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Letters, March 2

Mask equals open businesses

It’s amazing that the same people outraged by the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions on businesses are also objecting to the simple act of wearing a mask to contain the virus. Are they that ignorant that the correlation escapes them?

On Feb. 27, Jackson County is again No. 1 in the state with 67 new cases while Multnomah County has 32. Guess which county will go to a reduced risk level sooner?

Instead of paying lip service showing your “concern” about local businesses, you should be doing everything possible to eliminate the virus. That means following CDC guidelines in spite of the nonsense our county commissioners are spouting.

Kathy Huddleston

Eagle Point

Annexation dismaying

To my dismay, I read on the Tuesday,

Feb. 23, front page that the city of Medford has annexed 230.75 acres of the Hillcrest Orchards and Roxy Ann Winery for the purpose of building 750 brand-new, shiny homes.

I ask, am I the only one who appreciates the lovely drive on Foothills Road, from Home Depot to Highway 140, which includes Hillcrest and the McAndrews area? The scenery includes trees, vines, grasses, birds, butterflies, bees, cattle, horses and much more.

Am I the only one who notices what was once a scenic drive that houses were few and nature was abundant is changing into housing.

So 750 new houses to be built. Do any of you believe that these houses will be affordable? Will any of these houses be bought by lower income folks? Given the area, I would say no.

Is exchanging nature for people worth it?

Robin E. Brown

Medford

Greenway camping ban

On any given night in 2019, over half a million Americans found themselves homeless, and over half a million Oregonians were food insecure, nearly 200,000 of whom were children.

The Medford camping ban aims to eliminate the option to sleep or camp anywhere in the area, making it a misdemeanor. However, banning people from camping on the Greenway would only further complicate the issue of addressing homelessness and cause more conflict.

There are other ways to combat this issue in a positive manner. Houston is a prime example. After a peak in homelessness in 2011, Houston adopted a Housing First model for addressing homelessness.

Officials and homelessness providers in the areas developed the Houston/Harris County Continuum of Care in 2012 and worked with local agencies to create The Way Home action plan. The goals were to create a system to identify the chronically homeless and match them to appropriate affordable housing, coordinate a service system to support long-term housing stability and create enough permanent housing to meet the demand.

Since this was introduced, homelessness has fallen over 60%. Now is our time to get counties on board with a similar approach and figure out how to create more accessible housing markets.

Victoria Conti

Ashland

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