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Letters, March 6

North Mountain Park

Faced with tough decisions on funding city operations during pandemic recovery, let us not forget North Mountain Park.

Park programs have been cut due to COVID-19, but these need to be reinstated for the health and well-being of Ashland residents as soon as it is safe to do so.

Prior to COVID-19 restrictions, twice a year teachers brought kindergarten through fifth-grade children to outdoor programs aligned with the state’s Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. What a loss for teachers and students if these programs are discontinued long-term.

The park’s programs relating to natural science, cultural history and sustainability are very much missed. The park’s salmon festival and Rogue Valley Bird Day are annually bolstered by nonprofit organizations volunteering time and expertise, but, without funding park staff, the community will lose these opportunities and resources. Staff are also needed to help reduce vandalism and human encroachment into areas set aside for animal habitat protection.

I look forward to the day when the park is once again a community hub and school field trips and other educational programs can resume. There is not another park in the city so diverse in its mission and function.

Cynthia Taylor

Ashland

Ashland Fire & Rescue lift assist

During my husband’s recent illness, I felt blessed to be able to call Ashland Fire & Rescue any time of the day or night for assistance with getting him up from a fall. This invaluable service is called “Lift Assist,” whereby two to three firefighters/paramedics are dispatched by the 911 operator to your home or neighborhood to help.

We live in a second-floor condo, so their access to our elevator key was also wonderful, because I did not have to leave my husband to let them in the building. We had to use them at least five times during 2019-2020. We truly appreciated their patient, respectful and gentle approach. I really don’t know what I would have done without them, as I am not very physically strong.

I only became aware of this invaluable service a few years ago when my sister was awakened at 3 a.m. by the loud, incessant blaring of her smoke alarm. Her ladder could reach her very high ceiling, but she was in no condition to attempt such a maneuver.

She called the Ashland Fire & Rescue non-emergency number to request assistance. Two firefighters arrived very soon and solved her problem with kindness and good humor. They even took the time to check her other smoke detectors!

I am so happy to live in a community that cares about those who are aging and do not always have a family member or neighbor readily accessible to help. Thank you, Ashland Fire & Rescue!

Joy Dobson Way, retired RN

Ashland

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