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Letters, May 28

Remembering Almeda

On Sept. 8, 2020, over 2,600 of us survived the Almeda firestorm.

I had rented at Trenton Square in Talent for eight and a half years. A Realtor friend, Phyllis, had called mid-morning saying that Ashland’s Quiet Village was on fire. I hoped the tankers and choppers would suppress it. Alas, 50-knot shifting winds proved otherwise.

Mid-afternoon, my landlord, Charlie Hamilton, was trapped in Ashland with freeway closure. Knowing I am retired military, he said to clear all 20 units, saying “Nobody dies on our watch.” Then the trees were igniting in the courtyard. Charlie texted GET OUT NOW!!!

I grabbed a backback with some basics, found a Grants Pass fire crew protecting nearby homes. Asked for a ride out.They said get in and we escaped a wall of fire on both sides of the road.

I found a hotel, then my way to the Expo shelter, encountered my neighbors, which was great, and USAA covered my 79 days as a refugee in three hotels. Landed an Ashland condo with a VA loan on Thanksgiving Day.

Shout out to all of our communities who jumped in to assist. I am forever grateful.

Kevin Wallace


Some R words to ponder

With all the emphasis on rights these days and the other “R” words such as resent, resist, ridicule, revolt, riot, retaliate and revenge, maybe it is time for these to be replaced or balanced with these “R” words:

Responsibility for our own speech and actions.

Respect for each other.

Regard for other people’s rights.

Resolve differences.

Restore peace.

Restructure things where needed.

Repair relationships.

Rebuild structures.

Rehabilitate whatever is broken.

And show remorse.

The world would be a better place.

Brice L. Brandt


Vaccine resistance

Some people are hesitant to be vaccinated because of the “risk” involved.

I wonder if they know that they risk getting hepatitis from eating shellfish? Or norovirus from drinking water? Or salmonella from onions? Or E. coli from sprouts? Or cyclospora from fresh produce?

Why then do these people eat and drink? Because of trust. They trust the food producers. They trust the meat packers. They trust their grocers They even trust the FDA.

So maybe they need to apply this same amount of trust to the coronavirus vaccine.

Jerry Kenefick