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Letters, Feb. 1

Hatchery fish are a blight

Mark Freeman’s article, “Fat Hatchery Hens,” in last Friday’s paper, turned my stomach.

Hatcheries are a blight on our rivers and have created more problems than they have solved. The fish he profiled are nothing more than livestock in the Rogue and are so removed from a wild fish it isn’t funny.

I would love to see the Mail Tribune hire an outdoor writer that was hip to the fact that we need to shut down hatcheries and turn our attention to supporting a healthy wild fish population of steelhead and trout. Southern Oregon is a great place to call home, and hopefully one day we will be known for forward thinking in our management of wild fish.

Jim Pruett


Redistricting concerns

Redistricting that meets seven traditional but often mutually contradictory criteria for fair districts (one-man-one-vote, competitive, contiguous, compact, coincide with subordinate political boundaries, preserve communities with common interests, results proportional to party vote share) is almost impossible to achieve — particularly when left to legislators whose priorities are to protect their seats and reduce the other party’s representation using equally traditional tools for gerrymandering.

George Clark programmed a computer to redistrict California based on these criteria and reported the results in “Stealing Our Votes “(2004). The results warrant further testing. Imagine running the program four times using Oregon’s extreme northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest census as the starting points that a theoretically independent commission could use for defining optimal districts on the basis of the good-government criteria and a useful way for Oregonians to judge their work. Perhaps programmers and political science professors could combine to test the method in Oregon.

This seems to me to have more promise than any of the half-dozen or so alternatives commonly proposed that dubiously assume its members will not function in the same way as legislators to favor their own preferred party.

David Churchman


Town hall takeaways

Here’s what I learned at the Ashland Town Hall last Wednesday.

The city of Ashland has a plan to tear down and rebuild City Hall, a 100-year-old building on the National Historic Register. There are a number of well-informed and concerned citizens who believe this plan to be ill-advised, under-researched and too expensive — that a renovation would be cheaper.

We spent $300,000 in consulting fees for this somewhat limited advice, perhaps self-serving as well, since the consultants would undertake the project. This and a few more projects are to be funded by a $10.6 million bond to be voted on in May. There is no backup plan for these undertakings should the bond issue fail.

I believe it quite likely that there are less expensive and eminently more sensible solutions for the maintenance of our facilities. We are a small town with limited funds, and the city government hasn’t realized that we cannot afford to fund grand projects on the backs of the homeowners and renters of Ashland.

Please join me in voting no on yet another Ashland bond issue. It’s much too expensive to live in this city already.

Michael Shanafelt


Truth hurts

In three years, 45 said “hoax,” “witch hunt” and “fake news” over and over again. He has threatened anybody who dares speak the truth.

I can only assume that his followers feel that in three short years the press has become “the enemy of the people.” That anyone that does not fall for his “leadership” is on the fringe and a socialist.

Here is a man who has destroyed the lives of many hardworking people in our embassies across the world. His never-ending tweets ridiculing people. Now he is threating the Congress. If he is so innocent and his hands are so clean, why not bring forth all the witnesses?

What a joke, the GOP crying that he is being treated so unfairly. Do you forget that he was the moron for eight years with his birther BS? I have no doubt whatsoever that he indeed broke the law.

I am ashamed of the GOP being a bunch of ninnies. They are not doing their job. How can they take an oath on the Bible yet have already said they are in “lockstep” with 45? Disgusting!

God Bless America.

Ron Cavalli



Survivors of Auschwitz are returning there on the 75th anniversary of the discovery/liberation of the camp.

Japanese Americans who spent time in Tulelake and Manzanar are returning to the sites of their imprisonment. Some of them are writing books about their experiences.

In 75 years, if we still exist as a nation or a planet, will the Central Americans who legally sought asylum in the U.S. and were caged and left to sleep on concrete floors with only aluminum blankets — will they bring their children to the sites of their imprisonment? And say, “Never forget. This must not happen again”?

“When will they ever learn? When will they — ever — learn.”

Terry Stone


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