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Letters, Sept. 9

Video is illuminating

It’s not often that the public has opportunity to look behind the scenes of Ashland’s government. Accessing public records is time-consuming and expensive. Also, when can one hear those in government answering questions under oath?

A 2019 lawsuit against the city has provided public records and sworn testimonies that give a peek into how government works in Ashland. Ashland agreed to a $538,000 out-of-court settlement in a civil lawsuit for whistleblowing, wrongful termination, and defamation of the former senior program manager. (Also, in 2019 a jury unanimously awarded another claimant over $625,000 for whistleblowing.)

A new video commentary “Foul Play?” (on AshlandSOS.com) looks at public documents and sworn testimonies from that lawsuit to gain greater understanding of: 1) Ashland’s changes to its Senior Program, and 2) possible reasons Ashland agreed to one of the highest awards given to a public employee in such circumstances. We present documentation and you decide. Can Ashland do better?

This non-commercial commentary has been made by Ashland citizens whose sole interest is in upstanding and transparent government. Every effort has been made to present content which serves that public purpose.

The video can be found at AshlandSOS.com.

Sue Wilson


Groceries or politics?

The Ashland Community Food Co-op recently launched an in-depth investigation into the private lives of two employees when false allegations were made connecting them to white supremacy.

The board promptly issued a newsletter proclaiming this non-incident inspired them to acknowledge their own “white privilege” and “implicit bias.” Pledging to root out “unrelenting systemic racism” they’ve established an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to scour the ranks for systemic racism, hiring outside professionals.

As such, the co-op, previously devoted to healthy organic local food, has asserted itself as a community morals watchdog. The co-op board and management are blatantly using the co-op to promote their own political ideology, assuming their example of self-abasement will be taken up by all to wash the presumed stain of “unrelenting systemic racism” from their (flawed) concept of idealistic inclusiveness.

Shall everyone now be judged on whether they conform appropriately to progressive groupthink? Must we abandon critical thought and curb our curiosity about the world in which we live? What’s next? Will we be expected to take a knee before we can shop?

There is something very wrong with society when we risk being cast out for daring to express and defend our individuality.

Francine Lowenberg


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