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Letters, Dec. 15

Congrats to Ashland council

Kudos to the Ashland City Council for joining most other cities in allowing their residents to have a say in the new county jail.

I believe that Sheriff Sickler has done a credible job of addressing the communities’ concerns regarding mental health and substance abuse issues. As those issues are intertwined with criminality and jail overcrowding, it makes sense to seek a solution that combines compassion and much-needed jail capacity. City councils should trust their citizens to make wise and informed choices.

Robert Lowe

Gold Hill

Thanks for living Nativity

Thank you to Apostolic Faith Church for their amazing “Journey to Bethlehem” living Nativity scene. What a powerful, positive gift it was to our community.

We were amazed at the hard work that must have gone into this production, from the costumes and scenery all the way down to the delicious cookies. Their love and kindness for the people of our town was so evident.

Thank you for your generous gift to our community.

The Scull family

Medford

Bigger box is not the answer

The new math: figures lie, liars figure. I don’t doubt that the jail overcrowding is a problem, but a bigger box is not the answer.

The figures from Sheriff Nate Sickler and Administrator Danny Jordan that have been provided to those who are paying for it don’t add up.

The jail of 315 beds was originally built to serve the county of 135,000. Now the county serves 215,000, which isn’t even double the population, but the sheriff is asking for a facility of 800 beds. Sounds like overkill to me. Close to tripling is not going to pass the test. I don’t believe that the ballot measure will pass given the figures they provide.

You don’t have to look to far to find examples of the county overbuilding. Try the second floor at 140 Holly St. They have half of a football field in the center of the Health and Human Services building that is not utilized. That just what the public sees. I am sure there is a lot more wasted spaces behind those walls.

Dan Sylvester

Medford

Log O&C lands

Rachel Lee Hall’s letter on Dec. 4, “BLM plan is efficient,” is informative. I attended the BLM open house and learned about the Integrated Vegetation Management for Resilient Lands (IVM-RL) Project.

Approximately 50% of Jackson County is Oregon & California (O&C) public lands, managed by the BLM. I’m not entirely happy with the stated mission of the BLM, “to increase their ability to stop wildfires while maintaining the forest ecosystems from destruction of habitat,” because our forest/trees are a renewable resource and as such should be sustainably and systematically harvested. These O&C lands have been designated as rural interface and are mostly no longer being logged.

The logging of the O&C lands in the past provided funds for the county government and schools. I was told by a BLM forester that Jackson County was logged heavily in the 1970s and ’80s and it would be years before the trees are big enough to again log.

It takes 40 to 50 years for a Douglas fir to grow to harvestable size. We are now at 40 years.

Logging the O&C lands would again bring our county government funds to operate. Perhaps our property taxes would be less.

Gayle Merz

Jacksonville

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