It is time to ask tough questions




I am tired of the media playing rhetorical gymnastics as moderators of the so-called debates.




I am not interested in their religious affiliations, I want to know how are jobs going to stay in America? How are the so-called Christians going to bring home our troops? How are they going to stop gouging the public at the gas pumps? How will health care affect me at age 63? How will stem cell research be funded, if at all? Why are congressional and CEO salaries tripling faster than the minimum wage? And, finally, why are there more foreclosures than there is affordable housing?




I'm more interested in issues, not what religion they profess to be. When newspaper writers ask these questions, then they can call themselves journalists.




Jeanne H. Smith




Talent




Officials should be contacted




Congress is more interested in being re-elected than in dealing with the health care crisis in America. Every other industrialized nation in the world has a single-payer, universal health care plan.




Congress is afraid to risk the loss of dollars from the lobbyists from health insurance, drug companies, huge medical centers and medical machinery manufacturers.




Please write to your elected congressional members today. Let them know their lack of action on real health care reform is simply not acceptable.




Carolann Hennen









'Choose Peace'




On June 7, my aunt, who was visiting from Seattle, and I finished a peace panel and hung it on the peace fence. The fence was the dream of Jean Bakewell and her friends, who organized artists and put panels on the railroad fence as a surprise for Ashland on the eve of Mother's Day.




It took a couple of days to make the panel and it was not a work of art, but a work of love for our planet, our people and a desire for world peace.




Jean advised me on June 19 that the panel had been stolen during the night along with three others. I am enclosing a picture because I just bet it is hanging on someone's wall and maybe if Mom, Dad or a friend recognizes it, it may be returned. No questions asked, of course, and no retribution of any kind.




As you can see, the message was "Choose Peace." Choosing peace is how we can have a peaceful world. It is something every one of us can do every moment of the day as we take control of our thoughts of anger, judgment, and misery, and switch them to peace. I choose peace because the alternative is painful.




There will be a benefit concert on Saturday, Aug. 4, to honor Jean, the organizers and the artists. You can find out more about the concert at , or to contribute a panel to the fence at .




Please mark your calendars and bring your friends. Kids are free! I am choosing peace and I want the person or people who took it to know that they are forgiven and loved.




Sally McKirgan









Thanks to the Briscoe Art Wing




Once again, the Briscoe Art Wing folks have done a great service for our community with their MidSummer's Dream Art and Music Festival (June 16-17).




This is a perfect example of reciprocity, everyone giving and receiving, everyone benefiting, everyone sharing and being uplifted by the high quality of art, craft and music, and the joy of social engagement, dancing together, being in harmony and mutual support.




Kudos and boundless gratitude to the organizers, purveyors and participants from all walks of life who made this wonderful state of the art weekend so full of life and love.




Dot Fisher-Smith