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How many candy bars'

Regarding the Tribune's editorial about Superintendent Wisely and the latest money grab/school bond, only in liberal doublespeak can we be told that a public employee who draws double salary is saving us money because he's not receiving benefits.

Benefits typically cost about a third of salary; how does this amount to a net savings? I wonder how many candy bars our children would have to sell to make up the difference? ' Jason Wilkinson, Medford

Unsustainable increases

Business Week (Oct. 23) reports that HMO costs will rise 14-19 percent in 2003, while HMO premiums for employers rose 16-22 percent in 2002. These are unsustainable increases.

Workers lucky enough to have insurance must bear the new costs and all would-be patients are told to become better consumers of health care, whatever that means. This cost shifting, however, is never labeled a tax. What are your cost containment solutions? ' Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

Act like grownups

People are saying, In his speech to the nation Monday night, the president laid out a compelling case against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and detailed the very real danger he presents to the interests and allies of the United States. Bush also provided evidence that Saddam's regime is a major sponsor of terrorism. What's left now is the decision: Do the United States and its friends wait for Saddam Hussein to unleash his arsenal of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons, or do they strike first to eliminate the threat?

The Detroit News, editorial, Oct. 9, here. I believe what this message states. I, as an American of 67 years, believe that if we have to go to war, then we should, to make things right in the world.

Act like grown men and women when it comes to protecting our homeland when it's threatened ' and it is. ' Dick Fraser, Medford

Taxes not the answer

Lack of honest, effective leadership by Gov. Kitzhaber has clouded Oregon's future. Kitzhaber led the way in spending when times were good, and now wants even more just as the state tries to emerge from a recession.

As governor of the hungriest state, and the state with the third highest unemployment in the U.S., Kitzhaber calls his &

36;310 millon in cuts extreme and devastating (Mail Tribune, Oct. 16). However, for a &

36;12 billion budget, that's less than — percent. With inflation running 2 percent, it's clear that these are not real cuts, they are only modest attempts to reduce future spending.

We hear nothing concerning freezing state headcount, freezing state pensions, eliminating new programs or even eliminating a single ineffective program. Until then, new or higher taxes are not the answer. ' Dick Handley, Medford

Sign offends

I am a 14-year-old girl in our community. I am writing to you because on Interstate 5 by the Barnett exit there's a large, bright yellow sign advertising an adult shop.

I don't think that it's right that when I'm driving to the skating rink, the dentist, the doctor or youth group I should have to see anything like that. Also, what kind of message does it send to anyone who drives by our community?

I don't see why adults in our community and government allow those types of shops to be in our community. I don't think it's right for people to go into those shops. It's perverted and wrong. To anyone who goes in those shops, do you think your mother would be proud of you if you went into those shops? ' Amanda Brennan , Central Point

Sales tax disproportionate

In reply to Brad Marsh's letter Oct. 13: A sales tax is the most disproportionate tax a state can place on its citizens.

A sales tax will not fairly distribute the tax burden. Example: a person with an annual salary of 40k paying 6 percent on approximately &

36;3,500 of taxable goods will pay .00525 percent of their annual salary as a sales tax. A person making 100k annual salary paying 6 percent sales tax on twice the amount of taxable goods will pay only .0042 percent of their annual salary as a sales tax.

There is no equity in a sales tax. People who make the most pay the least percentage of their annual salary, people who make the least pay the most.

The real problem was Measure 5, it was to level school funding for every district rather than funding by rich and poor districts. Our legislators have failed to address the problem, reduced funds from timber harvest and the downturn of the economy. They should have raised the income rate to make up the deficit.

As for tourists paying a sales tax, they would not come to Oregon. Mr. Marsh, you failed Math 101. ' Charles Gipe, Medford

Cougar shooting avoidable

The recent shooting in White City was unfortunate and avoidable.

That cougar would never have been in the residential yard in the first place but for the fact that it was naturally attracted to the deer decoy that the hunter had there for target practice. The hunter should have covered the decoy with a sheet or blanket.

In case you're wondering, I am not an animal activist, I am a hunter. ' Lori Cooper, staff attorney, Siskiyou Project, Williams

Vote for Gilmour, Hallett

Please, please pay attention to our current Jackson County commissioner election. The current board is totally inept and they do not have what it takes to govern this county.

Vote for the challengers, Dave Gilmour and John Hallett. If Gilmour is part-time, that is more than we are getting from Ric Holt. Vote, vote, vote. ' L. George Bannister, Medford

Vote for Richardson

I just wanted to say a few words in behalf of Dennis Richardson to the voters out there. I believe him to be an honest man, a hard worker, caring and one who listens to the little guy.

I went to a memorial service for a fellow beekeeper and Dennis was there expressing his sympathy to the family. He is a deeply sensitive person who cares for other people.

Dennis has his business right here and has raised his family here so he has a feel for the area and knows what the needs are. Who better to send to Salem to represent us for our state representative? ' Patsy Kee, Central Point

Alice in Wonderland

How about honesty in county government for a change? It's Alice in Wonderland at the commissioners' office.

The 2002-2003 county budget brags that the county commissioners protected private property rights in the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The monument includes only federal land.

Private property surrounded by monument lands are protected by proclamation language and previous agreements. Why are they bragging that they did something that didn't need doing in the first place?

Ric Holt brags that he is helping bring commuter trains to the Rogue Valley. He's been in office for 12 years. Where are the trains?

We aren't as dumb as the Commissioners seem to think. Do you want to pay our officials &

36;80,000 a year to solve nonexistent problems? We need a change. ' Susan A. Hunt, Ashland

Impressed with Richardson

I have been associated with Dennis and his family for 40 years. I can personally testify to his uncommon integrity and high standards.

As a retired military person, I am impressed with his sense of duty and his ability to organize and then persevere until the job is done. He is uniquely qualified and sorely needed to serve as our representative in Salem. ' Jim Rose, Central Point

Elect Winters

I have known Mike Winters for over 20 years. I have followed Mike's career through his time on the Ashland Police Department, the Oregon State Police and into his private successful business.

He is the best man to bring the Jackson County Sheriff's Department into the 21st century because of his knowledge of law enforcement and his ability to work with his employees and the public.

Mike is a man of the highest integrity. ' Vic Lively, retired police chief, Talent

Vote for Richardson

I believe our elected officials should have certain experience in order to know how to represent us. They need to understand what families have to go through to raise their children and pay the bills.

They should have experience running a business. They should have served on the local level so that they will understand what to do to help us when they get to Salem.

Dennis Richardson has all of those qualifications and many more. He's a proven leader, so I want everyone who cares about the Rogue Valley to vote for Dennis Richardson. ' Nova Johnson, Central Point

Yes on RCC bonds

A yes vote for RCC Measure 17-90 will help provide people in the community access to higher education and technical job training. A new technical training center is needed for workforce development programs demanded by the local community and businesses.

Vote yes on Measure 17-90. ' Rachelle Lagorio, RCC employee, Grants Pass

Gilmour has proved his worth

Having served on the Central Point. School Board for 11 years gave me nine years' opportunity to work closely with Dave Gilmour. Our board consisted of five members, meetings held twice a month, covered infinite budget, subcommittee and negotiation talks. Furthermore, individual time spent within the schools and classrooms.

Receiving no salary, Gilmour was always prepared, enthusiastic, vigilant in his commitment. Throughout, Gilmour maintained a quality medical practice.

Holt has been a county commissioner for 12 years. The three-member board meets once a week. Taxpayer salary of &

36;62,000 plus benefits.

The record shows Holt did not attend 42 of some 120 meetings, that's two doing the work of 3, 65 percent of the time. Gilmour would like to see half the salary, five members and evening meetings held throughout the county.

It's time for intelligent, unequivocal common sense. Please vote! ' Carol Maurer, Gold Hill

A Republican for Lemon

I am a registered Republican, but I will vote for Virginia Lemon. Her years of experience with the State Department, her avid support of environmental issues through the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy and others, and her close affiliation with the Jackson County Democratic Committee will serve her, and us, well in Salem. Please join me in electing her state senator, District 3, on Nov. 5. ' Lucy Hazelrigg, Ashland

Vote against the radicals

Many of the ballot measures in this election are very hard to understand. My formula is to read all the letters for and against, determine how the radical groups such as the 1000 Friends of Oregon and Earth First! feel about an issue and vote the opposite. ' John Rachor, Eagle Point

Support Purdy

My family and I have known Bill Purdy for more than 30 years. I met Bill when he and my husband were classmates at the University of Iowa Law School.

While my husband, Chuck, served as Iowa's drug czar, Bill invited him to be the keynoter at the annual SODA meeting. From that experience, I know how dedicated Bill is to families, community and country.

As I think about Bill's life as an attorney, parent and grandparent, I think of Bill's qualities that would make him an outstanding judge:

judicial temperament

excellent work ethic

professional mannerism

capable attorney with vast

knowledge of the law

even-handed approach to

resolving issues

Bill has both high moral characteristics and ethical standards. He is pleasant with an engaging sense of humor. Most importantly, he has good judgment that will serve the Oregon judicial system and litigants well. ' Ellen Larson, Medford

Not comfortable with Holt

Jackson County pays county commissioners an annual salary of over &

36;62,000, additional benefits of over &

36;20,000, plus an expense account. Ric Holt may be comfortable missing one-third of the meetings we pay him to attend; I am not.

I pay taxes expecting Holt to do his homework and make it to work. Many of us get paid much less than he does and are required to show up every day or account for our absence.

If Holt is not at his meetings, how can he get the information from his staff and the public needed to make good decisions? His attitude shows a fundamental disrespect for all taxpayers. If we have to go to work every day to pay the taxes that give Holt his salary, then why doesn't he show us the courtesy of earning it? ' Leah Saturen, Ashland

Vote no on RCC

To all of you who are on low and/or limited income, rent or buying your home, you are in trouble!

Your taxes will go up. If you are a renter, the owner will have to increase your rent to cover his increase in property taxes. Think about this: if this goes through and the income tax measure goes through, you are looking at a double problem.

Remember: vote Democrat, you will get tax and spend. ' Raymond C. Dishaw, Central Point

Voting for Hallett

This election provides an opportunity to take a new look at our county government and the direction we want it to take.

I have known and worked with John Hallett for more than 20 years and watched him grow and mature from an energetic and questioning outsider to an experienced and knowledgeable citizen leader with a mature understanding of what works and how to get things done. During all this time, John has maintained a caring concern for the people and environment of this area.

If you want a caring and concerned leader, willing to take chances with changes and new ideas, then I can recommend a vote for John Hallett for county commissioner. I am going to vote for him and hope you will, too. ' Lou Hannum, Medford

Blatantly biased stories

I am outraged that the Mail Tribune would publish such blatantly biased stories related to the Winters-Mayer race for sheriff in the October 13 issue. Sarah Lemon should be ashamed of being so obvious in her efforts to mislead the public.

The Mail Tribune has cooperated with Mayer's campaign whose strategy is to manipulate the news and de-value the support Mike Winters received from the Jackson County Sheriff's Employees Association, Oregon State Police Officers Association and others in law enforcement.

Why? Because those endorsements tell the real story! And that is, Mayer's own people don't believe in him. In fact, the vast majority overwhelmingly believe that Mike Winters will make the best sheriff. Isn't that the real news?

Citizens, don't be swayed by sickening political tactics and Lemon's flagrant support of one candidate over another. If anything, be angry that this type of journalism is allowed. ' James Pineda, Phoenix

Supporting Purdy

The citizens of Jackson County are very fortunate to have a man who has distinguished himself in the practice of law and in service to the community step forward to serve as Jackson County Circuit Court Judge.

For over three decades, Bill Purdy has been a credit to the legal profession and an involved member of our community. His name is synonymous with fairness, community service and professionalism.

Electing him to the Circuit Court bench will ensure that our county's reputation for judicial excellence will continue. ' Douglas S. Snider, Medford

Voting for Hallett

I'm voting for John Hallett for Jackson County Commissioner. Here's why:

John supports land-use

planning.

John supports private

property rights.

John supports the

historical societies'

position that their levy

funds belong to them.

John worked on keeping the tanker base in Medford.

We need a bright future for Jackson County, which John Hallett will work to give us. ' Marie Bagley, Ashland

Supporting Bill Purdy

I am supporting Bill Purdy for Circuit Court judge.

To qualify for this position, a person needs to be a member of the Oregon State Bar. However, looking beyond his experience as an attorney and pro tem judge, what is most impressive about Bill Purdy the person is the degree and sincerity of his dedication to community service.

Beginning in the early '70s, Bill has served on the boards of a long and impressive list of civic and charitable organizations. In addition, Bill was chosen to preside over many of those boards, demonstrating initiative and an especially strong commitment to serve the entire Southern Oregon community.

I am confident that Bill Purdy is the right choice for the position of Circuit Court Judge Position 8. ' Sam Reitz, Medford

Voting for Purdy

Bill Purdy's heart and mind are those of a judge. Your vote will allow him to serve us in the role for which he is so well prepared.

He knows and respects the law and the people the law was created to protect. He has been a successful pro tem judge and is endorsed by hundreds of citizens, including former Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer. A majority of our attorneys support him.

Leadership positions in many of our most respected community organizations have given Bill Purdy the opportunity to demonstrate his dedication to the well-being of the people of the Rogue Valley.

Bill is an ordinary guy with extraordinary dedication, experience, and compassion. Please join me in proudly voting for Bill Purdy as Circuit Court judge. ' Pat Burton, Medford

Not a vote for Walker

On Oct. 11, the voters of Jackson County got their shot across the bow from the Mail Tribune. They lowered the bar when they endorsed Jack Walker over Jack Hallett.

Walker lied to his constituents over the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument, told them to get another job if they did not like secondhand smoke. He did not support the needle exchange program for moral reasons (I don't think he understands it), nor did he understand why drug babies need special care and treatment. He couldn't care less about the environment or land use planning either.

This is the person the Mail Tribune endorsed? Is this what learning on the job is all about? One thing is clear, Jack won't get my vote either. ' Gwen Neufeld, Medford

Vote for Hallett

John Hallett over and over has shown that he cares about where he lives and cares about the people that live in this county.

If you want fair and honest representation, John is the best choice for getting the job done. I have followed his politics for many years and I know first-hand that he puts people over politics. He never forgot why he was in office.

I am sorry the Tribune fails to see these qualities. ' Cindy Patterson, Medford

Charter is best choice

Joe Charter is clearly the best choice for Jackson County Judge Position 8. He represents no special interest. He has had the most trial experience in the last 10 years. He is an advocate of a fair trial and of efforts to stop the revolving door.

Joe Charter is the better investment for the taxpayers' dollar. Please vote for Joe Charter for Circuit Court Judge Position 8. ' George H. Jess Jr., Eagle Point