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Letters, Feb. 27

Protect people, wildlife

Vehicle collisions with wildlife in Oregon are expensive — in lives and money. Anyone who has been in a collision with wildlife knows how scary and potentially deadly it can be. I came around a corner at night on an Oregon highway and was confronted with a dead deer in the road stretched across my lane. I had nowhere to go and fortunately was able to hit it straight on and clear it in my Toyota Camry — barely. Others haven’t been so lucky.

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As climate change pressures wildlife to move further across the landscape, and traffic increases, we are likely to see more collisions, especially in the section of Interstate 5 between Ashland and the California border. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Road design elements, such as wildlife underpasses and overpasses, are proven to significantly reduce collisions, saving people, wildlife, and pocketbooks. It’s a win-win-win solution.

HB 4130-1 introduced by Rep. Ken Helm is a good start. It invests $7 million in projects to reduce collisions — money that can be leveraged to access federal dollars. I hope the Oregon Legislature will see the opportunity in HB 4131-1 and make this investment in Oregon’s people and wildlife.

Tonya Graham, executive director, Geos Institute, Ashland city councilor


Sowing division

It is common courtesy to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Yet some are opposed to being told they should cover their mouths to prevent disease.

It is common decency to refrain from Intimidating people with your language or display of weapons. Yet some are defiant in their lack of respect.

Some legislators are encouraging citizens to sue one another for suspected offenses of their religious or personal beliefs.

Who is dividing America? And why?

The rich are afraid of strong democracies. In a democracy, the majority, who are not rich, rule.

I love my country. I love democracy.

Tom Espinosa