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Letters, Dec. 16

Friday’s SCOTUS decision

Constitutional scholars are appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States for the same reason the best medical professionals and scientists lead our public health institutions — so that their deep learning, facts and evidence are used to decide the best possible outcomes for the health of our government and its people.

Our democracy and the rule of law endured its greatest threat in 254 years, and survived with the unanimous SCOTUS decision of Dec. 11, 2020. Our union, however, is still in grave peril. By their actions, the 126 amicus brief GOP House and 46 silent Senate members have stated their intention — fear and suppression of opposition through strong, belligerent, authoritarian leadership. Democracy is an anathema to this identity. We must be vigilant and unrelenting in our actions to defend it.

Michael Bielec


Never forget

All of the 17 Republican state attorneys general and the 126 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who joined the Texas lawsuit to overturn the presidential election results in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia have blatantly disregarded the foundational principles of our democracy.

This mendacious effort was, in effect, spitting in the face of 81,283,495 Americans who voted for Joe Biden.

For these Republicans, it’s not about process, it’s not about fairness, it’s about a refusal to accept reality. Their attempt to subvert the will of the people is seditious.

It is time to hold these politicians accountable, if not through the courts, then through our collective voices and our future votes.

I will never forget this moment. We should never forget this moment.

Rick Saul


The joy of shopping local

The importance of shopping local has been highlighted this holiday season. Our businesses truly need our support due to the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the destructive Almeda and South Obenchain fires. What hasn’t been highlighted is just how much fun and rewarding it is to shop at a local non-chain store.

I headed into downtown Ashland with my list, not quite sure what I would be able to accomplish.

My first stop was the venerable Music Coop. I was specifically looking for Bruce Springsteen’s new album, “Letter to You.” Owners John and Trina Brenes brought it to me in about five seconds and, as always, we had a delightful conversation about the recording and the artist.

At the revered independent bookstore, Bloomsbury Books, I not only found perfect Christmas books for 4-year-old twins, who are my grand-nephews, but a book for my mom and, of course, two for myself. (My stack of unread book grows and grows!)

At Funagain Games, I was interested in specific activities for the boys. The young salesman guided me to a few games that the twins would enjoy and that would challenge them at the appropriate level. He also recommended two other Ashland stores for possible gift ideas, the Nature Shop and Bug a Boo.

Paddington Station is a favorite place of mine to shop for unique home goods, decor and gifts. The energy and enthusiasm of the staff makes any shopping experience entertaining. I found beautiful Christmas cards and a few decorations as well.

My final stop was the welcoming Bug a Boo children’s boutique. The engaging saleswoman helped m find high-quality, educational building toys for the boys.

Not only was my shopping experience successful, it was truly a pleasure. Each person with whom I spoke was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Each store representative made a specific point of saying “thank you,” in his or her own unique way, for supporting their business.

I headed home feeling so very much in the holiday spirit and so thankful for living in community that supports our entrepreneurial neighbors and makes shopping local simple and fun.

Sally Peterson


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