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Letters, Sept. 4

‘Democrat’ derisive

The Saturday, Aug. 24 issue of the Ashland Tidings contains an article, unsigned but attributed to “Oregon Capital Bureau,” about Senate Democrats backing off their threat to fine Republicans for walking out. Despite my disappointment at the Republican senators not getting their just deserts, I was incensed by the unnamed journalist’s use of the word “Democrat” as an adjective — not once but twice!

The adjective is “Democratic.” It is the Democratic Party and the author should refer to Senate Democratic leaders and a Senate Democratic news release. To leave off the correct ending is either carelessly ungrammatical or intentionally derisive.

There is a Wikipedia entry entitled “Democrat Party (epithet),” and it is quite clear that this is usually the intention. Take our current president, for example, who uses Democrat as an adjective because he knows it’s a slur and he likes that.

Maybe we should just start using the term Repub senators and Repub members of Congress. In the mean time, journalists need to clean up their sloppy grammar.

Alice Hardesty


Collect deer statistics

The city of Ashland has a deer problem: Deer cause harm to people and property. Is this an opinion or a fact? We don’t know and we can’t tell the extent of the harm. Why? There are no statistics available.

The Police Department is responsible to receive all incident reports of accidents, assaults and property damage, and to prepare summary statistics. But the Police Department doesn’t keep statistics on deer Incidents per se, only animal incidents.

Recommended: First; the City Council should direct the Police Department to begin coding records on deer incidents in Ashland. These records should include all motor vehicle incidents, assault by deer (frightened or injured children, adults and tourists), and property damage by deer (including gardens). Second, the data collection project should be advertised widely, encouraging residents and visitors to report property damage whenever it occurs.

With a year of record keeping we will really know the nature of the problem and the extent of the human, physical and economic damage these animals do. We will have a much better idea if significant action should be taken to reduce the harm.

Dan Belenky


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