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Letters, May 16

Bike path riders and masks

I am a cyclist, but I do not currently ride on the bike paths in the valley during this “social distancing” era because I do not want to wear a mask when I ride my bicycle.

We have many roads in the valley with bike lanes, and many quiet back roads with little traffic. If you want to ride your bike without a mask, this is where you should be riding.

Masks are about protecting others. And the fact that you feel healthy does not mean you are not an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus. So, at the least, if you ride on the path you should wear a mask, just a common courtesy.

Bill Reeves

Ashland

Not Mendte again

In touting “Sweden’s approach to coronavirus” (May 2), Larry Mendte calls life under its relaxed response to the pandemic a “Libertarian dream come true.” His knee-jerk simplification is far from accurate.

Sweden has practiced socialism-lite for decades with its built-in respect for the collective good. Swedes can be trusted by the state to follow suggested guidelines and self-regulate. Furthermore, Sweden is a sparsely populated country where customs don’t favor casual closeness and touching.

Here in the states, an exponentially more populous country that worships “rugged individualism,” the idea that self-regulation could work is delusional. Are the angry, armed mobs in some state capitals capable of self-regulation? How about the crowds flocking to beaches?

Even with conditions favorable to its voluntary approach to safety, Sweden’s death rate from the virus has been 10 times higher than neighboring Norway and Finland, which made strict measures an order. Mendte writes these fatalities off as “risking” the health of some for the good of the whole. But this approach is not about risk. Significant deaths are absolutely certain, and the form, slow asphyxiation, is horrific. How “good” is the surviving “whole” that has knowingly and willingly condemned a percentage of its (family) members to die?

Molly Tinsley

Ashland

You get what you pay for

Larry Mendte’s modus operandi is to grab onto a complex issue and pare it way down to fit his biases. He’s been after Joe Biden since early April, even quoting Rudy Giuliani, noted psychologist (that’s sarcasm), to judge Biden’s mental fitness. Now for the third time in 10 days May 9), we get his opinion on the assault allegation against Biden.

“Believe women” has never meant blindly accepting an allegation, but Mendte takes Tara Reade’s and runs with it, crying “Hypocrisy!” to anyone trying to put on the brakes, assemble facts, and maybe ask the question, “Why now?” Or “Why is Reade’s lawyer, a Trump donor, working for free?”

Why is Mendte so intent on punishing Biden for an unproven allegation? Could it have anything to do with Mendte’s own punishment back when he was a highly paid CBS newscaster? Following an extramarital affair with a co-anchor, he hacked into her personal computer and leaked damaging material to other reporters. His felony conviction cost him his big-league job, six-months of house arrest and some years of community service.

I suspect Mendte’s columns can be bought at a bargain price, but really, letting his become the voice of the Mail Tribune?

Edwin Miller

Ashland

Insult to injury

The Applegate Valley’s rural economy largely depends on tourism and recreation. Many businesses in the Applegate that depend on recreationalists, day-trippers and tourists have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic closures.

The Medford District BLM’s proposed Bear Grub Timber Sale will add insult to injury as the Applegate tries to rebound after the COVID-19 emergency subsides. The Bear Grub Timber Sale proposes “group selection” logging, a method that amounts to staggered clearcuts, along the highly popular East Applegate Ridge Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in the Applegate. This will degrade the recreational experience on the trail, right at a time when we will need to draw as many visitors as possible to revive our rural economy.

The Applegate thrives because of the high-quality recreational opportunities on public land that surround our homes and businesses. Intact public lands, and the recreational economy they support, are good for business and quality of life.

The Bear Grub Timber Sale will log mature forests on popular hiking trails, degrade the much-loved Wellington Wildlands, increase fuel loads and fire risks near homes, and will provide no economic benefit to our valley. Applegate residents say, “Stop Bear Grub!” stopbeargrub.org

Suzie Savoie

Applegate Valley

High schoolers cute, too

As a math teacher at South Medford High School, I am successfully entrenched in Anywhere Learning. I am inspired and entertained by news stories and commercials honoring teachers and featuring elementary school students. They are cute. But let me say this loud and clear:

My high school students are just as cute! Somewhere along the way, we stopped recognizing teenagers as cute. Is it because they don’t write in crayon?

They’re clever, loving and compassionate. They’re doing their math, but they’re always checking in on me, asking how my mom is doing, getting advice on their latest crush, bonding with me over the loss of sports, asking for advice on how to stay motivated, sharing their personal adventures and teaching me. I teach them, but what they give back is invaluable!

We are not allowed to make home visits, but if I could, I would drive by every single one of their homes to tell them, “I love you and I miss you desperately.” I would show them the “3” that I always do with my hands to tell them they matter. And they would all do it in return.

High school students. So cute! Where’s their adorable commercial?

Cori Valois

Ashland

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