PAC literature has some uses
It's unfortunate enough that we've grown accustomed to the politics of denigration, castigation and us-vs.-them antagonisms on a national level. But now, experiencing those same ugly tendencies defiling our local political climate is especially disconcerting.
What is it about these moneyed PACs that often leave us feeling sullied by contact with their propaganda? I've been thinking about that after seeing some of the attack ads being circulated in our community and hearing from other residents chagrined by that growing trend in our own home town.
It seems that when people group themselves into these narrowly focused entities, what tends to emerge is hostility and division, typically manifesting as derision directed at those they perceive might stand in the way of their agendas. Even worse is that they try to draw us in as well, attempting to turn us against the victims of their attacks, with the idea that once we are convinced of the awfulness of those individuals, our only alternative will be to turn to those they support to save ourselves from the utter destruction they want us to believe will ensue otherwise.
In spite of all that, however, there is one saving grace relative to receipt of their literature. It provides us with a handy reference to the candidates who, if they don't vehemently repudiate the offensive literature, those of us who decry such contaminating influences will have a clear understanding of who we will definitely not want to see wind up on our next "great City Council."
Commissioner backs commissioner hopeful
I'm delighted to vote for Vicki Tripoli to serve on the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.
She has volunteered in a variety of educational programs at North Mountain Park Nature Center and in the schools.
She also worked with parks staff, commissioners and other citizens to shape a policy regarding pesticide use that represents the environmental values of the citizens of Ashland. She listened carefully to all opinions and questions, as well as offering her professional expertise.
After 16 years on the commission, I will be stepping aside. I trust that Vicki will represent the critical thinking, consensus-building, and caring for the whole community that so many of us value.
Something fishy is going on
I was rather shocked by the blatant disregard by everyone on the City Council except for "lone voice" Carol Voisin, of the public's right to comment in the last meeting.
Instead, they prevented discussion and didn't even ask "Dignity" the obvious questions. Something fishy is going on with this deal, and we can smell it. And Carol Voisin is the only council member who has truly represented the interest of Ashland citizens in this. We need to re-elect her. And take a very close look at the others before voting. What are they doing there? We need real representation. It's our town, too!
Keep Ben Bloom on the circuit bench
Please join me in voting for Judge Ben Bloom. Judicial experience and competence matter. Judge Bloom has proven his ability as a trial judge. He is a highly regarded and well-respected judge. Let's keep him on the bench.
Allen G. Drescher
Emergency Food Bank says thanks for gifts
Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, kale, potatoes and cabbages fit for a king — the Ashland Emergency Food Bank has been blessed by garden offerings during this harvest season. Nearly every day for the past several months, local gardeners have come to our doors with fresh produce to share. In addition to individual donations, The Ashland Rotary Club's garden contributed 1,500 pounds of produce (868 pounds of onions alone!) to AEFB. As a result, families using our services have been able to feast on home-grown squash, backyard pears and apples, and all manner of fresh fruits and vegetables.
On behalf of our board of directors, volunteers and clients, thank you for your kindness and generosity. In particular, we are grateful to Kent Patton and Ann Marie Hutson, who spearheaded the Rotary efforts, as well as Stella and Ned Schaaf, who provided the necessary garden space.
Each day as I greet donors, volunteers and clients at the Food Bank, I find myself overwhelmed by the compassion of our community. Thank all of you so much for supporting our work and helping to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.
Pam Marsh, manager, Ashland Emergency Food Bank
Agee is the better candidate for council
The race between Jackie Agee and Carol Voisin for City Council has been characterized by Voisin and some of her supporters as liberal vs. conservative. That's nonsense.
No one has ever accused me of being conservative, but I support Jackie for the seat. I think her experience, personality and judgment make her a far better candidate to serve the city. Some Voisin supporters seem to think that Carol's difficulty getting along with other councilors is a badge of honor.
But it's not — it's a sign that something isn't working. Ashland needs councilors who can effectively work together, and Jackie has proven she can do that. She'll also bring important skills to the office: Her work with the Salvation Army gives her first-hand knowledge of the varied resources available to help Ashland make informed choices about our homeless population, and her experience as publisher of the Tidings has inspired her to make improving communications between city government and residents a priority. I'm looking forward to seeing Jackie on the council.