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Letters, Sept. 29

Bring the National Guard home

Oregon has been hit with serious challenges between COVID and large loss wildfires. Right when we need our Oregon National Guard’s response with “all hands on deck,” we don’t have available the full force.

Oregon National Guard are deployed overseas in Afghanistan and other war zones. This includes CH47 Chinook helicopters which should be here with soldiers fighting wildfires. With all the fires in the West, we find resources are thin. Emergency officials are saying there are not enough firefighters and equipment to properly fight these wildfires.

The National Guard in each state is 95% funded by the federal government. The president can choose to federalize National Guard troops at any time. When that happens, the troops are no longer National Guard: the soldiers become regular Army or regular Air Force when they are deployed.

Things are dramatically upside down and out of whack. It is time to return Oregon’s National Guard now. We need them home as tragedy continues to unfold!

The Rogue Valley FCNL Advocacy Team (FCNL is the Friends Committee on National Legislation, www.fcnl.org), is Daniel Guy, Ivend Holen, Wes Brain, Brenda Gould, Allen Hallmark, Susan Doherty, Steven Vermie

Wes Brain

Ashland

Imagine

That concept — imagine — a mantra. John Lennon gave us the song, our Rogue Valley Peace Choir sang it on World Peace Day, and those who have lost their livelihoods through the pandemic and their homes through the recent fires, say it with a sigh.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it, too, but with an addendum. She invited us to imagine the world we’d like to see, then to work toward that without giving up hope. A scion of hope, Justice Ginsburg left us with a job to do.

Thank you, Ashland Tidings, for providing a venue for readers to share their hopes and fears, and reminding us of the work we have to do together.

What if — imagine — that more than 42% of registered voters cared about climate change when considering their candidates! A recent opinion in the Ashland Tidings by Caroline O’Brien suggests that climate change threats need immediate action through effective communication. The effective communication can be our talking to candidates up for election, and to those already at our service. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Greg Walden are available to address our climate concerns.

Our state and local officials are open to our needs concerning climate change. Imagine what we need to combat climate change and ask the folks we may vote for or support, exactly what they will work on to bring forth our goals. Effective communication will bring out how we can vote to achieve the dream. It is not hopeless.

Through legislation, RBG has shown how dramatic change can be achieved. Voters can investigate what bills are being brought up now to mitigate climate change. Laws have secured our national parks, our local parks, to cite examples that touch the quality of our outdoor environment. Laws can secure rights that we are fighting to keep and acquire. A bill, HR 763, is in the works. It is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, and through effective communication, you can help carry that imagined plan toward a lawful solution.

We can follow the example of the judge with the lace collar: Imagine our world as a better place, then steadily work on a way to achieve it.

Barb Settles

Ashland

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