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Only in the Tribune

Only in the Tribune would the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners take top billing over the beheading of an American citizen. Your affiliation with the Ashland Tidings is clouding your judgment and the liberal bias never ceases to amaze me. Luckily we can get the important news elsewhere. ' Debby Leavens, Medford

Deafened by revulsion

Is it just me or am I the only one deafened by the worldwide outpouring of revulsion over the beheading of the American contractor held hostage in Iraq?

Which would you rather be, a little discomfited or humiliated like the Iraqi prisoners, or minus your head? Seems like a silly question doesn't it? By the way, I don't condone the treatment of the Iraqi prisoners. ' Mel Beaty, Medford

Disappointed in Tribune

Hats off to Mary Lewis of Medford. Her disappointment in the Mail Tribune is much like my own. This was on a par with all the mornings I look at the front page and see a dead fish, cougar, deer or whatever else the Mail Tribune wants to disgust us with. ' Jack E. Shaffer, Medford

Morality is inherent

In reply to Mr. Southern (May 3), he is quite right; this country was originally populated by 98-plus percent Protestant Christians. These Quakers, Puritans, Presbyterians, Huguenots, etc., had all fled religious persecution from governments that tried to force a state-sanctioned (mostly Protestant) Christian religion down their throats.

(Incidentally, Christianity is a prime example of Monotheism, which he inadvertently, but perhaps truthfully, describes as usually brutal and repressive.)

— Hence, our strict separation of church and state. Our precious freedoms derive from constitutionally mandated respect for the individual ' not biblical principles. As for morality, it is inherent and no amount of religious dogma is guaranteed to bring it forth. Sometimes just the opposite.

Good men will do good, but it takes religion (or an authoritarian government) for good men to do evil. ' Clifford I. Lee, Jacksonville

Rejoice for wolves' return

In Oregon looks at what to do about wolves (May 9), the answer depends on one's perspective.

I'm a lawyer and biologist and have lived in rural areas with livestock for nearly 12 years. I'm also a member of the Wolf Advisory Committee.

If asked what to do about wolves in Oregon, my answer would be rejoice! because a native species so important for ecosystem balance is returning. Because a species listed as endangered under state law and threatened under federal law is returning on its own, without associated reintroduction costs.

Because ungulate herds will be made healthier by a predator that culls the vulnerable and prevents herds from congregating and spreading illnesses such as chronic wasting disease. Because the trickle-down effect of having wolves back will benefit many other species including riparian plants, songbirds, beaver and even fish. And because any feared conflicts between wolves and livestock producers or sportsmen can be resolved when people of goodwill sit down together to exchange perspectives and develop solutions.

So rejoice ' and participate. Attend this week's meeting to hear the committee's deliberations, use reliable sources to learn about wolves and submit your comments on the draft plan when it's released this fall. ' Amaroq Weiss, Western director, species conservation, Defenders of Wildlife, Ashland

Voting for Uherbelau

I have known Judy Uherbelau for many years. I have been impressed with her work in the Legislature before she had to retire due to term limits. I have listened to her speak on the issues, talked to her in her office in Salem, and listened to what other people say who have worked with her.

Her opponent is a nice person and I also know him and have heard him talk about the issues. For a lot of reasons, but especially Judy's experience, it is clear to me that Judy is the best person to represent House District 5.

If you care about education, safe communities, commitment to jobs in Oregon, health care and want someone who understands the budget and has worked with the budget, please join me in voting for Judy Uherbelau. ' Judy Richards, Talent

Buckley has the skills

Let's face it: The Oregon State Legislature is a dysfunctional mess. We need to elect officials that not only have the best ideas but the ability to inspire their colleagues to work toward a better solution for Oregon.

I believe Peter Buckley has the passion, commitment and the skills needed to do the job. Please vote for a positive change in Salem: Peter Buckley for House District 5. ' Russ Silbiger, Ashland

Supporting Wright

After Sen. Hannon resigned his Senate District — seat I was pleased to hear that Jim Wright was a candidate. I have long admired Jim's contributions to the area in his many business and community roles.

My admiration and respect for him has grown as his candidacy has taken form and I enthusiastically support him in his run for the Oregon State Senate District — seat. ' Robert C. Luther, M.D., Medford

All things connect

We've seen a steady attack by the Bush administration against the environment. Long-standing environmental protection laws are being eroded. It's all being done in the name of greed and profit.

What's more important than protecting the environment? This planet sustains our lives. An unhealthy planet creates unhealthy people. How anyone can argue that destruction of wilderness, elimination and poisoning of natural resources and turning a blind eye to endangered species is good for humans is just unaware, uneducated and self-centered.

Chief Seattle is given credit for this quote: Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

Think about that when you're casting your vote for our president in November and when making choices that go against protection of our planet and our future. ' Gen Putnam, Medford

We need a change

When a Jackson County Commissioner tries to negotiate her own agenda privately while calling it the county's position, we need a change in leadership. In the monument case and in the timber salvage issue, the newspapers reported that other agencies were told that we, Jackson County, supported a plan which was really only a personal scheme of one commissioner.

We can do better.

I support Sue Densmore for the Board of Commissioners because she believes in open government for all of us. Sue is a leader who will serve us all by discussing all sides of our issues. She talks to people about their ideas, not just about hers.

Open leadership means voting for Sue Densmore. Sue Densmore means ability and accountability. ' Frederick F. Wright, Talent

Densmore can win

Sue Densmore has a better chance of winning the general election for county commissioner than does Sue Kupillas.

Kupillas has alienated Democrats by supporting Gordon Smith. She has alienated voters of both parties by using her office to serve narrow special interests to the detriment of the county. Kupillas has also been caught not being straight with the public, claiming (for example) to support clean air while working behind the scenes to degrade air quality standards.

Densmore, on the other hand, has a breadth of experience and proven track record of improving our local communities. She was a driving force in improving Medford's downtown and in bringing curbside recycling to the county.

Densmore is honest, intelligent, hard working, community-minded and gets things done. These are qualities that will continue to earn her a broad base of nonpartisan support. ' Gretchen R. Oosterhout, Eagle Point

Kupillas is no friend of fish

The Rogue River and its fishery are extremely important to the economy and quality of life in Jackson County, yet Sue Kupillas has used her position as a Jackson County Commissioner to promote projects that are harmful to the fishery. She continues to lobby for the construction of Elk Creek Dam, even though it would flood critical spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead, degrade water quality in the Rogue River, and is a waste of scarce tax dollars. She has twice voted against the removal of Savage Rapids Dam, the biggest fish killer on the Rogue River, even though the dam's owner had agreed to remove the dam and replace it with pumps.

With Sue Densmore running against Kupillas in the primary, the public has an opportunity to choose a very well-qualified, community-oriented candidate who recognizes the value of the Rogue River and its fishery to the citizens of Jackson County. ' Bob Hunter, Medford

Emperor has no clues

George Bush was warned that bin Laden intended to attack the United States, yet Bush did nothing. Now we are in Bush's war with Iraq that diverts attention and resources from finding and killing terrorists, and may well increase terrorism against the United States, yet, incredibly, some people call Bush the anti-terrorism president.

If Bush is the anti-terrorism president, then he is also the balanced-budget president, the environmental president, and the foreign-relations president. Of course, he is none of those things, but he may possibly be the worst president in the past 50 years.

This election will be one of the most heated in modern history because some of those who voted for Bush last time have now closed their eyes to what is going on and are living in denial. I wish they would open their eyes, face the truth, and realize the obvious ' the emperor has no clues. ' Darryl Edington, Eagle Point

Keep Kupillas in office

I feel fortunate that Sue Kupillas is willing to serve the people of our community for another four years.

Do I agree with every decision she has made? No. That's the danger of making decisions in government ' someone is bound to be unhappy. We live in an area of polar opposites. In order to move forward and stop the arguments, we must all give a little and compromise. Sure she could sit back, avoid the tough issues and the criticism that comes with it. But that is not what it takes to achieve results.

Sue Kupillas has an unwavering commitment to our community, the depth of knowledge only years of experience can bring, and an extraordinary ability to find a common ground. Sue Kupillas works for Jackson County. I urge you to keep such a valuable asset to our community in office one more term. ' Christy

Brown, Medford

Bring Uherbelau back

Judy Uherbelau has the experience we need in Salem. She served many years before retiring due to term limits.

Among some of Judy's strengths was her ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats. She was always available to all of her constituents and she spent a lot of time really studying the issues so she could be knowledgeable about them. She supports education, understands the budgeting process and believes in safe, strong communities.

Now is the time to bring Judy Uherbelau back to the Oregon Legislature. ' Tera Richards, Talent

Voting for Buckley

Peter Buckley's candidacy has given many of us hope in the future again: hope that we can turn things around.

By keeping his promise from two years ago to help rejuvenate the Democratic Party in Jackson County, he has proven he is a man of integrity and leadership. He articulates our vision of Oregon and then engages our support and participation in government. Please join me in voting for Peter Buckley for state representative. ' Estelle Womack, Ashland