City should take back rail property

City should take back rail property

I believe that if trains have ceased to run that the city should use the powers of eminent domain and take back the area between A Street and Clear Creek.

It is a blight and should be condemned property. Eminent domain has been granted for much less.

We could always grant an easement, say, 10 feet wide to allow trains to pass if ever they choose to run again, but we could then clean up Southern Pacific's junkyard.

Michael Whelan

Ashland

Doctorow said it two decades ago

"It's my view that in the last decade or so of life in our country ... we have seen a national regression to the robber-baronial thinking of the 19th century. This amounts to nothing less than a deconstruction of America, the dismantling of enlightened social legislation that had begun to bring equity over half a century to the lives of working people, to rectify some of the terrible imbalance of racial injustice and give a fair shake to outsiders, the underdogs, the newcomers. We have seen the ideals of environmental sanctity sacrificed to the bottom-line demands of business thinking in which we have done only as much to protect our environment as industry has found convenient."

E.L. Doctorow, the American author, said this during his commencement address at Brandeis University. He said it in 1989.

Where do we stand two decades later? Rampant unemployment, outsourcing of jobs, low taxes for upper-income earners, frightening reductions in funding for education, workers rights being threatened.

When will we learn?

When will we care?

Bill Anderson

Ashland

What if it were an Olive Garden?

What if Olive Garden Restaurants Inc. wanted to build a 10,000-square-foot mega-restaurant across from Lithia Park?

What if Olive Garden used its power and money to rezone a residence into a business? What if Olive Garden was offering gift baskets to the neighbors to sweeten opinions? What if Olive Garden was successful in deflecting attention from the core issues by dangling a garage for the city's Zamboni machine as part of the deal? Would we look the other way while Olive Garden assured us that downtown parking was a non-issue?

This project has quietly wormed its way into the decision makers' minds and has influenced them far beyond reason and common sense.

What if it were an Olive Garden restaurant?

Tom DuBois

Ashland