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Letters to the Editor, Aug. 25

Don't kill jobs

Walking down the upstairs hallway of Belle Fiore Winery, one of the most striking features is the number of employees. As Ashland residents who enjoy a glass of wine and listening to live music, Belle Fiore has become our go-to spot on a quiet evening.

I understand complaints from smaller wineries are causing Belle Fiore to cut back on their food service and perhaps the authorities are following the letter of the law but someone needs to look at the big picture here. A quick glance at the tasting room and upstairs music venue shows the same out-of-town visitors who spend their money downtown while attending OSF are enjoying our Rogue Valley wines in this beautiful setting. I'm virtually sure that a survey would show these visitors are more apt to return to Ashland, fill hotel rooms and patronize other businesses. Check with the local musicians about how they'd feel with one less establishment that uses their services.

It's not as if Belle Fiore is surrounded by a bevy of competing restaurants. I'd venture a guess that the average guest at Belle Fiore is still having fantastic meals in town and elsewhere in the valley. From my point of view, Belle Fiore is bringing in more business for the rest of the valley, including other wineries.

Back to employment, it just makes no sense that local government would take action that will inevitably throw local residents out of work. It makes more sense to give Belle Fiore whatever permits are required to remain at the current level of staffing. I'd strongly suggest that detractors take a drive out, listen to some local musicians and relax with a glass of wine.

Mark Polakoff

Ashland

Why does Walden work so hard?

Greg Walden’s Sunday half-page ad says, “Tell Congressman Greg Walden to Continue His Fight to Protect Your Medicare.” He wants to “Stop Harmful Medicare Experiment” by passing HB 5122.

The “experiment” is with provider payment to incentivize doctors to use the most effective chemotherapy drug, not the most expensive drug. Walden provides no alternative, and HB 5122 does nothing to limit the increasing cost of Medicare.

Walden also wants you to support his efforts to block implementation of a Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board per HB 1190, which was passed by the House last year! The Senate has taken no action on it and probably won’t.

Why does Walden want your support for a bill that has already passed the House? And, why is he working so hard for two bills that have virtually no chance of being enacted and block important opportunities to slow the growth of Medicare spending while providing absolutely no alternatives?

Could it be that he is really working for organizations like the Association of Community Cancer Centers rather for the benefit of Medicare beneficiaries? Walden wants you to believe he is protecting your benefits when he’s really trying to protect providers’ profits.

David Lane

Ashland

Another option

Your readers may recall my effort to obtain the TSA Pre-check pass application process here at Medford airport. I can now report that my calls for assistance from our elected officials has failed.

However, if your readers will go to Mrs. Pearson's funeral home in Roseburg, her friend Lindy will take your fingerprints and $85 and complete the form online. In about one week you will receive a KTN (Known Traveler Number) from the TSA that you will use on your printed or mobile boarding pass. Lindy is located in the Pet Chapel and will take walk-ins, but prefers you make a reservation.

We have about 13 funeral homes here in Rogue Valley. Perhaps one of them will consider becoming a contractor for the TSA.

Barney Spera

Ashland

Ashland could have been first

Last week in Benton County, the county clerk verified the needed number of signatures for a citizen’s initiative, putting a new election reform on the November ballot. The requirement was 3,000 signatures and the campaign turned in more than 4,500.

What brought such interest? The citizens of that county will be considering Ranked Choice Voting, a system that allows voters to cast a ballot as they see fit (ranking their choices), instead of strategically. It avoids the "spoiler effect" and provides more choice and more voice than in Ashland.

Why do I reference Ashland? Because about 10 years ago, the City Council considered the same change. They studied it and saw benefits (which I won’t outline here). They experienced stumbling blocks from the state, but didn’t put it before the voters.

Now, instead of each council seat in Ashland being open to all candidates whom voters can chose from, we assign them a "position." This means that the two candidates you deem "best" may be running against each other and only one will win. Conversely, the two you see as extremely poor candidates may run for a different seat (which one of them will win) and you must pick the lesser of two evils.

We will have to see what happens in Benton County, but Ashland could have been first to improve its election system. Maybe it won’t be last.

Barbara Klein, League of Women Voters Rogue Valley national action chair

Jackie Clary, LWV Rogue Valley president

Exposing LBJ

A profile of Lyndon B. Johnson recently aired on KSYS Channel 8.1 for Monday and Tuesday evening Aug. 15 and 16. This whitewashed Lyndon B. Johnson, America’s worst president!

Consider the following itemized sources:

Barr McClellan's 2003 book: "Blood, Money, and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK." Also posted at YouTube.

J. Evett Haley's 1964 book: "A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study In Illegitimate Power."

"How Persecution of American Christians Really Began in The U.S.!" via the Constitution Party of Oregon at www.constitutionpartyoregon.net. Posted under "Liberty In The News."

"Trump to Pastors: 'Christians Have Been Silenced Like a Child' " via Pat Robertson's 700 Club confronts the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which remains blatant censorship!

"Lyndon Johnson Murdered John F. Kennedy" at YouTube.

The racist/Nazi roots of the1968 Gun Control Act LBJ exposed at www.jpfo.org.

The Vietnam War (1961-1975): Both LBJ and then Secretary of State Robert S. McNamara greatly escalated this "no win war" in Southeast Asia at a cost of 58,000 American lives!

Richard M. Nixon was no saint, but he wasn't even in the ballpark with Lyndon for political atrocities, abuses and crimes against the American people!

James A. Farmer

Ashland