This November, we in Jackson County have a decision to make for county commissioner. Let me just highlight why I enthusiastically support Doug Breidenthal for the position.

This November, we in Jackson County have a decision to make for county commissioner. Let me just highlight why I enthusiastically support Doug Breidenthal for the position.

First and foremost, Doug has lived in our community for 22 years, has worked in the public and the private sector, knows the land-use issues we face and has great ideas on how we can determine what we all want Jackson County's future development to look like. He has common sense, he has created jobs, balanced budgets and has the skills we deserve in a commissioner.

In my never humble opinion, Doug clearly is the best choice for this important position. Please join me in voting for Doug Breidenthal for county commissioner. — Rosemary Harrington, Medford

I served as a juror on the trial for the murder of Kaelin Glazier. The presiding judge, Judge Ben Bloom, defined the solemn and professional atmosphere of the courtroom. Judge Bloom's knowledge of legal processes and procedures held all in the courtroom, whether media, visitors, jurors or attorneys, to a higher standard that would have been absent without his vigilant guidance from the bench.

Judge Bloom's exemplary performance and demeanor, (even in the Ruch field where Kaelin's remains were discovered), communicated to us that despite the emotionally charged impact of evidence, testimony and vivid descriptions of the brutally murdered girl who had been unceremoniously dumped in the desolate rural field, that justice and truth, for the sake of our community, the family and especially the victim, would be faithfully served.

A vote for Judge Ben Bloom is a vote for that justice. — Joel Axelrod, Ashland

There is an intelligent, energetic young man in this county who is running for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. The man is Jeff Scroggin, and if you want balanced representation, you need to vote for him on Nov. 6.

It is impressive to witness the hard work Jeff has done to research, understand, and envision solutions to the problems of Jackson County. The experience he gained as a noncommissioned officer in the U.S. Army is clearly apparent in the focus he brings to every project before him and in the versatility with which he handles multiple projects that come across his desk.

Jeff Scroggin is a natural-born leader who understands the give-and-take of public office, and who can work across party lines to represent the public he serves. — Gail Beason, Talent

Thank you for the well-written, timely article and supportive editorial regarding our successful foster-care reduction efforts. Although it may seem that this sea change in approach to serving children and their families involved in the child welfare system was smooth and easy, it was really due to lengthy and dedicated work behind the scenes.

All of our local legislators were involved, but it happened because Sen. Alan Bates, who himself was a foster parent, dedicated months to championing this cause. This work culminated in the introduction of SB 964, which enabled our collaboration to continue our work and required that similar efforts be developed by all counties across the state.

Even in this extremely difficult economic climate, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate and 58-2 in the House. Sen. Bates built this support on data demonstrating the fiscal and human benefits realized though our collaboration, all this, while at the same time leading sweeping changes in health care, managing the usual heavy load of a legislator and caring for his medical patients.

With Sen. Bates' continual monitoring of these innovative changes, our partnership efforts will prove that systemic changes can work and will be successful statewide. — Rita Sullivan, executive director, OnTrack, Medford

For the voters of Phoenix: I am writing to introduce you to my choice for the next mayor of Phoenix, my husband of 33 years, Jeff Bellah.

Jeff has been a resident of Phoenix for 22 years and has raised two daughters in the Phoenix schools. He has almost 37 years experience working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Army. He retired from federal service last year and is currently on the Phoenix City Council.

Jeff enjoys our city and is committed to a positive future for Phoenix. We hope to meet many of you as you consider your choice for the next mayor of Phoenix. — Laura Bellah, Phoenix

Some forms of abuse are hard to identify; physical abuse, however, is not. Last week more than 200 sick and injured living beings were seized by Josephine County Animal Control. Not surprisingly, the owner, Kandi Crow, has denied the charges.

If she is the owner of the Magical Miniature Horses / Crows Nest Miniatures breeding farm, then she should — and would — know what healthy and sick animals look like. How can anyone deny abuse? Surely the injuries such as broken legs and broken jaws didn't happen overnight; even signs of starvation take a painfully long time to become evident.

In the past, when Crow was convicted of animal abuse and neglect, she was sentenced to 10 days behind bars and had to pay more than 700 whole dollars in fines. However many injustices these helpless living beings have already endured, to allow Crow to get away with these atrocities again would be the greatest injustice of all.

When justice fails to protect those who need it the most, then it is justice itself that should be on trial. — Louise Garner, White City

I was rather intrigued with (Phoenix mayoral candidate) Steven Schulman's letter to the editor on Sept. 16, "The study won't cut it."

It brought back memories of a letter I penned, and you so kindly published on Nov. 30, 2010.

"I can't imagine having a husband-and-wife combination, one-third of the council, serving the citizenry bodes well for future harmony nor marital relationship." — Al Willstatter, Ashland

In the upcoming election we are given two rather distinct choices. The Democratic Party will provide a fairly stable economy with a modest rate of growth. They will also provide reasonable protection for the environment and attention to human needs.

The Republican Party, on the other hand, will provide an economy that may grow faster, but with fewer safeguards. It may collapse as it did a few years ago. It will scrap many programs that help disadvantaged people, and it will likely roll back environmental, consumer and worker protection plans. Neither party is likely to balance the budget.

If we do choose a lightly regulated, free-market economy, we must provide for the honest needs of the people who will inevitably fall through the cracks, if we are to retain the right to call ourselves civilized. — Bill McWhorter, Medford

I very much appreciated the articles regarding the candidates' positions on Medicare by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

Lucid, unbiased and informative. During this election period this is the kind of reporting I wish to see more of. In the midst of so much divisive polemics, the voters wanting to be well-informed need all the help we can get. Thank you. — Susanne Powell, Ashland

A few months ago I began the unfortunate process of going through a divorce. In due course I had to appear before Judge Bloom in family court. Because a good portion of the rest of my life would be decided by the judge,

I actually stayed after my initial hearing concluded so that I could get a feel for how Judge Bloom ran his courtroom, interacted with the attorneys, and most of all, how he treated the citizens.

I was impressed with his thoughtfulness, patience and respect.

I felt that he treated each case with fairness and, most importantly, he was not distracted by the "$200 arguments" that the attorneys concocted. I would encourage anyone who is concerned with families and justice to support Judge Bloom. — Kendrick Scott, Talent