I was thrilled to see the article on the front page of the Mail Tribune about the ban on plastic bags. I applaud Sen. Atkinson for bringing up this important issue.

The plastic problem is one of the most important problems locally and nationally. Portland has already taken great strides in terms of grocery shoppers bringing cloth bags and boxes from home.

Reusable bags can be washed to get rid of worries about mold or contamination. This ban will send the rest of Oregon on the right path toward following this example. Oregonians can take responsibility to keep plastic out of landfills and our environment, by making the switch to biodegradable and reusable bags. — Grace Katzmar, Medford

In response to "A simple answer to deer" sent in by Don Stone of Ashland:

Yes, I witnessed a deer prancing across Siskiyou the other day nearly causing an accident, and I agree a deeper look into this issue is called for. However, Don Stone's solution to this, being to just shoot them and feed their meat to the food banks, seems wildly inhumane and reminds me of the mentality of what creates the very tenuous, destructive situation on our planet right now.

War on deer is not the answer. War on anything is not the answer. Let's not bring our American government's solution of just shooting and killing whoever and whatever is in our way to our beloved Ashland. — Leslie Caplan, Ashland

On Ashland Street, there is a vacant lot behind the Oil Stop between Shop N Kart and the former Handyman Hardware Store.

Unfortunately, the dirt area has become a dust bowl of fine dust that is raised in voluminous columns when large trucks or fast traffic use it. This dust wafts across the lot in thick, choking clouds toward the residential area.

This problem is steadily becoming aggravated with each passing year as the dust is ground into an ever finer silica talcum that becomes easily airborne and worsens during the course of the hot and dry summer months.

There can be several 16-wheelers using the area during the course of a day and parking there during the night. Teenagers delight in using the lot for fast driving and creating dust clouds by skidding and wheeling.

I have contacted the city of Ashland. While stand-alone parking lots are not permitted under Ashland municipal code, the city claims that the lot owners have a historical precedent.

I am astonished that the city has no ordinance concerning the generation of vast clouds of silica dust within city limits when they seem to be so particular about everything else. — Julian Hamer, Ashland

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