I live on the north approach to the Medford airport. Most of the planes coming and going fly over my back pasture.

I live on the north approach to the Medford airport. Most of the planes coming and going fly over my back pasture.

For the past few days, the big rumbling tankers have been flying low with fire retardant for all the fires. For all you pilots, please be safe.

We know the smoke is really bad and the flying is dangerous. You are a courageous bunch and we sure do appreciate what you do. So know that each time you go out north, I hear you and my ardent hope is that you come back safely. — Ann Hathaway, White City

A recent MT article, "State medical community faces wave of new insured," discussed the statewide problem of inadequate numbers of physicians on the eve of Obamacare. Apparently our trusted politicians in Salem are hoping to fix the problem by diverting tax dollars for scholarships and loan repayments to entice some docs to practice in rural Oregon.

As an Oregon-licensed physician who served for six years on the Oregon Medical Board (one year as chairman), I can tell you that there is indeed a major deficit of physicians in Oregon and it's been getting worse since the state (i.e., Multnomah County) voted down efforts to give Oregon a modest degree of tort reform several years ago.

Oregon physicians practice under a black cloud of malpractice lawsuits — even if they've done no harm. Physicians want to help patients, not look constantly over their shoulders to see if they're about to be slapped with a malpractice lawsuit.

Most clinics and hospitals in Oregon have found it very difficult to recruit new physicians to come here because Oregon lacks tort reform. Diverting tax dollars to some individuals is a Band-aid, not a cure. The cancer of runaway lawsuits needs to be addressed as the disease it is, not ignored. — Douglas Kirkpatrick, M.D., Medford

On July 24, I called the city of Medford, newly separated from the Medford Water Commission, to pay "fees" by credit card.

I first talked with Carol, after a 15-minute wait; she referred me to Kelly. Kelly was "not authorized" to accept my transaction but, at my request, transferred me to her supervisor (Lorraine), and she said Richard was free to help me. I received a voice message from Richard to leave a number, which I did.

Three hours later, I received a call from Rhonda, who could not help me, but had Blanca call me. Blanca couldn't make the transaction, but said "someone" would call. It is now 12:57 on the 26th, and I am still waiting for a call.

Counting the message left on Richard's machine, that is six people on the other end of the line and still no resolution. Is this what we can expect from our "public servants"?

I look forward with great anticipation to the day the city of Medford will request additional staff because of "workload" — then we can have eight, 10 or more who are not authorized or do not know how to process a simple request. Medford, a microcosm of government in D.C. — William Prince, Medford