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Gore could unite us

President Bush is intent upon going to war in Iraq.

Al Gore is no longer in the limelight, a strong voice is needed in opposition, and he would be an excellent, influential voice uniting the people.

We listened to Secretary Powell and even if the information isn't refuted, war is not the answer.

1. Saddam did not use weapons of mass destruction in the Gulf War, knowing we could retaliate. WMD was a deterrent with Stalin. That is prevention, not preemption as Rumsfeld intends.

2. North Korea has WMD, not oil. Do you want your son or daughter dying in a war for oil?

3. The U.S. supplied much biological and chemical weaponry before the Gulf War.

4. Iraq and anthrax ' remember our own people and anthrax.

5. How much of Powell's information is fabricated? What are corporations secretly selling to Saddam? Rumsfeld had to abolish an information organization of false propaganda.

Mr. Gore and Tipper could honestly inform and unite the opposition to war. They should go for it! ' Peggy Roberts, Ashland

Don't believe polls

When Bush was running for president and was behind in the polls, he loudly proclaimed he paid no attention to polls, that they didn't mean a thing. More recently, when polls from around the world gave Bush a negative rating, he again restricted his stance.

Yet, weekly, we are inundated with Bush's high rating at the polls (practically 80 percent in everything he undertakes), and we are expected to be gullible enough to believe it.

Well, Bush is right when he said that polls don't mean a thing. Once I read a book called, How to lie with statistics.

The author stated polls generally reflected the opinion of the organization paying for the polls, thus if the Republicans were sponsoring the poll, the poll would be taken in a area heavily concentrated with Republicans, and that polls do not reflect the opinion of the general public. ' Alma Jefferson, Medford

Legislature wasted time

We are writing to convey our deep dissatisfaction with our state Legislature. The majority of voters in Oregon made a choice to disinvest in education and other basic services serving the public good. Now, in a purely partisan move to save face, the Republicans magically come up with &

36;15 million to lessen the impact of this decision.

After numerous sessions of ineptitude, we were led to believe the only option to plug the shortfall was a tax increase. This bailout proposal just validates everyone who voted No on Measure 28 because of the belief that state government has the money, but only misappropriates it.

We believe the Legislature has wasted our time and money with a costly election and numerous sessions, rather than making the tough choices themselves. ' Robert and Candice Julian, Ashland

Resolve conflicts peacefully

I agree with Mr. Dusenberry (Feb. 3) that the men and women of our armed forces are certainly not the enemy. I also agree that Saddam Hussein is a cruel tyrant who should not be in power.

There is nothing in U.S. or international law, however, which permits or condones our removing him as long as Iraq is not attacking the U.S. Veterans of the Gulf War, World War II and Vietnam veteran's groups have come out against the war. In any case, I find it less helpful to think in terms of enemies than in terms of situations which need to be resolved.

I believe along with many others that if we can resolve conflict without hurting people, that's better than doing it by hurting people. Mr. Dusenberry and I may agree that some conflicts won't be resolved nonviolently, but the record of nonviolence is pretty good, considering how few times it's been seriously tried. Any look at the tactics of nonviolence will show that it certainly is not appeasement.

Iraq poses no imminent threat to its neighbors today, let alone to the U.S., and can be disarmed without war. ' Ken Deveney, Peace House chairman, Ashland

Am I missing something?

Isn't Bill Ferguson the fellow whose self-serving legal shenanigans blocked a major revitalization effort ' the Winetrout project planned by MURA for downtown Medford? Where nothing but dilapidated retail/warehouse structures stood before? And this man has the cheek to criticize MURA and the downtown area for being unattractive (Perspectives on a vacant look, Feb. 6).

Well, I guess Mr. Ferguson's idea of attractive is wide open spaces, since all that's left of the Winetrout notion is a big empty lot. We should put Bill Ferguson in a time machine and send him back to downtown Medford circa 1980.

I had an office there then and believe me, downtown Medford has come a long, long way. In fact, my hat's off to MURA and its continuing efforts on meager budgets in the face of building owners with attitudes like Ferguson's. Keep up the good work. ' Christopher Stoney, Medford

Check on results

On Jan. 27 there was an article regarding the centers for pregnant teens and teen parents at the two Medford high schools. I thought it might be interesting, since the program has been in effect for 10 years, to follow up on some of the young parents from five to 10 years ago to see if they did indeed finish their high school education, how many went on to college, how many are now self-supporting, and what percentage are still dependent on public assistance.

At a cost of approximately &

36;2 million for 109 students this year alone, it would seem the program needs to be able to show some tangible, positive results. ' Marsha Schulz, Gold Hill

Thanks to Central Point

This thank you goes out to the city of Central Point. On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Central Point Chamber of Commerce presented the Citizen of the Year Award to Joan Gugliotta.

Joan was killed on May 18, 2002. Though it is sad that she was not here to accept this award, it is a joyful feeling to know that her efforts in the community were recognized.

It is times like this that we as members of our community need to remember how beneficial it is to give our time in helping others. I want to say a special thanks to School District 6, Candy Manary, Jerry Herbold, Roger and Ginna Neufeld, Jay McRoberts, Barb DeYoung and many others. Thank you for all your support. ' Chris Gugliotta, Central Point

Disappointed in coverage

I, too, was disappointed at the coverage and the picture concerning the orchestra camp that was held to inform elementary students of the value of playing in an orchestra. Music is an integral part of our lives. The students that play music are not getting into trouble, but are creating skills and values that will last them a lifetime.

Hakme Lee has been invaluable in creating this project as well as assisting in many other projects in order that the orchestra can go to Portland. Besides being an excellent student, violinist, and pianist, Hakme cares about the music programs in our schools. Hakme's time and effort deserve more than an inappropriate picture and inaccuracies. ' Teena Anderson, Medford

Alarm and dismay

In the brief span of time since 9/11 President Bush has managed to transform almost universal support for the war against terrorism into overwhelming alarm and dismay at his apparent obsession with invading Iraq. He has given one excuse after another, which have all turned out to be bogus. We expected more from Colin Powell, and he did sound more convincing, but it turns out even he was either lying or was misinformed (Powell's intel appears faulty, Feb. 9)

Bush hasn't even been able to convince Iraq's own neighbors that it is a threat to them. In fact, they seem more worried about us. His determination to invade regardless of having no good reason or support gives credence to the growing belief that he is either crazy or giving the big payoff to his corporate sponsors.

Unfortunately he is not just attacking Saddam Hussein. Thousands of Iraqi civilians are also bound to die.

An unprovoked attack that results in the death of so many innocents is terrorism, pure and simple. We sit here sipping our coffee and read about it in the paper as if we are spectators, but the truth is their blood will be on all our hands. ' Michael Steely, Medford

Just like the government

Just like the government to publish tips on how to react to a chemical terrorist attack and leave out the most important point: to bend over, put your head between your legs and kiss you posterior good bye. ' Jerry Haas, Jacksonville

Never leaving again

What I think makes life in Southern Oregon special is the Rogue River. There isn't anything more beautiful than when you are rafting or kayaking down it from the fish hatchery up by Lost Creek down to Shady Cove.

The river is so clear you can see the bottom of it. The mountains around you are spectacular, and the deer and other wildlife you see along the way are magnificent.

I had left and moved to Texas for several years, where the rivers are muddy and full of snakes and no mountains around to look at. Only flatland and concrete.

I once took all this beauty for granted growing up here. But after returning, I will never leave the valley again. This is home. ' S. Colman, Eagle Point

Voters aren't stupid

Despite the doom and gloom pictures painted by numerous public agencies, Measure 28 was rejected by voters who apparently aren't quite as stupid as many bureaucrats believe. Had the measure passed, 100 percent of the revenue generated would have been indirectly funneled into the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, compliments of legislation enacted into law by the Oregon State Legislature.

These PERS accounts take funding precedence over most if not all other state-funded services. When presented to all 60 Oregon state representatives some weeks back, not one took exception or offered supporting facts to the contrary.

On Jan. 25, a Curry County news article quoted a local legislative representative stating, We thought there was a hiring freeze, but nearly 500 public employees have been recently hired.

In yet another test of taxpayer intelligence, an article in the same publication references Rep. Patridge and Sen. Metsger introducing legislation to tack a 31/8 -percent fee on all Oregon auto insurance policies. Estimated annual revenue, &

36;74 million.

Immediately after reading this, I attempted to contact Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock in hopes they will order Scotty to beam these gentlemen onboard the Enterprise and place them in sick bay pending a full-blown psychological evaluation. ' Thomas C. Huxley, Brookings

Measure 28 not to blame

Measure 28's failure to pass has not caused the chaos we are experiencing. The real culprit is a body of legislators who care more about party politics and campaign contributions , then they do about the people they are supposed to represent.

While there is no money to fund medication for our senior citizens, our legislators are spending &

36;5 million to buy art work. Does that make sense?

Not enough money to pay OSP troopers? Our legislators are still funding OLCC, a part of state government that operates at a loss of more than &

36;100,000 each and everyday of the year.

The various departments of state government have in reserve some funds for back-up or emergency use. Those funds in aggregate now total more than 11 billion dollars. That is taxpayers' money. I repeat, that 11 billion dollars is taxpayers' money. One would think that some of it might be used to help alleviate the present problem.

Starting today, I intend to contact every senator and representative from this area to make known my views on these matters, and ask just what they intend to do about it. Care to join me? ' Dick Smith, Eagle Point

What do we expect to find

Space, the undefined area of nothing, right? So just what do we expect to find out there?

Man has always wanted something he couldn't have, to go somewhere where it is not feasible. Up to the date of space exploration, we had lucked out. There was something to show for the effort and money expended. The space thing nets nada, unless of course you want to count the tremendous expenses involved.

Our roaming camera gives us exposure to the planets, moons, suns, asteroids, comets, and manmade debris up there.

We have all seen at least one episode of Star Trek, but believe me the aliens, if there are any, are not going to have anything to do with the likes of us. We have too much to learn.

We need to put the money spent on looking for nothing in the area of nothing and confine ourselves to taking care of our planet and the people on it.

It seems that we can't get along with the people on this planet, why are we looking for someone from??? ' Phyllis Sasse, Medford

Tax soft drinks, water

Bates and Hannon, why don't you two understand what no means!

Now, if you want to do something very simple and makes more sense (and all the money would go towards schools), let's push for 5 cents on each bottle of soft drinks (water). This is not a can deposit, this is five cents outright.

This is something that I would have thought that those who drink alcohol and those who smoke would have already gotten this started. I would think that you folks would be getting tired of chipping in every time someone wants some extra money. Out-of- staters would be chipping in too. Bates and Hannon, how about it? ' Gary Cates, Central Point