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Molly's worth the subscription

Regarding those who are perturbed by columnist Molly Ivins: Count me among the legions who treasure Molly as a breath of fresh air, and one of the few columnists who is willing to proclaim when the Emperor is wearing no clothes. She alone is worth the price of my subscription. ' Robert Horton, Medford

Unsatisfactory answers I voted for Gordon Smith last election but am now debating my next vote. I wrote him four letters and in return a courteous thank you, and that he appreciated my input. But it was obvious he side-stepped my question as he didn't agree

Basically I asked him how does he expect Oregon farmers and ranchers to compete with lower-priced agricultural imports which dwarf our exports. I sent him many news articles concerning depressed ag commodities in price trouble. Most of the articles blamed lower-priced imports; witness the local pear situation.

For our excessive corn and soybean production, turn them into ethanol, biodiesel and growing industrial hemp. This would dramatically reduce our 60 percent dependence upon foreign oil.

To further illustrate price differences, while snowbirding in Arizona last winter, I had seven quality dental crowns installed in Mexico. The cost was one-fifth of Medford's. Also, crowds of U.S. citizens were lined up to purchase U.S. drugs, at a fraction of the U.S. prices.

Globalized free trade via NAFTA and WTO isn't working and will only further spiral down ward America's agricultural commodity prices.

Write Gordon Smith and see what kind of a slippery answer you get! ' Paul Sollie, Medford

Same name, different person It's always interesting to open up the local newspaper and see one's name in print (once I saw my name in the obituary). Sometimes it takes a bit of explaining to convince others that No , that wasn't me ..... same name, but a different person.

Last Sunday there was a letter written by a man named Bob James who was upset about policemen who ' hide behind the bushes in 25 mph zones in order to nab unsuspecting motorists. Since that letter was printed, I've had several people ask me if that was my husband who wrote the letter because it did not sound like something he would say; it sounded out of character for him. That letter was written by another Bob James, not the Bob James who recently retired from Rogue Valley Medical Center. There are several people in this valley named Bob James or Robert James, and sometimes we get some rather interesting phone calls meant for one of them.

The comments I have received prove to me how many people read Letters to the Editor. Sometimes I agree with what is said, sometimes I do not, but I am grateful there is an opportunity for people to express their opinions. ' Mary

Don't pave upper Nutley The Mail Tribune recently ran an article and editorial regarding Ashland's Strawberry-Westwood L.I.D. Both the article and editorial contained inaccurate and unclear information.

I'm not going to address each inaccuracy, or rehash the history. I simply wish to clarify that there is one issue only that homeowners on upper Nutley want to address at the Aug. 6 City Council meeting: We unanimously and respectfully ask the council to leave out the sidewalk planned to go two-thirds up this little piece of Nutley.

Upper Nutley is steep (30 percent slope), one lane, with only five homes. It looks like a driveway, and once paved, will look like a paved driveway. There will never be more homes up here, due to zoning and physical constraints; this street portion, unlike all others in this L.I.D., is a permanent dead end.

The few cars driving up here creep slowly up and down. Anyone walking is completely visible to drivers, as this piece is straight. The slope is so steep, it is uninviting to pedestrians, and there are many nearby places much more pleasant for walking/jogging/hiking.

Upper Nutley is an exception. Its traffic volume and pedestrian usage are so small that it is inappropriate to carelessly lump it in with all other streets. This is comparing apples to oranges.

We respectfully appeal to the wisdom and common sense of the City Council, and hope that the council chooses to spend the sidewalk funds in areas that have through traffic and more significant safety issues. ' Patricia Zoline, Ashland

Israel doesn't want peace The Israeli dropping of a one-ton bomb on a crowded residential area in Gaza, killing 15 people including nine children and wounding 145, shows again that Israel does not want peace. It happened one day after the spiritual head of Hamas announced they would consider stopping suicide bombings if Israel ended its 35-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Now every Palestinian faction is united and tens of thousands marched in the funeral procession shouting Death to Israel and America. (The plane and the bomb were made in the U.S., and Israel can defy the world only because of the U.S. veto and a daily handout of &

36;15 million.)

Now we will witness another round of horrible suicide bombings and Israeli attacks.

Similarly, last March the Saudi Peace Plan, approved by all Arab states, offered full recognition of Israel in return for withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, in accord with U.N. resolutions 242 and 338. Sharon's answer was to prevent Arafat from attending the conference, reoccupy Palestine with his tanks, destroy much of the Jenin refugee camp, refuse the U.N. permission to check reports of war crimes, and place a million Palestinians under 24-hour curfew for weeks.

Most of the killing would stop overnight if Israel ended her illegal occupation, condemned by every other country in the U.N. But the building of over 200 settlements, 44 under Sharon, on the last 22 percent of historical Palestine, indicates Israel wants all of Palestine. ' Robert Jones, Ashland