Old friend Chris Bratt recently took me to task for daring to suggest the primary purpose of the Antiquities Act was to protect archaeological artifacts.

Old friend Chris Bratt recently took me to task for daring to suggest the primary purpose of the Antiquities Act was to protect archaeological artifacts.

The act states —… historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures and other objects "… ."The act further states —… may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest areas compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected ..."

Maybe that's why Congress called it the Antiquities Act and not the National Monument Act. It would help us all if KS-Wild would reveal just which objects they want to preserve and why it takes 600,000 acres to protect them.

Bill Varble claimed that only the president could create national monuments. Mr. Varble does a fine job as a drama critic, but when it comes to natural resources he is, as a Texan might say, "All hat and no cows." The fact is Congress can, has and will no doubt in the future designate national monuments. — Pat Clason, Medford

With school districts and state agencies in agony over budget cuts, it is imperative that more revenue be found. It's time for a sales tax ... on visitors.

It is estimated that annual spending by out-of-state visitors to Oregon is more than $7 billion. If Oregon were to impose a sales tax of 7 percent, this would raise state revenues by $490 million from visitors alone. Of course, state residents would also pay this tax, but could be reimbursed in full by a 100 percent credit on their income tax.

In addition, Oregon State Economist Tom Potiowsky has stated that collection of sales taxes would greatly simplify and make accurate predictions of state income.

Oregon visitors universally come from states that impose sales taxes ranging from 4 to 10 percent and are accustomed to paying sales taxes in their home state, so there would be little resistance from them for paying a sales tax here. The only resistance might be from Oregonians who resist taxes in any form. A 100 percent refund of tax paid should allay any fears. — Don Stone, Ashland

I have seen numerous letters to this paper recently, the purpose of which are to defend a local public worker fired for displaying an offensive symbol.

Not a single one of these letters expressed any concern about the harrowing attacks on public employees around this country — attacks that are meant to curtail these workers' ability to make a decent living and care for their families while they care for ours.

Freedom of speech is grand. The right to pursue happiness and be paid a fair wage for one's labors seems to have zero resonance among inhabitants of the conservative side of our political discourse. — Lawrence Dansky, Medford