Letters to the Editor

    In fond memory of Harry Kannasto

    This past week saw the passing of a great, great man known to many in the Rogue Valley. His musical, educational and just plain wonderful contributions to life here were so evident that I must note them publicly. I am speaking of Mr. Harry R. Kannasto.

    His style of living and special manners always, along with the wide Kannasto smile, always made you feel like there was nothing wrong in this world that those things can't make right. His deep intelligence and affable demeanor, famously appreciated but rarely imitated, kept me in his circle of influence. This, not to mention the very long tenure he had in the Ashland City Band, I'll call it that since it matches the meaning of the word, produced an effect of wonderfulness and musical pleasure.

    Somewhere around 60 to 70 years playing with that particular musical group made me feel like sincere effort is what it's all about. He rarely wavered.

    Trumpet tone? Clear as a bell. Knowledge of conducting and musical styles and pieces? Always there. Just remember the tune, "Trumpeters Prayer," that he often would play with the ACB.

    There is no doubt that his dedication and acceptance of the changes always going on through the years waxed and grew on me and others. I know, I played with him in many groups for probably 30 of those 60 or 70 years. There's a saying in maritime, "Steady as she goes." That was our friend Harry R. Kannasto.

    May his personal style, musical ability, family love and wonderfulness affect us and make us better people, starting from the day we got to know him to the day we put some of that sincerity in our own lives.

    Garrett P. Edmands


    Global warming isn't slowing down

    Maybe because we are terrestrial air-breathing animals, some people think that air temperature is all that's important — despite the fact that we need water to drink and oceans for our seafood.

    One consequence of this focus is that oceans are overlooked. If you don't understand the science, there might appear to be a brief slow-down in global warming. However, this is not the case. The slowdown illusion is a result of two factors:

    By failing to consider our oceans, we forget that over 90 percent of the energy trapped by our atmosphere actually gets sucked into the sea. Although 70 percent of the planet's surface is ocean, since water absorbs energy readily without heating (a basic physical property of water), it is little surprise some of us are missing an important element in the warming equation. But oceans are continuing to gain energy.

    A second problem is the shortage of weather stations in polar regions where the greatest warming is occurring. When records are corrected for this limitation, atmospheric warming is seen to be continuing unabated.

    There is no slowing of global warming; the oceans are saving us by absorbing the energy; the question is: for how long?

    Alan Journet, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now


    Refusing water line was a mistake

    Your headline of Feb. 19 states that Ashland will now expedite the TAP (Talent/Ashland/Phoenix) water line for emergency use.

    I recall that, in mid-1990, when TAP was first proposed to solve Talent's water emergency, then-mayor Cathy Shaw did everything possible to defeat the "take the pipeline to Ashland" proposal — in spite of the fact that the ancient Reeder Reservoir was filling in and ultimately would be useless as a potable water source. As I recall, bringing in TAP for regular use then would have cost less than seven million dollars.

    Now we are sitting on the need to "expedite" the process at a cost of $12 million — and for "supplemental" use only. In my view, the mid-1990 decision to not use TAP for everyday needs of the people of Ashland was stupid. And the 80 percent cost increase to use maybe 10 to 20 percent of the water is equally stupid.

    Tom O'Rourke


    Physics courses will not go away

    As the director of STEM programs and the chairs of the biology, chemistry, physics, material science and engineering departments, respectively, we would like to correct an error in Dr. Hartman's letter of Tuesday, Feb. 18.

    Although there is the possibility of the physics degree being eliminated, the physics courses that support other programs such as biology and chemistry would still be taught. Consequently, the SOU biology and chemistry graduates will continue their excellent track record of being employed in a STEM field, including teaching science in K-12; going on to graduate school to earn a masters or Ph.D. in science; and being accepted to professional school (medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy).

    Starting in the fall of 2015, we will be in a newly remodeled science building with state-of-the-art teaching labs and classrooms. We would invite anyone interested in learning more about the excellent science programs at SOU to contact any of the undersigned.

    Sherry Ettlich, Michael Parker and Laura Hughes

    Southern Oregon University

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