Letters, June 30
I’m stunned and frightened that Ashland is allowing any kind of fireworks on July 4 this year. Tonight outside my house young people set off sparkling fireworks that exploded near my house and into the juniper starting sparks in the foliage. When I went outside they happily informed me that there would be “a lot more fire on the 4th of July and that I had better get used to it.”
Is the city insane? This is terrifying and really, really stupid! I don’t get it. Fire department? Where are you? Any one else concerned about this?
Editor’s note: The Ashland Chamber of Commerce has announced that the July 4 fireworks show in Ashland has been cancelled.
Despite the hand-wringing of Ashland City Council member Steve “Chicken Little” Jensen and his sidekick in panic, Tonya Graham, I’d bet that on-the-ground city employees in Ashland can continue to do their jobs even without $265K Interim Pro Tem Adam Hanks for a few weeks, or even months. If they can’t, it’s an indication that Hanks wasn’t actually The Greatest Fearless Leader Ever. As for the finance director, she’s had 17 jobs over the last 24 years, so no surprise she’s leaving Ashland so quickly. Could we continue clearing the decks? How about the resignation of HR Director Tina Gray? She’s managed to recommend two consultants in a row who couldn’t find anyone to lead a city of 21,000 souls in a bucolic college town. Time for less fretting and some new management with genuine competence.
In Representative Marsh and Senator Golden, Southern Oregon has legislators who accept climate science and understand that climate change and the consequent increasing wildfire risk need to be addressed.
These champions of reality and sanity led efforts as the 2021 Legislative session drew to a close, to pass HB2021, which requires that electricity sold in Oregon become 100% fossil-free by 2040. We know completely eliminating all fossil fuels from our energy economy is critical to the survival of life on the planet as we know it. Meanwhile, the governor’s 2019 wildfire council report on addressing fire risk, which has been ignored by many legislators, formed the basis of SB762.
Regrettably, both bills passed with little support from our local Republican representatives. We congratulate all legislators who have accepted science and reality but will remember those demonstrating a delusional, purely partisan and willful failure to accept that we need to address the global climate crisis here in Oregon, and we need to undertake sane measures to address the unfortunate consequences of increasing wildfire risk.
Southern Oregonians should support Marsh and Golden and express their disappointment to Senators Linthicum and Robinson and Representatives Brock Smith, Stark, Morgan, Wallan and Breese Iverson.
Co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN)