Obama takes a step toward peace with Iran

Obama takes a step toward peace with Iran

I applaud President Obama for picking up the phone to talk to Iran's new president and for discussing the importance of U.S.-Iran cooperation to resolve global conflicts. This phone call marks an important step forward in pressing for an end to the vicious cycle of confrontation that has plagued the U.S. and Iran for decades.

Solving problems between countries requires compromise on all sides, and the U.S. and Iran are no different. The U.S. is not an exceptional country; if it ratifies international laws and treaties, it is bound to honor and obey them equivalent to U.S. laws or take the consequences of being known as a rogue, lawless and morally debased state. Iran apparently needs to agree to transparency of its nuclear program over and above the U.N. inspections over the last 12-plus years and to other steps to ensure it does not build nuclear weapons. The U.S., for its part, if there is true justice, will have to lift all sanctions in exchange for Iran's concession, in order to prevent war.

Rosemarie Pease


Realtors look for balance in rental issue

Thank you for printing the correction regarding our stance on the short-term rental decision made by the City Council on Sept. 17. We wanted to take this opportunity to further clarify what we presented to the Ashland City Council members.

Our only intent with the letter to the City Council was to request standing on the issue for future discussions and to offer our assistance and input, if needed.

We felt that it was important that any modifications to current ordinances regarding short-term rentals be clear, understandable and enforceable, that the rights of property owners in all zoning districts and neighborhoods be taken into account, and that any changes properly reflect the needs of a tourist-oriented community like Ashland. We have and will continue to closely monitor the discussions and proposals being made related to short-term vacation rentals. We felt that it was important that any ordinance revisions proposed balance the needs of those who are complying with current ordinances with a need to bring reasonable regulation to those who are not, and that there be a clear and concise explanation of the decision with enough lead time prior to its effective date that all impacted will be prepared for any adjustments and will have time to properly comply.

The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Realtor Code of Ethics, the preamble to which begins with, "Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization." A hallmark of the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, and Realtor Associations nationwide, is that we are a strong proponent of property rights, both private and commercial. We are fully aware that without reasonable local regulation, property rights and values can be negatively impacted. Our membership is comprised of just over 800 Realtors in both Jackson and Josephine counties and they represent both residential and commercial clients. We will continue to monitor, protect, and preserve property rights and promote legislation and policy that allows wise utilization of the land.

Don Livingood

2013 President

Rogue Valley Association of Realtors

Reflective clothing will keep you safe

I would just like to remind early morning runners that as dark as it is at 6 a.m., it would be much appreciated to wear reflective gear or a light of some sort to help us drivers see you quicker. I drive Siskiyou to Crowson each morning and it's pretty scary to not see you until I am right on you. Please, if not for your own safety, then for my peace of mind.

Linda Goins


Eyes to Burma sends its thanks

Eyes to Burma, an Ashland-based nonprofit organization, would like to acknowledge several local businesses for their community spirit and generosity. Shop'n Kart, the Ashland Food Co-op, Albertson's and Starbucks have all donated products for our upcoming fundraising events. These donations are very meaningful, as we are an all-volunteer, direct-aid nonprofit which provides necessities of life to Burmese families living and working on a garbage dump in Thailand.

Because Eyes to Burma has no salaries to pay, no overhead, and no administrative costs, each donation goes far to meet the needs of this struggling community in Mae Sot. Every dollar directly funds clean water, food, medicine, or housing materials.

We also express our gratitude to Band du Pays, swing dance instructor Clay Nelson and Grizzly Peak Winery for their involvement in our upcoming concert and dance party benefit from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. We feel fortunate to live in such a generous, supportive community.

Eileen Chiecosecretary, Eyes to Burma

Thanks to senator for opposing Syria action

I am writing to publicly express my gratitude and appreciation for the courage my Senator in representing me and my husband. Recently his stand was with the majority of citizens who do not want to bomb Syria, but his is an ongoing battle for what is right and good. Thank you Senator Jeff Merkley.

Patti Jo and Russ Edwards

Grants Pass