The Mail Tribune published an article on Wednesday answering a question about the disappearance of Scott Lewis and Milt Radford from KDRV-TV. The newspaper published the corporate response from the news director, Mark Hatfield. I would like an opportunity to present my side.
A year ago, Hatfield tried to break my contract with the station by offering me a new three-year agreement with a significant pay cut. I declined. The offer violated Oregon's new noncompete law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009.
During the last few months he also negotiated with Scott Lewis about a new contract. I can't answer for Scott, but he also refused his new offer.
Hatfield hired a new chief meteorologist and said he would keep me but only if I took a pay cut. I again refused.
I tried to find a media job here but couldn't, so I accepted an offer from Wichita State University as news director for their public radio station. It's a promotion for me; I'm excited about the opportunity and I'll be closer to family.
I wish my colleagues success in their careers. I'd also like to thank the viewers who have supported me. — Milt Radford, Medford
The writers of the Mail Tribune's "Since You Asked" column unfortunately seem to have never learned the adage that there are two sides to every story. In explaining the disappearance of Scott Lewis and Milt Radford from KDRV Channel 12's news team, they apparently neglected to contact Milt Radford.
Mr. Radford did not simply "accept a position with a radio station in the Midwest" as stated in the column. Rather, KDRV offered him a generous salary cut which he and his family felt that they could not accept. All of us who knew Mr. Radford or enjoyed his weather reports on KDRV are sorry to see him and his family leave town. I recognize that in difficult economic times businesses must make hard decisions, but it would have been nice if the facts could have been presented by KDRV or uncovered by the sleuth reporters at the Mail Tribune.
I will greatly miss Mr. Radford and his family. — Steven Cannon, Medford
So Dennis Richardson thinks we should arm teachers. Let's run through this scenario. A third-grade teacher buys a gun and is trained at a shooting range. In order for it to be effective against an assailant, it must be kept loaded, but with the children being in the room and the teacher occasionally out of the room, it must be kept locked in a drawer or cupboard so that curious children don't find it and accidentally shoot themselves or each other.
Fast forward to the evil day when an attacker appears at the door of the classroom — what is the teacher going to do? Ask the gunman to take a seat and wait his turn to raise his hand until she can get her keys out of her pocket, unlock the drawer, and retrieve the gun?
This is lunacy. Rep. Richardson, go to the principal's office. — Nancy Schulenberger, Ashland
Rep. Dennis Richardson's guest opinion is one of the most irresponsible opinion pieces I have heard from an elected official. If you've ever been in a firefight, and I have as a Marine in Vietnam, then you'd understand the chaotic, adrenaline-charged conditions that exist during the event.
Rational clear thinking is clouded with the instinct to survive. Teachers are there to teach, not be first responders. The solutions are obvious. There are no justifications for assault weapons, extended ammo magazines or body armor in a civil society, and they should be banned. This is a tragic mark on our great nation losing these little children. — Thomas T. Smith, Eagle Point
Oregon State Rep. Dennis Richardson has suggested we arm our teachers. This is one more irrational proposal to avoiding tackling the real threat to public safety, and would be another step in encouraging the great American shoot out.
The logical conclusion of Richardson's suggestion would be to arm mall shopkeepers, arm librarians, arm the local Minute Market cashier and our grocers and gas station attendants. Where does it stop?
Something has to be done, but more guns is not the answer. — Joseph Suste, Medford
Thank you for bringing to light Rep. Dennis Richardson's email where he claimed he could have stopped the Sandy Hook killings, and suggested the solution to gun crime is bringing even more guns to schools.
However, we cannot hope to protect our schools, using guns or otherwise, while assault weapons remain legal. Semi-automatic rifles like the ones used to kill 27 people at Sandy Hook and shoot 70 people at the Aurora movie theater allow for mass violence before a 9-1-1 call can even be made. These semi-automatics are legal and easy to acquire in Oregon. My friends, now is the time to save lives by giving up just a small portion of our second amendment right by banning deadly assault weapons. — Michelle Blum Atkinson, Medford
Everyone has his opinion about gun control, so here's mine: Since a total ban on guns is out of the question, given our constitutional right to bear arms, let's ban all auto and semi-auto weapons for private possession and/or use. Period.
Give people time to turn in these weapons to the government and reimburse them for the fair market value (at taxpayer expense). If someone is caught with one of these weapons after the deadline, the government should by law confiscate without reimbursement any weapons found and any vehicles used for their transport.
In addition, anyone found with these weapons should receive mandatory jail time, and if a murder is committed with one of these weapons, a penalty of at least life imprisonment without parole should be applied. People are always going to kill other people—let's just make it harder for them to do it. — Charles Depp, Medford
More children die each year from drowning than gunfire. Teach children about guns like you teach them to swim. Guns are an integral part of our being. We only came into existence as a free nation because of guns.
The common denominator of all these senseless shootings is that they happen in "gun free zones." Malls, movie theaters, schools and other places labeled "no weapons allowed" are the real culprit. I would rather have my gun on me and not need it than leave it at home and turn the wrong corner. The police do not have the responsibility to protect you. That is your duty and your right.
An armed officer in a school may or may not be as effective as armed teachers and faculty. Just the fact that they may be armed will make the cowards go to easier hunting grounds; churches, parks, etc.
Arm yourself and go to school, shopping or a movie. You may be the one who makes a difference. — Brad Martinkovich, Medford
I am not qualified to judge State Rep. Dennis Richardson's statement in a recent edition of the Mail Tribune concerning guns in the classroom. I do question his suggesting that "at least three officials in every school should be trained in the use of firearms."
Three? Only three? If so, parents, make sure your children are all in one of the three chosen locations covering the entire school when a gunman obviously finds an entry not positively secured. The murderer has to get into the building first, then must avoid the three rooms where "most" students will be safe (according to Richardson). There are also teachers and other employees who would be in jeopardy if they were not lucky enough to be assigned to one of the three supposedly "safe" rooms.
As for the problem of gun ownership — the mother of the murderer at the Sandy Hook school was a legal owner of four deadly weapons, one of which, obviously, was used by her own son when he shot her before leaving for the school. How would you handle that, Representative Richardson? — Phyllis Ross, Central Point
Cheers and kudos to Dennis Richardson speaking out for arming a few folks in the schools. It would make the nut cases think twice about conducting a slaughter on teachers and children.
Just the knowledge of knowing someone in there is armed for defense will stop most of this, if not all of it! — Greeta hoppes, Central Point