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They kill inmates, don't they'

If Oregon can't pass laws allowing the lethal use of controlled substances, what do they use to kill inmates sentenced to death in Texas? If I'm in Texas, all I have to do is kill a few people to have the state help me die.

Murderers have the right to die but terminally ill patients don't? I understand it's OK to kill people as punishment, but not to end suffering. ' Travis Marshall, Ashland

Oppose ordinance change

On May 15 the Medford City Council is holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. The subject is to amend Section 10.713 of the Medford Land Development Code (MLDC) to eliminate the allowance for duplexes on 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot lots in the SFR10 zone.

I own a duplex in Medford, which is now legal and conforming. If the City Council changes this ordinance my duplex would become nonconforming and I would not be able to replace one of the units if it were destroyed!

If this amendment is implemented the City Council would not only be impacting all duplex owners financially, but they would be affecting renters by effectively reducing rental units by half. The City Council should not amend this ordinance. Renters and duplex owners should not allow the City Council to change this ordinance. ' Sean McNamee, Medford

Spam easy to defeat

Well, well, well. We've kicked Saddam's butt and SARS is getting to be old news. So the L.A. Times, with nothing to do for the moment, has pounced on the next hideous threat to our society's survival: unsolicited e-mail advertising, a k a spam.

Allow me to share a personal experience: I had 14 e-mails this morning and 10 of them were ads. Because I know who sends me e-mail (duh!), it took me less than 10 seconds to delete the junk. I didn't open any, I wasn't offended by any and it didn't cost me any money.

Now, I'm no genius, but that doesn't sound like much of a threat to me. Am I missing something? There are at least two cheap software applications available that totally block unwanted e-mail and, if you're an AOL user, you can configure your e-mail so that you only receive from those you've pre-approved. Do we need lawsuits, a congressional solution and all this media hand-wringing to take care of this? I don't think so. ' Lee Morris, Medford

True patriots

I believe true patriots support the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. True patriots support everyone's right to freedom of speech, including flag burning. If you can't support the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, perhaps YOU should move to a country that doesn't have our freedoms that I so value. ' Emory Crofoot, Talent

Only consistency is delay

I have long been interested in transportation and transportation projects, but if there were only one thing I have ever noticed that is consistent in ODOT projects and construction, that one thing would have to be delays. I can't recall a time when a major road project started on time in Southern Oregon.

For example: The ongoing viaduct project started a few days late, although a lot sooner than the already months-behind-schedule North Medford Interchange Project. Don't get me wrong, the people at ODOT have great vision but seem to lack persistence in their efforts.

To add to the already mounting problems they face with money and whatnot, it's preached that overhauls and new construction are vital to an area's capability to serve its people and those from out of the area, and yet they are letting small hurdles make them part of the problem and not so much a part of the solution. If this pattern doesn't change, I will not be looking forward to the innovative and groundbreaking South Medford interchange. ' Jesse Riley, Medford

Thanks to Peace House

I would like to personally thank the Peace House for informing the public abut depleted uranium. I think that it is sad that we have to rely on watchdog organizations to present the shocking truth while the corporate-owned mass-media plays a blind eye to the blatant truths that are unfolding all around us. The founders of our great country would be horrified.

I also find it ironic that our AWOL president lands for a couple of hours on a ship in full military gear, after the fact, to announce that the war is over. Why didn't he visit the battle site? Could it be that he didn't want to be exposed to the stray depleted uranium? Who really has all of the weapons of mass destruction in this world? ' Cherise Black, Medford

Marks shows commitment

I wish to voice my endorsement and financial support for Joel Marks, candidate for Position 6 of the Medford School District board. I admire his commitment to open public scrutiny of the budgeting process and attempts, sometimes unpopular, to discover local district excesses in areas where we may be frugally challenged. I respect his desire to give parents greater voice in determining the content, tone and venue of their children's education. I respect Joel's commitment to excellence and cooperation, and his common sense and experience. Please help me elect Joel Marks. ' Keith Williams, Medford

Time for a fresh start

We are writing to express our support of John Glaser for the Medford School Board and we encourage you to mark him on your ballot as well.

We have known John Glaser for — 1/2 years as neighbors and we know him to be someone who cares deeply about children, their future and the future of our community. John has good business sense and he will be able to make tough decisions about how we spend our limited funds.

He is ready to meet a new superintendent and bring new ideas to the table. It's time for a fresh start. ' Michael and Kristin Schwartz, Jacksonville

Vote for Glaser

As chairman of Medford School Watch, I strongly disagree with Sunday's editorial endorsing Peggy Penland for 549c School Board Position 5 over John Glaser. What does Penland, vice president of the Oregon School Boards Association and a nine-year member of 549c School Board, have to show for her years in office ' reduced classroom instruction, school closures (10 days), irresponsible and inefficient use of taxpayers' money? Why would the Mail Tribune endorse a candidate who has missed seven out of the past 21 school board meetings?

The school board needs a new member who will bring a proactive approach to school funding and a fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers who support 549c. John Glaser will be confrontational when he must and open to compromise when necessary and appropriate. Vote John Glaser for a strong voice for our children's education. ' Gary Ferguson, chairman, Medford School Watch

Vote for Joel Marks

Joel Marks will bring a wide background of governmental and civic service to the Medford schools. He will combine his experience with a common-sense, down-to-earth approach to the budgetary woes we are now facing.

Please join with me in voting for Joel for school board Position 6. Our children will benefit greatly. ' Parley Hamblin, Medford

Vote for Kuenzel, Parker

We're lucky; we have six very good candidates running for school board. I'm voting for Bob Kuenzel and Heidi Parker, and here's why.

Bob is brilliant. He is thoughtful, thorough, sees all sides of issues and always finds innovative win/win solutions to problems. Bob is an incredible communicator. He listens, he thinks, he acts.

Heidi is an advocate. She is a researcher, fact finder, hard worker and collaborative decision maker. Heidi is conscientious and never gives up. She will hear you, support you and work for you.

As a parent, teacher and community member, I know that these difficult times need responsive, efficient, compassionate leaders who will work for us. Ashland needs more than luck; Ashland needs Bob Kuenzel and Heidi Parker. ' Michele Warrence-Scgreuber, Ashland

Vote for Ely

I recommend a vote for Sharon Ely for the board of directors of Rogue Valley Transportation District.

Sharon has been a longtime bus rider, and she now relies strongly on Valley Lift to get her where she needs to go.

Sharon speaks softly but with a lot of intelligence. Part of her board skills come from having served on numerous boards and committees, including appointment by the governor to the Governor's House Care Committee; Rogue Valley Council of Governments; Disabled Services Council, vice chair; Translink Advisory Council; Special Transportation Committee of Rogue Valley Transportation District; and others.

Those of our citizens who rely on the district's services deserve a person on the board to speak from their perspective. ' William A. Mansfield, Medford

Supporting Angeletti

We would like to express our support for Ed Angeletti for Rogue River School Board. We have come to know Ed over the last year through our mutual involvement with the Rogue River School District vision and budget committees and board meeting attendance. During this time we have come to understand Ed's commitment to the entire Rogue Valley community, through both his professional work at ACCESS Inc. and his volunteer work with the Rogue River School District. We have also discovered that Ed is a man of vision, leadership, thoughtfulness, character and family. In conversation with Ed regarding his candidacy, the energy and enthusiasm he has for the challenges of the board and commitment to our children are quickly evident. With first- and sixth-graders in Evans Valley elementary and Rogue River middle schools, you know that Ed will strive for both the long- and short-term interests of our schools. Please join us in voting for Ed Angeletti for Rogue River School Board. He has the interests of our children at heart. ' Mike & Tammie Kuntz, Rogue River

Penland has 'can-do' spirit

Please consider printing my letter in support of Peggy Penland. Peggy Penland continues to be my choice for School Board Position 5 for many reasons. She is a committed and very active member of our Medford community and has been taking responsibility for helping to improve Medford by serving on a variety of committees and in a variety of organizations. Her level-headed, practical approach to problem-solving has been consistent throughout her involvement with SODA, Girl Scouts and the Medford 549c school board. Working with Peggy Penland for the past five years as a Scout leader and a Medford 549c parent, I have been impressed with her can-do spirit and her dedication to our children. Serving at the state level has increased her commitment to service and increased her ability to effectively lead on our school board. Please join me in re-electing Peggy Penland to the 549c board. Thank you. ' Hindey Moser, Medford

Vote for schools levy

I was skeptical in the early 1990s when equalization of school funding across the state came to pass. Would the Legislature uphold the commitment to education cherished by Ashlanders? Or would the community have to settle for a mediocre swat at one of the most important components of livability?

Nine years ago when the community banded together to create the Youth Activities Levy my support was conditional. Surely the Legislature would take school funding in hand so that the levy would be unnecessary in the future. Instead, year after year, during very prosperous times, parents, students and educators have trekked to Salem to remind elected officials of their duty. Should we trust that the Legislature or the voters of Oregon at large will do the right thing and support education with new revenue sources? No.

Please take a stand for quality education. Say yes to the Ashland Youth Activities Levy. ' David Beaudoin, Ashland

Skillman is a professional

Connie Skillman has proven leadership qualities. She is a professional who believes in accountability, honesty and open communication with the voters of Jackson County.

The current Rogue Valley Transportation District board, with the exception of Ed Chapman, have indicated by their actions and their disregard of policies governing public boards that they have their own agenda.

This is not a training ground. The current board either know the rules or they are not qualified to serve.

The fact that both Eva Avery and her husband Paul Avery are running for positions on the board is a definite conflict of interest. Appointing your husband to the budget committee, as Ms. Avery did, is also a conflict of interest.

We need a board that cares about public transportation issues. We need a board that will work to provide service, expand services and provide the services our citizens and taxpayers deserve. Vote for Connie Skillman. ' Maryann Duncan, Central Point

Parker is dedicated

For 14 years I have traveled parallel to Heidi Parker and our children through the halls and pathways of education in the Ashland School District.

Firsthand, I know of her commitment to our school children and their families, of her keen desire to build communication and assure all viewpoints are considered, of her thoughtful ability to ask enlightening questions and probe deeply into confusing issues, and of her dedication to serve.

Heidi Parker is my choice for Ashland School Board Position 2. Please join me. Vote for Heidi Parker. ' Tish McFadden, Ashland

Impressed by Parker

I attended a forum for Ashland School Board candidates on May — and was impressed with Heidi Parker. She is very thoughtful, open and willing to be a strong voice for the community. I believe that Heidi will work hard, seek out input on important issues and pull people together. She'll be great on the school board. ' Pauline Black, Ashland

Wright has experience

Why vote Cynthia Wright for Position 7 in the upcoming Medford 549c school board election? Because Cynthia is an insightful, innovative, creative, involved parent who has lived in this valley 20 years. She has seen and understands the challenges of teachers, children and administration while supporting her six children throughout their school years. She has served as a site council member at Oak Grove Elementary, McLoughlin Middle School and currently at South Medford High School. Having known Cynthia for the past 13 years, we know her as an individual with integrity who asks good questions! She has the excellent capacity to organize and help create effective change as well as being a good listener. She has the unique perspective of understanding special needs challenges in the school district.

Please join us in voting for Cynthia Wright to the Medford School board Position 7. ' Kelly and Kirsten Thompson, Central Point