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Over the line

Strong-arm tactics don't belongin the RVTD recall campaign

The Southern Oregon Central Labor Council has gone overboard with a threatening letter to a local trucking company prompted by the company's perceived role in the recall effort against Rogue Valley Transportation District board members.

The letter to In Transit Inc. treatens to place the company on the Oregon AFL-CIO Unfair List. The list contains names of companies the union feels are unfair to workers.

In Transit was targeted because a building it formerly occupied on Lear Way is being used to collect signatures seeking the recall of five RVTD board members. Two of the five are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which is affiliated with the labor council.

Some recall supporters allege that the targeted board members intend to bring the Valley Lift service now provided by private taxi companies into RVTD, which would mean more union jobs. The board studied the proposal and determined it would cost far more to provide the service in-house.

At this point, board members insist they have no plans to proceed with the proposal. The labor council may not believe them, but tactics like this won't do much to advance their cause.

If the labor council thinks In Transit is unfair to its own employees, fine. Unions look out for the welfare of workers, and they have every right to do so.

But In Transit ' which may not even own the building in question ' has a right to support a political campaign if it wishes to do so. The building's owners do, too.

If the labor council wants to support the board members facing recall, let it campaign on their behalf. But resorting to threats in an effort to block legitimate signature gathering crosses the line.

Another feather

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, already nationally known for its excellence, is gaining international exposure through inclusion of seven of its designs in a prestigious international exhibit.

The exhibit takes place in Prague, Czech Republic, next June. OSF's designs will be exhibited again in Long Beach, Calif., during the annual U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology Inc. Conference and Stage Expo in March.

These exhibits will help bring OSF the international recognition it deserves. The Tony Award won by the festival several years ago helped bring a national reputation to the Ashland theater.

Tapped for the 2003 Prague Quadrennial Scenography Exposition were the costume and scenic designs for this year's productions of Macbeth and Titus Andronicus and the scenic design for the 2001 production of Three Sisters. The composition and sound design for Macbeth and the composition for this year's Julius Caesar also will be heard.

The Prague Quadrennial is considered the preeminent scenographic exhibition in the world. OSF designers and composers can take great pride in bringing high-caliber recognition to what was once just a small community theater in a small Southern Oregon town.