Wake up and smell the divestment
Getting a college education and earning a degree is extremely important in order to be successful in today's job market. Not only is higher education integral for a career, it is an opportunity to become a well-rounded and productive citizen of society while gaining the necessary skills to be a professional and help make the world a better place.
Unfortunately, over the past few decades there has been systemic divestment of higher education in the state of Oregon. Public universities in Oregon are receiving less and less state funding, which has resulted in a barrage of issues such as schools in debt, students graduating with the highest amount of debt ever seen, tuition increases, program cuts and many more. Tuition is the highest it's ever been and has been increasing at a higher rate than the Consumer Price Index for the past several years. Oregon provides 44 percent less funding per college student compared to the rest of the nation.
Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." With all of the problems the world is facing, shouldn't Oregon, a progressive and opportunity-laden state, provide a public commodity for its citizens?
Gun meeting story was balanced
I was in attendance during the Monday, Feb. 3, Ashland City Council meeting. Thus I respond to the Tuesday, Feb. 4, Ashland Daily Tidings news story: "Ashland to research legal side of gun regulations.
A fellow gun person and Second Amendment activist who likewise attended this public gathering commented in response: "At least the article, for once, was very well written and balanced." I agree. Vickie Aldous of the Tidings was fair.
Naturally I had mixed feelings about this meeting. A local citizen protester was present with his AR-15 type rifle and holstered semi-automatic pistol. While I certainly support his statement in solidarity, as a devout Christian in contrast, I certainly couldn't condone doing this myself. I chose to leave my firearms at home.
The Bible states: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." — 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Nonetheless, the person with his personal weapons, convictions and stance has legitimate, heartfelt passions pertaining to the gun issue.
Too, I noticed several mothers and children (God bless them) were also present during this meeting. They obviously care deeply about public safety, decency, morality and making Ashland a better, sane community. We on the pro-gun side of the debate do also, including helping women and addressing women's safety.
"Facts and Myths: Children and Guns" for Feb. 1, 2014, at www.jpfo.org contains credible insights. Perhaps two past letters of mine which ran in the Ashland Daily Tidings ("Answers are hard to find after Newtown," Dec. 24, 2012), and the Mail Tribune ("Concealed means concealed," July 31, 2011) at their respective sites, remain archived for public reference. Anything I say beyond this will only be repetitive anyway.
Thanks for allowing me to express my heartfelt emotions while addressing a difficult, divisive issue. May God have mercy on America. The Christian community/body of Christ (the churches) must unite and come together in prayer, and call for national repentance.
The salvation and future of our constitutional republic demands it!
James A. Farmer
Super Bowl behavior baffling
On Super Bowl Sunday, vandals kicked out six of my driveway lights.
I am guessing they were overly excited at the Hawks' win or depressed at the Broncos' loss. In addition, it is likely they were drunk and are stupid. None of these should have exacted a price on me.
Human nature is simply inexplicable. I can't help but think these were young men, traveling in a group and showing off their pride or anger to one another. Jeez; grow up already.
Simplify the Plaza: Reduce the clutter
The issue of the appearance of the Plaza is more than a problem of the dark pavers. The issue is clutter. Lots of it.
Take a casual stroll through the very small park area and you will see: a bike rack; signs declaring what you can't do (No Animals, etc.); a sign explaining lithia water; a bus stop shed; wooden benches; long concrete walls with busy, colorful murals; a large blue mail drop box; lamp posts (with hanging plant baskets); an information booth with a sign and "stuff" showing inside; garbage cans (with signs); a boulder; patches of grass; trees; shrubs; two large fountains with multiple spouts; painted curbs; traffic signs; and a kiosk with postings.
To this imposing array of clutter some people suggest inserting movable tables and chairs. Please urge the Plaza committee to subtract, not add, to simplify, to soften the look, to reduce the clutter.