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Letters, Sep. 10

‘Groceries or politics’

This is with regard to Francine Lowenberg’s letter on Sept. 4 objecting to the Ashland Food Co-Op’s having established an internal committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and having acknowledged publicly its “white privilege” and “implicit bias.” I am also a member of the co-op. Their commitment to providing healthy, organic, local food has not been interrupted by their attention to equity, diversity and inclusion. Their commitment to community is at least as strong, and I believe stronger, after facing and responding to allegations of racism and white supremacy.

My guess is that they had already learned that if there is internal criticism of management behavior or policy, the very worst reaction would be to bury it, to hide it or hide from it. The only political ideologies I see the co-op promoting are those of respect, inclusion and communication. It seems to me, as much a customer as a member of the co-op, that their retail operations are conducted accordingly. They are no more offering to guide community morals and opinion than you and I are by writing letters to the editor. I admire its board and its managers for consistency in word (see its mission statement, on their website) and action, and hope that the larger community recognizes and appreciates the bright, positive role that it has played and continues to play in serving the people of Ashland.

John Scarborough



What if you gave a riot-control party and nobody came?

That seems to be the initial outcome of the latest (and late) effort by our governor, Kate Brown, to restore order to the lawless streets of Portland. Last week she announced a grand plan to rally neighboring law-enforcement jurisdictions to ride to the aid of the besieged city. Seems she missed a step: getting those mentioned agencies to agree to take part. The sheriffs of Washington County, Clackamas County and the police chief of nearby Gresham all said “No thanks,” citing, among other things, lack of political support, restrictions on tactics and lack of criminal accountability by failing to prosecute offenders. Oh, and also too dangerous to wade into that mob scene.

Usually the goings-on, political or otherwise, in Oregon are of no national consequence. Sandwiched in between the movers and shakers of Washington and California, whatever happens in Oregon stays in Oregon. But this 100 days of disorder is a big deal. We’re finally getting recognized for something!

This “stand down” by the sheriffs et al. in the face of the governor’s invite, well, I’ve never hear anything like that. Politicians who pander to the defunders, defacers, and destroyers will get some instant karma when the police stop showing up.

Good luck, Portland, bluest city in the true blue state. Won’t it be the highest of ironies if your indulgence for wokey street antics alarms the nation to such a degree that brings us four more years of our disrupter in chief? I am a betting man, and I’m about ready to bet on it.

Michael Bianca


Supporting Graham

I support that Tonya Graham has stepped forward to serve as Ashland’s mayor.

Her seasoned involvement touches the community and beyond with effective leadership, collaboration and large doses of personal effort that benefit our schools, address climate change and further the processes of democracy.

She is a listener and a prepared, articulate contributor on the Ashland City Council.

Tonya Graham has shown the necessary leadership traits to serve well as Ashland’s mayor in these challenging times, and I hope that you will consider her for your vote.

Bob Rasmussen


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