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Thin, don't harvest

Old-growth forests don't burn. That's why they're old-growth forests. Duh!

An oversimplification? Perhaps. However, science supports the statement that old-growth forests and large trees are more resilient to fire than are replanted, even-age plantations. The risks of road-building and commercial logging in the name of thinning are far too great. Roads introduce erosion and recreational uses which increase fire danger. Removing the large trees, even when they are replaced with new plantings, increases brush and high-density fuels.

President Bush and Rep. Greg Walden continue to push their Healthy Forests plans. Walden's bill gives license to large-scale removal of large-diameter trees, mostly far from communities. It greatly limits public input and public oversight of what goes on in public forests. It does little to protect communities from wildfire. What is needed is fully funded fuels reduction projects around communities and public watersheds ' not massive timber harvest. ' Daniel Wise, Ashland

Dance show poorly attended

Sunday, Aug. 24, the Gus Giordano Jazz Company of Chicago held a dance workshop sponsored by Britt. One of the company dancers taught a great and inspiring class.

That evening, she danced with her company in the last program of the Britt Dance Series. They were exciting and entertaining dancers with strong technique.

— Sadly, neither the workshop or the evening performance were well attended. There were 10 in the workshop (three of which were teachers, me being one of them). The attendance at Britt, I heard, was a little over 300.

Young aspiring dancers in the valley who did not attend, missed a rare and great opportunity to take a class with a professional dancer and also missed seeing the inspiring evening of dance.

I would hate to see our already limited programs of dance be eliminated because of the low attendance.

Teachers, encourage your students to attend these workshops. Dancers, grab the opportunity and cherish it. ' Kathy Eck, Jacksonville

Put one over on us

Wow! The gasoline stations really put one over on us, didn't they? Was it just me, or did anyone else notice that there must have been some type of unspoken law between the local gas stations during this holiday weekend.

As long as we keep regular unleaded under &

36;2 per gallon, it won't look like we are price-gauging. Let's keep it at &

36;1.99 9/10 so the public thinks they are getting a deal!

It's kind of like the As Seen On TV ads. Only &

36;19.95! If the price isn't rounded up to &

36;20, it means that we are getting a great deal, right? Wrong!

Also, now that the holiday traveling is officially over and gas prices will somehow miraculously begin to drop, notice that the price will never get quite as low as it was prior to the most recent increase. They keep raising the bar so that once the price does go down, we will think, &

36;1.85 ... that's not too bad. I had to laugh when the national news was talking about the average high was around &

36;1.75 per gallon. Not in Medford! ' Carol Morejohn, Eagle Point

Check out Kucinich

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and greeting Congressman Dennis Kucinich, four-term representative from Cleveland, Ohio, and Democratic candidate for president. Representative Kucinich spoke at the Lane County Democratic chili cook-off and again at the University of Oregon to an overflow crowd.

I came away feeling more hopeful for the chance of real change and for peace and prosperity.

Representative Kucinich used words such as courage, heart, spirit, peace, caring, sustainable, sanctity of life; words that inspire hope for a better country and world. He delivered his speech with passion, honesty and true grit.

Representative Kucinich leaves no doubt that he not only has some well thought-out answers, but also has a clear knowledge of what the questions are. His 10-point program is awe-inspiring, especially so since he has the courage and foresight to carry it out.

I urge everyone to get acquainted with Representative Kucinich by using his Internet site . ' Donald W. Graham, Talent