It's not the Senate, it's Republicans

It's not the Senate, it's Republicans

It's the Republicans in the Senate who blocked background checks, who denied the vote, who did not believe that the slain children deserved a vote, or Gabby Giffords, or anybody snuffed by mad shooters could deserve a vote. This is the group that stands athwart our country now and says "No to Democracy."

What is wrong with our media, and even the good citizens writing letters to the paper, who cannot mention the Republicans, but must back off one level, and say "Shame on the Senate." How did the Republicans pull this off?

Jerry Nutter


The right of way ... only for some?

Ashland, the friendly pedestrian and bicyclist city.

A few days ago, I was crossing Lithia, a major downtown street. I was approaching the center of the street within the crosswalk, when suddenly the left lane Ashland police car decided to move forward and make a left turn onto Second Street. The guy in the middle lane raised his hands above his head and remarked aloud, "We have to stop for pedestrians, but the cops don't," so I raised my hands and aloud said, "Would somebody please give that cop a ticket?"

Jeff Kassman


City sets example with consortium

Thank you to the city of Ashland for reaffirming our collective commitment to buying city uniforms from suppliers that are dedicated to fair working conditions. It is a matter of pride that our police force and firefighters (as well as others) wear uniforms that are not made in sweatshops like the Bangladesh factory that just collapsed this week, killing more than 250 workers and injuring hundreds more.

In 2008, Ashland joined the Sweatfree Consortium, which works to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to purchase goods made by children and exploited workers. In light of the Dhaka-based Tazreen clothing factory fire in November (a factory where Walmart supplier clothing was produced), where at least 112 workers were killed, these standards result in life-and-death decisions. And our city is setting an example that other communities are beginning to follow.

Vanessa Houk


Thanks to Rotary Club volunteers

I rode with the Siskiyou Velo, Slo-Mo group from Bear Creek Park south to MP 10 Saturday morning, April 27. It was a pleasure to see a large group of Rotary Club volunteers working south of U.S. Cellular Park mowing, weed whacking and tree and shrub trimming.

On the return ride there were numerous bags of green waste, piles of limbs and debris and a cleaned-up Greenway. Beautiful! In the vicinity of Phoenix, a smaller group of unidentified volunteers were mowing and picking up trash. Little wonder the pathway has been looking so good.

L. Lee Purkerson


Honore column was brilliant

Commendations to the Tidings for having the intelligence and the courage to publish Chris Honore's brilliant and unanswerable argument in favor of the right of all adult Americans to marry, "without exception, regardless of geography."

Gerald Cavanaugh


Parks budget is a small share

A point in the April 24 article Vickie Aldous wrote about Ashland park revenues needs to be clarified. The total parks budget is only 5 percent of the overall city budget. While parks may get half the tax revenue, parks' share of the city's complete budget is not a significant amount.

I am pleased the Parks Commission has adopted a resolution asking the mayor and council to continue funding parks at the current level while they take time to thoroughly study the many issues involved.

A deep examination of all the city's revenue needs for the next five years is definitely called for, and a public process should be part of this examination.

Karen Smith


Extension cuts will cost county more

Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center's (SOREC) federal and state funding requires significant local matching funds. Jackson County's $204,000 cut (11 percent of SOREC's budget) will cause withdrawal of these funds.

Losses include SOREC closure (31 jobs); $8.48 for each county dollar in grants/contracts totaling $590,244 (2012); support for the $23.5 million pear industry, the $7.7 million wine industry, the $66 million agriculture/livestock industry, the $8 million small woodlands industry and the crop seed industry; agripreneurs nursery; landscaping; yard maintenance personnel training; state/federal agricultural regulations assistance; fire hazard reduction; weed abatement; soil/water conservation; streamside/forest restoration; pesticide recertification; Integrated Pest Management; 4-H/after-school programs (4,000-plus children); food safety/nutrition classes (schools, food pantries, food kitchens); older adult chronic health programs; the Master Gardener program (self-supporting); the plant clinic (3,000-plus inquiries annually); business income from 4-H activities; business income related to the Spring Garden Fair (150 vendors, 7,000-8,000 attendees); Winter Dreams Summer Gardens (annual gardening symposium, 300-plus attendees); 900-plus classes annually; agricultural/horticultural information for newspapers, radio, TV; 30,000-plus volunteer hours (more than $650,000 value); school support ($5,000-plus in 2012); community gardens support ($5,000-plus); OSU scholarships for county students ($5,000-plus). SOREC's value far exceeds $204,000!

Elizabeth (Jane) Moyer

Central Point