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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 30

Have cake, eat it too

Jacksonville has enacted building codes that will ultimately create a high-density, high-population, pseudo-historic landscape for archaeologists to excavate in the future and find the original town.

Building codes, chapters 18.11.20 and 17.36.040, are at the center of the debate of whether Jacksonville preserves historic integrity or, as the city wishes, continues with these building codes, collecting new fees and taxes and allowing developers, investors and Realtors to capitalize. After high-density development, we will move to expand our urban boundaries.

The only obstacles to the city's success with this are the "Historic Charter" and HARC committee, which reviews new construction for compliance with the charter. Unless these are eliminated, the City Council will continue to be placed in an embarrassed, compromised and contradictory position.

Obviously our goal is development, and history has no place here. Our leaders tell us that the majority of the people demand development; that plentiful water and a solid infrastructure can easily handle urban sprawl.

I propose that we remove this albatross around our necks, namely, the National Historic Landmark of Jacksonville. Then, we can truly have our cake and eat it too.

Steven A.Gardner, Jacksonville

Ashland Kiwanis says thanks

Ashland Kiwanis placed its Christmas giving trees at the Ashland Bi-Mart store and at the Ashland Tennis and Fitness Club again this year. Trees were decorated with the names of children recommended by South Valley Community Human Services in Ashland.

Additional gifts that were needed to complete the gift-giving were shopped for by AHS Key Club members, and purchased by Kiwanis. All gifts were wrapped by Kiwanis members, “friends of Kiwanis” and AHS Key Clubbers, and delivered before Christmas..

Kiwanis sends a big thank you to the Ashland community for taking the name tags and buying the special gifts requested by these children. Your generosity helped make Christmas for these kids a little brighter this year.

To learn more about Kiwanis, call (541)488-0532 or visit our website at ashlandkiwanis.org.

Ron Parker, Ashland Kiwanis Club

Training needed

We went out to check our mailbox on Christmas Eve and there was our 2014 tax booklet.

The Oregon Department of Revenue played its part in the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2 with perfect timing: "For in those days there went out a decree into the land, that all the people should be taxed." Someone in Salem needs to have some sensitivity training.

Oscar Zuniga, Medford

'Interview' not worth watching

My wife and I started watching “The Interview” on YouTube last night. Sadly, we agree with North Korea, the movie should not have been released — to anyone. It was soooo bad that, had we been paying customers in a movie theater, we would have walked out after 15 minutes. Indeed, we almost walked out of our house!

Too bad this sophomoric attempt to make murder humorous could not have distracted us from our international realities: the complete waste of thousands of U.S. soldiers in our current and preceding “wars” du jour (from Vietnam to the Middle East), the loss of trillions of war dollars from our country’s treasury to engorge the wallets of our corporate war profiteers, the deaths of and “collateral damage” to hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings at our hands, the diverting and irreplaceable loss of funds necessary to salvage our country’s collapsing infrastructure, and the embracing by the majority of our citizens (51 percent according the a recent Pew survey) of torture.

Given the unparalleled successes of our torture and weapons of mass destruction, perhaps sequels to “The Interview” would also be appropriate until they, too, get things right.

Tom Davis, Jacksonville

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 30