Obama renewed my faith

On President's Day, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" displayed a lineup of white faces, debating the question: Who was America's greatest president?

My choice was not even mentioned.

What are the qualifications for a great American president?

For starters (and this is important) he is healthy, physically and mentally. He is energetic and good looking, with a strong, slender body that wears clothes with modest elegance and distinction.
He is a man of the people, a commoner, not from a wealthy, privileged family.
He is an excellent writer, a moving and inspiring author.
He is a scholar, an expert on American history and constitutional law.
He has traveled abroad, not as a privileged tourist; he has lived in a foreign country and is no chauvinist.
He radiates optimism, confidence and good humor. His smile is world famous!
He has a remarkable, strong, sonorous voice, pleasing to hear, and can speak with great eloquence; but he can also adapt his style to various audiences with an ease that seems magical.
Note! He is an exemplary husband and father, untarnished by the least hint of scandal.

What are his principal achievements?

He rescued this country from total economic disaster.
He demonstrated the possibility and desperate need of affordable health care for every American.
Though it meant laying his life on the line every minute of every day, as America's president, he dared to expose the nest of vipers that is the great sin of America: racism.

I am so grateful to have lived long enough to witness the presidency of Barack Obama. He renewed my faith in American democracy, a faith desperately needed today!

Margaret K. St. Clair Keenan


A bad solution

The Daily Tidings on Wednesday, Feb. 14 reported that the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission has finally agreed to a solution to the Senior Center fiasco they started over seven months ago.

Prior to August of last year, our Senior Center was operating perfectly under the management of Chris Dodson and her staff. Then, she was “laid off”, really fired. From that day on, the APRC had created a situation they have been trying to wiggle out of with more mismanagement.

At first it was just a bunch of lame excuses. Then, they formed the ad hoc committee to come up with solutions that they agreed with, or the solutions would not be accepted by the APRC. Now the park commissioners have agreed on this new final plan.

Their solution: Take a great running Senior Center that was operating with 1.25 full time staff at a cost of $151,000 annually, find 2.75 full time inexperienced people and increase the budget to $268,374 annually. That 77.7 percent budget increase costs Ashland taxpayers $117,374 more annually for a lesser quality of management.

If this is a sample of the APRC’s kind of management, I’m glad the Support Our Seniors group has started the recall of the three Commissioners involved. I know how I am going to vote.

Earl Haveman