Ski area arguments are tired
Again we hear the alarmist cries from the opponents of the expansion of Mount Ashland. When are these folks going to present any new, cogent argument as to why the ski area shouldn’t expand?
The fact is that the expansion of the Mount Ashland ski area is long overdue, and the only purpose of the tired old arguments we continue to hear against it is to further delay important improvements and upgrades that need to take place on the mountain.
It never ceases to amaze me how concerned the anti-expansionists have become about Mount Ashland’s financial stability — right down to lift ticket prices. This is canard — the expansion would ensure the future viability and stability of the mountain, as well as being a great benefit to communities it serves. The money needed to expand could easily be raised if opponents would simply get out of the way.
The so-called environmental concerns that are cited endlessly — from erosion to endangered flora and fauna — have been answered thoroughly.
The expansion is not a risky proposition, it is a responsible endeavor that needs to move forward. Mount Ashland has not grown in size in nearly 50 years, while the areas it serves have tripled in population. The time is now — support the expansion! — David Spear, Medford

Happy birthday to the .357
The venerable .357 Magnum revolver (gun and load) celebrates its Diamond Jubilee for 2010, being 75 years old.
Originally developed in 1935 by Smith and Wesson and Winchester, the .357 Magnum, along with its parent caliber the .38 Special, was formerly the quintessential handgun service caliber of American law enforcement. This has since changed as police and sheriff’s departments largely replaced revolvers with semi-automatic pistols in the past 20 years.
Both .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers continue to offer a lot to the average free-thinking citizen, including the individual who owns but one handgun. The .38s and .357s remain ideal for self defense/house protection. Also, for the outdoors. Perhaps no handgun is more versatile than a .357 Magnum revolver as they chamber and fire .38 Special ammo.
Classic Smith and Wesson .357 Magnums, now discontinued, included the heavy N-Frame Model 27 (the original .357 Magnum), the Model 28 Highway Patrolman, and the K-Frame S&W Model 19 and 66 “stainless” .357 Combat Magnums. Colt’s Python, Trooper Mark III and Ruger’s Blackhawk and Security Six were also fine .357’s. Visit David Codrea’s online journal “The War on Guns” via www.DavidCodrea.com. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

Use Table Rock instead
I don’t support the Highway 62 bypass as it’s currently configured. It’s overpriced for the distance it will cover, it dumps the traffic problem directly on Medford’s doorstep at the intersection of Crater Lake Highway and Poplar, and it will damage retail establishments along Crater Lake Highway. The proposed bypass will divide and scar Medford in much the same way that I-5 did to downtown many years ago.
Similar to the south Medford interchange, I also question if the proposed location is intended to enrich the current land owners of the project.
A superior route would be to convert Table Rock Road into the new bypass. At its south end, it could be connected to Interstate 5. At the north end, it could extend north of Gregory Road, then bend eastward to connect to Highway 140 at the Big R intersection.
This route would best serve the Upper Rogue and White City industry. — Curt Ankerberg, Medford

Electricity won’t do it
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial (May 17 MT) on oil dependency contains the statement “... the nation must develop cleaner energy sources: fuel cells, solar, wind, nuclear.” Good as far as it goes, but it helps perpetuate the view that all we need is more electricity from renewable resources. Biofuels from nonfood sources also need to be emphasized in the same sentence.
Oil is used to generate very little electricity. Even though technology is bringing practical electric vehicles for personal transportation and light delivery services, long-haul commercial vehicles and heavy construction equipment will rely on combustible fuels for many years to come. Think ships, planes, 18-wheelers, earth movers, etc.
Alternate energy sources need to be developed for these vehicles, and electricity will probably not play a major part here, at least for many years to come. Also remember that any energy resource development has an environmental impact, so the solutions may not be as simple as they seem. — Stan Loer, Grants Pass

‘Exchange’ has become boring
For a long time, Jefferson Public Radio offered an “open phones” segment on their morning radio program, The Jefferson Exchange. This portion of the program allowed local people to express opinions on national, international and local events.
But that segment has disappeared over the course of the past year or two, replaced instead by a continual lineup of guests — bubble dwellers — who all express the same time-worn views so often found in corporate media programming. This current lack of creativity, combined with a public format and blasť points of view, combine to produce a radio program that has become so boring it drives an ever growing number of listeners — folks just trying to stay awake — to KCMX and the Laura Ingraham Show.
The Jefferson Exchange has recently experienced a change of hosts, however, and now they have a new producer. Perhaps this new blood will be able to get the open phones segment back into the lineup. Of course, KCMX, Laura Ingraham, and all the supporters of the tea party movement will be overjoyed if they fail. — Robert Bennett, Grants Pass