Ski editorial fails to cite any science

Ski editorial fails to cite any science

Your Feb. 18 editorial "Time to embrace the science," concerning the proposed Mount Ashland expansion, touts scientific evidence without referencing any scientist or documented findings.

Using the words "science," "scientific" or "scientists" no less than 13 times doth not a "scientific truth" make. The word "science" alone is meaningless rhetoric, as if you believe repeating the word often enough will cause us to accept it as fact (as you accuse opponents).

Scientific hypotheses are not true until proven. What the Tidings is referring to as science is mainly engineering, comprising estimates, best guesses, prognostications and judgments — all based on hypotheses and rule of thumb, none of which can be proven in advance. Your editorial fails to provide any factual argument, nor does it name a single scientist.

In sharp contrast is the Feb. 7 Tidings guest opinion piece by geologists Bill Hicks and George Badura headlined: "Forest Service used faulty science on Mount Ashland expansion terrain." Geologists Hicks and Badura identify five or more instances where faulty science was employed by Mt. Ashland Association.

It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the Middle Fork in its present condition is a water storage reservoir for the City of Ashland. I have walked it myself in August when the adjacent ski slopes are as dry as a desert and found the underground "pipes" running full of fresh clear water when our Rogue Valley is scorched and tinder dry.

It boggles the imagination for you to claim "The scientific truth is that the area expansion will have a negligible impact on the mountain." The nature of science is experimentation. Doubling the size of the ski area, encroaching into pristine roadless area, logging 70 acres of established forest and all the rest is not an experiment I want undertaken in order to prove your judgement wrong.

John and Dot Fisher-Smith

Ashland

New information is being ignored

Time to embrace the science! Sounds nice, doesn't it? Then what science are you willing to embrace? It seems to me that quite a bit of new information that dare I say is scientific is not being embraced, but rather ignored by proponents of the expansion.

Can someone show me anywhere where the U.S. Forest Service or Mt. Ashland Association have ever acknowledged, let alone responded to the existence of the data put forth by Bill Hicks and others? Hicks' recent data reveal that the expansion area is planned to take place on what is described in simple terms as a giant unstable rock pile. Do a little research on the 1983 Sheep Creek slide in the Applegate if you want to know what a rock slide can do.

The Daily Tidings has shown its true sentiments by trying hard to equate reasonably concerned Ashland citizens with birthers and chem-trailers. I suppose they have lots of science to back that up too (not)! This is not an ideological argument. Quit trying to make it one with false equivalencies.

So as you say, let's embrace all the science on this issue and not ignore some important new data. It's that closed-minded attitude that will see this in court where it might get a decent public hearing. Remember, some of us ski, but all of us need water to drink and bathe.

Brian Comnes

Ashland

Offended by photo of crying baby

I found the picture on the front page of the Feb. 14 Daily Tidings of a baby being stuck with a needle and crying to be extremely offensive and in very poor taste.

Barbara McHugh

Ashland

Time to hold bake sales for Pentagon

Leave it to a Heritage Foundation source to jumble up a message on how the poor Pentagon is being starved out of existence. In a classic turn, James Jay Carafano writes: "Washington is about to hand America's enemies — at least the ones who wish to do us harm (sic) — a gift ... in the form of deep, reckless cuts in the military budget."

Gadzooks! Does this mean we may have to close some of our many hundreds of imperial military bases around the world? And get out of Afghanistan, which senior military officers on the ground there say is a losing operation? Does it mean we may be reduced to spending less than twice as much on weapons as the rest of the nations of the world? What a frightening scenario.

Mr. Carafano cannot resist another ploy, stating that the "military accounts for less than 20 percent of the federal budget." In fact, if you divide the federal budget into "nonmilitary and military" expenditures, you see that the military commands 48 percent ($1,398 billion) of the total outlays.

It's time to begin holding bake sales for the Pentagon and to divert most of its funding to education, job training, and infrastructure revitalization.

Gerald Cavanaugh

Ashland