What's with the hype of New York City and Los Angeles, when it's truly Ashland where the purity and marvelous performing arts of incredible diversity of music and acting are!

What's with the hype of New York City and Los Angeles, when it's truly Ashland where the purity and marvelous performing arts of incredible diversity of music and acting are!

I recently saw the surreal musical "The Unfortunates" and must say, it was fabulous! The creativity in Ashland is phenomenal! Where else can somebody find a small, quaint city, where people are friendly, helpful, concerned, low crime, no smog, many excellent restaurants, three to five live stage plays every day for several months, over 35 art galleries and very much into alternative health? — Jeff Kassman, Ashland

In the voluminous annals of history, we have no example of such a one as Thomas Jefferson.

We have erected monuments to his name on Mount Rushmore as well as the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. We name streets, roads and bridges for this great man, and our $2 bill wears his portrait.

Every July Fourth we remember these words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence, which he wrote and inscribed those words on every heart of this nation in perpetuity, is American scripture.

Every religion has a catechism, a set of beliefs that are a code of conduct for its parishioners. We in this blessed United States have formed a more perfect union around this one civil catechism that he wrote in 1776 and has been quoted by any nation seeking freedom and liberty from oppressive governments around the world ever since, maybe millions of times. His legacy is that of a millennial man, a Renaissance man, a Revolutionary man, an astonishing man — an American. — Joel R. Marks, Medford

"Disappointing" is the kindest adjective I can use to describe Sen. Ron Wyden's recent proposed O&C legislative framework.

Why? Here is just one powerful reason. Fully 50 percent of our prescription medicines and 70 percent of our cancer therapeutics (including the Pacific Northwest's Taxol for ovarian and breast cancer) originate in nature.

For simple self-interest, we should not dismantle the ecological web of life that maintains us and provides such treasures. Wyden's proposal discards everything science teaches us about the present state of our natural world, denying that humans are causing an epoch of species extinction that erodes the foundation of human well-being. It fails to acknowledge that conservation biology reveals that carving wildlife habitat into small and isolated patches ensures more and more endangered species and an impoverished existence for all.

We need much more wilderness, expanded protected wildlife corridors, forest restoration and ecotourism subsidies to provide jobs, a severance tax on private land timber that leaves the counties, progressive state and county sales taxes and fully legalized cannabis with a separate tax like that on alcohol or tobacco. Senator Wyden, we need outside-the-box thinking, not an instant replay of old tired recipes for failure. — Paul Torrence, Ashland

How can we trust our leaders in Washington when they do the following: Spend one-third more than they receive in taxes, not follow the Constitution by printing unbacked money, raise the debt ceiling when they want more unrestricted spending, allowing half the people to support the other half, spy on the American people, give the IRS too much power, allow the government to get bigger every year, not make a budget nor stick to it and allowing the Federal Reserve to get by with its easy-money policy.

I could go on and on, because we can never give them enough money! Don't expect these people to rescue our nation because they have an agenda — it's called The New World Order in America and Globalism in Europe. It will have a very powerful leader, a world currency, a world government and a one-world church. This spells disaster for our nation, as I see it. — Gordon DeVos, Medford