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Letters, Sept. 20

A national problem

Imagine my relief to see that our “national problem” is not hungry homeless children or inequality or even apocalyptic climate change. The national problem is — drum roll, please — pickleball!

Who knew? I’ve been losing sleep over all the wrong things. Now someone needs to find the courage to let that neighborhood know that they will also have to deal with (gasp!) children’s laughter and all the daily noise caused by playing. Perhaps they’d rather move to Chicago and listen to sirens and gunshots where they can find something more to worry about than the decibel level of a game of pickleball.

However, the story did make the coveted “above the fold, front page” space in the Mail Tribune out of all that is happening in the world, so maybe there’s more to this pickleball issue than we know. I’m confident we haven’t heard the last of it.

Penny Olson


Ashland utility bill hike

Chatting over a newly arrived utility bill, a friend’s assertion that Ashland utility bills had nearly doubled during the past decade seemed exaggerated. So, I looked back at my own bills for the period 2008 to 2010, which averaged $1,003 annually.

Ten years later, my household is the same size and utility usage changed little if any. However, for the period 2016 to 2018, conservatively estimating the remainder of 2018, I’m averaging over $1,800 per year. This is an 80 percent increase compared with a 17 percent increase in my pension over the same time period — and a 15 percent decrease in my Avista bill! Why this astronomical increase in city charges in a largely flat economy with a low rate of inflation?

David Churchman


Supporting Blum Atkinson

I am writing to encourage support for Michelle Blum Atkinson in her candidacy for Oregon Legislative District 6.

She is bright, thoughtful, well versed in the issues and focused on solving problems. Her issues are health care, housing, education and the environment. She was born in Medford, was a partner in a very successful local business, started her own business and participates in several local organizations.

I have worked with Michelle and witnessed first-hand her easygoing demeanor mixed with firm resolve in dealing with difficult situations. She listens, she studies the issues and comes to a sound decision. Please give consideration to Michelle for this important position in the Oregon State Legislature.

Lee Murdoch


Voting for Davis

Fairness, wisdom and breadth of experience are all very important attributes of a good judge. Above all, an excellent judicial temperament is the best indication of who would be an appropriate member of the bench. Joe Davis exhibits each of these characteristics, and therefore has my vote for Jackson County Circuit judge.

Mark Schiveley


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