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Letters, May 28

Remembering Almeda

On Sept. 8, 2020, over 2,600 of us survived the Almeda firestorm.

I had rented at Trenton Square in Talent for eight and a half years. A Realtor friend, Phyllis, had called mid-morning saying that Ashland’s Quiet Village was on fire. I hoped the tankers and choppers would suppress it. Alas, 50-knot shifting winds proved otherwise.

Mid-afternoon, my landlord, Charlie Hamilton, was trapped in Ashland with freeway closure. Knowing I am retired military, he said to clear all 20 units, saying “Nobody dies on our watch.” Then the trees were igniting in the courtyard. Charlie texted GET OUT NOW!!!

I grabbed a backback with some basics, found a Grants Pass fire crew protecting nearby homes. Asked for a ride out.They said get in and we escaped a wall of fire on both sides of the road.

I found a hotel, then my way to the Expo shelter, encountered my neighbors, which was great, and USAA covered my 79 days as a refugee in three hotels. Landed an Ashland condo with a VA loan on Thanksgiving Day.

Shout out to all of our communities who jumped in to assist. I am forever grateful.

Kevin Wallace


Some R words to ponder

With all the emphasis on rights these days and the other “R” words such as resent, resist, ridicule, revolt, riot, retaliate and revenge, maybe it is time for these to be replaced or balanced with these “R” words:

Responsibility for our own speech and actions.

Respect for each other.

Regard for other people’s rights.

Resolve differences.

Restore peace.

Restructure things where needed.

Repair relationships.

Rebuild structures.

Rehabilitate whatever is broken.

And show remorse.

The world would be a better place.

Brice L. Brandt


Keep medical decisions private

I got the COVID vaccine. At the same time I oppose any discrimination against the unvaccinated by forcing them to wear masks to enter to stores or concerts or jobs.

Vaccination is a personal medical decision that everyone needs to make for themselves. That’s why I support Lynn Barton’s guest opinion arguing against vaccine passports.

We don’t want to set up a medical apartheid system where people must “show their papers” in order to appear in public, or make them wear a symbolic scarlet letter on their faces. We know what happens in that sort of situation, and it’s pretty terrible.

Medical decisions have always been personal and private. Let’s keep them that way.

Cass Josalle