Ask about Pearl Harbor

On Dec. 7, 2014, would you do us all a favor? Have AP do some interviews of people on the street anywhere in Japan. Tell us how much guilt and contrition is expressed about the stab-in-the-back Pearl Harbor raid. Oh, that’s right; that was the 20th Century; when you messed with the bull then you were just about guaranteed to get the horns, with no guilt or apology.

Joseph F. Ward, Shady Cove

A good deal for water

Gold Hill Irrigation District’s water diversion system above Nugget Falls on the Rogue River — consisting of an old headgate, leaky canal and rudimentary spill system — doesn’t allow the district to control its diversion, harms salmon and steelhead and will eventually need repair. The project undertaken by the district this summer will upgrade old infrastructure, eliminate harm to fish, bring the system into compliance with all state and federal requirements and remove important safety and liability concerns. To do this, the district is constructing a new headgate, piping and burying its canal, eliminating the harmful spill area and improving its fish bypass system. Even better, this project comes at no monetary cost to district patrons because the district has chosen to partner with WaterWatch and others. WaterWatch has helped secure funding from state lottery dollars and fishing license fees, as well as from local sport fishing and conservation organizations. Rules for doing work in salmon bearing streams, and the construction contractor’s schedule, will cause an early shut down of irrigation water this year, but only this year. This project is a great deal for the district, and for the Rogue’s salmon and steelhead.

Jim McCarthy, Southern Oregon program manager, WaterWatch of Oregon

Cookie photo shameful

Shame on you, Mail Tribune, for your vacation photo in Monday's paper of a hand-held cookie feeding a chipmunk at Crater Lake National Park.

Cute? Yes, but so very inappropriate! It is illegal to feed wildlife in our national parks!

My U.S. Park Ranger son bemoans the part of his job trying to get the public to understand this rule. It harms animals to eat human food. It makes them aggressive and obnoxious toward park visitors. Animals can bite. They can carry disease.

They are wild animals that need to eat wild animal food that Mother Nature supplies for them. She is generous — let her feed her forest creatures the food that will allow them to live healthy, natural lives. Let's learn how to live with nature, not destroy it by treating wild creatures like the pets we have at home. That chipmunk will not have a store of cookies to survive the winter, and park visitors should strive to watch the critters forage and eat what is natural and healthy for them. It's an incredibly wonderful experience to witness such naturalness in the beauty of our national parks!

Karen McCarthy Walters, Medford

Thanks to firefighters

For two days I was in danger of losing my home to a wildfire, and for two days I witnessed the tireless, unceasing efforts of so many young men and women and fire districts and forestry and private businesses trying to save my home and all the other homes and our precious forests.

Yesterday afternoon I was reminded of the old M*A*S*H TV series when the helicopters overhead was the constant background noise of the war zone. It was so intense and so constant and the tankers less frequent but there and the fire truckers in our driveway last night when I went to bed, young men staying awake and vigilant so that I might sleep. This morning I woke up with the fire trucks gone and rain.

This morning I am overwhelmed with gratitude and a new reality of just how many and how hard and how cooperatively they all work together to save our community. The world is blessed to have fire fighters and to all of them everywhere, I want to say thank you.

Carol Wythe, Eagle Point

Meeting Robin Williams

I had the great honor of being introduced to Robin Williams after a benefit concert in San Francisco in 1982. We were left alone in a room together for several minutes before other people joined us.

After initially gushing about how much I loved the show, I felt tongue-tied as to what to say next. But I started chatting about the antics of my 2-year-old nephew, who was the same age as his oldest son, and we compared notes. I found him to be somewhat subdued, but pleasant and engaging. Before I left, he told me it was a pleasure meeting me. I smiled all the way home.

Robin Williams died today. Whatever demons haunted him we may never know. But when I think of him it's not a the wild, zany comedian, the actor or the celebrity with a drug problem that I remember. I see him as an average guy, no more no less. A sweet, gentle man who took the time to chat with me about raising little boys. I will miss him.

Darlene Ensor, Jacksonville