Fire departments fat and happy

In August, Medford was told the Eighth Street fire station would be replaced using existing department funds. Now we will be forced to take three stations and a police headquarters funded by a $32 million bond paid for by higher city utility fees.

I'm a fan of firefighters, having been a volunteer and trained by the National Fire Academy in Maryland as an incident commander; however, I can also view the profession objectively.

In reality, fewer and fewer dangerous fires occur because of better awareness of fire safety, innovations such as smoke alarms and stricter building codes. Most fires are detected quickly and move slowly. Who rescues residents? Often it is family members, neighbors or utility workers.

Some years ago the unions realized the lads were spending a lot of time doing very little. So, they began to roll fire engines (massive pumping platforms and water carriers costing around $500,000) to medical calls. Often they arrived after or concurrently with an ambulance. EMTs treated and transported patients and the fire laddies took their gigantic apparatus back to the station.

The city calls this "quality of care." I call it a Teamsters-devised scam to keep fire departments fat and happy. — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

Old landmarks are great

It's great to see them restoring the old Sparta Building at Main and Riverside.

When Donald and I were young, we both went to a dentist upstairs. His name was Dr. Barnum, and after he fixed our teeth he always gave us candy.

KMED was upstairs in 1930. Don's grandfather Elder T.L. Thumler, SDA church, gave sermons and his daughter Violet Thumler Campbell sang hymns.

I hate to go downtown and see the old landmarks disappearing. I like to go down West Main and see the beautiful old Carnegie Library. I hope they don't make a parking lot out of it. It's supposed to represent Alba, our sister city. — Orpha Thumler, Central Point

Cruz and Lee speak for me

We have elected a president who is a socialist and does not believe in the Constitution.

President Obama nominated Elena Kagan in the Supreme Court in 2010. Kagan removed the U.S. constitutional law study as a requirement at Harvard when she was dean of the law school.

The Democratic Party is a party of social engineers who insert bureaucrats into every area of our life. They control private enterprise through regulation and grants and seek control over people through Obamacare. Obama is destroying the freedom to make personal choices.

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are courageous proponents of individual liberties. They fight to resist such encroachments by Obama and the democrats. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee speak for me. I applaud everyone who stands with them. — Dick Dunbar, Medford

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