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It would take courage

Why don't the people who call themselves pro-life stand outside Oregon gun stores holding up 24-by-36 color photos of some of the 31,000 Americans killed by firearms last year? I guess it would take more courage than harassing and threatening women and girls. ' James P. Snyder, Central Point

Thanks to stranger

Thank you! Thank you to the nameless man I encountered at Rite Aid! Your generosity has helped me and my family immensely. Words cannot express my gratitude.

I may not know your name, but I'll never forget your face. God bless you and your family. ' K. Lloyd, Medford

Amusing to watch

It is amusing to watch hard-headed social conservatives like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh suddenly discover the importance of due process. They are no longer sneering at lawyers and technicalities; these guys could be the chairmen of their local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union.

I will always remember Marshall Woodell, a SOC (now SOU) political science professor, lecturing to us in a government class that one should not support due process because one is altruistic. You support it because, while you can guarantee that you'll never commit a crime, you can't guarantee that one day you won't be accused of one.

Our founders were not altruistic guys; they knew they could be (some were) wrong-headed, but they wanted some hard-headed guarantees that they would at least have a chance when they faced a judge or a jury of their peers.

— Fortunately for O'Reilly and Limbaugh, the founders did not pretend that they were holier than their opponents; rather they observed their own shortcomings and crafted a document that provides guarantees for justice regardless of whether accusations are made against a good or bad person. ' John J. Harmon, Medford

Don't close Ruch

Ruch Elementary School is the hub of the Applegate Valley. If it is closed, no one with children will move to the area ' the area will die.

Three of our grandchildren have attended Ruch Elementary. They have been educated to the highest standards there. It would be a tragedy to close the school. ' Joyce Poston, Central Point

Picture was striking

The picture of the maple leaf on the chair was striking. Jim Craven must see things that are there for all of us to see, only we don't look. I hope I learn to do better. ' Nora Henry, Medford

Kids deserve more

I attended public schools in Louisiana and Kentucky during the '70s and '80s. At the time these states' schools consistently rated very low.

I know exactly what it's like to be educated in schools without art, music, or any other extra-curricular activities. I know what it's like to share outdated textbooks and to cross teachers' picket lines.

I know what it's like to see middle-class families pull their children out of public schools. I know what it's like to be left behind. I grew up in an educational world of haves and have-nots.

As my children enter the public schools in Oregon, I must say I feel a bit betrayed. Years ago when I heard people complain about Oregon schools, I listened in amazement as they complained about these wonderful schools. We were so privileged to have them. Now, with every budget cut, I painfully watch as they slip into the same fate as the schools that I grew up in.

Don't let this happen! Do what you can to help our schools. Donate time, equipment or money. Vote for increased funding. Stop the migration of money and brain power out of our public schools.

Our children deserve more. ' Becky Johnson, Central PointElection letters

Wright distorting positions

Jim Wright is distorting the positions and legislative record of his Democratic opponent, Dr. Alan Bates, both in statements and mailings. Is this because Mr. Wright does not understand Dr. Bates' positions and record, which is a reflection on his judgment, or does understand, which is a reflection on his character? ' F. Hieber, Medford

Doty will serve well

I had the great experience of working with John Doty at Crossroads School for a year in 1998.

I have known him for over 15 years, and I can attest to his honor, his intelligence and his commitment to children and education. We all know that there is a crisis in education in Oregon, and I can think of no one more qualified to work with others to find a solution to the problem.

Though I have moved out of the district to teach in Josephine County, I feel that those of you who have the privilege of being able to vote for John have a clear and good choice when you vote. John knows this region well, and loves it ' he will serve you well in Salem. ' James Earley, Grants Pass

Keep Sal here

Sal Esquivel is concerned about one person and one person only: Sal Esquivel.

I watched him talk down to an elderly lady at a City Council meeting who was pleading to the City Council for consideration against the Manor's move to close a trailer park and force her out. Sheer arrogance.

His goal is to develop Jackson County from border to border and to heck with our quality of life. More development means more profits for his real estate business. Keep Sal where he belongs ' in his office in Medford. ' D. Watson, Medford

Smith, Wright for integrity

Two men who have great integrity, insight and will represent the people in the Rogue Valley! Both are strong on education and fiscal responsibility and are willing to make the right changes in their respective positions.

Please join my wife, B.J., and me in supporting and voting for C.W. Smith for Jackson County commissioner and Jim Wright for the Oregon Senate. ' Bob Reed, Medford

Vote no on 15-56

In regards to Joy Reich's letter on Oct. 17, White City will not have lights on all the streets, just Antelope, Avenue G and 62. So the kids walking to school in the dark will still be in the dark.

All it will do is help the business on those streets, and they already have lights in front of them. It will raise our taxes and not benefit the people that live on all the other streets. So please read up on all the facts, and vote no on Measure 15-56. ' Mary Nutter, White City

Vote for Lofaso

State government is not in business to make a profit, but make no mistake, it is head over heels in business, many businesses.

Its investors are the taxpayers and its clients, every citizen. So it makes sense to put on the board of directors ' the state Legislature ' Joanna Lofaso, whose special area of business for 23 years has been client relationships. That means planning business and services so that both client and business prosper.

Oregon is a conglomerate business providing education, health care, police protection, recreation, construction and business development services. Joanna Lofaso has good ideas for getting Oregon out of the rut of constant budget crises, program cuts and tax hikes. She has ideas for bringing wood products producers together with environmentalists and other forest users.

Joanna Lofaso has a record of success that proves she understands that no business prospers without good accounting and happy clients. ' Nancy McAllister, Medford

Vote yes on 37

President Bush wants less regulations, freedom of choices and individual liberties. The Bill of Rights, Amendment 5: nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Join Oregon Family Farms Association, Oregonians in Action, Oregon Cattlemen's Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Oregon State Granges, Oregon senators, representatives and county commissioners, many county farm bureaus and the Oregon Observer in supporting our constitutional rights again with the Son of Seven, Measure 37.

Please vote yes on 37, keeping our Constitution valid. ' Lyle Woodcock, Grants Pass

Is the AARP crazy?

I was disgusted to see AARP came out against Measure 35.

I suspect most AARP participants are on Medicare. Medicare currently pays medical providers in Oregon at the 49th level out of our 50 states. Iowa is lucky No. 50. In addition, Medicare is planning a further 20 percent reduction in fees over the next four years.

How can we possibly attract doctors to take care of Medicare patients with such poor reimbursement and incredibly high malpractice premiums? Please give obstetricians and family doctors a break and vote yes on 35. ' Ronald G. Worland, M.D., Medford

Supporting Densmore

As a longtime public servant in Gold Hill, it has been my privilege to work closely with Sue Densmore on many civic projects. I am constantly amazed by her energy and commitment to the people of Gold Hill.

Sue brings tremendous knowledge of how to get things done, as well as a well-established network of public and private entities and individuals. I know from experience that Sue's word is good as gold, and when she sets out to accomplish something, she will not rest until it has been done.

Our small community has benefited greatly from Sue's commitment to public service, and that is why I strongly support her for Jackson County commissioner. From my years of involvement with Sue, I trust her judgment, her integrity and her vision. I believe that these traits will benefit all the people of Jackson County when Sue Densmore is elected county commissioner. ' Robert Lowe, Gold Hill

Vote no on 36

I am the very proud father of a 21-year-old daughter who was raised by two women who have been in a loving, committed same-sex relationship for 25 years now.

My daughter was raised on Christian values in a loving home and brought up to be a responsible, respectful person. She excelled in academics, graduating a year early from high school, and participated in various sports throughout her school years. She is now happily married and she and her husband, who are both serving in the U.S. Army, are being deployed to Iraq ' she for the second time in less than a year.

From my first-hand experience, I can tell you without a doubt that Measure 36 will hurt real Oregon families, such as the one that my daughter grew up in, in very real ways. Please help those families by voting no on Measure 36! ' David Vig?, Grants Pass

Nothing to stop me

I have been wondering what to do with my property once Measure 37 passes. The restrictions in the proposition are no selling pornography, no performing nude dancing (looks like it's OK if they keep their pants on), and nuisances. The last one is vaguely defined, but most often relates to animals.

So, no porno shops, no dancing nudes and no kennels. Leaves the door wide open for a race track. Maybe some condominiums. A topless bar.

Maybe all three. People buy condos next to race tracks, and they need entertainment.

Then again, I have some expertise in radiochemicals (specifically nerve gas). Maybe I will start a chemical research plant. As zoning laws will be a thing of the past, and all the researchers wear pants, there's nothing to stop me (unless someone sells a Playboy magazine in the lobby ). ' Matthew Morey, Shady Cove

Yes on Measure 37

Thirty-one years ago we purchased 23.4 acres, zoned RR-5, outside of Ashland. We had three small children and thought maybe one would like to build a house on the old homestead and take care of the folks as they got up in years.

The time came when one of the children wanted to build. We called the county to get the partitioning process started.

Lo and behold we found out that our property had been rezoned back in the 1980s from RR-5 to OSR. Nothing was sent to us to let us know our investment had been taken from us.

We are still paying taxes on RR-5. Fair? We don't think so.

All we want is to use our property as it was originally proposed. Please vote yes on Measure 37. ' Willis and Lizbeth Lee, Ashland

Vote no on 37

Some of us who oppose Measure 37 call it the higher taxes, red tape and chads initiative. Higher taxes or reduced services to pay claims, &

36;344 million a year to administer it, and chads in the courts from all the lawsuits.

One major unfair thing about 37 is that only a small percentage of Oregon's population qualify. The rest just pay those who qualify not to ruin the existing quality of life, or let them ruin it.

Who's going to compensate the homeowner whose property value disappears when a waste treatment plant shows up next door? Lawsuits will be everywhere.

This measure is discrimination waiting to happen. One longtime homeowner in a residential area is allowed to open an adult bookstore, but the recent property owner is not. More lawsuits.

Please don't allow one poorly written initiative to make Oregon unfit to live in. No on 37. ' Steve Williams, Williams

Look at who pays

Take a look at all the wants in the Voters' Pamphlet. Then please look at who pays for them.

I don't understand why the property owners have to have their taxes raised to pay for the wants of whomever.

I'm a property owner, 74 years of age, on a very limited income, and I can't pay for all of Medford's frills. When I was raised, if you couldn't pay for it, you did without. There's no credit card for property owners.

There has to be another way. Children passing out measures. They don't work or pay property taxes, so I can't expect them to understand where the seniors, who have worked all their lives for a home, are coming from. ' Jean Albertson, Medford

The president's visit

The terrorists won

George Bush is fond of proclaiming that freedom is on the march! Not so in Jackson County.

In Jackson County we recently witnessed something very different from freedom. At the president's rally in Central Point three women were ejected and threatened with arrest if they attempted to return.

Their crime? They were wearing T-shirts that said Protect Our Civil Liberties. Ironic, don't you think? In Jacksonville that evening law enforcement (?) roughed up citizens who were exercising their First Amendment rights. A participant reported that the feds were telling them to get off the sidewalk while local cops were insisting that they stay off the street.

Was this incompetence by the authorities or a sadistic display of police power? While Bush supporters may feel smug about these events, the sad truth is that when one group of citizens are denied their constitutional rights we all lose. On Oct. 14, in Jackson County, the terrorists won. ' Lance Westland, Medford

There to make trouble

It's interesting that the interviewed residents of Jacksonville only criticized law enforcement who were just doing their job, and not the protesters who were obviously there to make trouble. ' Judy Beals, Gold Hill

A sad day

It is a sad day in America when it is seen as a sign of protest against our president to wear a T-shirt asking him to protect our civil liberties. It is telling that he cannot stand to have someone at his speech that believes in protecting our constitutional rights.

Remember that four years ago George Bush took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution. Was his oath of office nothing but a lie?

How are we to spread freedom to the world if we do not protect our liberty at home?

I am a conservative that voted Republican in 2000. This year I will be voting for the only candidate who truly believes in our cherished rights. John Kerry will be a great president. ' Mat Marr, Ashland

Not a pretty picture

What happened to respect and decency? It certainly didn't show Thursday night in Jacksonville. All the protesters needed was Jane Fonda and John Kerry leading them and a retard burning the American flag, you would have '60s and '70s all over again. Just a rerun of the pothead radical hippies. Been there, seen that, and it isn't a pretty picture. ' D.J. Lehn, Medford

Not fast enough

Thursday evening my daughter and three young children gathered on the sidewalk in Jacksonville to participate in the excitement of the president visiting our town. When the police asked everyone to move yet another block away they, along with the crowd, moved as directed. Apparently not fast enough, as they were soon choking and gagging on pepper spray.

It was an enlightening demonstration for them on freedom and the right of assembly. Did I spend 25 years in the Navy, through three wars, to have my grandchildren gassed in their town? ' Lundi Moore, Applegate

Get over it

OK, I have read all the comments. Let's be clear, here. John Kerry is not the sitting president and does not rate the same security level as the sitting president does.

If he is elected, the same security people will be doing the same job for him they now do for President Bush. I know, I used to do presidential security periodically, and it didn't matter what party the president was.

I don't recall the last time a presidential candidate was assassinated in the United States, but four presidents have been. I'd rather not have another. Not even Kerry (should he be elected).

Some eyewitnesses report the police gave warning in Jacksonville, while past experience tells me that not all who complain were present. They are just chronic complainers.

I was at the rally; I don't remember any 'loyalty oath,' but again, security needs to be tighter for one who is, than for the wannabe. Get over it. ' Jonathan Edwards, Central Point

No signature required

I attended the President Bush rally in Central Point. No one was required to sign an oath of loyalty in order to get a ticket.

Anyone was welcome to attend; the only request was that only those who support the president ask for tickets. People who lied and said they supported the president in order to attend so they could stage a protest, shouldn't complain when they were asked to leave.

I was thrilled to see the president in person. I was not interested in seeing protesters whose aim is to get their pictures in the papers.

' Sarah Lamp, Medford

Flabbergasted

I'm flabbergasted by your mild criticism of the gassing of Jacksonville's citizenry just before the president's two-block ride from the Inn to the suite where he stayed.

Tell me, why is it exactly the street had to be cleared in a matter of minutes? The president couldn't have lingered over his decaf long enough for the police to have asked the crowd to move without the employment of chemical agents?

Mr. Bush's need to get to his rooms immediately was sufficient justification for pepper-gassing 300 people, including the elderly, children and babies? What's the equation here?

My three children were sick for 24 hours with severe headaches and nausea courtesy of Jacksonville's own Police Chief Towe. And other Jacksonville children were home sick the next day with the same unpleasant symptoms. I resent beyond words that the rush to cater to Mr. Bush was so important that my children had to be poisoned to induce them to hustle away from the vicinity of the president's bomb-proof limo.

This incident shouldn't just be evaluated; Chief Towe should be asked to resign for gassing the citizens of his own community. Thank you so much, Chief Towe, for your courtesy. ' Kelly Moore, Jacksonville

Editorial less than fair

In a recent editorial, you laid the blame for the removal of several quiet protesters squarely on the president. Your editorial, while claiming to be written without bias, focused solely on one incident.

I agree, first, that they had every right to be there. I also remember that when getting tickets all you were asked is if you support the president.

My dad couldn't care less about either candidate, and I have no idea who he might vote for, but he went just to support President Bush. Obviously the ones removed first had to deceive to get a ticket.

Secondly, you ignore some obvious attempts by Democrats not only to intimidate but to attack those who disagree. Just today I see several reports of early voter intimidation as well as outright attacks on Republican offices and conservative speakers, yet you don't hold John Kerry accountable for their actions.

Michael Moore goes from campus to campus charging &

36;40,000-&

36;60,000 of kids' hard-earned tuition money and when someone asks him a tough question, he just points at them and says, Is that a gun in your coat? to get them removed. I see free speech is alive and well in the Democratic Party. ' Dennis Deck, Central Point

Speech on its deathbed

A heartfelt thank you to the three Medford women who attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights by expressing their support for the Bill of Rights on their T-shirts during the president's recent visit to Jackson County.

Free speech is indeed on its deathbed when the President of the United States must be protected from seeing T-shirts asking him to uphold the Constitution by protecting all of our civil rights.

Another champion for freedom who deserves thanks is the brave young man who put his body between the riot cops and the elderly gentleman the riot cops had just pushed to the ground during the president's visit to Jacksonville. While the older man struggled to regain his feet, the police repeatedly shot the young man who was shielding him in the back with cayenne balls. Is this really what we have come to in Jackson County?

A million thanks to those who continue to stand up for peace and freedom here at home. ' George Sexton, Ashland

Respect for T-shirt wearer

Candice Julian, a special education teacher in the Medford School District, was recently forcibly escorted out of President Bush's campaign rally because she wore a T-shirt stating, Protect Our Civil Liberties.

I know Candice Julian and work alongside her. I have tremendous respect for her personally and professionally. I respect her because she is extremely competent, thorough and professional in all she does. I respect her because she is calm, hardworking, organized and knowledgeable. Finally, I also respect her right to quietly express her beliefs in our Constitution at a campaign rally for her president. ' Jane Street, Ashland

It was an honor

On Oct. 13, Sen. John Edwards came to Medford. He spent the night in our town and spoke the next day at a Democratic rally. I neither heard of nor read any reports of Republican or anti-Kerry/Edwards protests.

Police did not need to use force to keep unruly protesters under control. I know this because, news like that would have made the front page of the Mail Tribune.

In contrast, on Oct. 14, when President George W. Bush came to our valley, Democratic and/or anti-Bush/Cheney protesters in Jacksonville acted shamefully!

I'm sure hosting President and Mrs. Bush was an honor for the business owners and citizens of Jacksonville whether they support the president or just respect the office of the president ' regardless of party affiliation. The out-of-control protesters only succeeded in dishonoring Southern Oregon and making our local law enforcement officers' job more difficult.

It was an honor to be able to take my children to see President Bush. It was a privilege to be among the thousands of his supporters. I am proud that the people who want to see the president re-elected did not act in a shameful manner when John Edwards (or for that matter, John Kerry) came to town! ' Alison Davis, Medford

They want no peace

I am amazed how often those who say they desire peace, and protest against our current president, are involved in violent demonstrations. I am not simply referring to the latest appalling demonstrators and their performance in Jacksonville, but in almost every place where our president travels. How can those who say they love peace engage in confrontation and conflict with those whose job it is to keep the peace in our neighborhoods and towns? It seems that they share the same philosophy and conduct of the candidate they support; say one thing, yet do another. 'Dusty Brian, Medford