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Letters, July 10

A lot of smoke

One very successful strategy politicians and others often use when uncomfortable facts about their behavior or actions are disclosed is to deny the facts, attack the messenger and question their motives. Repeated attacks, often personal, make this strategy even more effective. It’s also effective to simply change the subject instead of addressing the issues.

Welcome to Ashland.

Can it be that it’s just part of a normal transition in government that a potential fire chief withdrew his application, that the city attorney, the acting city manager and the chief financial officer suddenly decided to resign, and that two recruiting firms hired to find a new city manager decided not to do business with city?

If this is all pure coincidence, there’s sure a lot of smoke for no fire.

Roy Laird


What have you people done?

As an Ashland native, I often look back on my storied “Rockwellian” childhood, growing up in what could only be described as a Southern Oregon fantasy life.

My dad had a restaurant on the plaza for a time. He and my grandfather barbered on the Plaza for decades and were great friends with Walt DeBoer — the founder of Lithia Motors and many others. All amazing people!

I was born in 1960 in the old hospital near where the Stevenson Union building now sits at Southern Oregon University. Attended Lincoln School, Junior High and graduated Ashland High School in 1978, then went on to study at “SOSC.”

As a youngster, we roamed the city, Lithia Park and various places our parents probably don’t want to know the details about!

We had business folks, loggers, cowboys, thespians, students, tourists and a dynamic, engaged and patriotic local population. We respected each other’s diversity of opinion — even when we were hit with more than our share of the hippie tsunami of the ’60s.

What made Ashland “special” was its unparalleled sense of pride in community. The sheer beauty of the Boulevard — parks, sidewalks and neighborhoods — It was a lovely place.

Driving the streets of Ashland recently I noted massive deterioration of streets, homes, sidewalks — the Boulevard has been destroyed, John McLaren must be rolling in his grave over the desecration of his open vision for Lithia Park, now lined with wire fencing and insidious restrictive barriers. What has been done here is nothing short of criminal negligence, in my humble opinion.

Roger Fredinburg

Central Point