Health care is a basic right
It's ironic that the U.S. spends more than any other industrialized nation on health care each year, yet thousands of americans have to pay the ultimate price for not being able to afford health insurance, or if they can, for not being able to predict sudden policy changes on behalf of the insurance company that suddenly render their cover invalid for the condition they have been shelling out thousands, even millions for each year.
I'm still hearing "America the free" all around. Excuse me, maybe this term was justifiable in our pioneer days after persecution from Europe, but how in the world are we more free now than any other industrialized country? In fact I'd say, with national health insurance and higher education that everyone can afford provided in every other industrialized nation in Europe, they're more "free" than we are right now. I hope politicians realize citizens are willing to take the necessary steps to insure that we are at least to be given our basic rights.
Vital voter information
If you're an Ashland voter, here's some information to keep handy about September's ballot to reopen the library.
162; August 28: Voter Registration deadline (any U.S. Citizen who is a resident of Oregon who will be 18 or over on Election Date is eligible to vote)
162; August 31: Ballots for Measure 15-79 mailed to Ashland voters
162; Sept. 10 thru Sept. 18, 8 p.m.: Ballot drop site open behind Ashland Public Library
162; Sept. 11: Deadline to mail address changes to Elections Office
162; Sept. 13: Deadline to return ballots by mail
162; Tuesday, Sept. 18, 8 p.m.: Deadline to return ballots to Jackson County Elections Office or drop site in Ashland. Address changes may still be filed in person at elections office.
If you receive a ballot for someone who is no longer at the address given, write "moved" or "no longer at this address" and return it to the ballot drop site or mail it to the elections office. That voter becomes "inactive" until the next election. If the voter is deceased, write "deceased" on the envelope prior to returning it. Officials at Jackson County Elections Office, 1101 W. Main
201, Medford, OR, 97502, 774-6148, will answer further questions.
Voting with my shovel
Alan DeBoer said in the July 24 Tidings that there are higher priorities in the county than libraries, but doesn't say what they are. I hope that the Blue Ribbon Committee and the County Commissioners will soon make public their reports.
I'm here to report that I'm helping the county road department by digging out my own ditches after recent rains buried the culverts on the edge of our property with mud. In years past the county road workers have come periodically to scoop out the mud so it doesn't plug up the culverts and cause the overflow gravel to come across the road and create gullies on our land downhill from the road.
I've exercised my body and am ready to exercise my mind. Please use the savings I've provided in the roads budget to shift funds to the library budget. As a property owner, I cannot think of a better use for my tax dollars than to share the wealth of knowledge among all of us. Libraries are the foundation of our country and fuel our imagination.
Being outside the city limits, I cannot vote in Ashland's September 18 election, but I urge the county to work quickly with our communities in fashioning a suitable agreement so we don't lose the invaluable talent and collective memory of the fine librarians remaining. I'm voting with my shovel. Dig in and find the best solution.
Kathleen F. Leary
Letters to the editor
Health care is a basic right