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Letters, Oct. 6

A liberal’s lament

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was high tragedy. A towering legal figure, she spent her entire career championing progressive causes.

But, in the winter of that career, after two bouts of cancer leaving her frail as a wounded sparrow, Ginsburg tangled herself in her own self worth, deciding that the liberal side of the Supreme Court needed her skills. By so doing, she passed up the opportunity to step down, allowing Obama to fill her seat with a young progressive jurist.

So here — be it Greek or Elizabethan — we have the essence of high tragedy: the hero brought down by her own fatal flaw, in this case, hubris.

Moreover, a massive irony unfolds. Her seat on the court is to be taken by a 48-year-old originalist who, each day in court, will be strenuously confirming conservative initiatives and quashing liberal programs — the anthesis of Ginsburg’s lifelong work.

She has given the conservatives a gift that will keep on giving for 20, maybe 30 years.

To achieve a majority on the court, liberals will now need not one, but two conservative judges to retire or die while a Democrat is in the White House.

That may take awhile.

Dick Mahoney

Medford

Indebted to first responders

Even with advanced extreme fire risk weather warnings that were issued to the public, many of us were unprepared for the magnitude and ferocity of the Almeda fire. Our first responders stepped up to the plate in this horrific situation. And never stepped down.

First responders saved countless lives. Selfless, they stayed the course, foregoing personal needs like sleep or saving their own homes. They warned residents to evacuate and assisted those with special needs, often with just a moment’s notice.

We are forever indebted to them. Thanks to each and every one.

We all need to be prepared for unexpected catastrophic events in this area and respect those who fearlessly serve on our behalf.

Charlotte Nuessle

Ashland

Vote Graham for mayor

Ashland is entering a new and challenging era of local governance, and Tonya Graham is the ideal person to be our new mayor.

As a city councilor, she is well-prepared for meetings, and she asks excellent questions in an effort to gain a thorough understanding of facts and circumstances. She is always responsive to citizen input, and her friendly, collaborative style brings people together to bridge divides.

The mayor is Ashland’s voice, our civic ambassador. Tonya’s uncanny ability to objectively address complex issues in understandable ways will greatly improve the quality of community discourse.

We already know the impacts of climate change will have a profound impact on what is expected of governments at all levels. Tonya’s lifelong work on climate issues makes her eminently suited to make Ashland a national leader for adaptation and carbon mitigation.

Please join me in voting for Tonya Graham.

Rich Rosenthal, city councilor

Ashland

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