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Letters, Feb. 17

Don’t discard Electoral College

It may be that I am naive to think that the purpose of the Electoral College is to help represent all voters rather than a variety of large groups. Irrespective of the opinion of the editorial (from Florida — no bias there?) I have viewed the Electoral College much like the Senate, a balancing medium.

As a transplant (50 years ago) from Wyoming, I am fully aware of the issues of a voter in smaller population areas feeling somewhat disenchanted with results arising from heavily populated states without some sort of “offset.” As a resident of Coos Bay and Medford (by way of Portland), I continue to observe that there is a need for representation for all.

The process is not without its warts, but it seems to me to that it can force the political parties to be more in tune with their constituents.

In my opinion, had the Democrats not taken some states for granted, this Electoral College issue would not arise. Rather than discard or try to undermine a valuable source of representation, one could view it as a reminder that attention to all constituencies is important. Taking people for granted or as unimportant can have unpleasant consequences.

Jerry Sands


Ledesma deserves a hearing

Thank you very much for the article regarding the legal plight of Joaquin Ledesma. A lawyer erroneously advised him that a hearing he missed could not be rescheduled. He deserves a hearing regarding his legal status.

Joaquin has been a resident for over 20 years, and has supported his family consisting of his wife and four children. The eldest son is in the U.S.Army, and a daughter studies at Oregon State. Anyone would be proud to have such children.

If he is forced to leave this country, it would be a tragedy. His children and their mother need him. Oregon does not need another family on welfare.

The venomous hatred and blatant prejudice emanating from the White House must not be allowed to spread to courts of law. Those of you who agree should write to the following:

Sen. Ron Wyden,. 221 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Sen. Jeff Merkley, 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510.

Rep. Greg Walden, 2185 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, 2134 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515.

Jon Wayland


Church parking spots work

Pleased to see the front-page article “Spots to call home” in the Nov. 11 MT! As a Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship member I’m pleased to have helped implement an overnight parking program on our Ashland campus for the Rogue Valley’s temporarily homeless. Our program, based on a model in Eugene, has been operating successfully for about two years.

Damian Mann’s article highlighted several points and concerns involved with operating such a program, but in our experience a couple stand out. It’s absolutely essential to inform neighbors of the planned program before it begins. It’s also a “must” to have a “vetting” process for guests to ensure serving folks who’ll use the opportunity to best advantage (we use Ashland Resource Center for most).

Other concerns in the article may be valid, but in RVUUF’s experience they either didn’t come up or could be dealt with by people of good will and common sense. This is a successful concept that bears expansion as part of a multi-pronged attack on homelessness in the Rogue Valley. For additional details see Caitlin Fowlkes’ article “Overnight parking program gets council blessing” in the Nov. 18 Ashland Tidings.

Roger Best


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