On a recent weekend, Ruby, a Jack Russell Terrier was — walking with her owner along a path at the Denman Wildlife Refuge (Area), — and the next minute she was in the jaws of trap, that reportedly was legally — set to kill otters, muskrats and raccoons. Law officials who responded — said that the traps are legal! Please know that I have never in all my — years of being an animal activist have I heard trapping on refuge grounds. — What is a refuge but a place for animals to be safe and observe by the — general public? Things like this tend to get brushed under the carpet — in hopes that everyone will forget. This is such a tragedy and words just — don't express how dismayed I am about the lax the laws in this area are — for animal protection.

We would like to ensure that this never happens again — to another Ruby, or any other animal. And one might think of the fact — that it might have been a child that ventured into the brush ... then — what would people say and do!

Denise Shannon

Tidings doesn't follow its policy

On Friday, Jan. 28, the Tidings ran an article on the — top of the front page about the resignation of the obviously disgruntled — chairman of Ashland's Forest Lands Commission. This is news? People resign — from commissions all the time and there's nary a mention. The supposed — newsworthiness of this resignation is that the current chairman doesn't — want to work with Cate Hartzell, the city councilor whom our mayor has — designated as liaison to the commission. The chairman cites the usual — mantra to smear Cate, that she slows the public process and makes productivity — difficult. In other words, she asks too many questions and doesn't abide — by the "business as usual or shut up" way of doing things. This same tactic — was used during the recent campaign, but it obviously didn't work since — Cate won reelection by such a wide margin.

Then the very next day, the Tidings' editorial decried — smear campaigns not only nationally, but at the local level. If the Tidings' — editor is so sensitive to these practices, why did he allow such a mean — spirited attack on the front page of this supposedly objective publication?

Alice Hardesty — Ashland