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Check Josephine County

City attorney Ron Doyle should check just across the border in Josephine County instead of nationwide for his barking dog code. Out here, 15 minutes is acceptable; after that the county can be notified and action initiated. ' Warner Bradley, Grants Pass

Missing the Nielsons

Larry Nielson's letter printed Sept. 5 reminded me of the numerous contributions that he and Diane made while they lived here, although they are too modest to mention them.

Diane worked tirelessly teaching adults to read and gathering clothing, blankets and other items for those less fortunate. She and Larry were foster parents to many children who had nowhere to live.

Larry was a Scoutmaster for years, helping young men with Eagle projects, 50-mile hikes, Scout camp and merit badges. Their list of contributions is impressive and lengthy.

Their own children are successful, and I'm sure Larry and Diane have every reason to be proud of them as well. We are a better community because of them and we miss them. ' Ken Lindbloom, Medford

Common decency with dogs

This is in response to Terry Donaldson's letter to the Mail Tribune concerning dog barking:

Dog barking is like cigarette smoke. The smoke from a cigarette does not stay in the smoking section of a restaurant; therefore smokers are no longer allowed to smoke in public places. Likewise, a dog's barking does not stay in the dog owner's back yard. Use common decency when you are a dog owner. ' Jeff Gerber, Medford

Plan for growth

NOWx2 is a local government planning effort to decide where twice the present population will go in Jackson County. We cannot keep this valley livable and beautiful with twice as many people as we have right now ' but what can we do to limit sprawl, congestion, dirty air, water shortages, noise, crowding and increased regulation?

The next local meeting of Alternative to Growth Oregon is at 7 p.m. Monday at the Ashland Library. ' Connie Battaile, Ashland

Shame on Oregon

As a 25-year Oregonian, Christian parent, former teacher, and PERS retiree earning less that 50 percent of her salary, I am sad to see citizens in Oregon so influenced by negative, selfish, mean-spirited talk show hosts that dominate radio today. I sincerely believe their poisonous rhetoric, appealing to the worst in people, is largely responsible for the sheep mentality of listeners accepting whatever they hear without question.

I can remember when Oregonians cared about the less fortunate and wanted to help. I promise I'm not a crazed liberal. I agree that many budget cuts were needed. But when does it end? Our schools and our social services are hurting. Our quality of life in Oregon is in jeopardy!

I honestly believe the latest petition drive is another example of what's gone wrong in Oregon. Less than &

36;100 a year to save social programs and keep schools open all year? Too much to ask? Shame on Oregon. ' J. Thacker, Ashland

Support ski expansion

It's time to speak up and support improvements for our Mount Ashland ski area. Those opposing this crucial expansion have expressed every possible objection, from watershed protection to financing concerns ' even bashing the elitist sport of skiing. While a strong vocal minority has expressed its concerns, the overwhelming majority of local residents that mobilized to buy this ski area over 10 years ago support an expansion.

The management of this wonderful facility has done a superb job protecting the natural setting and providing affordable winter recreation for all. More than 2,500 local students participated in Mount Ashland's youth winter sports programs last year, and residents of Northern California and Southern Oregon are getting ready for another terrific winter on the mountain.

Every one of the opposition's concerns has been heard and addressed. Mount Ashland is not some ever-expanding Vail or Aspen, but rather a small local ski area, run responsibly by respected local residents.

Its terrain and facilities have remained essentially unchanged for 40 years. This community-owned asset desperately needs to grow with the valley's population.

Supporters must speak out by Sept. 23. Write or e-mail the Forest Service supporting Alternative 2. The Forest Service e-mail is:

comments-pacificnorthwest-rogueriver-ashland@fs.fed.us ' Steve Pierce, Ashland

Another failure

I believe when our selected president (George W. Bush) took over the White House in 2001, he said he would run the government as a business. After checking into his business ventures it makes me wonder what might happen.

We'll start with Midland, Texas. In 1975, set up a shell company, put that on hold to run in a congressional election in 1978. He lost, so went back to the shell company on hold, lost more than &

36;2 million of other people's money. He then founded Arbusto Oil Co.; a number of investors put in &

36;47 million, the return was about 20 cents on the dollar. Arbusto was near collapse in 1984. Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought it and even with Jr.'s poor record, they made him president.

A short time after the Spectrum purchase, they were in trouble, so now Harken Energy Corp. buys them. This transaction gave Bush Jr. many shares of Harken stock and he was named to the board of directors making &

36;80,000 or more per year.

It seems he had a number of business failures. The Supreme Court made the decision that he should be president and CEO of the USA. Let's all hope this isn't another one of his failures. '

Mildred Furlatte, Rogue River

Thanks, but no thanks

Thank you to the Oregon DMV for their prompt service on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 3. I had to wait only 15 minutes after the person directly before me. I thank them for the new, easier-to-complete forms that had me putting my driver's license number in three different places and my complete name and address information in two places per form.

I thank them for their mail-in registration that still doesn't offer the license plates I want on my car. I thank them for their security procedures that don't allow me to help my parents out by registering their car, even with proper identification that I am their son. I thank them for their compassion; they turned me away though I was only two minutes past the deadline for a written driver's examination.

And most of all, I thank them for their warmhearted customer service representatives, who made me feel like a moron for asking a couple of simple questions. I will be returning soon to experience more of their wonderful hospitality. ' Stephen Snider, Medford

Disrespectful corporation

I am writing in response to the recent Wal-Mart articles. I have been following our local controversy about the impending superstores planned for our Rogue Valley, and am saddened but not surprised to find similar situations in California.

What struck me, and what prompted me to write, is the obvious lack of respect and trust Wal-Mart displays in local communities and public processes. Not only does the mega-corporation ignore the city ordinance that bans this type of development, but does not even try to obtain permits through the normal planning process. As if that weren't arrogant enough, the initiative that Wal-Mart proposes in Inglewood, Calif. would bypass public hearings and environmental impact studies. What nerve!

As an active and concerned community member, I pose these questions: Does Wal-Mart have any interest in integrating into a community, or just conquering it? Is it good business to manipulate and coerce one's way into people's lives? Shouldn't such a powerful company set a better example for others?

Wal-Mart has become another example of the oppressive foot of power. Please don't get caught under the dirty boot of this disrespectful corporation! ' Erin Raber, Jacksonville

Favoring Wal-Mart

This is to advise that we are strongly in favor of the proposed new Wal-Mart store in our area. We cannot be so hindsighted as to the development of a business that is going to bring in revenue and employment to the area. The facts about wages published in the local paper are not quite correct. Wal-Mart offers much the same as many other businesses in regards to wages and everybody does not make minimum wage.

I was on a city council and we had opposition to development in the area and succeeded in getting the measure passed with much difficulty, but in the long run the community benefited from a sizable amount of tax revenue.

On the other hand, I am a senior and have a fixed income and must go where my dollars can get the best buy. Secondly, transportation is a problem and the closer a store the better for all of us seniors.

To sum up, anything that creates employment, tax revenue and easy access, we are strongly in favor of. Let's not bury our heads in the sand and learn to grow with the times and prosper from it. ' John and Doreen Peacock, Central Point

We need the truth

Lies, confusion and fear are the hallmarks of the current administration. First they lie about almost everything, often even when the truth may be in their best interest. Next they intentionally confuse by branding those folks who were and are against war as unpatriotic. They further confuse by labeling those who support better schools, roads, essential services and health care for all citizens as liberals.

Even though individually the most conservative of them uses existing services lavishly, they just don't want to help pay for them. Finally, without dissension, we are instructed to subject ourselves to a color chart of fear. Fear orchestrated by one John Ashcroft. I ask, what happened to all we have to fear is fear itself. This served us well.

We need a government that tells its citizens the truth, is clear, precise and fair, and provides the nation with the best protection it can muster. Short of ruling by fear. Elected, members of government should set aside personal interests and individual political beliefs and strive to serve the best interests of all its people, the poor and the sick as well as the rich, and persons of all political parties, all colors, and both sexes. What happened Mr. Bush, where did you go wrong? ' Ron Hunts, Medford

Lowry fails reason

After reading the commentary on weepy politicians (Sept. 5), I was surprised at how Rich Lowry seems to have failed reason. Creating a false dichotomy between traditional political values and weeping is just that: false. There is absolutely no warrant given as to why a politician (woman or man) showing emotions cannot still have self restraint and reason. Using his own example of Clinton, it is obvious this prodigiously weepy politician certainly managed to answer the call of duty when it came to, say, the economy.

What especially irked me was the blatantly sexist nature of the column, toting traditional masculine values as those that rule the country best, and feminine values as morally lax. Throughout the column, it felt that Lowry was addressing politicians as only male, a gross under representation of an entire gender. Remind me again why valuing traditional manliness is key to a good political system? Perhaps disregard for the feminine is what convinced him to write this inaccurate and unfair article.

There is no battle between reason and sentiment, responsibility and compassion, duty and the ability to shed a tear. Such opposite values are compliments to each other; all necessary in our leaders. ' Ailee Slater, Ashland

Thanks for grant

Jackson County Human Resources showed its support for the youth of our community by giving a grant to Magdalene Home. This home is for homeless pregnant and/or parenting teens in our community. This nonprofit home has offered a safe, loving home to over 20 girls and their babies in its first two years.

The money received will help provide for a head housemother at the home, which offers 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week adult supervision for the girls. The girls learn life skills and are required to attend school. The purpose of Magdalene Home is to offer the girls hope and a chance to break the chains of poverty and abuse. ' Connie Moyer, Medford

Gauge the impact

I just thought I would put my two cents' worth in on the Wal-Mart issue. Naumes Inc. has every right to lease their property to whomever they please, but when it comes to the impact on their neighbors, they also have the responsibility to make sure that everyone is in accord on the issue.

When this kind of thing happens, I believe the only solution is to require an environmental impact study to make sure that the surrounding area and properties can withstand the increased traffic, etc. and that this study should be paid for by the property owners involved. They are going to profit the most. The small property owners are sure not.

Why was this not required by the cities involved when the permits were requested? I know from personal experience from living on Poplar Drive how important this is. The interchange is very much going to affect my life as a property owner with all the increased traffic on my street and I know I sure did not get any say in that project.

I know that if there is a committee to stop the above Wal-Mart projects, I want to be involved. ' Diane Dixon, Medford

No tears for corporations

Regarding Rich Lowry's commentary, Memo to candidates: Hold the Kleenex, please, printed in the Sept. 5 Mail Tribune: Fair enough, Rich Lowry, slackness and nonjudgmentalism have no place in the government. But as we demand high standards of our citizens, must we remain weepy-eyed concerning the rights of our corporations?

This compassion-based politics you speak of rears its ugly head in the GOP policies in the form of corporate welfare, as we turn a blind eye to the escapades of Enron, Halliburton, First Energy and others. They, with the help of deregulation, use the invisible hand of the market to coax us into submission, while they empty our pockets in the name of freedom and liberty.

So, if we espouse a moral responsibility as the foundation of our society, we must demand the same of our corporations that we do of our citizens. That is, integrity, honesty and social responsibility. ' Aaron Heller, Talent

A revealing window

The frequent attacks in your paper on Molly Ivins by a small knot of right-wing ideologues are often hilarious, if one can appreciate a virtuoso display of ignorance, indifference to fact, rabid partisanship and clumsy writing.

But these ridiculous assaults on one of journalism's brightest lights have more than amusement value. They open a revealing window into the fog-bound minds of far-right zealots, minds long ago colonized by hate radio. The get-Molly cell takes its marching orders from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Fox News ' polluters of the airways, day and night, with radical Republican propaganda.

Of course Molly would be their enemy. She's sharp, she's fearless, she's a brilliant and witty writer. She peels away the layers of lies the Bush gang try to hide behind, exposing their criminal agenda not just in their war against innocent Iraqis but against their own countrymen.

And of course she hasn't got much good to say about mindless flag-wavers, about I've-got-mine,-screw-you types, about gun-lovers, and about anti-taxers ' about all those fine folks who make a sorry mediocrity like Bush possible. Instead, she works for a humane and just society. Why wouldn't she make the right enemies? ' Isaac Walker, Ashland