In their heart, fools say there is no God; CERT a valuable part of the community; Emergency responders crucial to Ashland; Keep paramedic and CERT positions

In their heart, fools say there is no God

I take umbrage at P.Z. Myers' comment (see April 23 Tidings article "Myers: 'When we die, we're dead ... end of story'") that those who believe in a divine source are ignorant, coming as it does from one who admits ignorance of God. The Bible is less kind, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God" (Ps. 14:1).

Myers has the right to accept his origin as in slime, rather than in mind, and this in spite of fast-gathering evidence in physics that all is mind and so-called solid matter mind objectified. Myers may expect to return to dirt when he exits this experience, but he must not be surprised to learn that he, as an idea, is jolly well still alive and objectifying out in another form similar to his present one.

Consider the numeral 8, which you can objectify on paper, plastic, wood, metal, etc., and then bend, melt, break or otherwise destroy, but the numeral 8, as an idea, remains untouched by this activity and eternally intact.

No one will ever discover a material God or an Old Man in the Sky (who was once young, aged to, say, 100 and is now eternally ancient).

Jesus — the most scientific man who ever trod the planet — illustrated the mental nature of life. Nicodemus was hard-pressed to understand Jesus' explanation between a spiritual (mental) idea as "the wind that bloweth where it listeth" and that of a material mortal man who must be born again (perceive his identity as spirit, mind, made in God's image).

Heaven has no favorites.

Jeanne Marie Peters

Ashland

CERT a valuable part of the community

The importance of volunteerism provided by Ashland's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) maintaining an active force of 200 volunteers:

As we consider how and where to make budget cuts and how to stimulate our economy, consider the following.

"Social Capitol," a short film done in Rainer, Wash., made a thought-provoking statement that the Michigan Militia and the KKK formed as a response to a lack of social capitol while discussing local gang activity in connection to their school being burned in 1995.

As local jobs were lost due to the economy, the divorce rate increased and more men left the area. Forcing more women into the work force took away the backbone of volunteerism previously provided to the community. While women engaged in volunteer work they often took their children, who were in turn exposed to volunteerism, community, social gatherings and family activities as a way of life.

Lack of volunteers left a negative impact on committees, PTAs, sports leagues, children's groups and community life in general, leaving children and adults with television and a now reclusive society.

Recluse; Latin for "shut up" or "sequester."

This is not that which attracts Ashland's unique residential or tourist population. I can't imagine Ashlanders being in acceptance with such a definition or with the resulting risk factors. I encourage us to remember where our power comes from, what kind of community we are, what we value and whether we may cease to be.

The budget committee will decide CERT's fate on May 6, at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Mondays and Thursdays prior to May 6 the public can voice their opinions to the budget committee at 6 p.m., with public input being second on the agenda.

Deb Bales

Ashland



Emergency responders crucial to Ashland

We all know that a fast and qualified respond in any kind of emergency is crucial to the outcome. We live in a region of possible threats: major earthquakes, wildfires and floods. And many people, such as our elderly residents, rely on fast responses from qualified emergency medical technicians.

When the budget for our emergency responders is cut back, there is a very high possibility that help will arrive too late, if at all, during a personal incident or a major disaster. I don't understand how police and rescue workers, and now CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), are being targeted again for cutbacks.

I think there may be smarter ways to handle necessary budget cuts. For example: Do we need the same level of city services as five years ago, or can some personnel hours be cut back? The money saved could pay the emergency responders and the CERT coordinator.

My point is, let's be more flexible and more creative rather than destroying what has been built to support the community.

Edeltraud von Rymon Lipinski

Ashland



Keep paramedic and CERT positions

In this difficult economy, let's approach our budget priorities in a new light. We can't restore our own financial health, let alone the country's, within the next few months, no matter how deeply we slash our city's budget. So let's aim to strengthen our people with every decision that's made now.

The key principle that will gain our optimal health and security at this time is to build community for resilience, safety and sustainability.

I urge our city to maintain the present staffing in Fire & Rescue and the Police Department, which have taken the brunt of budget cuts in the last few years. Additionally, the local CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers have both the training and the heart to look after their own families and neighbors and are ready to respond in the event of a major emergency.

Please consider offsetting the paramedics' and CERT coordinator's positions with furloughs for other, non-essential city staff.

Valerie Muroki

Ashland