Rights, not entitlements

Regarding the opinion piece on income gaps from the Philadelphia Inquirer, which ran in a recent Mail Tribune, perhaps they should "inquire" a bit more deeply. Say, perhaps, as deep as the Declaration of Independence of the United States?

Reading that foundational document will remind disgruntled citizens that our independence is rooted in individual rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our individual rights do not entitle us to a job, a fair shake in the marketplace, a car, house or the same amount of money that someone else has in their account. We are entitled to make our own life and our own success.

I suspect that the entitlement mindset is part of the reason that a farmworker from Mexico is shown harvesting pears in the Rogue Valley elsewhere in the same paper, even though there are probably dozens of homeless and unemployed people within walking distance of where the pear orchard is located. — Oscar Zuniga, Medford

KS Wild's approach

The O&C issue is confusing for many and it can be difficult to know who to believe. When I compare and contrast recent opinion pieces by George Sexton of KS Wild and retired forester Ed Kupillas, I am struck by Sexton's reasoned citation of facts and statistics and Kupillas' sweeping generalizations, lumping all environmental groups and positions together.

Kupillas states "It's time we asked ourselves whether the status quo and the 'leave-it-alone' approach is truly working for our forests and rural communities. I believe it's time for a change."

Kupillas knows full well that KS Wild is not promoting a "leave-it-alone" approach; KS Wild supported a successful small-diameter project reported in an article this paper headlined "Small-diameter timber sale fetches high price." The 488-acre timber sale in the Butte Falls Resource Area, which is appraised at $809,624 — or $263 per thousand board feet — sold for $1.4 million.

KS Wild has a nuanced approach that considers wildlife, recreation and the many facets of the local economy. It is a disservice to the debate over the fate of our public forests to willfully distort the facts. — Shelley Elkovich, Ashland

Charge for books?

We can't keep increasing property taxes. Regarding the library, why not charge 10 cents or 25 cents a book for adults, and children would continue to get free books?

Make it work. — Carl R. Miller, Medford

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