What it truly means to be an American; Letís see a statue of a pioneer woman; The Forest Service stumbles over AFR

What it truly means to be an American

I think it's time we stop thinking so "myopically" and truly look at what it means to be an American. Is it any different than being a decent human being? Are we not earthlings? Does being an American mean we care only for human beings born in our borders ... and everyone else is trash? Why is it OK to tune out a dead body injured in a war if it's not an American? When do we begin to value "life" once again, regardless of its country of origin. War is just plain not the answer, except for those few who profit from it ... and those numbers are increasing as we speak. What is it we are truly fearing? Do we take security at any price? How much does one's soul cost?

Nancy Rose


Let's see a statue of a pioneer woman

Patti Morey: You and I are not going to agree about the appropriateness of the pioneer statue on the Plaza, simply because he is holding a gun (see Oct. 1 letter "The fountain statue is holding a gun").

But you do suggest that you would like to see a statue of a pioneer woman erected in Ashland. I have seen one at Pawnee Rocks in Kansas, and it is very impressive. It is one of 12, exactly alike, that have been erected across the country. You can find information on the Internet by searching "Madonna of the Trail statue."

If you are really serious about such a statue, then you are the one to start the ball rolling, to impress the City Council of the need, and to locate the funding for such a project. It would be a worthy addition to our pioneer, Abraham Lincoln and other sculptures in our beautiful Lithia Park.

We can disagree about things, but we do not need to be disagreeable.

Alberta Apenes


The Forest Service stumbles over AFR

I don't get it. Here we have something everyone can get behind, and the Forest Service is dragging their feet. The Ashland Forest Resiliency plan was developed by the community and has widespread support. It would reduce flammable materials in the watershed, protect natural resources and homes, make the forest more resilient to wildfires and provide jobs in a rough economy to boot. Not only that, the AFR has been granted $2 million in federal stimulus money to move forward and also has received a grant to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment project.

But the Forest Service isn't stepping up to get this done before another Siskiyou Fire hits next season, because less than one-fourth of the project is in the McDonald Peak Roadless Area. The Oct. 6 "Roadless rule roadblock" article by Vickie Aldous suggests that one possibility for expediting the AFR would be to drop plans for roadless area treatments and move forward with the more pressing work in the urban interface. This absolutely makes the most sense, and the Forest Service should take action to split the project now. Then they could take some more time carefully deciding what is appropriate in the smaller, roadless area portion of the project, a worthwhile step since the roadless area rule also has widespread support.

Roadless rule roadblock? More like the Forest Service stumbling over its own two left feet.

Shannon Clery