Make your voices heard on ACH deal
Ashland Community Hospital is making quite a stir. Behind doors closed to public scrutiny a decision has been made to contract with San Francisco-based Dignity Health to take over and save the hospital from bankruptcy.
The economic agenda is good as far as it goes; Dignity has the money. Also on the table are two issues that the public has not been given the opportunity to address until last week, when hospital CEO Mark Marchetti introduced Dignity Health to those attending the forum: Physicians working for the hospital "would not be able to prescribe ... medication that induces death." And both abortion on demand and contraception will be off the table.
Most Ashland doctors don't take Medicare patients. Those under the care of the hospital's clinic must abide by Dignity Health's rules, and "We have our feet in Catholic mud," said a spokeswoman (quoted in the Daily Tidings, Sept. 15).
Is democracy dead in Ashland? There's a two- to three-week window of opportunity to address our council members before they vote to accept Dignity's offer. We must contact each one and attend the City Council meetings before we're shut out of the process.
Get involved to protect climate
Americans living in over half the counties in the nation know what being declared a disaster area means and what the consequences of climate change feel like. Democrats, Republicans and independents in these counties have suffered the consequences of heat waves, droughts, and wildfires.
That the planet is warming and humans are responsible is accepted by 97 percent of practicing climate scientists. It is difficult to imagine greater scientific consensus.
Our decision whether to accept the scientific consensus should not be determined by our political affiliation. We may not like the implications, but judging scientific reality should not be a partisan issue.
Even in the Rogue Valley, climate change is already evident. Unfortunately, from local to national levels our response to the risks posed by climate change has been inadequate.
Rogue Valley residents who are interested in becoming locally active are invited to attend the inaugural meeting of a Rogue Valley Climate Protection Organization, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Medford Public Library, 205 S. Central Ave. The main purpose of the meeting will be to explore activities that the organization might undertake. Participants are invited to come with ideas and a willingness to become actively involved.
Thanks for quick thinking, honesty
I want to express my gratitude for a recent incident that showed the quick thinking and honesty of at least two people in Ashland. My bike bag fell off my bike, without me noticing it.
As soon as I got home, I realized it was missing and retraced my steps. No luck.
Back at home, I called my cell phone, which was in my purse in the bag. No answer. But a minute later, my home phone rang.
It was the manager at Standing Stone, who said that a woman had found the bike bag on the corner and brought it into the restaurant. The manager (I'm sorry, I didn't catch his name) put it in his office for safe keeping.
From start to finish, the whole incident took 20 minutes. I am deeply grateful to both of these people for taking the time to see that this bag was returned. This is one of those deeds of kindness that makes me so appreciate Ashland. Thank you.
Ignoring climate change is risky
Medical diagnoses about the existence and causes of cancer, heart disease, etc., are not evaluated through political partisanship but through medical science. Similarly, whether climate change exists and by what it is caused are not appropriately decided by politicians but should be judged by climate scientists, and 97 percent of them agree it's happening and human-caused. This is nonpolitical and nonpartisan.
According to the Romney-Ryan campaign and the Republican Party, climate change is nothing but a hoax; it's a joke, something to ignore.
According to the Obama-Biden campaign and Democrats, however, climate change is neither a hoax nor a joke, but something seriously to be considered and addressed. Extreme heat waves, droughts, wildfires and dwindling summer Arctic ice cap are evidence for all.
We cannot afford a government that rejects science and ignores consequences. Just as a patient doing this risks death, we risk national and global disaster.