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LETTERS: April 14th Issue

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Re: A Vote For Public Transit

In the Rogue Valley, transportation is a substantial part of our regional emissions: 30%. One way to reduce local emissions is to maintain a healthy local public transit system. Unfortunately, local funding for Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) has not changed in 30 years. Because of inflation, this means that in real dollars, funding is below 25% of what it then was.

Public transit improves access to education and provides opportunities for workers to be more mobile in their search for higher wage jobs. Since businesses contemplating relocation often consider public transit as a valuable asset and inducement to relocate, a vital transit system could enhance economic growth. Since fewer private automobile miles mean less air pollution, a vita public transit could reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.  

When residents previously rejected a small tax levy, RVTD was forced to curtail service.  Despite numerous steps to reduce costs, service will be further curtailed without improved funding.  Support the small tax levy on the ballot in May. 

– Ken Deveney, Ashland


Re: Bear Creek

The Medford City Council essentially uses the greenway as a homeless shelter, and place to push drug users. They are about to build another parking garage on it, after using urban renewal funds to build a park lot next to it. We need to embrace the creek. A westside promenade, for creek side business. Tunneling the viaduct, making the water swimmable, restoring salmon, beavers, etc. Tourism would flourish, but our leaders seem go for strip malls and fast food restaurants.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.

– Mike Mayne


Re: Elections

What I find scary this election season is what I fear when looking in the mirror. We all have a dark side, but don’t we fight to contain it, to modify it, to focus on what is best not what is worst within us?

The hate mongering that began in the 80’s with the likes of Limbaugh, followed by Fox and Murdoch, too many political pundits and now one party’s leading candidates for the Presidency, are showing us how much ugliness is present in the USA.

I ask myself why these bullying forces of racism, bigotry, and hate are apparently successful at appealing to the worst in us. This is not the world I want my grandchildren to inherit. These exploiters, these fear mongers, mobsters, and alarmists are neither great orators nor do they have visions that aspire us to greatness. They promote heinous policies with villainous language.

Looking in the mirror and recalling our history, I feel that it is possible for well-meaning people like me to suddenly become intolerant, hateful and mean. What I need is for us to reject this direction and work together, to take pleasure in striving for generosity, integrity, excellence, sensibility, fairness, and civility.

– Louise Shawkat



Hey Messenger: I work as a tutor and am having problems right now whether to “tutor” someone who needs some help figuring out why his “Facebook share codes” don’t work for some shady marketing scheme. It is like a modern day pyramid scheme, called mlm (multi-level marketing). The guy pays $30 a month for “marketing tools” to get other people to pay $30 a month for the same product. He in turn receives $20 from that person and $20 from any other subsequent person who that person recruits. I can help him get his Facebook share codes to work, but I feel like this business is a scam. What should I do?
-Scam Sniffer in Southern Oregon


Hello Scam Sniffer: There is no singular answer to this kind of serious moral dilemma. The only thing you can do is search the cavernous recesses of your soul and ask yourself how you will feel going to bed at night knowing what you have done. Could you live with yourself? Would you be able to look your children in the eye and say, “yes little Sally, I helped that man make 80 dollars off of a Facebook multi-level marketing scheme.” Try saying that to yourself and see how it feels. If you don’t have any kids, try it in the mirror, sober.


Hey Messenger: I’ve been talking to this one guy for several months now. Thought I liked him. Until, that is, he points out every good-looking woman he sees in whatever shows we watch together, or maybe on the street, or who know where else. He’d ask me deliberately if I thought they were pretty, etc. However, I feel it’s inappropriate—and I feel like it’s dancing on the fine line of what’s permissible in an exclusive relationship. Shouldn’t he pretend I’m special, at least? Sure, there are oh so many gorgeous women out there, but he’s with me. And I’m pretty gorgeous too. Ultimately, I think it’s about respect more than anything–and I wanted some advice how to go about “demanding” for that respect? Passive aggression only goes so far, and communicating everything has become to feel stale to me. I say not to do something, I feel like a mother. I’m not his mom, but his lover, I don’t want to delineate and demand anymore, especially the obvious. Should I drop this person out of the race altogether?

Sincerely, Jaded and Slightly Slighted Lady

Hello J.S.S.L.:I always like to think of suspicious situations like this in terms of best and worst case scenarios because it helps me to imagine the spectrum of possibilities. Then you can start to problem solve based on that. The best-case scenario here is that he has a lame personality and finds this amusing. But, I guess that isn’t always a deal breaker. It depends on your priorities. The worst-case scenario is that he is actually an asshole. If, in some alternate universe, I could actually tolerate a man who did this, what I would do is sit him down for an open and honest conversation. I would explain to him in the plainest of terms how it makes me feel. From reading your question, I get the sense that you are a bit of a game-player. Honest communication should never feel “stale.” The purpose after all is not entertainment, but strengthening a connection.  Could it be that he is reacting to this game-playing tone that you are helping to set? Maybe if you stopped all of that, he would stop pushing your buttons with this inappropriate commenting thing. Try being open and honest first, and see if he follows suit. If he doesn’t, then he’s probably just a doozy of a dude.


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