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Correction

A quotation circulating on the Internet purporting to be from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar appears nowhere in that play, nor anywhere in the writings of Caesar himself that we have been able to find. A letter containing the erroneous quote appeared in Sunday's paper.

Clean up politics

The campaign is over but we need to clean up Oregon politics and it needs to start here at home. Rob Patridge received too much money from special interest groups and he used it to run a series of nasty, vindictive ads against Lorenzo Mejia. People in the Rogue Valley don't appreciate negative advertising and fortunately it didn't work. I personally wonder if Rob should even be an elected official. ' Sue Prior, Medford

Citizen ideas ignored

Like caution signs that outline construction, public concerns surrounding planned actions are often not seen for what they are: a good giveaway that what you see is not what you will get.

This is the case with the landscape projects planned for the Applegate Valley. Residents of the community have attended public meetings held by the BLM to learn more about the plans for their public lands, and voiced quite uniformly that what they have seen does not meet their fuel reduction needs.

Many residents have designed solutions detailing the most urgent thinning to be done and requesting management changes to be made in agency contracts regarding the health of the forest. While these alternatives have been drafted from local landowners' first-hand experience of forest know-how, citizens have not seen their ideas incorporated in the upcoming actions much as the Bobar or Bald Lick landscape projects.

Agency officials lead people to believe that their techniques are the only way to combat living with fire; people who have lived through it show upon closer examination that the methods promoted actually increase the danger. ' Lauren Olson, Ruch

Preserve watershed

As a 19-year resident of the Applegate, I have concerns regarding the Bureau of Land Management's Bobar Project, which involves fuels reductions and timber harvesting in the Little Applegate and upper Applegate watersheds.

Concerned residents have been meeting with the BLM to discuss the Bobar Project. I urge more people to become involved to make sure our watershed is preserved. The environmental assessment is being released soon and we will be scrutinizing it to assure our forests' health is maintained.

My neighbors have expressed several concerns regarding this project. There are 6 miles of new roads planned in a pristine area above the main stems of the Applegate and the Little Applegate rivers. Erosion and resulting sediment getting into the rivers has the potential to disturb fish habitat. Taking out large diameter fire-resistant trees and leaving small trees and slash can increase fire danger.

Our local economy could also use a boost by employing local people to do some of this work. There are many small logging outfits around that would love to get a chance to do some of this thinning.

Get involved! It's your watershed. ' Glenice Naslund, Jacksonville

Government power grows

Ironies abound in Republican politics. It is President Bush's Republican Party, not Democrats, that are moving America towards big government and a police state. And the main resistance to these policies comes from fellow Republicans, not from Democrats.

But is police state hysterical overstatement? It depends upon one's definition, but Bush's Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism legislation does give the government broadly defined powers to compile dossiers on every individual. That can include all credit transactions, medical and insurance records, all Internet activity, library checkouts, and information obtained from interviews from neighbors and acquaintances.

A crucial aspect of this anti-terrorism policy is that in all of this new legislation with its broadly defined powers, its constitutionality and limits will be interpreted by very conservative, mostly Republican, judges.

The implications for personal freedom and new elections to challenge the Republicans are most ominous. To think that the Republicans would not use this treasure chest of personal information, rumors, etc. for political advantage to skewer the characters of rising potentially charismatic Democratic leaders is to have a faith not very well supported by experience. ' Harry L. Cook, Ashland

Help American workers

Regarding elections: At least I'm grateful for the election of Kulongoski. All I needed to complete my misery this election cycle was another rich conservative Republican in my face, yelling about how our economic woe can be blamed on the little guy. If you want to solve your fiscal problem, why, go out and find something smaller than yourself and beat the hell out of it!

As a public employee, thus a member of good standing in the Black and Blue Club, I've had about all of that nonsense I can possibly take.

As for Democrats — well, when are you going to shove a backbone into that jelly you call a political party? You've been jinxed for the next 20 years ' long enough for a generation of citizens to forget you ' unless you come up with a plan to woo us back.

I would like to say... well, hello, Big Boy, let the courtship begin! What do you have for the worker that won't eventually kill him? How about offering us a delectable tidbit ' reduce our payroll taxes, let us actually benefit from our labor? How about a reconstruction that gives waitresses or the guy who pumps gas actual say-so in the political process?

If you want to win our hearts, baby, feed us some sweets! We American workers have gone without for a very long time. ' Ryk Tompkins, Central Point

Timber will perish

The U.S. Forest Service presently has over 1.3 billion board feet of standing dead timber outside of the wilderness area from the Bisquit fire. This is a USFS estimate. Presently at the best case estimates they will salvage 24,000 acres or perhaps 150 million board feet. The fact that the timber sale environmental impact statement process will take longer than the perishable timber will last doesn't seem a factor to the powers that be.

There are only two timber personnel left on the Galice Ranger District. One is presently on vacation and the other is on lay-off notice. This is good stewardship for our local communities for the largest fire event in recent history?

Boo, I say. Throw them out. Get the U.S. Department of Agriculture off of private sector welfare. Let them earn their keep like the rest of us. '

Mark Johnson, Grants Pass