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Club makes a difference

One of the greatest compliments we can pay a person is to say he is a servant. If we consider the traits of difference makers, we find that to be a servant is to be a difference maker.

As a kid, I cherished the times my dad would take me to Multnomah Stadium to watch the Portland Beavers play baseball. He would come home after a 10- to 12-hour work day and take me the 30 miles to the game. We never left until the final out, arriving home at 11 p.m. or later. I slept in the next morning, while Dad was up at 6 and on his way to another day.

I have the privilege of presenting kids with the scholarship funds the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club so generously provides for them. The emotions range from tears and joy to disbelief.

The Kiwanis are making a difference in the lives of many young people. Upon receiving an award last spring, a young man said, Someday I want to give a kid a scholarship, so he can be as happy as I am right now.

Thanks to the Kiwanis Club for being a servant and, in turn, a difference maker. ' Jay McRoberts, Crater High School

Instant runoff needed

Often there are more than two candidates, and the winner hasn't gotten a majority, discouraging most of those who voted. That happened in the Ashland City Council position 4 race, with Amarotico getting almost 27 percent of the vote, while Thompson, Navickas and Bangsberg cumulatively got nearly 61 percent.

Instant runoff voting can fix the problem. In Ashland, it might have yielded an entirely different winner.

According to the county elections Web site, Navickas got 2,254 votes, Bangsberg 884, Thompson 2,388 and Amarotico 2,474. If voters had made second and third choices, without any of the candidates getting a majority, Bangsberg would have been knocked off the list, and the second choices of his voters would have redistributed his votes to the other candidates.

If Bangsberg was a spoiler against Navickas, perhaps half of Bangsberg voters might have chosen Navickas as their second choice, while the rest might have gone about evenly to Thompson and Amarotico. This would have put Navickas in the lead.

Thompson would then have been knocked off the list, and his votes redistributed to the remaining two candidates. If Thompson's votes then went evenly to Amarotico and Navickas, Navickas would have won!

Let's fix the system! ' Tom Crimmins, Ashland

Disaster scare tactics

Why is it that every time the powers that be want more of our hard-earned dollars, the press starts in with the disaster scare tactics?

Quoting from the front page of your paper on Dec. 21, It's a man-made disaster is correct, but the taxpayers are sick of footing the bill for misdirection of money that the elected officials and heads of social service departments have been subjecting us to for much too long.

We have been throwing millions upon millions of dollars at these problems for years and they are not getting better, only just the opposite. The revolving door policies for drug addicts and alcoholics do not work, there have always been the old and the frail, the poor and the abused and the neglected and, unfortunately, the children who are the true victims of these conditions.

Maybe if the money went to the people it is intended to help and not siphoned off to who knows where, the disaster could be avoided. These conditions have existed throughout the history of mankind and scare tactics and more taxes are not going to fix the problem without proper management of the money! '

Steve Anderson, Medford

Tax government pensions

How about this novel approach to help balance the state budget?

At present all state and federal pensions are exempt from income tax. Why not tax these lucrative pensions?

Social Security retirees are taxed. Could it be that the government voting bloc is just too big? ' Cliff Smith, Eagle Point

How lenient would he be?

In regards to the article on Thursday, Dec. 19 about Mr. Hines and his mistreatment of Chief, the St. Bernard: We are not advocating the following ' we're not that mean.

We simply wonder if the judge were tied out in the rain and cold until he lost half of his body weight ' would he still be so lenient to someone as cruel as Mr. Hines?

We're happy for Chief, who now has a loving home. ' Monica E. Bruce, Medford

Spoiled brats

I read today (Dec. 19) in the editorial where again you, many businesses and offices, schools, etc. keep crying about not enough money and want the public to vote for more taxes. Just where do you think the thousands who are out of work will get this money? They are hurting also.

Why don't you try to cut back on your spending as people in the public do when they don't have enough money? Stop threatening the public that police, firemen and teachers will be laid off just so you can get your way. They remind me of a bunch of spoiled brats. ' Julia Fletcher, Medford

State can't manage money

Channel 10 ran a news story on the 11 p.m. news Dec. 18 about a woman who has cancer and may lose her medical assistance if Measure 28 (temporary tax) doesn't pass in January.

I feel sorry for the woman and the situation she is in, and anyone else, because of the budget crisis. Channel 10 should have a story to show the other side, about people who can't pay their bills or keep their homes because of the continued high taxes.

The people of this state cannot be held responsible for all the cuts the state is going to enact if this measure doesn't pass. The governor and the Legislature are the ones that are responsible if these cuts take place.

Throwing the responsibility back to the citizens if this measure does not pass is not right. The taxpaying citizens, as everybody knows, are paying too much in Oregon.

I've seen the waste in government first-hand. They don't need more money ... obviously they don't manage money very well. ' R. Miltier, Ashland

Center has many services

It was so pleasant to read the recent article on the Medford Senior Center and the services they offer for seniors in the Medford area. So many of the recent articles about senior centers have been about all of their problems. It was good to read about one with a positive attitude.

There were a couple of things that should be mentioned about the story. First it mentioned the number of seniors who had signed in on the day that was written about as 117. That was the number of individuals who were served lunch on that day; 177 people signed in to use the services of the senior center.

Then nothing was said about our senior travel agency, which is very active and books trips to the coast, to Reno, to Portland and to other areas. Also there was nothing mentioned about the National Association of Retired Federal Employees benefit office which is the only active office in the state of Oregon and answers many questions for seniors who are nearing retirement or who have retired and need questions answered about their retirement. ' Earl MacPherson, president, Medford Senior Center Board of Directors

Wasting hard-earned money

Your Saturday, Dec. 21 headline A social service disaster should have read, Even after wasting untold billions of tax dollars, socialized medicine still not working. Or: Tax hikes of 90 percent needed immediately, claim 'experts.'

While the Hillary Clintons and Molly Ivinses of this world would love that scenario, I believe most thinking people understand that socialized medicine never has and never will provide acceptable care for most people. I also believe that people who actually pay taxes understand that paying more taxes only wastes their hard-earned money and does them little or no good. Lower tax rates would have enabled people like Bill Connolly to afford his own health care 20 years ago.

I find your stereotypical liberal scare tactics insulting. I remember when we had the best health care system in the world, and we could have it again, too, by eliminating government interference, social services and third-party payers, and returning to the tried-and-true fee-for-service payment system. ' Wick

Clary, Talent

Democrats' big problems

We certainly are fortunate to have the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee to tell us all what's wrong with us (Democrats admit long road ahead, Dec. 22).

Alan Bates thinks we're too stupid to think for ourselves and have been poisoned by far-right talk show hosts. Bill Layton expresses irritation at lower-income people for not buying into Democratic programs.

Someone needs to point out to him that people on welfare don't create jobs or energize the economy. Perhaps that's the Democratic way, break someone's legs and then give them crutches.

Then, we have Betty McClendon complaining that the whole country has become much more church-oriented conservative, like that's a bad thing. But don't worry because just as soon as the Democrats find a good issue they're going to rally.

By the sheer audacity these people show in thinking they know what's better for us than we do, it's clear that the Democrats have far bigger problems than they realize. ' Nancy Badger, Medford

Restore treatment funds

Alert. The Legislative Emergency Board (E-Board) voted ' without notice or public hearing ' on Nov. 8 to eliminate services to 118,000 Oregon Health Plan members for chemical dependency (CD: alcohol/drugs), mental health and dental care. CD treatment relies on OHP funding.

Proven facts are (in addition to saving lives), for every &

36;1 spent on CD treatment Oregon taxpayers save &

36;5.60 ' expense due to crime, welfare and medical costs; a staggering blow to all of us and our communities. For every dollar the state cuts out of CD treatment, we lose &

36;2 in federal matching funds!

The E-Board can undo this damage. Please contact them before Jan. — (their next meeting) through Board Member Representative Jackie Winters: 900 Court St. N.E., H-291, Salem, OR 97301; e-mail is winters.rep@state.or.us; phone 503-986-1431. ' James W. Hall III, M.D. F.A.C.P., medical director, Rogue Valley Addictions Recovery Center

Elsewhere means nowhere

Friends of Jacksonville organizer Tricia Bowcock and her husband are attorneys who moved to Jacksonville from Texas last year. Before they bought their home on C Street, they were informed by their Realtor that the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville had plans to build a new church adjacent to Pheasant Meadows. On Aug. 31, 2001, they bought their house anyway.

First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville was founded in 1857 and it has grown with the town. Church members have exhausted all possibilities for a new church site over the last several years. There is no land zoned for churches in Jacksonville. This is why a conditional use permit will always be required.

State law will not allow the church to be built on farmland outside the city. Telling the church to go elsewhere when there is no elsewhere could mislead readers of this paper into thinking the church has other options.

When the Friends of Jacksonville say elsewhere they really mean nowhere. ' Kathy Hoskin, Central Point