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Letters, Jan. 24

The right to vote

John M. Moore (letters, Jan. 20) says that “most of us expect voters to meet reasonable qaulifications ...in order to have their vote counted.” He then goes on to say that “neither party has made their case.”

Well, we all know that to vote in Oregon, all a registered voter has to do is fill out the ballot sent in the mail, sign one’s name on the envelope and drop one’s ballot in the mail or a drop box. That’s it.

No one has to wait in line, take time off from work, provide proof of citizenship or residency, request a mail-in or absentee ballot, or spend one single dime to cast a vote in Oregon. This method has worked in Oregon for decades without a single whiff of malfeasance or fraud.

I’d suggest that, like the rest of us Oregonians, Moore has it pretty good in terms of his ability to vote with total convenience. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every citizen of every state had it as good? Moreover — why shouldn’t they?

Grover Gardner

Medford

Eulogy for a tree

Great sadness occurred in our neighborhood this weekend when a local coffee company chose to destroy a magnificent, majestic, 100-year-old tree on Highway 99 in North Ashland. The tree was over 100 years old, a long-lived species from China. Some say there are very few of these particular trees left in the entire world.

Why was it killed? We suspect someone was worried about liability from a falling branch. Yet, in our conversation with the arborist, he told us, “I don’t know why they wanted it cut down. The tree showed no sign of disease.” We saw for ourselves the vitality in the stumps that were hauled away.

Are we angry? Are we grieving this needless loss of life, beauty, and cooling shade in the heat of summer? You bet we are. But mostly we are disappointed that human beings have so little regard for the life growing right outside their windows.

Now everyone who lives nearby is left with an ugly, sterile, all-cement entrance to our mobile home park. The “bean counters” at the coffee company grossly miscalculated the value of money versus beauty. Simple pruning would have sufficed.

Jessica Bryan, Tom Clunie and Lucienne Eisenhaure

Ashland