Commissioners are right

I applaud the Jackson County Board of Commissioners' vote to oppose a proposed American Indian casino in Medford. A multitude of studies prove that legalized gambling is simply bad social policy; we in Medford do not want gambling in our backyard!

Baylor University economist Earl Grinols published a book in 2004 titled "Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits." The book totaled the added costs cities pay in increased crime, bankruptcies, lost productivity and diminished social capital once they introduce casinos. Back in 2004, Earl discovered that casino gambling generates roughly $166 in social costs for every $54 of economic benefit. I contend that the cost is even higher today. In addition to the negative economic impact, the Field Institute's California Poll found that legalized gambling hurts those who are poor and disadvantaged.

Opposing this is a good call by our commissioners. We now need to make our voice heard to federal agencies that supposedly hold the trump card as to whether or not Medford gets a casino. Our community then needs to get busy in developing a smart strategic plan that will spawn private industry growth here in the Rogue Valley that will be positive both economically and socially. — Ward Hinger, Eagle Point

Support Baumgartner

Jackson County Fire District No. 5's current budget committee has 10 positions, three of which are women. The qualifications of these women are: Barbara Decker has been involved in county politics for many years, Judy Baalman just retired from Jackson County working with budgets and grants, and Kaelynn (Welburn) McEvoy works with budgets and payroll for Ashland. Qualified? I think so.

I don't know why Mr. Robertson singled out the women on the budget committee and not the others, or why he feels the need to involve firefighters' family members in his voter's pamphlet statement. Mr. Robertson's statement is the only one of all the candidates' statements that attacks people, casts blame and provides no solutions. That's why I will support and hope you will support Mr. Baumgartner for the board of directors of JCFD No. 5. — Richard Scowden, Talent

The real terrorists

As a 50-year resident of Grants Pass, I find the editorial cartoon calling loggers "terrorists" (May 5) highly offensive.

I am a nurse with a bachelor's degree and very dedicated to protecting our forests. However, they should be used as sustained yield to provide lumber to build our homes and still protect our lands and creatures that live there. To label a logger or the company they work for as "terrorist" is to further divide and inflame the community and the fringe unstable groups to commit acts of violence against those trying to provide a living for themselves and their families.

So, who are the real terrorists? It should be evident to anyone with a clear head. — Lorraine Tuso, Grants Pass

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