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Letters, Aug. 3

BLM ducks timber sale concerns

Timber planners with the Medford Bureau of Land Management recently held two “virtual public meetings” regarding the controversial Bear Grub timber sale that includes group selection logging amounting to mini-clearcuts and calls for logging along popular hiking trails. During the meeting, BLM timber planners read pre-prepared statements while the public was precluded from speaking.

While the BLM cherry-picked some of the questions submitted by the public during the “virtual public meetings” to respond to, it simply ignored the majority of tough questions and community concerns.

The BLM refused to explain its decision to mark logging units for harvest prior to the public commenting period. The BLM declined to provide an answer as to whether it has secured funding for the non-commercial portions of the project. The BLM did not want to reveal the size or age of the trees to be removed. Perhaps most importantly, the BLM chose not to explain why the public was precluded from speaking during the “virtual public meetings” concerning management of public lands.

George Sexton

Phoenix

Vote a Democratic ticket

There is no “United” in the United States of America. We are in a hell of a mess.

Trump’s and his Republican collaborators’ response to the COVID pandemic is an abysmal failure in leadership by a country that you would expect a lot more of if you thought it was great. But it is not. By any measure, it is the worst response of all countries in the world, utter chaos and mixed messaging.

And this is a direct result of Republican policy and ideology. Countries who responded well to the virus have strong national public-health infrastructures and had a coordinated, disciplined strategy based on science and medicine. In America it is all about getting Trump re-elected, wallowing in ignorance and sowing misinformation, and deprecating health officials and experts because they are exposing the truth.

And don’t jeopardize your family’s health for Trump’s re-election, because he doesn’t care about your family. Be safe, wear a mask, and follow the Golden Rule. And vote the Democratic ticket like there is no tomorrow in November, even if you are a Never-Trumper. Our Democracy is at stake. See the Lincoln Project.

Robert Mengis

Medford

Why we opposed the contract

After reading an article on Thursday by Joe Zavala, entitled “Ashland City Council tables agenda after receiving public feedback,” I would like to clarify and emphasize the reasons I saw in the letters submitted by Ashland citizens for their overwhelming objection to the Adam Hanks three-year contract for city administrator/manager proposed by Mayor John Stromberg.

First, the contract contained a two-year severance package, unprecedented, never before offered in any city in Oregon, possibly never offered to anyone in government anywhere.

Second, the council was hiring someone before a job description was written for the new position of city manager, before qualifications were laid out, before any citizen involvement in the process, before the job was advertised, before any recruitment effort was made and without a competitive selection process.

I would urge you to read the many eloquent responses sent in for public comment at: http://rb.gy/xuw6c1.

Indeed, this response by Ashlanders was a protest against an obvious attempt by the mayor to circumvent the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved the change to a more professional approach for our city management back in May.

Kenneth Wilson

Ashland Citizens for Economic Sustainability

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