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Patridge has sense

Rep. Patridge has the sense to realize the vicious circle that will occur if the minimum wage remains tied to the cost of living index. I can only wonder why William A. Mansfield voiced his opposition to his vote. Perhaps there is an ulterior motive. No one with any sense could support such a inflationary idea in this time of belt tightening. ' Ron Quadros, Central Point

Protest veterans cuts

Recently the administration has requested almost &

36;80 billion in special funding to pay for the Iraq attack. At the same time, the House Budget Committee has voted to cut &

36;25 billion from veterans benefits over the next 10 years, President Bush proposed cutting &

36;172 billion from school funding for the children of military personnel and the Bush administration directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to stop publicizing the health benefits that are available to veterans.

I don't believe this is the right message of support to send our troops as they fight and die for Iraqi Freedom. Please contact Rep. Greg Walden and ask him to stand up and protest this mistreatment of our brave veterans. His local office phone number is 776-4646. His local FAX is 779-0204. His e-mail address isgreg. walden@mail.house.gov. ' Damon Neal, Medford

Support Youth Activities Levy

I'm writing to urge Ashland to support the Ashland Youth Activities Levy. A yes vote would continue the activities funded by the levy for five more years without increasing the current property tax.

Given the funding crisis in our schools, now more than ever we need to support children and schools with a yes vote. Through state budget cuts, our schools have lost nearly 20 percent of funding over the last two years.

— The levy funds athletics, music, drama, speech and debate, clubs and special events. Some of the money goes to parks and recreation and programs for seniors.

Many of us moved to Ashland to be part of a community that solidly supports education. Our excellent schools and quality students are well-known.

Let's continue to support quality education and retain the benefits that brings to our children and community. Schools are vital to the future of our community. ' Ellie Thivierge, Ashland

Here's the answer

Hey Oregon, listen up, I have the answer to all our problems. We just need to declare war on the United States! Put up a little fight, throw down our arms and dance around in the street waving photos of W! Then maybe the Bush administration will send humanitarian aid in the form of better schools, food, health care and a solid plan to improve our economy.

Other states can follow suit, but remember, we get to do it first! ' Joyce Miller, Ashland

Self-serving donation

Why not Jackson County or Central Point Amphitheater? Lithia Motors didn't make a &

36;500,000 donation to this cause without first considering the long-term advertising benefit to them, with their name in big letters to be seen by thousands daily from I-5.

They also get a big tax write-off for this generous donation, again in their best interest. Lithia Motors is self-serving and acts in their best interest always. ' B. Cox, Central Point

Editorial disappointing

I was saddened and disappointed with your April 4 editorial regarding the Master Gardener Association, which took the most simplistic approach possible when comparing gardening to services for the elderly in terms of necessity. Hard to argue with on the surface, I agree; however, I would ask you to look a little further.

An old axiom says, Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. I would say to you, Give a man a potato and feed him for a day. Teach a man to garden and feed his family for a lifetime.

Master Gardeners teach the community how to grow food, we support the Grow an Extra Row for the Hungry program, and we donate produce from the Extension grounds to ACCESS.

We practice and teach environmental principles such as alternatives to chemical herbicides and pesticides, water conservation, preservation of wildlife habitat, protection of well water, etc. If we don't protect our environment and our earth, elderly services won't be necessary, either. ' Linda L. Holder, Ashland