Killing of geese was not necessary; Speeding ticket was a good lesson in life; County Commissionersí plan is worth trying; Keep dogs on leash when walking in city; Program will help museum continue its work; Try a new approach to lowering deer population
City's killing of geese was not necessary
I read with great pain the article of how the Bend Park & Recreation District inhumanely euthanized 109 Canadian geese in a Bend city park. Does this department truly believe that this unnecessary killing of animals was justified? Surely, the department could have taken more time to discover a non-lethal means of ridding the geese from its park. Humans tend to think that they are more important than other living creatures. In this instance, Bend's decision appalls me.
I am heartbroken and mourning for these dear creatures. Those in charge of the Bend Park & Recreation District should feel ashamed!
Speeding ticket was a good lesson in life
Nine years ago I got a ticket — richly deserved — for exceeding the speed limit down the North Mountain Avenue hill near the Hersey Street intersection. The officer professionally pointed out the infraction and I refrained from protesting against the obvious, even though I had my excuses (new car, too many horses, law of gravity, etc.). Since then, I have taken the precaution of observing the posted limits.
I have to confess that I appreciate police protection against wild driving in my section of town. On more than one occasion I have longed to see a police car in my rear view when I was being grossly tailgated or even passed on a hill in two-lane traffic. So let's hear it for Ashland's finest, sworn as they are to protect and serve.
Always leash dogs when walking in city
On a recent morning, while walking my two dogs up Glenview behind Lithia Park, an unleashed black and white pit bull ran up to us. I asked the owner to recall her dog because my 85-pound German shepherd puppy is not terribly comfortable with other dogs who rush up to him. She was unable to do so and we were a 6-foot leather leash away from a nasty dog fight. Her dog circled us repeatedly and he would not return to his owner. I finally landed my walking shoe on the dog's flanks and it ran off toward Granite Street.
To those dog owners who walk your dogs off-leash because you think they are friendly: Not all dogs are! Even friendly dogs can respond in an unexpected manner. If you cannot recall your dog instantly and 100 percent of the time, then it should never be off leash. Never!
Try a new approach to keeping deer away
I have a couple of suggestions to lower the overpopulation of deer in Ashland: paint ball; stop killing cougars.
I don't know what the laws are regarding shooting paint balls in Ashland, but it strikes me that if it's gotten to the point that deer are assaulting residents' dogs, it's time to consider developing paint ball rules for within city limits.
As for our constant harassment of natural predators, the fact that mama cougar could not care less if a small animal is your kid's 4-H project is not a good reason to get rid of cougars rather than keeping your pets and livestock in safe enclosures. Really. Nature has a plan.
Program will help museum continue
I want to say a heartfelt thanks to the many hard-working actors, researchers and writers and all the wonderful people who helped make the "Meet the Ashland Pioneers" program a great success. A special thanks goes to Delores Nims, who founded this program. Not only did she have the vision to put on this program but she organized everything so well that it ran smoothly and looked easy.
And it truly was a gift of love to the Ashland community. Learning more about Ashland's colorful past helps all of us appreciate more the unique community that we live in.
Knowing that there were people like William Virgin, who stood up to the power of the Ku Klux Klan, and Henry Enders, who had a progressive and kind attitude toward the Chinese labor contractor Wah Chung and his Chinese wife, help us appreciate the town we have today. Knowing that there was a powerful Ku Klux Klan movement in Ashland, early Indian wars and a Not-So-Great Train Robbery, all in our small town, helps us realize that the town we live in and love has come a long way.
Ashland Historic Railroad Museum feels truly honored that the "Meet the Ashland Pioneers" program is donating half of its proceeds to our museum. We will use this money to help put on more history programs at the museum, continuing our mission of keeping history alive in Ashland.
During the process of research for the "Meet the Ashland Pioneers" the museum discovered that Wah Chung's infant daughter, Bessie Wah Chung, was buried in the Ashland Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Ashland Historic Railroad Museum will use some of the proceeds from the "Meet the Ashland Pioneers" program to finally honor Bessie Wah Chung and the Wah Chung family with a marked gravestone in the Ashland Cemetery.
Ashland Historic Railroad Museum
Commissioners' plan is worth trying
There's a little grumbling about the County Commissioners' $50,000 investment in the Sustainable Valley initiative, a creative plan to grow a cluster of locally owned businesses that benefit both the economy and environment. Better, critics say, to focus instead on removing bureaucratic hurdles to the success of existing businesses.
They have a point. In this "jobless recovery," it's plenty fair to ask exactly how a particular business restriction serves the public. Where there's no good answer, let's relax or repeal the rule.
But take another look at SV. It's carefully modeled on programs that have launched successful job-creating businesses in other communities. The commissioners got it right. Instead of creating a costly new government program, they made a lean investment to ignite and leverage the volunteer citizen efforts of visionary yet experienced businesspeople. This is the right model for the future.
Let's not fall into either/or thinking about this devastating jobs crisis. SV can't guarantee dramatic results any more than any cutting-edge program. But business leader Bill Thorndike said it all in your article on SV: "Will it be successful? I don't know. But if we don't try, we will never know."