On the evening of the Fourth of July, I was listening to what sounded like bombs going off around my home in rural Talent, when I heard distress calls from some birds. I immediately thought of the baby barn owls that are housed in an owl box that we constructed on our property. In rural areas, the fireworks being used are mostly loud explosives, rather than the visual display kind. Our human shortsightedness is appalling. — Ginger Rilling, Talent
A letter in Sunday's paper (June 30) suggested Syngenta might have destroyed their own GMO sugar beets to portray their opponents as saboteurs. Lest anyone think that is too far-fetched, keep in mind that we're talking about large, wealthy, multinational corporations that have already proven totally ruthless in taking over our food supply and spent millions on lobbying to keep us from finding out what's in it.
GMO crops inevitably spread to fields where they aren't wanted, and corporations such as Monsanto then sue the farmers whose fields they contaminated (I am not making this up). If they do that in plain sight, what wouldn't they do behind our backs?
We're not talking about hybrid plants here, but crops whose genes have been spliced with those of alien organisms. Nobody knows the long-term unintended consequences of letting them spread, but the adverse effects on pollinating insects have been well-documented — most notably the decimation of Monarch butterflies.
We need to keep these companies' crops from taking over our valley and support efforts to label foods that contain it. Otherwise we'll regret it, but it will be too late. — Michael Steely, Medford
Know your "N" words! — Kathleen Bryan-Panos, Medford
The repeated claims in this paper that the timber industry does not advocate for clearcutting and herbicide use on public lands ring hollow.
The facts are that the Walden/DeFazio logging bill would consign over a million acres of BLM lands to clearcut forestry and chemical spraying. The Portland-based timber industry trade group American Forest Resources Council has repeatedly endorsed this management scheme for our public lands. — George Sexton, Ashland
I cannot agree with the editorial in the June 28 paper regarding the rightness of same-sex marriage. Basic human anatomy is enough to affirm the fact that men and women are meant to be in a heterosexual relationship. People are being seduced into believing the laws of nature do not exist. All species form attachments and mate with the opposite sex. — Gail Finch, Medford
On my visit here from Eugene, I was thrilled to see the JFK exhibit at the Medford Center. The citizens of Medford should be honored to have such a "world class" presentation in their city. I hope the young people here are taken to see the exhibit either by their parents or teachers. It would be such a wonderful chance to share history and experiences. — Jane Smith, Eugene