Thanks to volunteers

Last week Ashland Parks & Recreation staff held an event to celebrate the efforts of its citizen volunteers. Approximately 75 of these volunteers were in attendance. These citizen volunteers help APRC staff enhance Ashland parks and the many programs that frame our Ashland Parks & Recreation Organization.

Volunteers are an integral part of our organization. Volunteers help manage programs at the North Mountain Park Nature Center as well as tend to the gardens and grounds that surround the center. Other volunteers help with maintaining many features of Lithia Park as they continually look for opportunities to enhance the Crown Jewel of Ashland. Other volunteers assist at the Ashland Senior Center with Food & Friends lunches and Meals on Wheels deliveries in addition to local programs that support our senior population. And more volunteers help to maintain and build trails to enhance the wonderful trail system that we have today.

More volunteers serve on boards and committees like Bee City USA Ashland, promoting pollinator gardens and chemical-free environments throughout our city and its parks. Or on the Parks Foundation Board helping to fund nonprofit recreation organizations and park projects throughout the city. Or the Ashland Senior Program Advisory Committee that is helping to provide direction for the future of our Ashland Senior Program. Or another dozen volunteer individuals who are currently serving on the Trails Master Plan subcommittee updating our trails document to meet the city’s comprehensive plan requirements.

This short list does not include the many volunteer social organizations and school groups that look to APRC for ways to channel their time and energy on projects that help enhance our Ashland Parks and Recreation system.

In 2017 over 1,400 volunteers (this includes many school groups) donated over 15,400 hours of volunteer time to help support and beautify our parks and recreation system.

On behalf of the five APRC commissioners and the entire APRC staff I would personally like to thank all of you that lent a hand to make our Park & Recreation system what it is today. Thank you!

Mike Gardiner, chairman

Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission

Questionable spending

I expect I speak for more than a few when I question some of the ways public money is spent in this community. The latest instance is the newly erected spoke-fest sculpture. It has its charms: attractive, neat, even cool. It would be a hit at SOU. But heart of Ashland? And not from inside this wonderfully creative community?

I’ll wager that for half the price, possibly less (not that “Heart of Ashland” should be on the cheap) we could have had something from our local pool of artists that would actually resonate with our town. But outside the community seems to be some sort of a mindset.

$200,000-plus for long-term plans for Lithia Park? Why? Don’t we know who we are? And the Senior Center. A high-dollar salary fix for a position that was not broken?

I know I’m not alone in noticing this trend, and I would appreciate some local leadership to bless us with a needed correction. And yes, I realize these are not all from the same department.

The obvious point is that a community with this much talent should be loath to spending its revenue on outsiders.

Jerry Nutter


Chartered train

Wow! Republican lawmakers charter a train for them and their families to a luxury resort in West Virginia and we taxpayers are stuck with the bill. Outrageous, something has to change.

Tom Walker


Animal cruelty not acceptable

With the Winter Olympics upon us in Pyongchang, South Korea, something dark lies behind the scenes. Home to thousands of intensively bred, commercial dog meat farms for human consumption, an estimated 2.5 million dogs yearly are pitifully confined to small, barren, outdoor cages. Their immensely suffering lives entail perpetual fear, boredom, hunger and disease, resulting in self-mutilation and fighting.

If they survive their one year, their fate is a protracted death, including 40 hours of torture including skinning and boiling alive while other dogs watch, awaiting their turn. Others are torn one limb at a time in order to prolong the agony, all in the name of superstition that such tortured meat will enhance sexual virility.

The Change for Animals Foundation and Humane Society International are moving to save and re-home these dogs. By showing dog meat farmers that they can set up alternative humane livelihoods and uniting governments for practical support to end this horrendous trade, we will achieve an end to the dog meat industry, which is unmonitored and unaccepted by most South Koreans.

This barbaric industry has no basis in promoting the culture or tradition of the Korean people, but is driven purely by greed and profits made in this unregulated, tax-free sector which in itself is highly unsanitary and serves a severe health risk to both humans and non-humans alike.

I urge you to join me in boycotting the Winter Olympics to make a final statement to end this practice once and for all.

Lisa A. Frost


Fascists weren't right-wing

When first proposed, which of these laws would be left- and which right-wing?

A minimum wage.

A tax on capital sufficient to expropriate all riches.

Confiscate 85 percent of war profits from military contractors.

End the draft.

Extend the vote to women.

Lower the voting age to 18.

Repeal titles of nobility.

Workers’ representatives to run government agencies.

Division of profits of heavy industries among workers.

Enabling all to obtain higher education.

Expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

Income from interest to be abolished.

Industries associated with war profits to be nationalized.

The common good must come before self-interest.

The plans of instruction are to conform with the experiences of practical life.

The state is to elevate national health by encouragement of physical fitness.

The first eight are from Mussolini’s 1919 Fascist Party platform; the rest Hitler’s 1920 Nazi Party platform. Both favored environmentalism, animal rights and health food, characteristics of the left. During the 1920s and 1930s the New York Times, Saturday Evening Post, and American progressives such as Dubois, Steffens, Tarbell, Tugwell, and Will Rogers endorsed both Fascists and Nazis and Hollywood extolled fascism in "The Eternal City." Columbia University established Casa Italiana as fascism’s home in America. Fascism is socialist. “Nazi” abbreviates “National Socialism.”

Many falsely identify fascists and Nazis as right-wing (letters, 3 February) because both were redefined as such during WWII, adding the charge of “racism” [valid in the Nazi case] despite the left’s own association with eugenics and segregation.

David Churchman