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Letters to the editor

What a waste

Wow, I wish I could get &

36;34,000 a year to tell people to clean up their yard. A beginning firefighter, police officer, nurse and others that spend years in college to perfect their lifesaving skills don't get that much!

This was a grant given to the city of Medford. You could easily have hired one full-timer and one part-timer for the money you gave to one person with zero training for this. What a waste! ' Steve Bossingham, Medford

Statement was dirty pool

You say, regarding Bush's proposed fire fuel reduction pilot project: ... the usual critics have loudly denounced the idea ...

Such a blanket statement (implying the usual critics are the environmentalists is dirty pool! You should be more explicit who those critics are. Your implication is not fair because, in this case, it does not apply to all of the environmentalists, or maybe even most of them. ' Fred Fleetwood, Trail

Remembering Berrigan

In the midst of an array of abusive priests it is refreshing to memorialize the life of Philip Berrigan, who died last Friday.

Beginning in the '60s, Berrigan lived a priestly vocation demonstrating the fundamental Christian principles of justice and peace. His commitment resulted in 100 arrests and 11 years in prison.

On his deathbed Berrigan reiterated his conviction that nuclear weapons are a curse against God, the human family, and the earth itself. ' George McCartin, Jacksonville

Bush's new arms control

Do you remember the Bush and Putin arms treaty signed in Moscow in May? It was supposed to liquidate the legacy of the Cold War. It does no such thing.

Under this agreement, Russia and U.S. will deploy no more than 1,700 to 2,200 warheads on launchers by Dec. 31, 2012. The treaty is silent on what happen between now and then.

At the point when this agreement comes into full effect the treaty expires unless both parties agree otherwise. In other words, the U.S. and Russia can, except for one day a decade from now, deploy as many warheads as they like.

This treaty is silent on what happens to the weapons to be retired. They can be stored, put in reserve or destroyed, whatever the parties want.

The treaty says nothing about how many warheads a missile can carry or how many launchers each side can have. If either parties decides it does not like the constraint, they can withdraw with 90 days' notice. Is this Bush's new kind of arms control? ' Art Gerds Jr., Yreka

A great tragedy

Rough and Ready Lumber Co.'s demise is a great tragedy to our community. I have the good fortune to have the Krauss family as friends. They are fine people with the greatest respect for forest health. Their own forest lands have been managed with every consideration toward fish and wildlife enhancement.

The closure of this mill is attributable to the failure of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan and litigation proceedings imposed by environmental groups. Steve Marsden's comments that environmentalists are not responsible for this mill's closure are not true. He is ignorant of the facts. The economic impact of this mill closing will result in significantly more jobs lost than the 145 mill employees.

Environmental radicalism turns a blind eye to those who want to work. Environmental radicalism works against our economy and the actual health of our forests. ' Dick Dunbar, Central Point

Apologize to citizens

Mr. Chancler wants an apology? Being arrested for Five DUIs, he owes the citizens of Oregon an apology. Thank God he didn't kill anyone. And I thank him for letting us know where his business is; I for one wont be supporting that kind of behavior.

But I will thank the Jackson County police for a fine job. Thank you for protecting my family from drunk drivers. ' M. Horton, Medford

Can you spell gridlock?

Picture this: You're stopped for the light on Court Street at McAndrews. The light turns green. The way the traffic lights are presently timed, even if you drive at the posted speeds you'll be forced to stop at least three times before reaching Barnett Road.

Now picture thousands of additional cars forced daily off the freeway and into the Court-Central corridor due to the viaduct construction. Can you spell gridlock?

Perhaps with enough encouragement from the public, the Medford Traffic Department can figure out how to time the lights for a smoother flow of traffic. Let's let them hear from us before downtown Medford turns into a parking lot. ' Jim Andrews, Medford

Crosswalk entrapment

I am troubled by police officers stepping out in front of cars at crosswalks to see the drivers' responses. I am all for traffic safety, and if the police want to monitor intersections to see if actual pedestrians are shown proper respect by drivers, that's fine, but attempting to create a crime by stepping out in front of cars ' something rarely done by intelligent people ' is entrapment plain and simple.

What's next? ' cops manually controlling traffic signals to see if they can force us to run the red lights? ' Darryl Edington, Eagle Point

Unfair school criticism

I am trying to answer the Not sorry for teachers letter that ran several days ago.

Teacher contract for a teaching year (i.e. 190 days). Their salary divided by 12 so they will have a monthly income all year. They have no paid holidays or paid vacations. They get time off, but it is unpaid.

As for medical benefits, that they have, but not hearing benefits.

When Mr. Wisely retired last summer he could have walked away and enjoyed his retirement while watching the campaign for school bonds from the sidelines. Instead, the school board hired him back as a consultant.

Would you have him work for nothing? Would you work for nothing if you were getting a retirement pension and your former employer asked you to come back as a consultant? Probably not.

Mr. Wisely could have stood on the sidelines and enjoyed his much-deserved retirement while watching a new superintendent learn the ropes while getting paid to do so.

Returning Mr. Wisely as a pro tem superintendent resulted in the best deal for the school district and the tax payers. ' Stan Marchington, Medford

RVTD recall rallies

An information rally is being held today from noon to 2 p.m. at the Ashland Plaza.

With your support we can gather the 7,500 signatures by Jan. 13 to put five Rogue Valley Transportation District board members' names on the ballot. Rob Patridge, Len Hannon and Alan Bates have called them dysfunctional (Mail Tribune, Oct. 17) resulting in the potential loss of important state, federal and local funding.

Stop by and find out about the issues. Many registered voters are signing and circulating petitions among their families and friends. If you haven't signed this second time, come by recall headquarters behind Costco 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For information, call 482-2148 or 621-7038 or visit '' Connie Skillman, Ashland

Proofreading important

James Kilpatrick's column on the importance of proofreading should have been printed closer to your AP piece on tiger traffickers. I doubt that the AP was responsible for the heading, which declared in large type, Ironically, the big cats are worth much more dead than they alive. Someone evidently subjected this phrase to a computer spell checker and thought the job was done.

An even worse gaffe occurred during the past week or so which speculated, again in large type, that service to Medford by United Airlines would not be effected by their bankruptcy. I have news for you; service to Medford was effected years ago when it first began. The question now is whether it will be affected before their planned closure in January.

Keep printing Kilpatrick's column and wave the Dec. 8 issue under the appropriate noses. ' Fred Bevensee, Ashland