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Letters to the editor

Preserving democracy

May I thank you and your reporters for the courageous and unbiased printing of the news.

To create antagonism in our political life because of our race, color or religion as introduced by Rep. Callahan is against our Constitution.

I am especially referring to the editorial A new low on July 22. These were the beginnings of Adolf Hitler and only vigilance and a free press will preserve our democratic way of life. ' Fred Krieser, Medford

Actions speak louder

On politicians:

There was a wise, respected man that people came to for assistance. He helped them.

One day a woman approached; My son eats too much sugar. It is bad for him, but he won't listen to me. will you talk to him?

The man nodded, Bring your son back in two weeks.

Two weeks later they returned. The man said, Don't eat so much sugar. Your mother is right, it is bad for you.

The boy nodded, but his mother was curious and asked, It took only a minute for you to speak to my son, yet you sent us away for two weeks, why?

The wise man smiled, You see, two weeks ago I was eating sugar.

Don't tell a child not to eat sugar, when you are eating it yourself.

David Gilmour is running for Jackson County commissioner. He believes that actions should reflect words. ' Sherrie Allen, Medford

Forest facts wrong

The author of Welfare logging has to stop (July 18) is woefully uninformed regarding forestry issues. The Northwest Forest Plan, initiated by Clinton-Gore, set aside millions of acres of old-growth timber and reduced the allowable harvest by 80 percent.

The plan was agreed to by every major environmental organization. These same groups immediately sabotaged the plan by preventing the federal agencies from complying. They demanded needless, repetitious environmental reviews and filed countless lawsuits.

The Bush administration is seeking compliance with the Clinton plan. To enforce an agreement strengthens, rather than weakens that agreement.

If timber sales are indeed below cost, it is because of endless reviews and lawsuits brought about by environmentalists. Programs which have always received a subsidy include recreation, wilderness, watershed, and wildlife. Should these programs also be stopped?

Old-growth timber does burn. Witness the Tillamook burns and the 1910 fire in Idaho-Montana. Leaving large trees does not fireproof a forest.

Large fires burn in an inconsistent manner, leaving a mosaic of heavily and lightly burned areas as well as some left unburned. The recently killed trees and those badly damaged attract bark beetles which can grow to epidemic proportions with the population spreading to healthy green trees. Those who oppose salvaging fire-damaged timber thus encourage the death of still more trees.

The letter writer claims logging has ravaged our lands. This statement contrasts sharply with a member of the Oregon Wilderness Council who maintains that roads and timber harvest, including clear cuts, leave the land suitable for pristine wilderness. ' Stefanie Ferrara, Medford

Recall RVTD board

From the description of the behaviors of the RVTD Board of Directors presented in the Aug. 4 Mail Tribune, it is evident that the entire RVTD board should be recalled. It sounds as though we have elected a group of ill-mannered children instead of adults to plan, solicit funds and oversee public transportation in the valley.

This dysfunctional group of uncivil persons has the audacity to ax General Manager Sherrin Coleman without cause, or because of her lack of communication or because they have lost trust in her. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

We should not continue to be embarrassed by their public utterances. Persons of maturity should represent our interests. Imagine if you will the image this group projects when it represents our transportation district at meetings with funding agencies such as the Oregon Department of Transportation.

I urge that the citizens of the Rogue Valley acknowledge their mistake in electing these persons by hastening to sign the recall petitions. Also, remember their names should any of them run for public office again (as one particularly crude board member has done and threatens to do again). ' Bernard Hartman, Medford

Pay firefighters for year

I propose we pay firefighters not for the season, but for the whole year, whether they are fighting fires or not. This way they will be first to make sure they do not start, or perhaps they will patrol areas so they won't have to work.

No matter what, these people are an asset, not a liability, unless they have no work.

All in favor say Aye! ' Dave Dobrin, Medford

Reform malpractice law

In July, President Bush highlighted reforms to address the crisis that medical malpractice lawsuits have caused across the nation. Insurance premiums to cover malpractice lawsuits against doctors have skyrocketed.

ABC News recently reported that in the last year, at least 10 to 20 percent of all OB/GYNS in the country have either stopped delivering babies, stopped doing surgery, or even given up practice altogether.

According to the Oregon Medical Association, since Oregon's medical malpractice reforms were struck down by the courts in 1999, many obstetricians have stopped seeing new patients. Because of frivolous lawsuits, patients are finding it more difficult to find necessary medical care.

President Bush's proposal lays out a framework for nationwide reform that would lower insurance premiums and make it easier for patients with legitimate malpractice claims to recover their losses. The president believes that the medical malpractice system should benefit patients, not trial lawyers.

Congress needs to address this medical crisis by acting on malpractice reform legislation that reflects President Bush's goals. ' Erik R. Johnson, Grants Pass

Legislature, media at fault

The Mail Tribune's Drop dead editorial of Aug. 9 is a mischaracterization of the governor's vetoes.

The editorial board appears it did not even read its own reporter's article.

The Legislature should do a better job and do good policy, instead of merely doing good politics. The chicken-hearted educators, legislators, and the news media are the ones who are disingenuous.

Is there anything that prevents the Legislature from immediately passing the necessary temporary income tax increase? ' Fred Fleetwood, Trail

It takes a home

This is in regards to a statement in the letter by Mayor Bill Walton of Central Point. He said that it takes a community to rear a child. I'm going to say that if a child is raised right at home or foster home, there is no need for community interference.

I lived in a foster home for years and my foster mom raised 23 children: her own, adopted, foster and stepchildren. Never ever was there an injury due to incompetence or failure to know what was going on with the children. As in most homes, the children could be a problem at times, but in the long run, they all turned out great and are doing well. All it takes is lots of loving care, eyes open, ears open, and knowing exactly what's going on.

I'm not saying it is wrong to have activities for these children and their foster families because that is a great idea. But, what about children who are still in their, natural homes and don't have the finances or transportation to have special activities for them? What does Central Point have for our children? What about the skateboard park, swimming pool, bicycle park, arcade and exercise gym? These activities should be free. ' D. Conrad, Central Point

How to keep score

Bush staffers confirm Reagan provided Saddam Hussein with chemical and biological weapons, including sarin gas, used in Tokyo subway attacks, and the West Nile virus, which exhibits Ebola-like symptoms. This was back when Saddam was our ally. Now he's public enemy No. 1.

Last week, this administration quietly sold Communist China old Defense Department supercomputers, complete with purportedly outdated software that once controlled missiles and satellites. China was our enemy, now they're our ally against Osama.

In April 2001 Bush gave &

36;47 million to our ally, the Taliban to prevent heroin distribution and to fight our enemy, the Northern Alliance.

This year we put our ally, the Northern Alliance, in charge of Afghanistan to destroy our enemy, the Taliban.

George Bush is taking August off for vacation. His second monthlong vacation this year. Bush works a 32-hour week says Chief of Staff Andrew Card. He always has because he tires easily and makes bad decisions.

Army Secretary/former Enron executive Thomas White, Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bushians are in hot water right now over fraudulent accounting practices. And W has some 'splaining to do about his own SEC violations.

Is anybody other than me getting nervous? Patriotic conservatives must approve since you never hear about any of this from them. They still blame Bill Clinton for everything. Maybe someone can tell the rest of us when W has to begin taking credit so we'll know when to start keeping score. ' Michael Hawk, Williams

Move over carefully

While passing traffic poses a very real risk to police officers as they conduct traffic stops along the freeway, suddenly slowing traffic 20 or more mph on a busy freeway is not the answer, unless police officers are looking for more work investigating the accidents (which could very likely involve the cars on the shoulder) caused by these legal traffic jams.

Changing lanes away from the vehicles on the shoulder is effective if the driver makes sure that the lane he or she is moving into is clear. I have seen several trucks change lanes for vehicles stopped on the shoulder, forcing other vehicles to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

I witnessed this most recently near Glendale last weekend when a motorcyclist was forced to take what must be described as emergency braking to avoid being completely forced off the road by a truck that abruptly changed lanes for an unmarked police car stopped on the shoulder, even though the officer was not outside his vehicle. This trucker's grandstanding very nearly gave the police officer a very serious, quite possibly fatal, accident to investigate.

The Florida law mentioned in a recent issue of Cop's Corner was only passed this year, so it can only have been in effect for a few months, hardly long enough to say that it works. ' Lewis Osborn, Medford