-part PBS special to Smith's life and work. Additionally, Smith has produced three series for public television.

Smith is now 91 and has been residing in an assisted-living home for a year. He has been married to the same woman, Kendra, for 66 years. Together they had three daughters, the oldest of whom died in 1994 at the age of 48.

Smith is not some crazed zealot with an ax to grind. He is not even a Muslim. He is a normal American family man with a wealth of knowledge about the major religions of the world. Yes — even Christianity!

Chapter VI of Smith's book discusses the Islamic religion. It starts on page 221 and continues through page 268. It covers its origin, its background, its history, its basic theological concepts, its connections to Christianity and Judaism, economics, the status of women, race relations and the use of force. It is easy to grasp and the entire chapter can easily be read in 30 minutes or less. It is probably worth reading the other chapters as well!

After engaging in this rather simple learning process, the reader will in all likelihood know more about the Islamic religion than 98 percent of the U.S. population.

Ed Dillon

Ashland

Ashland Pilotssay thanks

To the Ashland community:

Your American Legion baseball team, the Pilots, just won the Oregon Championship in Eugene and the regional championship (state winners from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah) in Bozeman, Mont.

We thank Steve Dodds, owner of Pacific Oasis, for donating a 15-passenger van, allowing us to travel as a team to Bozeman. Renting transportation would have been too expensive, and Steve responded to our need with generosity and perfect timing!

We had a lot of fun competing against the best teams from the region, Steve's gift to us was an added blessing and allowed us to bond on the long journey to Montana and back.

Jeff Schlecht

for the Ashland Pilots