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Letters, Aug. 24


It’s very simple: The foundation of our American democracy is the vote. And yet, the Republican Party is working in state after state to raise barriers to voting, from requiring multiple forms of ID to slashing the number of polling places.

Even more outrageously, the Trump administration is attacking the U.S. Postal Service, with the goal — admitted by the President himself — of suppressing vote-by-mail. Postal workers are being laid off. Mail drop boxes are being ripped out and trucked away — including in Portland and Eugene.

At the order of the new postmaster general — a wealthy Trump donor with no relevant experience — 671 of the Postal Service’s mail sorting machines are being decommissioned, decreasing sorting capacity by over 21 million pieces per hour. As a result, 46 states — all but Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island — have been warned that the Postal Service cannot guarantee ballots mailed in for the November election will arrive in time to be counted.

Every American should be outraged by this all-out attack on our democracy. With one voice, we must demand that the Postal Service be given the resources to fulfill its mission, and to assure the timely delivery of all mail-in ballots.

Pepper Trail



Imagine an outside group controlled the temperature inside your house. They sealed all the doors and windows and kept raising the temperature.

Imagine everyone in Medford, Ashland, Phoenix, Talent, Central Point, White City and Eagle Point died in just over six months.

As many voice their opinions, the average daily temperature of the planet keeps rising, as does the number of deaths from COVID-19.


Cronyism — the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

Nepotism — the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives, especially by giving them jobs.

Corruption — dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. The process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased.

Making the world better doesn’t take a lot of imagination. Vote.

Tom Espinosa


Hold on to your hat

Hold on to your hat. The upcoming election looks like a windstorm.

At the national level, for president, we have a choice between change or more of the same and maybe it gets worse. At state, county and local levels, candidates may be known to you or not, but hopefully you will give each his or her own due.

Party affiliation pretty much determines your selection of candidates for state and federal offices but county and local positions are nonpartisan. In those cases, you want to consider the experience, character and values of each person. What are the issues they are running on and what skills do they bring to the job? Can they work with others? Have they reached out to folks?

Unlike some states, we have a well-tested system of mail-in or drop-off voting. When you get your ballot send it in right away. Trump is doing all he can to muck up the Postal Service. What is it about him that doesn’t like democracy and the right to vote?

In these times of pandemic, climate change, economic disruptions and hard times, especially for the less well-off, your vote counts. It matters who gets elected.

Steve Haskell


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