• Letters to the editor, June 8

  • Nudity laws need to be changed; Two Oregon bills would help fix aging school buildings; Article about Auchincloss was gutter journalism; Blackberries may provide habitat for migratory birds
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    • Submission guidelines
      All submissions for the Opinion Page should be e-mailed in text-only format to tidingsopinion@dailytidings.com. Please include address and a daytime phone number. All submissions should be followed...
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      Submission guidelines
      All submissions for the Opinion Page should be e-mailed in text-only format to tidingsopinion@dailytidings.com. Please include address and a daytime phone number. All submissions should be followed up with a phone call by the author to 482-3456 x225 to confirm your submission within 48 hours of sending it.

      Letters: Submissions are limited to 250 words. Letters are given priority and published as soon as possible. Letters At Length and Guest Editorials are published as space permits. Letters At Length: Submissions limited to 400 words and may be edited for content and clarity. Guest Editorials: Submissions limited to 500 words. All submissions may be edited for content and clarity. Local residents only are encouraged to submit guest editorials on timely issues. All editorials must include a tag line at the bottom of the submission that informs readers of who the author is and how long he or she has lived in Jackson County. The Tidings seeks to encourage thoughtful, well-reasoned letters and to discourage personal attacks, repetitive messages and personal disputes.
  • Nudity laws need to be changed
    It's been a long time since I have been as angry as when I read your article in the June 3 edition of the Mail Tribune (see June 2 Tidings article "Nudist in Ashland draws gripes"). A naked man at an elementary school crossing is totally unacceptable! I don't care if it is legal in Oregon; it is something that needs to be corrected. Our kids face schoolyard shooting threats; now they have something else to upset them. No wonder so many parents choose to homeschool their kids. It seems to me there are regulations against having an "adult store" close to a school. Same with sex offenders and probably taverns. So now it's OK for a naked man to be near a school area? Something needs to be changed. If not the state of Oregon law, then local laws. Already the genitals must be covered in downtown area, so why not an ordinance around schools?
    Lori Prestwood
    Two Oregon bills would help fix aging school buildings
    Across Oregon, students are learning in aging, substandard facilities that lack basic safety equipment (38 percent of Oregon school buildings have neither working fire alarms nor automatic sprinklers) and are not built to withstand the sizable earthquake seismologists warn us is coming. The state of Oregon is in the bottom 25 percent nationally when judged on support for school facilities, both for funding and technical assistance.
    There are two bills this legislative session that would start the process of fixing our school buildings. HB 2013 establishes a task force to complete a statewide, building-by-building assessment of schools. HB 3476 authorizes the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department to establish a revolving loan fund for the predevelopment costs of schools and planning. These two bills will establish the depth of the problem and give school districts the assistance they need to plan for 21st century buildings.
    Justin Hurley
    Central Point
    Co-chair, Center for Innovative School Facilities
    Article about Auchincloss was gutter journalism
    It is both unfair and poor journalism for a newspaper to use a pirated search warrant — surely a felonious source — to drag a citizen's name through public mud. We refer to your story on James Auchincloss (see June 4 Tidings article "Prominent Ashlander investigated for child porn"). So far as you or anyone of us knows, he has not yet been indicted, much less convicted, for any crime. Clearly, your editorial decision was based upon the prurient rumors hovering about the alleged infractions and on the "celebrity" angle concerning the offspring of a famous American family. We deplore such gutter journalism.
    Ragan and Gerald Cavanaugh
    Blackberries may provide habitat for migratory birds
    This is with regard to the threatened destruction of blackberry bushes near Almeda Drive in Ashland, as described in the June 6 Daily Tidings article "Neighborhood blackberry bushes slated for removal."
    City officials are claiming that these bushes, though not near any forested land or particularly close to housing, constitute a fire danger. It has been declared that they shall be removed by means of mowing and herbicide poisoning. There is no mention of restoration of this habitat post-eradication.
    There is an important issue to consider: Are any migratory songbirds currently sheltering, nesting and/or feeding in this stand of berries? If so, they are protected against interference by the International Migratory Songbird Treaty. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a federal law enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    It would behoove the city of Ashland to investigate further before incurring federal sanctions. It is therefore very strongly urged that city officials/attorneys/fire and rescue personnel and park administrators consult with local bird experts to determine the legality of their proposed actions. For example, members of the local Audubon Society would no doubt be happy to cooperate in this investigation.
    Kate Fuller
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