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Letters, May 7

My encounters with APD

Belatedly, I responded to the April 11 cover story about the community relationship and the Ashland Police Department. As I checked down the list with very positive options on the categories, I realized it was creating a lop-sided picture.

No, I have not suffered by any negative interaction with APD, nor observed one. I also choose not relay on any stories by others about their negative interactions, credible as I perceive them.

When I got to Item 12, asking for “any feedback, thoughts, or concerns about the relationship,” I discovered I do have feedback to share. This troubles me very much. I am happy to pass all this along to NYU. However, I’d also like to see a new dialog startup within Ashland on this subject.

My survey comments:

I am a self-sufficient cisgendered white male. I feel unwelcome when encountering downtown police street patrol units. Perhaps eye contact may be disallowed by department regulations, for whatever reason it is unobtainable. I chanced upon them walking two or even three abreast. They continue walking without even offering a bit of room for a gray-haired man with a cane. Yes, I get a very distinct and clear message.

I am not downtown any more than just a few times a month, but this experience occurs virtually every time!

Were I a person of color, I cannot begin to estimate how much more offensive, hostile and threatening that behavior would seem. The APD is 100% white. Other than the chief, it may be 100% hetero-normative as well.

I have my undeserved, yet considerably powerful, white privilege at my back. What about my far less-privileged fellow citizens? I have no reason to assume, based on my personal experiences, that they have any reason to feel anything but apprehension at any direct encounter.

Jim Wolf-Pizor


Too many bogus calls

Our family phone number (482-xxxx) is being bombarded by way too many call-center solicitations. Among others, Microsoft is getting a pretty bad rap.

I used to think I was clever by blocking those phone numbers. Well, my plan went south yesterday. The Caller ID listed my phone number as the scammy caller. Now I can’t really block that number, can I? What’s to be done?

Nick Viani


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