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Letters, Nov. 14

The jail

It’s clear by now that despite the need for more jail capacity, the current plan for an 800-bed facility paid for by homeowners taxes is not going to be approved by voters. Some compromise is therefore required.

My suggestion is to keep the current jail for the time being and build a new 400 bed facility in such a way that it can later be expanded to 800 beds. After that is completed the present 300 bed facility can be converted to some other function such as temporary housing for our homeless citizens. With this plan the immediate cost is reduced and we have 700 beds asap.

Since homeowners are going to pay for the new jail, before they will approve it they will have to be given something in return. My suggestion would be to reduce the annual increase in assessments to 1% a year until the construction bonds are paid off, at which point the annual increases can go back to 3%.

Finally, I would say to the powers that be, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Steve Bull

Medford

Resist plastic

Plastics made from fossil fuels are in our cosmetics, soaps, clothes — in our everything. Eight percent of every barrel of oil becomes plastic.

Fossil fuel industries receive direct subsidies and tax benefits equaling about $20 billion per year. In return, they degrade our natural world and cause countless human health problems.

How can we justify these subsidies? According to the International Monetary Fund, fossil fuels account for 85% of all global subsidies. From cradle to grave, the fossil fuel industry acts irresponsibly and gets a free pass to deceive and destroy.

As profits for this industry decline due to expanding renewable energy use, the fossil fuel industry is expanding its plastic production for profit. They will create a worldwide market for these products. It is cheaper to make new plastic than recycle old plastic! That’s a punch in the gut.

Stop subsidies, examine the life cycle of plastic with contamination from extraction, through processing, transportation, refinement and manufacturing of final products, and including our exposure to them and the toxic emissions from their incineration. Make this industry pay for the damage it causes.

Reject as much plastic as you are able. Contact businesses, by refusing, by voice, by keyboard, by voting.

Louise D. Shawkat

Ashland

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