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LETTERS: April 13th Issue

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Re.: Ashland Independent Film Festival

What amazing coverage in today’s magazine! Very gratifying to have all our hard work recognized by the hard work of your excellent writing staff.

One correction for the online edition is requested by the filmmaker of “What Lies Upstream.” The review got a little carried away in its estimation of the toxicity (testing Huntigton’s water supply was 2x as toxic as MCHM, not 1000x more toxic). 


Richard Herskowitz, Director of Programming  


It is the Ashland INDEPENDENT Film Festival. Get a clue.

– Kitty Tiller


Re.: Medford’s Exclusion Ordinance

Where exactly are the homeless supposed to go? You can’t criminalize homelessness without providing alternatives.

Carrie Prechtel


Even if we don’t take the high road by supporting those nonprofits who are trying to shelter them, feed them, and trying to get them detoxed, and supporting those arresting them for illegal violations, we can’t keep them out of the downtown core. That’s absurd/impossible to maintain. Citing them again and again doesn’t work. We need a comprehensive coalition that comes up with a multipronged approach (if there isn’t an active one in existence). Medford and JaCo planners need to maintain a strong coalition of police, city planners, and agencies that address the drug/alcohol problems, joblessness and poverty that is a growing issue in this I-5 corridor down. We really need to go high. I’ll volunteer to help.

Ginger Gough


As your Medford City Councilor, I’ll fight this. Was home sick the day this resolution was presented–won’t make that mistake again.

Kay Wilde

Hey Messenger, children’s edition!
Katie- can you add a signifying kiddie graphic of some kind? Maybe draw a moustache and exaggerated eyelashes on my photo, like something a kid would do to a newspaper? Just one idea but anything is good!


Hey Messenger: Why is the sky blue?
– P.R., age 10.

Dear P. R.,The sky looks blue during most of the day because the molecules and particles in our air scatter the blue light the most, due to its shorter light waves. This effect is called Rayleigh scattering. The way the light is scattered is what determines color appearance, which is why the color of the sky can change during different parts of the day. Have you ever noticed the pretty reds, oranges and pinks in the sky during a sunset? This is because the sun’s light has to travel farther to get to you, going through more air. The light is then scattered in a different way, and the longer wavelengths (like red) are able to pass through. There is a cool page especially for kids that talks about this more in depth with cute pictures on NASA’s SpacePlace website: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/blue-sky/en/.

Hey Messenger: Why are video games so much fun?
-A.L., age 9

Dear A.L., This question combines two of my own interests! Video games and psychology! Psychology is the study of the mind and of behavior. Sometimes it looks at how your mind and your behavior are connected. “Why are video games so much fun?” is a psychological question because you need to understand some of the popular theories on how the mind works to answer it. Quite a few professional psychologists have spent many years studying your question.  They answer it in terms of basic human needs, such as the need for relating to others, the need for feeling successful, and the need for feeling in control of our own actions and environment. Do you remember throwing fits when you were younger?  Most humans go through a stage like this, including your parents! It is an exploration of learning to control one’s environment through action and choices, something grownups call autonomy.

Video games are appealing to people of all ages because they fulfill these needs in a way that is often faster, easier, and more entertaining than real life. But remember: Unless you grow up to become a professional gamer, the rewards will remain inside your console or computer, giving you plenty of reason to pursue non-video game interests. You will need to fulfill the three needs we talked about (relating to others, feeling successful, and autonomy) in real life as well. People who do not live balanced lives usually find themselves in a lot of trouble, with very limited happiness.


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