Letters, March 2

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    Cold days, warm hearts

    Thank you to our Ashland Food Project donors for demonstrating that neither snow nor ice nor even a frozen-in-motion government can shut down our grassroots green bag brigade!

    With 11 tons of food weighing down our neighborhood coordinators’ vehicles on an extremely wintry Feb. 9 pick-up day, AFP proved Ashland’s got traction on the hunger issue. The dedicated effort continued through the subsequent week as conditions improved on the slicker routes, bringing the final total to 28,000-plus pounds of food delivered to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, collected from almost 2,900 AFP member households.

    If this impressive feat sounds daunting, rest assured, you can keep those fuzzy slippers on and still be a proud AFP member! Sign up at AshlandFoodProject.com, and every two months you will be reminded to set your green bag of nonperishable groceries outside your door on a Saturday morning. It’s that easy to help our neighbors in need, the majority of whom are single parents with kids, seniors, and — as we’ve seen in recent news — anyone whose food emergency is as close as one missed paycheck away.

    A heartfelt thank you also to our February pick-up sponsor, Luna Café + Mercantile.

    Ingrid Laursen, on behalf of the AFP Steering Committee


    Garden impasse

    How will we resolve our impasse over the Japanese Garden? Which serves the larger world?

    Yes, we love not just the two Douglas firs at the entrance to the garden, but all the trees in Lithia park, and elsewhere.

    On the other side, I am struck by Kathryn Thalden’s observation in her Feb. 12 letter, “Japanese Garden could be Ashland’s survival.” OSF, our main tourist attraction, lost $2 million last summer. Loss of patrons severely affected our restaurants, hotels and retail.

    She goes on to say that “authentic Japanese Gardens are immensely popular, and draw a significant number of tourists.” Were we to allow Jeff Mangin to proceed, Ashland would reap the benefits of having a beautiful new attraction in Lithia park.

    The world is desperately short of tranquility. Toru Tanaka’s authentic Japanese Garden would help fill the deep longing for more serenity in our lives.

    Carola Lacy


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