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Seal hunt needs to be stopped

This story is being covered in the L.A. Times, Chicago — Tribune, Halifax Chronicle and many other papers in the U.S., U.K., and — Australia.

On April 12, 12,000 seal hunters armed with rifles and — spears headed for the ice floes and islands off Eastern Canada in the — largest seal hunt ever, followed by protesters who condemn the $20 million — harvest as barbaric.

Hunters are allowed to kill 350,000 young seals this year, — the most since quotas were imposed in the 1960s. The government banned — the killing of pups under 12 days old. The harp pelts are now valued at — $50, but what of the value of their lives?

Humane Society spokesman Nicholas Braden said that 40 — percent of the seals are still alive while being skinned. The seals suffer — untold deaths with much suffering, as well as other species killed for — their skins. Other mammals are killed after begin caught in barbaric iron — foothold traps, sometimes chewing their off their extremities.

These barbaric, inhumane, cruel killings done by the human — race must cease. I have no idea of what kind of humans these are that — can inflict such cruelties on our precious wildlife, all for the sake — of money I believe.

All this killing must cease.

Nina Council

Attacking Kerry's military record is a joke

After much searching I finally came upon a adequate antonym — for the word "integrity." Webster's College Dictionary defines integrity — as "uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; honesty." — After what I've seen, read and heard over the past few days it seems that — a word with a meaning opposite of "integrity" is "Republican."

Can you believe Republicans disparaging John Kerry's military — service. While their golden boy, George W. Bush, avoided serving in Vietnam — by using his father's connections to gain a position in the Texas National — Guard that guaranteed that he would not go to Vietnam and was AWOL much — of the time, John Kerry enlisted in the navy. After serving a tour of — duty in Vietnam, he re-enlisted and volunteered for hazardous duty as — commander of a swiftboat. He received three purple hearts for wounds received — in combat and was awarded bronze and silver starts for heroism under fire. — And the Republicans have the audacity to question his military service? — While John Kerry was facing enemy fire and putting his life on the line — in service to his country, the only dangers GW faced were from falling — down drunk in the gutter or maybe receiving a paper cut.

While there are Republicans with integrity, I haven't — seen many lately.

Bruce Evans —

Religious rules are confusing

I'm confused. Maybe someone reading this can help me. — Specifically, maybe someone who identifies themselves as a Christian and — follows the teachings of Jesus Christ can help me understand. Here is — the source of my confusion.

Jesus apparently said, "Love your enemies." One of the — commandments in the Bible is, "Thou shalt not kill."

So, can some Christian out there explain why followers — of Jesus and believers in the Bible support killing people in Iraq and — seem to hate, rather than love, their enemies, like terrorists, Palestinians, — Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden?

If the answer is that other things Jesus said and the — Bible teaches recommend killing and hating then I'd appreciate knowing — how you choose which advice to believe and which to ignore?

Will Wilkinson —

Young voters need to step up

Since 1971, when the voting age was lowered to 18, the — number of young people who register and vote has decreased by 13 percent. — In the last presidential election, one in which the direction of the nation — was determined by a few votes, only 40 percent of 18-to 24-year olds voted. — In the same election, 70 percent of older citizens made their voices heard.

The youth is affected by the decisions our government — makes as much as an older person is, and yet we chose not to participate — in the same democracy that our parents fought to have a part in just over — 30 years ago. If young people continue to be silent, decisions will be — made regarding our futures without our say.

On the Southern Oregon University campus, students can — register to vote at the Business Services, Financial Aid, Housing, or — Student Affairs offices. For those who are not a student, you can register — online at www.rockthevote.com, or pick up registration forms at any government — office.

Please mail in your ballots for the presidential primaries — by May 13. If you choose instead to drop them off, the deadline is May — 18. The deadline to register for the presidential election in November — is October 12.

Please take an active part in your future. This country — belongs to the youth as well as to their parents and grandparents, and — it is high time the presence of the young was felt.

Diana Biller —

Freshman —

Southern Oregon University

Buckley can stop Dems decline

Between 1978, the last year Lenn Hannon was elected as — a Democrat, and 2002, when Peter Buckley ran for Congress, the percentage — of Democrats in Jackson County declined 17 percent, from 50 to 33 percent. —

It may be a survival tactic for Democratic candidates — in Jackson County to present themselves as "non-partisan" in a county — where registered Democrats now make up only one-third of the voters. But — accepting this status quo as a given does little to change the slide to — the right. The center they claim to represent simply slides to the right — as well.

Peter Buckley has worked with the county Democratic Party — organization since 2002 to reverse this shift by revitalizing the local — party organization and by bringing new or formerly non-affiliated or "other" — voters into the Democratic fold. This experience is valuable in stopping — the slow slide of the center to the right. It could be argued that an — important part of the job of any elected Democrat in Jackson County is — to take party organization and party appeal seriously, as Peter has done. — If we want to take our state back, we will need to have the tools to do — it. Party organization is historically the most effective tool for giving — citizens control of their government. In recognizing this, and working — to make this tool more effective, appealing, and representative, Peter — Buckley has demonstrated that he has the understanding and experience — to help us get our state back.

Jim S. Martin —

Core programs need support

This past year, the Ashland community again supported — the Ashland Youth Activity Levy by passing the levy measure. The levy — supports extracurricular sports and youth activities that would otherwise — go by the wayside and our children would not get to participate in these — important activities.

The levy, however, cannot support core academic programs, — outside the capabilities of the school budget, and that role falls to — the Ashland Schools Foundation. The money raised through the ASF fundraisers — goes directly into our Ashland schools to support core academic programs, — enrichment grants and to help improve the student-to-teacher ratio.

Your contributions to the ASF fund drive help the children — in the Ashland School District. Funds are distributed through all levels — of the school district as evenly as possible. The need is great and last — year Ashland citizens contributed over $250,000 to this effort. Please — support the ASF fund drive this year and help improve the quality of education — for Ashland children. More information on the Ashland Schools Foundation — is available at the ASF Web site, www.ashlandschoolsfoundation.org.

Steve Armitage —

Ashland Schools Foundation Chair

Buckley brings new life to politics

Please join me in voting for Peter Buckley to represent — us in Oregon's House District 5. Peter has proven how hard he will work — for all of us and his charismatic and populist manner are a breath of — fresh air in the dull and damp world of politics today.

What a relief! Peter's vision calls upon a broad participation — of citizens and beholds a system of government that respects workers' — rights, protects the environment, and stands tall for the important civil — rights we have in Oregon and in these United States of America.

Peter's "fire in the belly" translates to a hard worker — who will rally our collective opinions and deliver a voice in Salem for — all citizens here in Southern Oregon's House District 5.

Vote, vote, vote! And remember, a vote for Peter Buckley — is a vote for strong vision for our future.

Wes Brain —

Buckley brings new ideas

I am so frustrated by the inability of our legislators — in Salem to solve the problems that confront our state. They debate issues — for weeks and months but no one in the Legislature seems capable of finding — a solution.

That is why it is so important to vote for Peter Buckley. — It has been his life work to help businesses and industries to find new — solutions to major problems.

Peter Buckley is a man with new ideas, just what is needed — in our stalled Legislature. He has a commitment to improve education, — to provide healthcare to all and is a champion for campaign finance.

Peter Buckley has my vote. I hope he has yours.

Johanna Fisher —

Densmore for commissioner

I'll choose Sue Densmore for county commissioner, because — I care about having a representative who will talk straight and communicate — effectively with the public.

I think Sue will bring a depth of ideas and experience — to help us adjust to changing times.

And I'm recalling integrity lapses during Sue Kupillas' — tenure that concern me.

Remember the two shocking editorials in the Daily Tidings — ("Commissioners owe an apology") and Medford Mail Tribune ("Tell the truth")?

That was after Kupillas, Walker, and Holt tried to get — away with fudging the data on the overwhelming public approval rating — for the creation of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. And they even — flew to Washington, D.C., on our tax dollars to spread their phony statistics. — The nerve!

And just this year I heard about Kupillas' little-known — letter to DEQ (Jan. 29, 2004) on Jackson County stationery, that proposed — weakening Rogue Valley air quality standards in a special "compromise" — deal.

Now her campaign literature says she's a clean air advocate. — I don't believe it.

Check out Sue Densmore. She's an honest, hard-working — community leader.

Julie Norman —