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Another pillar of the community left us last week and he leaves big shoes to fill. Dr. Fred tidstrom was born and raised and lived much of his life in ashland. Known as “dr. Fred” to many, he served the community in many capacities, in the roles of long-time dentist, navy veteran, school board and MMC hospital board member, scoutmaster, elks exalted ruler, adjunct professor, co-founder of the ashland oredocker foundation, husband, father and grandfather. To say that he was engaged in the community that he loved is an understatement. He was part of the “wallpaper” of the community; always there it seems for almost forever. He will be missed. Our sympathy goes out to his many friends and family in the community.

Our community has experienced a number of key losses of strong leaders in the past few years.Family community dealing with loss of loved ones is difficult and most of us are ill prepared for the grief process that inevitably follows those losses. It is a human life skill that we all will be eventually called on to have, but most of us have very limited training beforehand on how to navigate the process. I was invited to speak this week to a northland college class on the topic of “death and dying,” to share my and my family’s experience of grief following the tragic loss of my first-born in 1999. For too many, death is still a topic that is far too little taiked about in our culture. I was heartened to learn that there are actually classes now for young people to learn about the grief process and how to grieve in a heathy way through life’s losses.

Each time we lose a beloved family or community member, it provides an opportunity to pause and consider our own lives.Grief process though it has been nearly 19 years since my own loss, the experience has softened me and causes me to reflect on a regular basis on the question: what do I hope to leave in the world as my legacy? A fitting question for each of us to consider in this season of re-birth and new beginnings. As my grandfather used to say: “as long as I am still upright on the ground, it is not too late to try to make a difference in the world.” each life has a ripple effect, like the small waves that move ever outward following the throwing of a pebble in a pond.

Important information for city of ashland voters: an important change for voters in WARDS 1, 3, 4 & 5; you WILL NOT be voting at the national guard armory this year (it is being renovated). WARDS 1, 3, 4 & 5 WILL BE voting at WITC-ASHLAND (wisconsin indianhead technical college), 2100 BEASER AVENUE.Family community please use the south parking lot and entrance; room 306. Wards 2 & 6 will continue to vote at the senior center, 400 chapple avenue. Wards 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11, will continue to vote at the bretting center, 400 4th avenue west.

As we enter spring and the arrival of the tourist season in our area, I want to encourage everyone to be mindful and courteous of the parking situation downtown. As a result of the fact that many shoppers now buy online, our locally owned “mom and pop” downtown businesses rely on every sale they can muster to help keep their doors open. They have a thin margin for error and the ability of customers to find parking is important. Most of us wish to retain and attract businesses downtown that contribute to the vibrancy of our community.Continue vote

If you are able-bodied and parking downtown, please park in one of the free city parking lots or on one of the side streets off of main street. Better yet, on this fine spring days, why not consider walking to work or biking if you live a reasonable distance away. We expect to have some new bike racks downtown this year that will be fabricated by ashland high school students. If you work downtown, please do not park on main street in front of a business where you are not a customer. Our population is aging and it is difficult for some of our older residents to walk long distances when they shop. Please help by freeing up space for those who have these issues. If you need help with finding a long-term parking spot close to your place of employment downtown, please contact the chamber of commerce for assistance.Grief process