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Letters, Dec. 28

Too much trash

Plastics, metal, glass, paper, two bicycle frames, and 75 pounds of sodden trash. This was my first week’s haul from the Greenway.

I didn’t do it alone. I had help.

The Greenway just might hold the solution to its own problems.

I spent a little time connecting with the actual residents of the Greenway. I asked about their lives. I learned their needs.

I looked at my own resources. I had things they needed, but pure charity can only go so far.

I proposed a trade. I would bring them simple items such as work gloves, trash bags, laundry detergent and batteries to a prearranged, public location There I would trade them for bags of trash and recyclables they had brought from dirty campsites.

More valuable than the satisfaction of making a good trade was the spark of life that came into people’s eyes. Their work was worth something to me. No money was exchanged, but they felt valued and empowered.

I think that Medford’s own residents are the true “powers that be.” We can pool our resources and make a real change for the better; one trade at a time. GoFundMe Greenway Project

Heidi Smith


Quakers condemn killing

We, South Mountain Quakers, condemn the recent killing of Aidan Ellison, a Black teenager, by Robert Keegan, a white man, in Ashland, Oregon.

Aidan’s tragic death illuminates the shadow legacy of the United States, founded on enslavement of Blacks by whites for the latter’s economic gain. We view Aidan’s murder as yet another reminder that white male dominance persists throughout our country, including here in the Rogue Valley. Systemic racism is a mindset that all Americans have internalized, and we recognize how the historic burden of prejudice both destroys Black lives and distorts white perceptions.

We fear for our Black neighbors’ safety, living in a region that is overwhelmingly white, with little comfortable space to be themselves.

We welcome other white Rogue Valley residents to join us in educating ourselves and looking within, altering the lens through which we perceive others so we can recognize our common humanity.

We seek to join together with Black community members and Black-led organizations to promote racial justice and equality.

We intend to work with others to make everyone in the Rogue Valley safer. Contact: ashlandquakers@gmail.com

Bob Morse, South Mountain Friends Meeting (Quakers)


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