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LETTERS: March 31st Issue

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Re.: Coal, Coal, Go Away!

Will Ashland give up as a “Natural Gas Community”? During this long pipeline debate Jordan Cove few mentioned that Jackson County is a special natural gas county, that includes the university in Ashland, the gas powered RVTD buses, county compressed gas fuel station, and the interstate gas pipeline on the edge of Ashland, approved by FERC in 1995. The pipeline comes from the same pipelines and source as the denied pipeline project. In the 1990s the environmental community, all Oregon government and the federal government supported the project and the use of eminent domain. The land was taken, pipeline built, and the whole project went bankrupt. A Canadian company took over the pipelines in Oregon and currently operates the major gas pipelines in Oregon.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

– Gleen Archambault


Re.: Who Speaks for Bear Creek? (cover)

I’m going to try very hard to suppress my outrage at your latest cover in an effort to glean some sort of honest insight from you. In short, what the hell are you thinking and what does that cover photo have to do with water quality issues in Bear Creek? Are you seriously such a shallow nitwit that you’re pandering to the most base and juvenile desires of immature men in order to increase your readership? And, if so, how on earth do you think that will motivate and empower people to take action in regards to these water quality issues?

I hope you understand my extreme level of disappointment with you. This is the year 2016 sir. At a time when people are working harder than they should have to in order to achieve gender equality in this country, you are making it very clear that you’re content pandering to the lowest common denominator and that you think a woman’s greatest value is in being attractive. On top of that, you have the gall to write as if you’re the moral compass of this community, i.e. “That Bear Creek is so polluted is…a community shame.”

In my opinion, you and your shit-rag publication are the community shame this week.

– Charles Gehr


Are you serious about “Who Speaks for Bear Creek?” and your latest issue? OMG the cover photo is ridiculous and of course offensive to anyone of any gender of any age that is even mildly cerebral or conscious. Are there women on your staff and if so what is up with them? But more to the point are there men on your staff that respect women? What is up with you and them? Get a clue or get out of publishing.

‎- Mary W Boucher


I am outraged! There are so many outrageous things going on (especially with woman’s issues – look at the Middle East and Africa), but this cover from a little local magazine struggling to make it who was trying to bring an issue to light but maybe did it in a clumsy way has me completely outraged! Hold me back! Hold me back!‬

– Pete Wallstrom



Hey Messenger: I am trying to set up my father in law with this woman from my work. I am a very curious person and I happened to stumble upon some things of his, things that might compromise his ability to be in an intimate relationship. I really enjoy and admire this woman and don’t want to set her up for sexual dissatisfaction. Should I just mind my own business and let her figure it out on her own or should I not even try to set him up with anyone?

Thanks, Jules

Dear Jules: Wow, I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering what these “things” of his are. I could be way off base here, but it sounds like you were going through his bathroom affects and found interesting prescriptions or toys. My solicited advice would be to disregard this information completely and to base your decision to introduce them on an otherwise honest assessment of how well you think they would get along. At that age, friendship and compatibility matter a lot more, anyway. My unsolicited advice would be to stop going through peoples’ things! That is certainly some disrespectful behavior to exhibit towards a family member. I am guessing you like the man on some level, if you are even considering the idea of setting him up with a co-worker. That means you owe him a basic level of respect. Very naughty, Jules.


Hey Messenger: How do you deal with telling your best friend something that might be fundamentally against their beliefs?

Dear Anonymous: It depends. Is this a fact-based announcement? Or is it an announcement about you? If you are confident that facts are on your side, then dealing is not the issue. The issue is how to break the news without accidentally strengthening their false beliefs, by triggering the “Backfire Effect.” David McRaney has an entertaining blog post about this at his site youarenotsosmart.com, published June 10, 2011. According to researchers (citations available at my Twitter @logicofalex), fact-based intervention strategies appear to be ineffective. Most people would not find this surprising in the least. Basically, you have to look at their motivation for believing whatever crackpot thing they believe, and appeal to that exact thing to convince them. Makes sense, right?

If we are talking about some interpersonal or personal thing, forget all that for now and file it under “rainy day convos with anti-vaxxers.” If we are talking about sexual orientation for example, your only real choice is to tell the truth and hope for the best. The fact that you are even concerned about their feelings right now tells me that you are a caring, empathetic friend, even when they don’t treat you the same way in return. If they do not accept you, then they do not deserve the title of “best friend.” It actually IS that simple. The key is to take the focus off them and put it on you. Remind yourself that you have a lot of value as a human being and you deserve supportive and non-judgmental friends.



  1. Alex
    April 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    Pete Wallstrom, one could easily turn your logic against you here. If there are so many “outrageous” things going on in the word, why are you wasting energy being outraged at a “little local magazine struggling to make it?”
    Also, what are you currently doing to solve these problems in Africa and the Middle East?
    Mary Boucher’s comment is at least consistent in her appeals to emotion and ad hominem attacks. At least she isn’t bothering to try to construct a rational argument only to fail miserably.

    • Alex
      April 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I just realized you could be entirely joking/being satirical. If so, that’s funny. *claps*

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