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Cut muscle, not fat

The role of government is to protect citizens from force or fraud. Military, court and police functions are all that government should provide.

Health care, education and retirement belong 100 percent to the private sector, not the government.

It is not government fat that should be cut, but government muscle. ' Robert K Stock,Medford

Demand money back

Local headline, April 15, Medford school budget hinges on state actions. Will Medford's 549c need to slash &

36;5.4 million from next year's budget? Wake up Wise(ly) men and women!

Do you 549c gurus care? March into the Medford City Council. Demand the council members give back the &

36;15 million that they stole from all of us to put in ODOT's pockets to build their ridiculous south interchange, jeopardizing Hoover and Jefferson school children. ' Don Thomson, Medford

Vote yes for children

My children and all the children of Ashland benefit from the Youth Activities Levy.

From string music classes at their elementary school to foreign language classes and team sports at Ashland Middle School to academic and sports clubs at Ashland High School, my children's lives have been enriched in ways that I could not have provided myself.

The Ashland Youth Activities Levy provides healthy adult supervised activities of all kinds for our youth to participate in, helping to keep Ashland's children healthy and safe, and healthy children make for healthy communities.

Our school budget has suffered enough. The AYAL helps Ashland schools provide extracurricular classes and activities that could not happen without the funding of the levy.

The voters of Ashland have built a tradition of supporting our community's children. Let's keep that tradition alive. Please join me in voting yes for our children. ' Kim Rooklyn, Ashland

Supporting motocross track

I am writing to support Jim Byrne's efforts with his motocross track in the Applegate Valley.

He seems like a gentleman, one who is producing a venue for family fun and adventure. Unfortunately, he has a retired lawyer from California as a neighbor.

Perhaps the peace and quiet his neighbor is looking for is in a residential neighborhood rather than his spread in the country. Thanks, Jim, for using your land in a way that benefits so many and annoys so few. ' Brian Bolstad, Talent

Recommending Marks

I strongly recommend that voters of the Medford School District elect Joel Marks to the school board.

I have known Joel Marks for some time now. I have a pretty good idea where Joel stands on education for our children.

From discussions with him, I am impressed with his views on education and effective government. While Joel is a great supporter of quality education, he also believes in getting the most out of our education buck.

With his past experience on another school board and in local government, Joel certainly knows the right questions to ask the school bureaucracy. Joel Marks is easy to talk to ' he expresses himself well ' but he is also a no-nonsense kind of guy. I believe most people will appreciate his warm candor.

Joel Marks. We need people like him on our school board. ' Jerry Barnes, Medford

AuCoin was right

Retired BLM manager Pat Clason took issue with Les AuCoin's March 2 column that states lumber prices are so low, the Rough and Ready mill probably could not stay open even if it had logs.

According to the January 5 Oregonian, Canadian mills increased production in 2002 to capture more of the U.S. wood market and the administration slapped them with hefty tariffs. It backfired! The large Canadian mills cranked up even higher and prices fell to a 10-year low.

According to the Oregonian, U.S. producers estimate the tariffs have cost them hundreds of millions of dollars ... they have cut jobs and closed mills.

Clason also takes issue with the lawsuit filed to keep 30,000 acre-feet of water in the Klamath Basin that is now diverted to Bear Creek. The legal action was taken after 33,000 spawning salmon died in the lower Klamath River.

Mr. Clason says losing this water will ruin the agricultural industry in the Rogue Valley. Look around! Our valley seems to grow houses better than crops, and the depressed pear market, due to imported fruit, is forcing thousands of acres out of production. It now sits fallow, waiting for houses. ' John MacDiarmid, Central Point

Bridge for sale, cheap

I see that Salem is frantically trying to raise old taxes or create new ones in order to solve our fiscal problems. If anyone believes that more taxes will solve anything, I have a big orange bridge I will sell them cheap.

We need to provide more jobs and to cut spending. The environmentalists, with ample help from government, have destroyed the timber industry and now are working on the commercial fishermen, farmers and ranchers. Also, PERS is totally out of control. As long as judges belong to PERS I suspect very few meaningful changes will be made.

Oregonians, what is happening to our beautiful state? ' Cliff Smith, Eagle Point