Letter about Recology contained some errors
Constance Stalling's letter to the editor (Jan. 10) regarding her garbage pickup service with Recology Ashland Sanitary Service contained several misstatements of fact, borne of a misunderstanding that was corrected after she wrote the letter.
It is correct that the cost of yellow bags increased by 8 percent on Jan. 1, along with all other Recology rates. However, no one is required to buy new bags every month, nor is anyone who uses the yellow-bag program billed for any additional garbage pickup service, unless they request it.
No decisions have been made by the City Council regarding the future of the existing recycling center. However, a recent report prepared for the council noted that the recycling center costs $120,000 a year to operate, while collecting a very small percentage of the recyclables in Ashland. That cost, however, is borne by all Ashland ratepayers, whether they use the recycling center or not.
There are also no plans to "make everyone pay for curbside pickup of everything," although questions have been raised as to whether it's legal and feasible to have a "recycling only" rate. This question and the future of the recycling center are legitimate public policy matters. Citizens of Ashland should be assured that the council has not ignored these and other solid waste-related issues that deserve and will receive a full public airing in the months ahead.
How is this not a culture war?
The sheriffs of two counties have announced they will not enforce federal gun laws, claiming they're "defending our Constitution." Both seem like decent guys, and they probably think they're acting nobly to save us.
But I wonder, have they scratched the words "promote domestic tranquility" and "well-regulated" from their version of our Constitution? Do they favor ever more guns on our streets? Have they no obedience to their office and the law, no loyalty to the political and legislative processes of our common society?
Did they similarly stand up to the multi-agency invasions on hippies growing pot, or help organize it? Flowers leading to giggles got SWAT squads. Fearful, angry people imposing weapons of war onto our streets, strutting about with guns, as if their right and the right thing to do? They're enabled. How is this not a culture war, complete with one side arming up? And how is that not a war on culture?
These gentlemen have spoken rashly. Many citizens want fewer guns, not more. Instead, we endure a growing menace of fearful, angry, gun-wielding people, which serves the gun-sellers who profit by making it worse.
We deserve an apology. If they won't offer that, they deserve reprimand or dismissal. What trust, respect, and support do we owe our sheriffs (and the counties that should supervise them) if they reflexively pick a side of a sensitive, complicated, and volatile issue and impose it?
Winters and federal law: Irony escapes him
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters says he will not enforce a federal ban on assault weapons, yet he spent the county's money zealously pursuing a court case to prevent a woman who was a state-legal medical marijuana patient from obtaining a handgun permit. Sheriff Winters argued that issuing the license would violate federal gun control laws. Looks like Winters plans to pick and choose what federal laws he will enforce. The irony seems to escape him.