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Letters, Jan. 30

Shocked by candidate’s stance on vaccination

In response to Thusday’s article “Oregon school district loses COVID-19 relief funds”:

At the Jackson County Republican Party’s gubernatorial candidate panel on Jan. 15, I was shocked to hear Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman, a candidate for the Republican nomination, proudly announce that he was unvaccinated. The crowd of 100 or so made no response pro or con. I took that to indicate the party’s acquiescence with his stance against vaccination mandates.

I looked around the audience and saw no one wearing masks except one woman. I wonder how many attendees knew he could be a COVID-19 spreader during the hour prior to the gathering when Thielman was not respecting social distancing during the “meet and greet.”

I tried not be amused when the article noted the school district had closed classes due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among staff. I’m still trying to have compassion for victims of ignorance.

Claudette Paige

Ashland

Bike and walking paths are not campgrounds

As a longtime advocate for bike and pedestrian paths, I have been well aware of the inherent tension between path users and the homeless population. When developing paths in the 1990s ,the primary concern raised by citizens was the fear of community paths being a magnet for the homeless.

While I remain sympathetic to the plight of the unhoused, I must commend the efforts to clean up the Bear Creek Greenway and address the blight and lawlessness. All those who enjoy the benefits of our many community paths must be responsible stewards and be accountable for our time there.

Jackson County and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office have made every effort to treat homeless individuals humanely and the current clampdown on excessive litter is entirely appropriate. It should be noted that our bike and pedestrian paths were designed as a way to offer urban dwellers a scenic way to exercise and enjoy nature. They were never intended to serve as makeshift campgrounds.

Robert Lowe

Gold Hill