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Letters, Aug. 24

A powerful statement

Caitlin Fowlkes’ excellent, thorough Tidings cover story (Aug. 17) about the rolling fast/hunger strike for justice for the families separated by the cruel, heartless policies of ICE moved my heart and conscience so deeply I made a commitment to fast for the three-day solidarity action here in Ashland August 22-25.

Almost every day some new affront to human dignity shows up in the paper, putting the previous ones in the shade. But families have been torn apart and not reunited, so it’s imperative that we not forget those who are still separated and stand in opposition, in great numbers, to demand a more humane policy.

Fasting makes a powerful statement to awaken conscience to action, following in the long tradition of Ghandi, MLK, Cesar Chavez and many others. I feel grateful for the opportunity to make my opposition visible, to honor this call to actions that is happening all across our country in this Rolling Strike for Justice.

We will have activities, speakers, music and information at our fasting vigil in Triangle Park from 10 until 8 p.m. through today (Friday), trusting our community will show up in great numbers to support this nationwide action.

Dot Fisher-Smith


Britt deserves better

Your July 17 online report “Overdose death at Britt Festivals” highlights both poor editing and inflammatory reporting. The initial column bylined “Mike Marut” gave a factual account. The second iteration added “Nick Morgan” with speculative and provocative comments which were accusatory and demeaning to the efforts of security and rescue personnel.

If your report is accurate, neither the overdose nor the death occurred at the Britt venue. Apparently the drugs were ingested prior to the individuals’ arrival, and the death occurred after they were transported. Their tragic decisions caused the loss of one life.

I was not at this concert, but as a long-time Britt volunteer, I know medical personnel are scheduled at concerts for the rare instance when assistance is needed. I’ve witnessed quick and caring attention in challenging conditions. The distance rescue personnel must travel to reach the venue and the challenges in transporting patients from this hillside site add complexity. To imply lax attention is erroneous and unfounded.

The dubious comments, strange timeline and bizarre descriptions from the quoted witness did nothing to advance your coverage but, I believe, indicate a lack of editorial attention and a result which created a negative viewpoint of this unfortunate occurrence.

Sue Corp


Vote for change

I just read the opinion pieces on our smoke situation by Rep. Greg Walden and challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Walden tells us that he will be addressing the problem by convening hearings in Washington in the fall. Jamie McLeod-Skinner sees that we have to take real action on reducing forest fuels, dealing with the causes and effects of temperature increase and a lengthening fire season, and making sure that Congressional District 2 residents keep their health care as we are now more at risk for smoke-related ailments.

While Walden works with lobbyists and his caucus in Congress to repeal ACA support for the Oregon Health Plan and coverage for existing conditions (including smoke-related ones), Jamie McLeod-Skinner is listening to the people here and ready to act toward mitigating the warming and smoke plus keeping our health coverage. What will it be? Hearings, lobbyists or action? Vote for change in November!

Larry Cooper


Join Alzheimer’s walk

Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in our country. There are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 65,000 Oregonians.

Since 2010, Congress has quadrupled funding for Alzheimer’s research. This influx of funding — and the continued commitment of Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Rep. Greg Walden — is accelerating progress toward new discoveries and giving us hope for the future.

I walk and fundraise for this cause every year because I dream about my children living in a world where they and their loved ones will always remember and cherish the wonderful memories that they have created together. I walk because I believe that all people should live and die with dignity surrounded by the people that they love, and remember. And finally, I walk because I believe that with the technology and research of our modern society we will be able to slow down or cure this devastating disease.

Join me in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. I’m proudly participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s Southern Oregon at 11 a.m. on September 22, at U.S. Cellular Community Park in Medford. Register at alz.org/walk.

Kelley Witters, Alzheimer’s Walk committee chair


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