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Letters to the editor

Somehow, I'll survive

The massive income tax increase that Kevin Mannix wants to take to the people will cost me about 8 bucks a month. Something tells me I'll survive. And Oregon will better for it.

I planned on voting against my legislators who voted against this tax increase, but what do you know? They finally showed the political will that has been missing from Salem for some time. ' Jeff Palmer, Medford

Where's the benefit?

I don't write many letters to the editor, but when I read an article recently in USA Today about homelessness in America of ordinary people who cannot pay their bills, I was outraged to think about the billions our government is pouring down an endless drain in Iraq when practically every state in the union is heavily in debt.

I wish somebody smarter than myself would explain what benefit the American people are getting from the colossal expenditure of taxpayer monies. To the folks who may be reading this, please think about it when it comes time to vote. ' Bob Stewart, Jacksonville

Power of the people

Dennis Kucinich, Democratic congressman from Ohio, observes that we are not victims of the world we see, but victims of the way we see the world. He is the only candidate for president who will take this country away from fear, war and tax giveaways and use America's peace dividend for guaranteed health care for all. He will stop the privatization of Social Security and bring the retirement age back to 65.

— As president, he will cancel NAFTA and the WTO, restoring our manufacturing jobs, saving our family farms and securing new jobs by rebuilding our cities and schools. He will repeal the USA Patriot Act to regain for all Americans the sacred right of privacy in our homes, our libraries, our schools.

Simple math predicts that when disenchanted nonvoters and disenfranchised minority voters join under-represented workers, a force more powerful than corporate coercion ' the power of the people ' can elect a leader committed to redesigning America according to our forefathers' blueprints.

The Kucinich Web site , chronicles his successful four terms in Congress where he has confronted the current administration's deceitful invasion of Iraq. The Kucinich Web site explains how he refuses to build a campaign on corporate handouts. ' Bob Morse, Ashland

Support forest initiative

Many environmentalists have picked the wrong side of the Healthy Forest Initiative issue. The devastating fire that tore through Arizona adds even more evidence that forest management must be reformed.

Due to large forest fires at the beginning of the 20th century, existing laws tolerate no fires, allowing forests to become too dense. President Bush proposed a plan that used prescribed burns and logging to decrease the density of forests. This will make fires more manageable and forests healthy.

Don't be fooled by slogans from the far left that talk about corporate greed. The president's proposal is a common-sense approach to making sure that forests are more sustainable. Today's dense forests will cause fires to burn too hot, sterilizing the land and making it infertile for future plant growth.

These overgrown tinderboxes also present a threat to both human life and property. In Arizona alone, Citizens for a Sound Economy reported that 250 homes were destroyed and taxpayers have lost &

36;2.5 million in firefighting costs this year.

It's time for environmentalists to stop their knee-jerk opposition to our president and support the Healthy Forest Initiative. ' Larry F. Baines, Medford

Once upon a time

At one time we had the Federal Power Commission (FPC) which became the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Under these agencies interstate utilities, mostly natural gas pipelines and electric power companies, were allowed to build facilities to meet anticipated demand plus spare capacity, usually about 15 percent extra. They were allowed to set rates which provided a reasonable return on investment.

Most electric utilities generated much if not all of their own power and had sufficient spare capacity to replace their largest generating unit. In addition they maintained interties with neighboring utilities for emergency and peak requirement situations.

Then along came the deregulators saying deregulation would bring about competition and lower prices. It also brought the desire for maximum profit, which means the most possible revenue with the least cost, which also means the least investment.

Guess where the spare capacity went. The results are the recent California shortages and the blackout of 2003.

Now the administration says more capacity is needed and will probably propose large corporate tax breaks to finance it. ' Harlan Moore, Medford