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Letters, Feb. 11

New resource center

I want to thank Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) for its years of dedication to helping the neediest of our Ashland citizens. Before OHRA there was no service provider in Ashland until a dedicated group of volunteers decided our community needed services in town and OHRA was created. Its mission then and today is “To help low-income people build better lives. By offering hope and access to social service resources, we encourage those in need on the path to self-sufficiency”.

I was an early volunteer working at the Resource Center and then joined the board of directors after the group got its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. I was part of the search for the first Resource Center, the deliberations about whether to take on hosting the Winter Shelter, the development of the first strategic plan, and the many other challenges that small grass roots organization go through as they evolve. I am a better person for having been part of these efforts.

This week, OHRA announced it is the first recipient awarded Oregon’s Project Turnkey funds, $4.2 million, to be used to purchase and transform the former Super 8 Motel into its new OHRA Center. This new location enables OHRA to continue offering its three core programs; the Resource Center, the shelter, and the laundry/shower trailer and begin to expand these programs; more navigators offering case management, space for partner agencies to offer their services, a permanent shelter site with individual rooms and potentially a second laundry/shower trailer location.

OHRA did not make this happen alone. Government officials including State Rep. Pam Marsh, Mayor Julie Akins and the Ashland City Council and city staff, local real estate professionals, the Oregon Community Foundation and others were part of the project.

Ashland can be grateful for the work of OHRA’s leadership, its staff, its board, its volunteers and its community partners. By working together OHRA’s vision — “By helping people move from crisis to stability, OHRA builds more capable individuals, stronger families and a better community” is closer to becoming a reality.

Congratulations to all.

Regina Ayars

Ashland

Ban coyote killing contests

It is important for Oregon residents to inform themselves of the brutal coyote contests taking place annually in Lake County and elsewhere. House Bill 2728 is coming up for a vote to prohibit these gruesome killing contests.

These contests have occurred throughout Oregon for the past few years where cash prizes and/or guns are given to the winner who kills the most, the largest, or the smallest coyotes within a certain time period. We cannot allow groups of these hunters to engage in wanton waste of our wildlife species. It is indeed a grave violation of the state’s solemn duty to protect our wildlife in trust to all Oregonians.

The hunters are lured into such an ugly activity by the excitement of winning financial rewards. Where are the human values and ethics? The hunts exhibit cruel and callous disregard for our precious wildlife. HB 2728 is a matter of ethics and ethical hunting of Oregon wildlife. These contests must be banned.

Please contact your state lawmakers and ask them to support this needed legislation to ban such hunts once and for all, and to bring back good ethics to this beautiful state of Oregon.

Nina Council

Ashland

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