Vote Eric back in; Killers are still free; Ashland’s best interest
Vote Eric back in
Voters, most of you vote out the councilors who represent your interests the best. Rich conservatives and Ashland's corporate newspaper often campaign against Ashland's more liberal councilors. These councilors fight to save our environment, and they stick up for all citizens, including the homeless. They encourage citizens to speak out. These councilors act from integrity.
Cate Hartzell was one of those caring councilors. Yet most voters fell for conservative propaganda and turned against Cate. I fear the conservatives will also try to turn you against Eric Navickas in 2010.
I think Eric is the best councilor that Ashland has had for a long time. I once told him, "If God were to vote, I think your votes would match his more often than any other councilor's votes would." Eric stands up for the common good. He doesn't sell out to moneyed interests.
In 2010, some of Ashland's more conservative people will probably launch a marketing campaign to turn you against Eric. Don't fall for it. Vote Eric back in. He has the guts and integrity to represent the interests of the average citizen.
Killers are still free
A year ago this month Dave Lewis was heinously murdered, his body burned beyond recognition, and his home and all contents arsoned to the ground. A second neighbor's cabin was lit on fire and destroyed that September night as well. That family is devastated, too. The entire mountainside of Dead Indian could have burned in an enormous destructive forest fire; we are deeply thankful to the firefighters who fought the fire. The Lewis family, neighbors and many friends mourn the loss of Dave Lewis. The case remains an open, unsolved homicide. Dave was a gregarious, hardworking man, a loving and devoted father with years of dedication in the community. His death was a tragedy, which should not become a short-term-memory loss. We believe the killers remain in Jackson County, and those killers are still free. We believe that more than one individual is involved in this murder. We do not believe anyone in the community is safe while vicious murderers roam freely. Ashland citizens and the Jackson County community are urged to take safety precautions, remind Sheriff Mike Winters that we want this sickening crime solved, and protect your families, property and self. Dave Lewis' death and the arson involved need to be solved. No one is safe while murderers walk free.
Ashland's best interest
The combination of Ashland's water shortage and reports of the Station Fire in California ought to give all Ashland residents pause. Our sole water supply, in the Ashland Watershed, is a beautiful forested canyon that, like the area of California, has not burnt for decades. The city and the Forest Service have been negotiating a fuel-reduction project for several years, with certain elements arguing over the details and so delaying action. This is not in Ashland's best interests.
A fire in our watershed would be devastating on many levels, but none more so than by imperiling Ashland's water supply and the water treatment plant. Ashland cannot survive without a reliable, safe and sanitary source of water. Those of you who lived here during the 1997 flood well remember the specter of Porta-Pottis on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Bricks and the Safeway parking lot. That week of repair would be nothing compared to the result of a devastating wildfire.
The city is collecting a four-fold price penalty for water use above 3,600 cubic feet from residential users, with other limits on commercial users. I would encourage the mayor and council to segregate all receipts from that penalty and use them toward immediately funding the completion of the Talent Ashland Phoenix (TAP) water connection. Ashland has all of its "eggs" in the Ashland Watershed, and we would be wise to secure a second, highly reliable, source of water against the day the Watershed does inevitably burn.