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Letters to the editor

Wait for inspections

We teach our children to arbitrate to avoid violence. Our leaders badly need the same lesson.

President Bush and his advisers must allow time for U.N. inspections to proceed. They must take them seriously as a sincere effort to avoid the terrible consequences of war with Iraq. ' Sam and Bess Hamers, Phoenix

Proud of our community

There is much that is right about the human race and the extraordinary human spirit of giving. Right here in Jackson County we experience a community of caring and involved people. I am honored to be part of a community who care about each other and take action to show it.

The United Way Day of Caring ' an annual event orchestrated by the United Way of Jackson County ' offers the community an opportunity to participate in the good work being done in Jackson County. This year the Addictions Recovery Center is privileged to have been selected for several projects. The volunteers worked hard and in one day transformed our environment.

This will be a lasting testament to our staff, customers, and the public that we are part of a community that cares. We are grateful to all of you and proud to be part of this community. ' Christine Mason, executive director, Addictions Recovery Center, Medford

Let pre-life be life

Right-to-life people will gather for one hour on Sunday, Oct. 6, from — p.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of Biddle and McAndrews. Pro-life signs will be loaned to people to hold during that hour.

My wife cried and we both prayed when we thought she couldn't get pregnant. Doctors found the problem was a tumor and removed it. She was almost 38 when our first daughter was born. Our second daughter was born one year later. My wife is now 81 and I am 83.

Our first daughter has two daughters in high school. Our second daughter has a son and daughter in college. They are fraternal twins. They were born more than seven weeks early and were very fragile. They grew to be athletes on the school team. Please let the pre-life live to be life. ' Tom Weiss, Medford

Nonsmokers should pay too

For all those nonsmokers out there who voted to screw smokers by almost doubling the cigarette tax, I have a suggestion. Following this suggestion could do much to elevate their current status from that of participant in legalized theft to that of stalwart citizen.

Using the consumption of one pack daily as a guide, the smoker will cough up about &

36;18 more per month as a result of the tax increase. Why don't public-spirited nonsmokers volunteer to send checks for at least &

36;18 to the state every month? Then they too can experience the satisfaction of fulfilling the civic duty they have so blithely assigned to the smoker.

Those nonsmokers could then flaunt their newly found objectivity by standing shoulder to shoulder with the poor smoker. Solidarity in meeting the monetary challenge!

My guess is most of the nonsmokers knew full well that the smoking minority stood no chance at all of defeating Measure 20 but, in spite of this, voted for 20 anyway. A remedy for this blatant violation of common decency is sorely needed but I wouldn't expect those nonsmoking paragons of virtue to part with any of their own money to help fill the state coffers. Their sense of fairness is obviously marginal at best.

The old saying judge not lest ye be judged should have been applied here. It alone was reason enough to keep Measure 20 off the ballot.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I don't smoke. ' Scott Darling, Ashland

Less like Moscow

Kudos to the Mail Tribune editorial staff for finally bringing some order to this page. By applying the same periodicity rule to e-vents that has always applied to snail mail, the editors have reined in the out-of-control abusers who saw this page as their private playground.

Without the usual torrent of leftist knee-jerk e-vents from Ashland, perhaps this page will read more like Medford and less like Moscow. ' Ron Smith, Medford

Make the right choice

The recent Biscuit fire has burned an estimated 499,780 acres. Using a rough figure, there were perhaps 513 sections of ground outside of the wilderness area that burned.

Drive from the north end of the Rogue Valley to just south of Roseburg and imagine everything burned five miles from the freeway on each side of the road. The Timbered Rock and Tiller complex/Apple fires also charred thousands of acres, much of this government ground. This fire season was a record event.

Presently the Biscuit fire has cost approximately &

36;125 million to fight (about &

36;250 per acre).We will pay for this out of taxes. The government owns two-thirds of the land in Southern Oregon and is basically on welfare provided by the private sector.

That makes no common sense. The agencies should at least break even given the vast resources they manage. The private timber land owners are already salvaging their burnt trees. Where is the government's burnt timber salvage plan?

We can't fund our schools. We can't provide health care. We can't provide enough family wage jobs. Burnt timber salvage is not going to solve all these problems, but it is definitely one of the short-term answers.

A long-term forest thinning program on the public lands is also part of the answer. The choice of doing nothing in the forest and allowing catastrophic fires to threaten entire towns and devastate the ecosystem is not the correct choice. ' Mark Johnson, Grants Pass

Ski plan no alternative

The Community Alternative for the Mount Ashland Ski Area enhancement is really a special interest group proposal from the Headwaters organization. The stated goals of the speakers at the meeting is to keep skiers and boarders out of the East Fork drainage area of Ashland Creek.

The area they have proposed for winter recreation is too small to be economically feasible. They cannot tell us how many acres would be added to the area or how long the runs would be in their proposal.

This is another attempt to stall the process of enhancing the ski area. Please do not call it the Community Alternative when many of us in the winter sports community support the proposal that we have full access to our community-owned ski area. ' Robert Walters, Medford

Bias difficult to swallow

There were two points of view in the letters to the editor of Thursday, Sept. 19, that I found to be most accurate in their thrust: No right to slander and Bush-bashers need a life.

I realize that being in a state of no political bias is a euphemism that is a difficult position for a newsperson to be in, but your bias in favor of the Democratic Party and antipathy toward the Republican Party is a little difficult to swallow. Why are such a large percentage of your political cartoons against the Republican Party and George W. Bush?

I have obviously been grossly mistaken with my idea that the Mail Tribune's reporting is fair when it comes to politics. I have also been disabused of the idea that you also try to achieve the hallmark of journalism, which is reporting the news rather than changing it to serve your purposes.

It seems that whenever someone says something that they feel is humorous(?), even though in poor taste, the political satirists must rush out and publish it. This is done by newspaper after newspaper with no thought to the truth of it or to how ridiculous it sounds. Why must you and they always follow the lead sheep off the cliff? ' Richard L. Watson, Central Point

Are we the aggressors?

Are we striving to be the aggressors of the world? We invaded the little island of Grenada killing numerous people; the reason I have never understood.

We invaded Panama for one man, Noriega, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of people. I believe he was at one time involved in the CIA.

We invaded Afghanistan for one man, bin Laden. We have no idea how many innocent people we killed and what we really accomplished.

Now your president is determined to go into Iraq. He says we need a regime change. We all know that Saddam Hussein is an evil person, but it seems there is another motive. There were rumors that he was to try to assassinate Daddy when he went to Kuwait, so we must take him out, or smoke him out.

Now, as for the weapons in Iraq ' during the Reagan-Bush administration, we were supplying them with billions of dollars and access to U.S. technology with military application. Some of this occurred after he had massacred the Kurdish villagers that we had abandoned.

When Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and its subsidiaries, they signed contracts for &

36;73 million on oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq. In a July 2000 interview, Cheney denied that either Halliburton or subsidiaries had any dealings with Iraq. ' Roland L. Furlatte, Rogue River

Find our own answers

Recently a Republican pollster asked which is more important to me, jobs or the environment. I told them both are indispensable to me and to everyone.

Perhaps I should have asked which is more important to him, his arms or his legs.

He also asked me if I wanted to pay more taxes or to see cuts in government services. I told him neither.

Perhaps I should have asked him whether he wanted to work longer hours away from home to pay his bills or to sell his house and move into a cheap rental.

Lest we forget that we are free citizens, not servants of the political establishment, remember we have both the right and the duty to participate in government, to ask our own questions, and to come up with more satisfactory solutions.

Who knows? We might just be able to find better answers without Big Brother's tutelage. ' Fred K. Harrison, Central Point

Article disturbing

As Pete Droesch's friend, I'm compelled to speak out about the article Sept. 20 regarding Pete's accident at BioMass. It's disturbing that Pete's name was included without verifying that all immediate family members had been notified about the accident (which they hadn't).

I'm guessing the reason the article appeared at all is because it was so unbelievable that someone could survive such a tremendous fall. The Tribune had no idea when it went to print if Mr. Droesch was going to survive his injuries. No one did.

The article also implies that Pete's accident was his fault. This really angers me. It's frightening that the sheriff's deputy could come to this conclusion in time to make the next day's edition. Did he at least allow paramedics to stabilize Pete before questioning him?

Personally, I don't believe everything a man says after he falls 30 or more feet to concrete, but that's just me. I think most people will agree that he will need to be interviewed at a more appropriate time before the whole story can be fairly told. But that will have to wait until he is moved out of the ICU and can speak clearly for himself. ' Mary Tucker, Medford

Airport parking too slow

Recently, I picked up my daughter at the airport. The airplane was large, and as I had parked in the lot near the terminal, I was one of the last vehicles to leave. As the 50 or so cars ahead of me slowly crawled forward, apparently one at a time, I wondered what the holdup was.

After more than 20 minutes, I got to leave through the single-staffed exit. The other exit was dedicated to credit cards only.

I have had occasion to use the airport a number of times this summer. I have never observed anyone using the credit card only exit. I asked the attendant how often it is used. Rarely, was the reply.

If the justification for this dedicated exit was to save time, it is doing anything but. If I can spend 50 percent of the airfare (including gasoline) by driving to Portland, adding to my frustration at the local airport by reducing service is definitely going to result in my deciding to make the trip. ' Matthew Morey, Shady Cove