Stromberg has done good work for city
John Stromberg has shepherded some important solutions to long-standing community challenges during his tenure as mayor. He helped bring all parties together and worked with Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to acquire funding for the Ashland Forest Resiliency thinning project in the watershed. With his leadership and the input of citizens, the City Council drew up an economic development strategy for the town, fixed the Wimer-Hersey intersection and developed a water master plan.
Mayor Stromberg also appointed the homelessness steering committee to find practical solutions to issues of the homeless — and the increasing numbers at risk of homelessness — in Ashland. I encourage Ashland residents to re-elect John Stromberg as Mayor.
Letter mis-stated facts about the homeless
I'd like to correct several errors in the Oct. 5 letter from Donald Politis.
1. When he says the "home free" don't want or deserve our help, I don't think he's taking into account that only about 20 percent of homeless adults in Ashland are homeless by choice (28 out of 140, according to the January 2012 survey). Since some of this 20 percent are mentally ill, the true percentage of "home free" is extremely small.
2. He says if we help street people it will attract more of them. This sounds logical, but scientific research has refuted it — apparently homeless people much more often choose to be near friends and family in a familiar place than move somewhere with better services. Ashland is a case in point — we have no homeless shelter and few homeless services and yet the January 2012 survey found that we have well over 200 homeless residents and over half of them have been in Ashland for more than four years. Also, it is possible to provide help in a way that does not encourage more homeless people to come to Ashland or prolong the homelessness of those already here, for example by focusing on residents rather than transients, and on reintegrating them into the job economy when possible.
3. Mr. Politis is wrong to say that it has been proposed that The Grove be turned over to homeless people. The Grove was paid for by citizens who wanted it to be a center for Ashland youth, and the recent proposal by Community Works would restore The Grove to its intended function.
The mission of Community Works is to help young people, particularly those from poor or dysfunctional families, but my understanding is that all youth in Ashland would be welcome at The Grove if Community Works were to be given its management.
4. Finally, I disagree with Mr. Politis when he says that Carol Voisin only represents homeless people. Like many in Ashland, she wants to find solutions to the homeless problem, but her concerns are much wider than just that issue. My understanding is that she researches every matter that comes before the council very carefully, and listens to input from everyone who contacts her, before deciding how to vote. I do not know her well, but I once heard her talk about the sewage treatment plant in detail, and it was clear she understood the complex financial and administrative implications very well, and that she cares about Ashland and its future very much.
Please help me understand the GOP
Please help me. Did I understand correctly that the Republican platform is:
1. to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases?
2. to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline?
3. to end end support for Amtrak and high-speed rail?
Must we reject science to be a Republican? I find this unbelievable.
A bewildered independent,
Elizabeth R. Hallett