Restore federal funds for watershed project

Restore federal funds for watershed project

I am dismayed that the U.S. Forest Service pulled $2 million of federal economic stimulus funds out of fire hazard reduction work in the Ashland watershed, citing my lawsuit, which it fears may slow job creation.

Foresters say the $2 million is not a good investment, but left $4 million on the table to move forward with the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project anyway.

That doesn't make sense. Foresters are using the money to make a political point about their displeasure over being sued.

The lawsuit will not stop the work, but will ensure that it is done in an environmentally sensitive way. The Tidings incorrectly reported that the lawsuit "asked the court to block ground-disturbing activities."

Foresters designed the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project with an assumption of budget austerity before Congress passed the stimulus. As such, it allows removal of up to 85,000 of the largest trees from the watershed to finance hazard reduction. Eric Navickas and I will not allow that to happen.

The Forest Service should restore the $2 million it took from Ashland.

Jay Lininger

Flagstaff, Ariz.

Editor's note: Jay Lininger, a 1993 graduate of Ashland High School, co-wrote the Ashland Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Coach's influence has been good for players

Having been involved with the Ashland High School boys basketball team at the parent level, it was immediately apparent of the positive impact Larry Kellems would make when he took over the head coaching position three years ago.

Coach Kellems' priorities are clearly "all about the kids." He is a superb role model for these young individuals, while coaching with a high degree of respect for the team members. This healthy environment has resulted in a winning combination for the Ashland High School boys basketball team even before they get on the court.

Deborah Adler-Clement

Ashland

Musical performer hard to recognize

Oh darn. Ray Stevens had a long career making mostly funny and sometimes inspirational songs. So now we find out that he's a right-wing whacko hatemonger, featured on O'Reilly and Limbaugh insulting the president.

Can this be the same guy that made "Everything is Beautiful (in its own way)?" Well, at least he got one thing right: "There is none so blind as him who will not see."

Peter Nemzek

Ashland

More open swim for non-lap-swimmers

If would like to have an open swim lane for non-lap-swimmers — for example: people with injuries, seniors, non-swimmers or anyone (children or adult) needing a gentle swim/exercise hour — please let your Parks and Rec council know of your needs and interests by phone at 541-488-5340 or by e-mail at dialsr@ashland.or.us.

Parks and Rec will be setting the summer schedule program for the Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool at Hunter Park on Walker Street and is interested in hearing from you. At this time, only two hours per week are scheduled for one "open gentle-swim" lane. This pool has the easiest access for parking in Ashland and has easy stair access into the pool.

R Ferrier

Ashland

One way to establish universal health care

Elevating the care of health in this country will elevate the country's self-esteem in every way. By supporting each and every citizen's well-being through universal health care, a major decline in frustration, fear, hate and competition will uplift and assure that we all feel truly equal in our right to be alive.

Single-payer is the only way to assure this equality. Please support single-payer health care.

Mouna Wilson

Ashland

School lunches letter not what it seemed

Ted Cantfield's letter about the National School Lunch Program sounded very familiar to me — probably because the exact same letter has run in 35 other U.S. daily newspapers, all under different names. ["School lunch puts kids' health at risk," 2/2/2010] It appears Ashland Daily Tidings is the victim of an "Astroturf" campaign promoting the image of grassroots concern about making school lunches vegetarian.

Most of these carbon-copy letters included links to Web sites. One of these is run by an animal rights group deceptively named the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

PCRM is not a mainstream health group (though it acts like one). About 60 percent of the group's budget comes from the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. PCRM's president writes that cheese is "dairy crack" and that "to give a child animal products is a form of child abuse." Policymakers, his organization says, "should think of drinking milk the same way we think of smoking cigars." These are not the values that most parents want to see reflected in school cafeterias.

Newspapers should be extra vigilant in the future, to make sure they're not being duped by a tiny vegetarian movement that appears larger than it really is.

David Martosko

Center for Consumer Freedom