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Letters, May 8

Housing Trust Fund

I want to thank several members of the Budget Committee that met on Wednesday, May 1, for their support of continuing to direct revenue from the marijuana tax into the Housing Trust Fund; Mayor John Stromberg and councilors Dennis Slattery and Stephen Jensen along with four citizens members: Paula Hyatt, Shaun Moran, Jim Bachman and Shane Hunter. Councilor Slattery put forward a motion that would keep the current annual trust fund revenue stream and it was approved by seven of the 11 committee members present. There was thoughtful discussion regarding the trust fund and valid points were made by persons with different opinions. I believe the right decision was made.

I was a member of the Housing Commission for almost 10 years and a member when the Housing Trust Fund was created. The trust fund proposal was sent to the City Council and passed. There was some money allocated to the fund but there was no revenue stream identified for years. The fund sat idle. Since my departure from the committee, an annual revenue stream was identified, a portion of the marijuana tax money. The City Council agreed with the committee’s recommendation in May of 2017, and that money started funding the Housing Trust Fund.

The first project in 2018 awarded money to Columbia Care for the purchase of land to build 24 units of affordable housing to serve people experiencing mental illness. As the trust fund is built up again, other projects will be funded.

Let’s keep up the momentum we have in helping house our citizens.

Regina Ayars

Ashland

Bloomsbury not best

When I read that Bloomsbury had been named the best bookstore in Oregon, I checked the date on the paper, but no, this was not an April Fool joke.

Compare nearly every section in Bloomsbury with the same section in Medford’s Barnes & Noble and you will find more titles, and more authors, and often more copies at B&N. It outclasses Bloomsbury in nearly every way, except B&N has the stigma of being a chain store. B&N in turn pales in comparison with both Smith Family Books locations in Eugene, which excel in literature and academic books, and Powell’s in Portland, which is weak in academic books but by far outclasses B&N and Bloomsbury in trade books.

I do not know why Mental Floss was so incompetent in choosing Bloomsbury when there are more deserving stores, but really, the only thing to recommend Bloomsbury is that it is just down the street.

Mike Jensen

Ashland

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