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Letters to the editor

Guest opinion on the mark

Thank you, William G. Carter! The guest opinion May 26 was on the mark; now if we can only convince our legislators to be brave enough to actually implement these ideas, perhaps we could get on with our lives.

I am so disappointed with the lack of leadership demonstrated in the last two sessions. It is past time to step up to the plate and get the job done! ' D. Piels-Olson, Central Point

Sidewalks are dangerous

We don't have to drive a car to be killed, or be in the street. The most dangerous place to be is on the sidewalks.

Skateboarders and bicycle riders on the same sidewalks, coming behind you. You can hear the skateboarders, but you can't hear the bicycles; if you step the wrong way to let them by, you'll be hurt on the sidewalk.

I'd like to know where the walkers are supposed to walk safely. ' Patricia R. McMullen, Medford

Protect wild beauty

I was glad to see the Tribune editorial in favor of proposed legislation to give wilderness protection to 400,000 acres in southwestern Oregon. Soda Mountain, Siskiyou Crest, Rough & Ready Creek, Oregon Redwoods Roadless Area near Brookings and Copper Salmon on the Elk River near Port Orford (the most productive salmon river in the U.S. south of Alaska) ' all are among the jewels of wild terrain, untrammeled natural beauty, and plant and animal diversity that would have wilderness protection. It's time they got it.

In today's world of noise, speed, and lights-camera-action, places of refuge and renewal in nature are vastly more necessary and vastly harder to find. We are truly blessed by having, virtually in our own back yard, these wild lands where the sounds are birdsong, clear water rippling over rocky streambeds, and the rush of wind in the treetops. Here are rare plants and river otters, wildflower meadows supporting a hundred different butterflies, night skies thick with stars, and clear, green rivers where salmon and steelhead still thrive.

However, these vital lands are extremely vulnerable. Logging, mining, road building and rough recreational use threaten unstable soils, the clean health of the rivers and streams, the integrity of the forest ecosystems ' to say nothing of the beauty and enjoyment of the wilderness experience.

These 400,000 acres are the best and last wild country we have left in Southern Oregon. We must keep them intact. Wilderness status is critical to their protection.

The time is now.' Carol Ampel, Medford

Sacrifice? What sacrifice?

For the third time this week I received a message offering thanks for my previous military service. The latest was from my insurance, stating that they honor members of our armed forces. Well, excuse me, thanks for the thought, but what sacrifice did I make?

I and millions of other young Americans did not give up anything when we put on the uniform! The Army fed us, clothed us and housed us every day. They gave us free medical care, free education, transportation, inspiration, and a paycheck every month.

They took us to many unusual places and brought us home when the mission was accomplished. When we left the military we had the G.I. bill to help pay for our education.

My military service was not a sacrifice, it was an honor; an honor to be allowed to participate in the tradition of serving one's country, an honor to be part of that group of common men who simply do their duty.

If you want to thank someone for their sacrifice, find a mother who lost her son to a sniper's bullet half a world away, and tell her that you honor her sacrifice. Find a veteran who lost his legs to a land mine in some hellhole, and tell him that you honor his sacrifice.

Sure, you can thank me for my service, and I'll appreciate the kind remark. But please, let's not equate mere service to those who died for our country's ideals. ' Greg Reeser, Ashland