Writer's opinion is flawed

Luke Reudiger’s opinion of the Nedsbar Timber Sale is flawed.

Luke claims Nedsbar logs old-growth forests. Old-growth forests have specific, scientifically valid definitions, and are identified in the Medford District Resource Management Plan for uses other than logging. Apparently, Luke uses his own definition.

Any project evaluated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that harvests timber will at the very least get a rating of “may affect, but not likely adversely affect” the northern spotted owl. Hence, the community alternative is no better than the BLM alternative at protecting the owl, as both have the same rating.

Luke would like to act on Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposal to designate part of the Nedsbar as back country primitive area. There are proposals to eliminate BLM law enforcement, sell or give away public lands to states, and double the current BLM Oregon/Washington timber harvest. Perhaps we should implement all of those proposals, as well.

While 300 persons opposed the project, they represent less than 10 percent of those living in the Applegate Valley and far less than 1 percent of those living in Jackson County. BLM has to consider the collective needs for the remainder of the public it serves.

John Gerritsma

Central Point

Providence used threats

Sixty percent.

That’s the increase approved by the State of Oregon Insurance Board for Providence Health Plan members over 55 years old in Josephine and Jackson Counties. The premiums for other ages? Similar.

So let’s review.

Providence runs a highly profitable hospital and a number of clinic locally. They have a low cost structure and make profits from us. Yet, still, they threatened the state to not insure anyone in Southern Oregon. In fact they even announced they were withdrawing from the area to members earlier this year.

Then, at the last minute, the state gave in. The result? The highest percentage increases for insurance in Oregon.

So now Providence has it both ways. They set high rates for services, and the high rates for insurance. They just used threats and leverage to saddle Southern Oregonians with the largest percentage increase in premium costs in the state.

So whether you are a Providence Health Plan member or not, think twice before you visit a Providence hospital, affiliated doctor or clinic.

Do you want to support that kind of greed?

Gordon O’Hara

Grants Pass


I rejoiced at seeing the following headline on the top of the front page of the Monday, October 3 Mail Tribune: “Full STEAM ahead.” The article refers to the new arts program at Phoenix Elementary School.

My personal joy relates to my having a letter to the editor printed in this paper way back on March 9, 2014, with the title: “Restore music: Let’s put STEAM power in our schools.” You can find my letter in the Mail Tribune archives by Googling “steam power medford mail tribune.” More important is that you read the article I cite in that letter: “Role of Art in STEM Education Studied,” which appeared in the January 2014 issue of Civil Engineering, the magazine of the ASCE. You can find it by Googling “role of art in stem education studied asce.”

It’s great that the Phoenix-Talent School District is undertaking their new art program. Several years ago, the Ashland School District — with the Ashland community — managed to raise enough money to restore a fifth-grade strings program. Is the Medford School District also on the STEAM bandwagon? I hope so. As Monday’s article says, “It’s a worldwide movement.”

Roy Sutton


Support monument expansion

As a lifetime resident of Southern Oregon, and a current resident of the Greensprings, I have learned to greatly appreciate the intrinsic value the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument holds since its designation as a federally protected zone in 2000.

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is a go-to destination for many residents of the Rogue Valley, including myself, for recreation and a way to connect to their environment. More importantly, the monument serves as a sanctuary for the numerous rare and endemic species found only in this region of the world. As a nature photographer, I have noticed that areas protected from human impact are becoming increasingly scarce. However, within the boundaries of the monument, I have been pleased to notice an observable increase in wildlife sightings and untouched landscapes.

While the monument has been shown to be effective at protecting these fragile ecosystems, there are still many areas just outside the jurisdiction of the monument that need to be protected from encroaching development, increasing population and climate change. I urge the residents of the Rogue Valley to please support the science-based expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Shane Stiles


Change 'debate' format

I believe media commentators miss the point about presidential “debates.” What screams out is that none of these televised events are actually debates at all. Beginning in 1960, the bad idea became established that these encounters should be moderated by journalists, perhaps on the rationale that a moderator was necessary to keep the candidates on topic — topics selected by the moderator.

The journalist/moderator format is unsatisfactory because undue emphasis is placed upon the moderator himself or herself. As the format has evolved, the candidates are confined to extremely short responses on complex subjects, and they often resort to tactics of interruption and filibuster.

The skill of a moderator should never be an issue. The voters should hear what the candidates have to say, not in short soundbites, but in thoroughly expressed thoughts. The responsibility for covering the essential topics should rest with the candidates. The voters are smart enough to determine whether a candidate successfully bears that burden.

Let’s adopt a debate format many others have recommended: Each candidate would be allocated 30 minutes to make his or her presentation and 15 minutes for rebuttal, with only a timekeeper to keep order, and no interruptions ever.

Dudley Lang


Thanks for tribute

Plaudits and kudos for the "Una Voce" tribute celebration presented in the Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Oct. 1. There were 13 organizations present who gave tribute to me, James Collier, as their benefactor.

Thank you to everybody involved in the evening's festivities, including my family and friends in the audience, the performers on stage, the administrators and governing boards of each organization, and last but not least, the director of the Craterian, Stephen McCandless, and his staff for a superior production including a slide show with narration of my life story.

All in all, a sincere and heartfelt thanks for a superb evening presented in my honor.

James Morrison Collier


Thanks for coverage

As a lifelong patriotic American, I commend you on your wonderful, heartwarming article on the front page of the Friday, Oct.7 newspaper.

As it brought tears to my eyes, I pictured all those fellow patriotic Americans, paying their respects to a "brother."

Thank you for your great coverage shown in this article. I've sent copies of this article to several friends around the country,who are just as patriotic as I. It told of an outstanding turnout and each and every one of the attendees should be proud to have helped send off their"brother."

Barbara Burcham

Central Point

Texas is the answer

I have given some thought to the letter from Darrell Monk on Sept. 4 in which he asks, "Why do we have to show photo IDs to purchase firearms?" This seems to be a problem for Mr. Monk, and I believe I have the answer: Texas!

He can go to my hometown, Fort Worth, which used to be known for its stockyards and rodeo but is now known for its gun shows. He should be able to buy any kind of firearm there up to and including a surface-to-air missile and all he'll need is money.

Or he could go to Austin to my alma mater, the University of Texas. Students there are now allowed to carry concealed weapons. If he takes a bottle of 190-proof Everclear to one of the fraternities there, a binge-drinking frat boy would be happy to trade his AK-47 for the bottle. (Those guys can really drink.)

Enjoy the boot-skootin' and shootin'.

Marcia Simon


It's life

I wrote this letter after the shooting at Umpqua Community College last year. I did not have it published thinking the timing was inappropriate.

As we live our lives, all of us see or hear things that can make us happy or sad, such as the bad and deviant and good and compassionate in people.

Some may say “I don't need all this! There is no God!” Yet others may conclude, “I need to understand all of this. Thank you Lord.”

I personally lost four family members in a senseless shooting by deranged drug dealers in 1973.

Life is temporary on God's green earth. I believe the only person who could possibly know the “why” and the “how long we are here” is he!

Steve Earl


Restore history venues

In November we have an opportunity to recoup venues for history that were lost when funds were cut by the county.

The Southern Oregon Historical Society stores 3 million artifacts that the public cannot see or enjoy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to once again share this wealth with history buffs, students and tourists? Measure 15-164 could conceivably bring back a history museum to Southern Oregon, as well as breathe new life into 15 county history societies and research centers.

Once in place, this funding cannot be rescinded, giving needed dollars to support the cause of history. SOHS operates a research library in downtown Medford, Hanley Farm, traveling exhibits, and educational programs for children throughout the valley.

Please visit us, see what we do, and ask questions. You will be pleasantly surprised at the scope of the historical preservation in our valley. Vote yes on Measure 15-164.

Sheila Whitesitt


Vote yes on 97

Vote yes on Ballot Measure 97 if you care about Oregon and the people who live here.

The misleading no ads are funded by big out-of-state corporations like Comcast. They don't live here and don’t give a rat's tail about our state, much less our children’s education. So don’t let them con you! (These are not sales taxes passed down to the consumer and will not affect any of our small and medium businesses either.) Big corporations will just have to start paying their fair share — like they do in most other states.

Statistically, states with solid revenues tend to be the best states for businesses and people. Yes on 97 will help Oregon join those ranks.

I thank the League of Women Voters for their unbiased research on this.

Lee Lull