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Letters to the Editor, June 23

Convicted by the people

When John Thiry died this week, much of the coverage was about the Oak Knoll fire he was accused of starting.

But this homeless, profoundly mentally ill man was not convicted of starting the fire. If he had been, he would have likely gotten a prison sentence which would have included temperature-controlled accommodations, basic health care and three square meals a day.

Instead he was acquitted of the charges, and free to live a life back on the streets where the whole town shunned him, where he was trespassed from almost every business he entered, where he was excluded from emergency shelters and left to die as his teeth rotted out of his mouth and his hair fell out in patches.

How ironic, he would have fared much better had he actually been convicted by the court. Instead, he died alone and in extreme pain being convicted by the people of Ashland.

Mandy Valencia


Reactions noted

Some reactions I’ve noticed to mass shooting over the years.

Sandy Hook: The left, “We need to do something to curb gun violence.” The right, “Democrats want to trample your 2nd Amendment rights.”

Charlotte: The left, “Gun violence is killing too many people.” The right, “It’s ridiculous to blame the rhetoric of right-wing media for this.”

Orlando: The left, “When will face up to the problem of gun violence?” The right, “A border wall would keep out immigrants who want to kill us.”

Alexandria: The left, “We need to curb gun violence.” The right, “Obama is responsible for this shooting, and Bernie Sanders!” And the right tells the left to stop politicizing mass shootings.

And one observation on Michael Barone’s column where he castigated the left as the instigators of violence. He referenced a production of Julius Caesar in New York where Caesar is portrayed as Donald Trump. He said this showed the left’s hatred towards Trump, forcing the right to condemn the left for its unprecedented levels of vitriol. In 2012 in Minnesota a theater performed a production of Julius Caesar in which Caesar was depicted as Barack Obama and no one said anything about it at the time.

David Ghiringhelli


Food Project says thanks

More than 800 pantry recipients say thank you, Phoenix!

April and June donations to Phoenix Food Project totaled 7,850 lbs of hygiene and household goods, food and clothing plus $800. Donated coupons and sales stretch those dollars.

Thank you letter carriers, food drivers and donors: 2,454 pounds of goods! Thank you, Ray’s Food Place and ACCESS for an abundance of products.

Thanks to can and bottle donors and all who donate much-needed clothing and shoes. Thanks for donating to (and buying from) our successful rummage sale.

Thank You, PETRO and Iron Skillet for cookies, dinners and so much support. And a bazillion thanks, Phoenix volunteers! Our pantry, kitchen and walk-in closet would not happen without you. Clones needed!

One note to all food donors: we, like most pantries, will gladly accept your home-grown fruits and veggies, but, sadly, Health Department regulations say we cannot accept home-canned foods.

Karen Jones, district coordinator


Letters to the Editor, June 23