Tell us where

George Sexton made a public comment in this newspaper stating, "If we're truly interested in more jobs in the woods, there's no better place to start than thinning the thousands of acres of dense second-growth plantations." Since he mentioned two Southern Oregon politicians, we are left to assume that these "acres" are here in Jackson and Josephine counties, and are of commercial value.

The Southern Oregon Small Diameter Collaborative, of which I am a member, has been searching for small diameter stands that can be removed in an economical manner for a decade. There is no government money to subsidize this work. "Economical manner" means that trees should average at least 11 inches in diameter with a minimum of 3,000 board feet per acre for ground-based logging operations or 5,000 board feet per acre for cable yarding systems. Even with these proven parameters, there is no guarantee that these trees would sell.

I believe George should tell us publicly, in this medium, where these "thousands of acres of plantations" are in Southern Oregon, that could create jobs, be done in a manner that does not have to be subsidized, bring revenue to counties, and that won't be litigated. — Blair Moody, Society of American Foresters, Medford

Examine all 501(c)(4)s

A few days ago you had a letter about the so-called scandal in which the IRS was giving special attention to certain conservative applicants for 501(c)(4) status. The IRS should not have been focusing on just those applicants. They should have been examining carefully all of those applications and making sure they were all meeting the requirement that such organizations, in return for their benefits under that program, were primarily social welfare, not political organizations. The scandal, if any, is that Congress has not made that legislation clear and enforceable. Those groups can keep their donors' identities secret and who knows how much of their group's effort is political.

Since the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United there has been a big increase in the number of applications for 501(c)(4) status and insufficient funds for the IRS to deal with that. This aspect of the situation has not been given adequate attention by the media, and some Republican members of the House of Representatives are trying to create a political scandal where none exists. — Mary A. Delsman, Ashland

Watch personal information

I was fortunate recently to have retrieved a lot of personal info — Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, addresses, etc., that had been stolen from a recycling bin belonging to a nearby copying/business center. Again, I was very fortunate.

You see, a month ago I had mis-copied personal info at a copy service, for a credit line application, and threw the incorrect copies away into a nearby recycling can next to the copier. There are no warning labels on this recycling can. That can, and others, were subsequently dumped into an unlocked recycling bin outside the building. If I had not fortuitously recovered this information, well, a day, week or month later all of my accounts and credit cards could have been drained, and I would not have known how it happened.

So, watch out! Local police tell me that this particular outside bin, which is not locked, is a target for identity thieves. — Jack Akin, Jacksonville

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