Support the PAC

The Arts are alive in Ashland — one of the many factors that contribute to the richness of our community.

Our amazing theater opportunities provide entertainment along with challenging productions that provoke, surprise and cause us to react.

Music is ever changing and training us to listen and respond to new sounds and rhythms.

Dance has become multi dimensional with many variations of movement and athleticism.

Now to the visual arts, which always seem to receive the loudest reaction. Everyone is an expert because “we know what we like.”

In Ashland, as in most caring communities, historic buildings, artifacts and neighborhoods have been preserved. The idea that “what’s new” must match that which has been preserved or be historic in nature makes no sense.

If that were true, we’d have only Shakespeare as it was performed in the Globe Theater with music performed on historic instruments.

Public Art has always received a lot of noise. At first, many Chicagoans hated the Picasso sculpture in its prime location and now it’s the pride and joy of the city. There are examples like that in most cities and, as with the arts in general, time is a major variable when evaluating the success or appropriateness of public art.

The Public Art Commission’s process has been explained, defended and supported by community members who have taken an interest in its progress from the beginning.

Hopefully, the City Council will support the PAC.

Judy Howard

Ashland

Praying for the killers

It is Christmas time 2015. We reflect, gather loved ones, feed the hungry, help the poor.

It is also when David Lewis should have celebrated his 54th birthday. Dave was murdered, body and home burned, on the Summit of Dead Indian road near Hyatt lake, seven long years ago. Open — unsolved. The cohorts made sure the crime would go unsolved.

We often wonder, talk about, and pray for the killers. Those involved in David's heinous demise. And others, who perhaps, have information, but don't have the guts or integrity to come forward.

We wonder if their lives are happy now. Do they have love, good health, pride, joy, money? People who care about them? When our country is terrorized and attacked, do they care? Whom do they focus on and who cares about them?

While we miss Dave, his death unearthed a trove of corruption. Lack of accountability. Greed. Egos. Yet, there was also consoled grief of others (Dave Grubbs, Troy Carney, Garren Beller, Stephanie Anne Warner, little Kyron Horman and William "Huey" Huson).

While lives have been utterly destroyed, there is still hope. Keep that in heart and mind this Christmas. Eyes to the star bright. Hearts and hands to others. Rest in heavenly peace.

Linda Lewis

Ashland

Help needed

I am thrilled to know that in the Rogue Valley there are a number of groups working to solve the problem of climate change. This includes the Ashland City Council which, through its Conservation Commission, has initiated the Ashland Climate Challenge designed to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Various grassroots organizations of area residents are also working on this issue. Here are just three:

Southern Oregon Climate Action Network (SOCAN) http://socan.info and http://socansummit.info, recently organized the Rogue Basin Climate Summit and focuses on education and stimulating local action. Rogue Climate, http://rogueclimate.org, is collaborating on the Ashland Climate Challenge and Talent efforts to stimulate renewable energy. The local Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL (http://citizensclimatelobby.org/chapters/OR_Southern_Oregon/), supports a greenhouse gas emissions pricing plan at the national level.

Together and with others, they are currently working on a very immediate and important legislative action for Oregon. The Healthy Climate Bill would cap greenhouse gas emissions in the state and make Oregon a leader in the national effort. This bill emulates successful efforts undertaken in several states to limit emissions without compromising economic growth.

To help solve our climate crisis visit: http://socan.info/oregon-greenhouse-gas-legislation/, and join the Southern Oregon Healthy Climate Coalition by emailing socan.info@gmail.com.

Mary Ehlers

Ashland