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Letters, Dec. 1

Improve emergency alerts

Local government officials and citizens will be studying how to improve emergency planning after the Almeda Fire for some time. I would like to mention a critical consideration. I moved to Ashland in May and was desperately looking for information about what action I should take the day of the fire. As I recall, the only information I could find directly from the city was that only Quiet Village needed to evacuate.

I had no idea what part of town that referred to. Why assume people know the names of various subdivisions? The city should have given more geographic information, such as identifying the area to be evacuated with street names.

Officials should not assume that people have any background information about the city when giving emergency directions. For instance, there will always be visitors to the city who will also need information.

I hope that officials think more carefully about the audience for emergency information.

Jeanne Foy

Ashland

Aidan Ellison: Say his name

Did I wake up in Alabama or Mississippi this week? Aidan Ellison, a teenage black man, is murdered on the streets of Ashland and KTVL waxes lyrical about the murderer — with no mention of Aidan Ellison. (I understand that was edited for later editions — too little, too late).

It is not that I have no empathy for a man who has lost everything in the Almeda fire. Tragedies can drive people to horrible actions — but to focus on the murderer with no mention of Aidan’s name at all? Do Black Lives not Matter in Ashland?

I am almost speechless with horror at this young man’s murder and how it has been reported. Almost, but not completely speechless.

There will be a vigil for young Aidan at the Jackson County Courthouse this Wednesday, Dec. 2. Please join us to pay our respects to this young man whose life has been cut very, very short.

Connie Minogue

Ashland

Aidan’s life poured out

His name was Aidan Ellison, say his name.

Once there was a beautiful, brown, earth-colored baby boy born who resembled his mother, the Earth. His name echoed his fiery father for his name was Aidan, which means fire in Gaelic. He was a blend of earth and fire and he used his fire to succeed and his earthiness to celebrate and he had a vision of who he could become.

Then there was a night of anger and hatred from a grown man with a gun who could not allow this young man to shine. A man in pain and anguish and fear who said “No, you cannot celebrate your beautiful life and music while I am in pain.”

And so, the bitter, angry, devouring man shot the beautiful boy who had his mother’s earthiness and his father’s fire and the boy’s life of promise poured out onto the hard and cold cement and was no more. And we all lost a man from the future who had promise and hope and joy.

Now what do we do, friends of the earth and sky? There is a hole where he stood and an angry man who is still alive and seething and oozing his venom and deep hatred.

My friends, what shall we do?

His name is Aidan Ellison, say his name.

Kate Wolf-Pizor

Ashland

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