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Letters to the Editor

Railroad rights of way are a fire hazard

I wish to alert the city to a huge fire danger that cuts through the center of our beautiful town of Ashland: the railroad rights of way.

The tall, brittle grass, blackberry bushes, fences, all the elements of fire hazard are found on both sides of the tracks. They are not maintained, and phone calls to the city usually produce a statement that no one can influence the railroad to cut those weeds. Sometimes, when the trains were running, a watering car followed the train, but that doesn't save us from lightning or other igniters.

Local people and transients also walk these tracks. One tossed cigarette could result in a fire with similar effects to the tragic Oak Knoll fire.

It is interesting to read stories about how to protect our property from a dangerous fire, but how do we protect ourselves from neglected property and fire hazard? If it were my neglected personal property, would I be fined or sued? Will that be our only recourse if there is a fire?

Maryann Mason


Please Support the Walk to Defeat ALS

I retired to Ashland 17 years ago after a career in medical social work. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). As a health care professional I knew this was a death sentence.

After being diagnosed, I turned to the ALS Association for support. Being in Southern Oregon I didn't expect the level of support one might get in a large city, but I was surprised and very thankful for the support I receive here, preventing my husband and me from battling this disease on our own. We are blessed living in this town with many generous friends sensitive to our plight.

Please support the Walk to Defeat ALS at 11 a.m. Sept. 12 in Bear Creek Park in Medford so that services can continue for the 50 people living with ALS in Southern Oregon. Please contact the ALS Association at www.alsa-or.org or call Gail Gallaher at 541-292-8775 for more information.

Thank you for helping us fight this disease.

Barbara Roth


I felt threatenedon the Plaza

"It's an inherent part of our democracy that we tolerate people who do things not actually physically dangerous to us."

— Mayor John Stromberg

It was physically dangerous for me to walk with a cane from Hana Sushi to where we parked on Granite. It was physically dangerous for me to smell the smoke emanating from the sidewalk-sitters on the Plaza. It was physically dangerous for me and my adult grandchildren to maneuver around dogs and leashes attached to these groups.

It is financially dangerous for the proprietors on the Plaza to lose business because so many will avoid the area.

The bear and the lion were removed ... !

Diane B. Hamilton