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Backing the district attorney

We don't have a problem with 9-1-1 tapes being released to the public. In this case however, we are concerned that the police officers involved in the fatal car accident will be tried in the media.

Because this is a high profile case, we tend to back the district attorney in withholding the tapes. Maybe it is time for the Medford Tribune to make a trip to Radio Shack for a scanner! ' Lawrence Bradburn, Shady Cove

District has settled

Medford School District 549C has settled. They've settled for a nice man whose legacy as an administrator at South Medford High School is characterized by the time spent quietly working on his doctorate.

They've settled for a nice man who avoided participating in the tough process of school/classroom improvement by withdrawing his daughter to the safe confines of his home. They've settled for a nice man.

Now the pressure will be on the School Board to demonstrate the vision and courage that their choice in superintendent lacks. ' Robin Budge, Medford

Parking rules a waste

As a small-business owner with four employees working in downtown Medford I am no longer able to remain objective or silent about parking policy and enforcement in downtown Medford.

For two years we've made a sincere effort to understand and respect the rules for parking within a reasonable proximity to our workplace ' using personal breaks every two or three hours to move a vehicle and avoid citations. Not only does this requirement do nothing to create more available spaces during the workday, it easily consumes 600-plus man-hours per year just to go move the car. That's the equivalent of one full-time employee spending nearly four months moving vehicles from one block to another!

We could pay &

36;1,400 a year for over-booked spaces on top of the parking structure located two blocks away or go to work at 6 a.m. to get an all-day space before they're occupied by construction workers or RCC folks. Otherwise, as drivers we have two choices, continue to play musical parking throughout the business day or relocate our business.

With parking policies that are almost hostile to small businesses without private lots, we will definitely be relocating when our lease is satisfied. ' Jobie Grether, Medford

One more dastardly act

Threatening the continuation of Social Security is one more dastardly act against democracy, A government of the people, for the people and by the people. Even entertaining such a move is obviously not to serve the people of this country, but only to fill the pockets of the few already wealthy, power-hungry warmongers.

How long are we going to let the hypocritical loudmouths run this country? They are using unscrupulous, undercover paid advertising for their cause. Very persuasive and obviously only too successful.

Isn't it time the people's voice is heard, the people's benefits are considered, and that we stop legal murder of thousands in other countries and, in turn, our troops? Patriotism is not blindly following the power-hungry, would-be dictators. It is speaking up and bringing about the needed changes to return this country to democracy. ' M.A. Herzog, Medford

Drop Goldberg, not Ivins

Readers who don't want any facts that might make them think have complained about the MT printing Molly Ivins and/or Russell Sadler columns. They're both excellent journalists who use real, true facts to support their positions.

If the MT needs to drop any columnist, make it Jonah Goldberg. Goldberg just offers his opinion with nothing to support it. In a recent column regarding Watergate, he rehashed old news using a Fox News analyst for support. Fox News certainly isn't a reliable, unbiased source! ' Judy Gourley, Rogue River

Let's act like it

Now that the election is over and W is our president for the next four years, do you suppose it would be too much to ask that those who are filled with such hate and discontent could ease up on him a bit?

We're getting tired of all the Bush-bashing each day in the paper. Nothing is accomplished by this negative behavior and it only serves to divide us as a nation.

The last I heard, we were still the United States of America '- let's act like it. ' Gordon DeVos, Medford

Thank the liberals

Those who believe that liberal is a dirty word and that liberals are a threat to the nation should be aware of the following progressive programs enacted by liberals, usually over the fierce resistance of Republicans who claimed that such programs were socialistic and would cost the economy millions of jobs: Social Security; unemployment insurance; the 40-hour work week, with time and one-half for overtime; Medicare and Medicaid; the minimum wage and the right to organize a union; and, among other progressive legislation, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, child labor laws and benefits for widows, orphans, and the disabled.

We all benefit from these progressive innovations and we should remember that all of them were introduced, fought for and passed mainly by liberals in Congress.

The next time you receive your Social Security check or get overtime pay or benefits by way of your union, remember the liberals who got these laws enacted. It is up to all of us the fight against the Bush administration's efforts to nullify all of them. A true conservative is not a radical reactionary like Bush. ' Stan Rivlin, Ashland

Green with envy

After the events in Ukraine and Russia over the past few months, George Bush and Karl Rove must be green with envy. Whereas the political party of the government of Ukraine poisoned their opponent, Karl Rove and his party hacks have had to settle for character assassination.

In Russia, President Putin has arbitrarily restricted civil and media rights. Bush has had to use the attacks of 9/11 and create a climate of fear to restrict the rights of Americans.

In addition, Putin has canceled the election of governors. They will now be appointed by him. Poor GW has to depend on the messy democratic system in the U.S. and has to rely on his party's ability to distort the facts and intimidate the media and elected officials.

Well, as you may recall, soon after the Supreme Court put him in the White House he was heard to say that ruling would be easier if he were a dictator. ' Bruce Evans, Ashland

Running the gantlet

I ran the gantlet of Pine Street in downtown Central Point for the last time today. As usual, I witnessed a very near miss of two vehicles trying to occupy the same space.

If I were to continue to patronize the businesses there (Papa Murphy's, Ray's Foods, Ma's, etc.), I would inevitably be involved in a collision. So downtown Central Point no longer exists for me until someone tells me it's been fixed. Perhaps restored would be best.

I've been trying to figure some reasonable justification for the street change fiasco ' maybe City Hall is preparing us for the inevitable Wal-Mart at Pine and Hamrick?

I have no idea how many others feel as I do. But I do know it sure irritates me to know my taxes go toward the salaries of the people who brought this mess to Central Point. ' Chris Dietz, Central Point

Beyond belief

I want to thank G. Putnam for writing the letter I've been trying to write since the last fixed election.

I, too, invested a great deal of personal effort in the hope of defeating Bush. It is beyond belief that so many people were gullible enough to fall for his distractions and fear tactics. How could anyone possibly think preventing gay marriage is more important than education, health care, the environment, helping the poor and needy rather than making them more so?

Bush's unwarranted invasion of Iraq has fueled terrorism and hatred of America, making us far less safe. His administration refused to heed numerous warnings about the impending attacks on the WTC and used that event as an excuse for his already planned invasion.

Over the past four years Bush has repeatedly proven his astounding incompetence, and he is already outdoing himself in this term! His manufactured Social Security crisis (like the pharmaceutical giveaway) is another attempt to further enrich his already wealthy supporters.

It is a tragedy that this immature, unintelligent, arrogant egomaniac has another term in which to continue wreaking havoc upon America and the world. I shudder to think what the next four years will bring. ' Susan Bauer, Medford

Scare tactics again

Social Security must continue as originally intended but with serious discussions on how to keep Social Security funded and active for future generations.

I do not like that the administration is again using scare tactics when it is unnecessary. If only those with incomes of a million or more a year would forego their Social Security, any future lack of funds would be solved. ' Nina Council, Ashland

Visualize a billion

There is an old saying that if you can't say something nice about someone don't say anything at all ' W wears very nice cowboy boots.

Iraq is headed toward &

36;300 billion in costs. This will continue to rise.

What is a billion? I've been told that you would need to spend &

36;1,000 a day for 2,700 years to spend just one billion dollars. Iraq's cost? Well, you do the math.

Think about the above when you buy gas, drive on a failing freeway system with bridges that are failing faster, when you see shortened school years and closing schools, Social Security checks that don't keep up with expenses and the likes of Halliburton are allowed to pillage the Treasury without penalty.

What cost Iraq? Look at page 27 of the Jan. 31 issue of Newsweek, then tell me if you think those kids will be for Bush or against him and the United States as well. One picture is worth a thousand words, or, in this case, &

36;300 billion.

George W. Bush is president. I am still trying to figure out which country he is president of. ' Wayne R. Martin, Medford

Here's a solution

After reading all the articles regarding the accident of Feb. 11, here's a solution: The blame falls only on one person, the driver who was drunk and had no license to drive.

Instead of blaming the police for doing their job, let's put the blame where it belongs, the parents of the driver. It's about time we as a society hold the parents accountable for their kid's actions until they turn 18. They must have known his driving status, and where did he get the alcohol? A final thought, let the police do their jobs and make parents be accountable for their kids until they turn 18 and move on.

God bless the Bench family and the Robustelli family, and know the truth will come out. ' Joel D. Setzer, Medford

Smacks of cronyism

President Bush doesn't like the term reform because it smacks of liberalism to him, but his attempt to overhaul Social Security smacks of cronyism to me.

Bush plans to secure his legacy by getting Congress to enact his plan for personal savings accounts. This plan could cost &

36;1 trillion or more and won't save Social Security from deficit spending in 40 years; in fact, it would add to the deficit.

But that doesn't bother Bush. He's selling his Social Security plan like he sold the war on Iraq, with the old bait and switch. He sells us on personal savings accounts when his real motive is to line the pockets of Wall Street tycoons who contributed to his campaign ' just like he sold the Iraq war using the threat of terrorism and WMDs when he really wanted bases in the Mideast and oil. Shame on you, George!

What's really needed to fix Social Security is to eliminate the &

36;90,000 cap on the wages of wealthy wage-earners so that they pay Social Security taxes on all their wages, just like you and me. ' Allen Hallmark, Ashland

Stop with the insecurity

Letter after letter to the editor trumpets the dismantling, destruction and perfect health of Social Security. C'mon folks, even the most party line Bush burners agree that there are predictable troubles down the line and the system is going to run out of money.

But the true believers — let's see, these are the same citizens who are outraged by budget-busting strategies at the state level, yet think it's fine to go blindly into the national Social Security tunnel where the bright light is the oncoming locomotive of bankruptcy. Good news is, there's no such danger with the local version. What's that called again — PERS? Yeah, that's it. ' Garth Harrington, Medford

A 5 percent of 2 percent fix

Climatologists disagree over whether computer-generated predictions of temperature increases will occur; however, if they should, mankind's contribution is only 5 percent.

Scientists agree the probable culprits are greenhouse gases, 98 percent water vapor, about which absolutely nothing can be done. The remaining 2 percent consists of carbon dioxide, methane and other gases.

Scientists also agree that 95 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions are generated solely by nature; hence, the carbon taxes under the Kyoto Treaty are necessarily directed to the 5 percent of the 2 percent of carbon dioxide which man generates.

Unfortunately, emissions from non-signatory parties (China, India, etc.) and from excluded developing countries will more than offset expensive reductions achieved under the Kyoto Treaty. Understandably, our Senate rejected the Treaty 95-0 in the 1990s.

According to the AFL-CIO and Energy Department, treaty ratification costs include a 25-cents-per-gallon increase in gasoline prices and 25 percent higher utility bills, plus the loss of — million American jobs. ' Leslie E. Kell, Medford

Restore college aid funding

I request that Sen. Gordon Smith and Rep. Greg Walden support re-funding of these two programs that President Bush's budget plans to eliminate or decrease.

First are the Perkins loans. Perkins loans assist middle-income persons with low-interest loans for college. This allows many of your constituents in Oregon to attend and graduate from college with less loan debt to repay.

Second are the pre-college education opportunity programs that are part of TRIO programs. The two TRIO programs targeted for elimination assist first-generation young people to prepare for college.

As an employee of a TRIO program that serves first-generation college students in the Rogue Valley, I have seen persons graduate from college. They tell us that our TRIO program support helped them to succeed and graduate.

Graduation time is a joyous one for me because so many persons who were on the verge of dropping out of college are walking to get their diploma. The skills and knowledge they obtained will benefit our nation ' and, for many, benefit Oregon communities.

Please get these programs re-funded so they can continue to assist Oregon residents. ' M. Clara Ammond, Ashland