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Letters, Oct. 26

Me too — after 90 years

When I was 5 years old I lived in Washington, D.C. at 2116 32nd St.

I was walking home one day when I was accosted by a group of little boys, four or five of them, about my own age. There was a leader who commanded, “Get her!” They grabbed me, pummeled, punched, kicked me, and shoved me against the low rock wall that divided front lawns from the sidewalk. (The wall did not look low to me then.) They pushed my head against the jagged rocks; but what hurt most was the mortification of being completely helpless.

When the leader said, “OK, that’s enough,” they let go of me, and I walked away — walked, because to run would be to lose the last vestige of dignity.

When I reached home, I couldn’t conceal that I was crying, and my father asked, “What are you crying for?” I said, “I have a blister on my heel.” My father said, “Come now, you’re a big girl, you shouldn’t cry about such little things.”

I never told anyone about that incident until now — 90 years later, when I remember the particular details vividly, although all the surrounding facts are fuzzy or blank.

How early children internalize the mores of the culture. Those little boys were an organized gang with a leader who was obeyed instantly. They asserted their male privilege and physical dominance over a powerless female. I learned early what may be expected of males — a lesson later reinforced more than once.

I wonder that there is any woman who has not, at some time, been assaulted or insulted by a man — or men, though they may call themselves senators or judges, or even the president.

Margaret K. St. Clair


I see evil

I thought once that the reason politicians voted against climate protection, among other things, was because of ignorance, or even perhaps a cruel childhood, but now I am seeing evil. My definition of evil is “proceeding to harm whilst knowing of the harming” or “choosing money and power over life.”

I see evil happening now as Trump threats to separate children from parents again. I see it when Trump chooses money over life by continuing to be in bed with the Saudi Arabian monarchy in spite of the grisly murder of journalist and the inhuman genocide of the Yemeni people.

This must not stand. Life is a gift to be respected, nourished and gratefully acknowledged.

Our people in power would do well to remember “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Jill A. Iles


Do the right thing

When Donald Trump was elected president, sportsmen had high hopes that the president and his cabinet would commit to, in President Trump’s words, “honoring the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt.” As our 26th president, Roosevelt worked tirelessly to stop special interests from developing and privatizing our public lands and waters, conserving more than 230 million acres by establishing 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks and 18 national monuments.

Sportsmen have applauded the administration for some Roosevelt-like actions, such as the proposal to expand hunting and fishing on 10 national wildlife refuges and calling on Congress to create a permanent solution to the practice of “fire borrowing.”

Yet we will continue to hold administration officials accountable for pursuing the rollback of conservation protections on millions of acres of national monuments, scrapping collaborative habitat management plans for sage grouse, and not fighting administration proposals to cut popular public access programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These actions threaten to undermine Roosevelt’s legacy, and I join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in urging the Trump administration to do the right thing and stand up for our public lands.

Jim Piotter


Invest in schools

My family made the decision to move to Ashland because of the quality of the public schools. As my kids finish their K-12 educations at Ashland High School, it is our responsibility to ensure that the next generation of students can also learn in healthy, safe and secure buildings.

The Ashland Schools Bond, Measure 15-178, picks up where the 2006 bond ends. It will provide critical repairs, seismic renovations for earthquake protection and clean air for all Ashland students. Countless volunteers and district staff spent over two years researching our facilities and seeking input from the Ashland community. More information about the bond and the process can be found at www.asb2018.org.

I am grateful to the generations before me that built and maintained the public schools I attended decades ago. It is now time to continue the investment in our kids and their educations. Please vote yes on Measure 15-178!

Jim Westrick, School Board member


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