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Letters, Oct. 29

Time for change

As cofounders of the John Muir School in Ashland, we support the School Board committee’s consideration to change the school’s name.

John Muir School was created as an alternative for parents and students who wanted a different approach to education in Ashland. Our proposition outlined a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school based on outdoor science and the arts. John Muir was our choice for the name.

As we have come to find out, he was a wonderful but flawed man. He studied nature in the West, documenting the beauty and constructing concepts that founded our understanding of geology, resources and interdependence. He was a creative inventor. Now, some of his negative and detrimental beliefs and practices have been revealed.

A public school is a place where all members of the community need to feel comfortable and included. This is more important than a name. It is time to find one of the many brilliant, socially conscious environmentalists to inspire the youth of this school.

Tim Brandy


Vaccine deadline

For months our hospitals have been overwhelmed by unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. Burnout and illness have caused major staffing shortages.

Throughout the crisis, our county commissioners refused to promote simple, life-saving interventions: wearing masks and getting vaccinated. It wasn’t until after Gov. Kate Brown issued a vaccine mandate that Commissioners Dyer and Roberts felt moved to declare a state of emergency — not over our health care crisis, but over Brown’s efforts to alleviate it.

The vaccine deadline has passed and the main difference is that our schools and hospitals no longer employ people who are a danger to themselves and others. A few did leave their jobs citing “personal freedom.” In fact, it’s a public safety issue, like smallpox, polio or drunk driving. We should require elected officials to be vaccinated; maybe some of them would quit, too.

People who don’t trust the medical establishment enough to get vaccinated are filling up our medical establishments. What they need are alternative facilities willing to provide them the quack cures they see peddled on social media. Medical personnel who’d rather quit than get vaccinated could staff the facilities and administer the hydroxychloroquine, disinfectant, horse dewormer or whatever. It would be a win-win.

Michael Steely


Overdoing visions of shots?

Before COVID-19 I was never squeamish about injections, blood draws or even the sight of a syringe. While catching up on the daily news I’m being visually overwhelmed with the repetitious sight of injections into arms.

I’m becoming squeamish now. I cringe at the sight. I doubt I am alone.

If these repetitive visuals are supposed to encourage people to vaccinate against COVID-19, flu and other diseases, the media might want to re-evaluate this strategy.

Loma Dies