Letters, Oct. 23
Voting for Thuren
I have had the pleasure of working and volunteering with Amy Thuren over the last 10 years and am enthusiastically voting for Amy as our next county commissioner, Position 1. Here’s why.
The natural playground built in Hawthorne Park was Amy’s vision. She initiated and managed the project including the design, fundraising and volunteers that transformed a city park that had been home to drug deals and predators to an ideal space for families and the Thursday Growers Market. At Consumer Credit Counseling Services, Amy created financial programs for our veterans as well as for employees of Goodwill. Amy was asked to lead The Valley School, and has increased enrollment, while finding them a forever home.
She is an effective project manager, assures sufficient revenue, manages to a budget, and has a vision for the future. If you care about our children, our veterans, our public spaces and our county budget, vote for Amy Thuren.
Not worth the risk
Avista notifies customers that a pipeline rupture in British Columbia might result in a shortage to residences and businesses in Southern Oregon. They ask us to conserve natural gas.
Is that all? No! In Prince George, B.C., the First Nation evacuates its community due to the massive blaze caused by this rupture.
It’s not an isolated incident. In 2018 alone, we’ve seen disastrous pipeline ruptures, fires and spills in 24 communities across the nation. They’ve all been classified as “significant incidents” by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
According to the agency, a “significant incident” results if any of the following occurs: fatality or injury requiring in-patient hospitalization; $50,000 or more in total costs, measured in 1984 dollars; liquid releases of five or more barrels (42 U.S. gallons per barrel); or releases resulting in an unintentional fire or explosion.
Those promoting the fracked natural gas pipeline under the Rogue River and across 230 miles of public and private properties claim it’s all about jobs and economic growth. Most of the jobs are temporary, but the potential damage to property and environment are inestimable. The record of significant incidents tells us this pipeline and Jordan Cove aren’t worth the risk.
Graham is tops
I attended the Ashland City Council forum at the Unitarian Universalist Church.
I agree with Al Willstater that the top vote-getters should win office rather than candidates vying against other candidates for particular positions.
That being said, I would rank Tonya Graham first among the nine candidates who participated. She will take the time to insure that a budget isn’t passed with a $45 million error due to carelessness.Vote for Tonya running for Position 2.
Voisin, Akins for council
I attended the Oct. 9 Ashland candidates forum. Carol Voisin and Julie Akins stood out because of their focus and knowledge regarding the city’s budget, housing affordability and climate/seismic vulnerability. Order these priorities as you wish, but these are the top three without question.
It was refreshing to watch both candidates respond to questions with actual formulated solutions, instead of generalizations and sidestepping. It instills confidence when candidates can hit the ground running rather than “growing into the job.”
There’s insufficient room here to recap the debate, but I really appreciated Voisin’s quick $12 million budget reduction synopsis and Akins’ realism regarding public art expenditures. These responses, among others, illustrate the difference between “smart” and “average.”
Ashland is at a crossroads. The aforementioned three priorities must be addressed aggressively, or ignored at our peril. Voisin and Akins will bring skill and knowledge to bear on positive, tangible outcomes.
Thank you to Herb Rothschild for clearly describing the attempts made to force federal, state and local governments to discriminate against those who support BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.
Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine and its resulting apartheid deserve the same boycotting that was so successful against apartheid South Africa. This attempt to create laws that punish BDS supporters is clearly unlawful (as Rothschild pointed out) and is also immoral. None other than the South African Human Sciences Research Council (a statutory organization) has labeled Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians “apartheid,” and no one knows more about apartheid that the South Africans. The United Nations defines apartheid as a “crime against humanity.”
In short, we should all be supporting BDS against Israel. Write to Sen. Ron Wyden and others about this.
Vote for Stephen Jensen
The City of Ashland was fortunate when Stephen Jensen stepped up to fill a vacancy on the City Council last May.
He brings with him compassion, thoughtfulness, intelligence, an open mind ready to listen, a keen understanding of our city’s problems, and a great joy for life. He is energetic and positively engaged in his efforts keep Ashland the wonderful place we call home.
Challenging times are upon us, and I have great confidence in Stephen Jensen’s ability to work well amongst his peers and creatively tackle the issues at hand. Stephen Jensen has my enthusiastic vote. Please help Stephen Jensen continue doing his work with your vote as well!
Vote for transparency
If the citizens of Jackson County want their tax dollars and the money allocated to the county by the state for various services to really be used for the benefit of the citizens, without having big chunks of that money siphoned to pockets for which it was not intended, then they must vote for county commissioners like Lanita Witt, and only for people of the integrity and competence that Lanita Witt has demonstrated over decades of work in our community.
If they want transparency and accountability from their county government, they better vote for commissioners like Lanita Witt. We are very fortunate that she is running for this office.