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Power of the people

Regarding the big flap over Wal-Mart, pro and con: The Big Box tried to locate in my home town (Greenfield, Mass.) many years ago. The local merchants (and citizenry) decided they didn't want them in their town.

As result of their efforts and an article in Time magazine Wal-Mart gave up and located their Big Box down the highway about 30 miles south. Power of the people and the press! ' Herb Greuling, Medford

Little wonder

The Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Ariz. that committed the hit-and-run incident is a true-life example of do as I say not as I do.

They wear robes, go through an impressive ceremony complete with sermon. When it comes to facing up to a personal problem or a distasteful problem such as priests who molest, they duck the issue and play dumb. No surprise the Catholic church is losing membership ' little wonder. ' Don Basey, Eagle Point

Workers pay the price

Oregon's trying to balance the budget unfairly on the backs of one group; to date, only state employees have shouldered the burden for Oregon's financial recovery, and they've shown remarkable endurance in the face of tremendous sacrifices imposed on them alone.

— Recent cutbacks in work hours and agency funding mean there's less time and money to do the work. The governor's freeze on hiring means fewer workers to share the load, and the proposed wage freeze means workers will not even get cost-of-living increases. The Legislature passed reforms taking away legally contracted retirement benefits.

If and when tax increases are implemented on the general public, these will also affect state workers; as property owners, workers, and consumers, state employees will be additionally adversely impacted by any increases in property, income and/or sales taxes.

State employees are high-caliber people working with pride and dedication, but Oregon is showing itself to be an ungrateful and vindictive master ' willing to increase workloads, reduce resources and break its own promises. Oregon's tactics of envy- inspired scapegoating won't attract the best-educated and most creative minds to state service; the quality of your future state servants will be determined by how they are treated today. Vote wisely. ' K. Miller, Medford

No ifs, ands or butts

You know what gripes me? Well, one thing is people who throw their lit cigarette butts out the car window. That happened today when the driver of a cute maroon Corvette threw her butt (pun intended) out the driver's side window.

Doesn't she know it's dirty and rude besides being dangerous and against the law? ' Sandy Sherman, Medford

Not a spectator sport

The invasion of Iraq has been the news for weeks and it now appears it was based on a pretext. Let's be direct. The administration lied to us. The weapons of mass destruction are not to be found and we even staged a rescue.

The lies are more pervasive than the invasion: education ' Bush said leave no child behind, and he is doing everything he can to kill public education; environment ' big business and profit come first, so Bush kills programs, backs out of treaties and has the cabinet member resign in frustration; the economy ' job losses are the most since the Great Depression and Bush and friends are trying to kill overtime for the American worker in the name of family flexibility.

What is Bush's remedy? It's a huge tax cut for the top — percent. It's OK to have a Hummer deduction rather than a child tax credit!

Bush, Cheney and DeLay have a plan: Give it all to the wealthy and corporations and kill programs for the rest of us. Some of you will never see the obvious. For the rest of you, get involved. Don't give up our country to the elite class. Democracy is not a spectator sport! ' David E. Asche, Medford