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Volunteer force needed

I have just finished reading the horrible story of a little 15-year-old girl that was brutally raped on the Greenway bike path. Being a dad of three beautiful daughters, it really got my attention. It seems like the Medford Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department do not have the finances or manpower to take care of the problem.

My proposition, including myself, is to generate a volunteer force to patrol the bike path a few hours a week. We would become acquainted with the homeless and let them know we are there to watch over them, as well as those who walk and ride the path. We would make it known that attacks on anyone will not be tolerated.

My name is Elzie Charlton. I am 65 years old and still have some zeal left in me. I'm sure there are other citizens who would agree to work together to make our community a safer place for all. I'm sure we will find many supportive citizens to volunteer. ' Elzie Charlton, Medford

This is conservative?

So this is what's called a Conservative Republican Congress?

What they are referring to as a budget is nothing more than another gigantic giveaway to their corporate contributors and making permanent the earlier tax cuts for the rich. These are being paid for by cutting Medicaid and aid to education and leaving the &

36;400 billion balance for our children and grandchildren to pay.

This is conservative? Give me a Democratic tax and spend administration any day. At least they try to pay for what they vote for. ' Jim Sullivan, Medford

End all traps in Denman

While it is wonderful that conibear traps, the kind that took Ruby's life, are going to be outlawed in the Denman Wildlife Area, I hope that the story of another dog will prompt people to have a change of heart about using so-called humane traps instead (Ruby's legacy: A pet's death leads state to reconsider trapping regulations in open area, March 13).

Cindy was a dog whose feet were caught in so-called humane padded traps. When she was found, Cindy was chewing off one of her paws in a desperate attempt to escape. Sadly, she was later euthanized due to the severity of her injuries.

The truth is there is no such thing as a humane leghold trap. Millions of animals each year, including dogs and cats, are caught in cruel traps that clamp down on their legs, often breaking their bones. Some die of blood loss, while others succumb to infection or starve or freeze to death. Animals often suffer for days before the trapper arrives to crush their chests or beat or stomp them to death.

Ruby's true legacy should be an end to all fur traps in the Denman Wildlife Area. ' Jenna Facciuto, Gold Hill

Proud to be a Tornado

As a student government representative at North Medford High School, I was strongly compelled to write a response to Karen Beadle's recent letter to the editor regarding the atmosphere at my school.

I am a senior at North, and I love it. The fact that anyone would even insinuate that North promotes institutional racism deeply offends me and makes me very sad. Students' education and acceptance are paramount at this school.

In rebuttal to Miss Beadle's letter I would like to first point out that the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at North is sponsored by the school's Latin Tradition club. Had Karen or anyone else wished to form a similar club to celebrate Black History Month, the administration would have been more than receptive.

Additionally, student safety and tolerance of diversity are high priorities among students and staff at North High. In fact, a recent school-wide survey reflected very few student concerns about safety on campus.

At North, as Martin Luther King Jr. once dreamed for all Americans, everyone is judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. ' Kelsey Stefanson, North Medford High student government

Better things to do

Why is Congress investigating a privately run business (Major League Baseball) about a practice (steroid use) that does not hurt the public or the environment?

Aren't there a few more important issues, like homeland security, the economy, health care and education?

Are they going to fix baseball the way they've mismanaged just about everything else we've entrusted them to run?

Here is what Congress should do: Figure out a way to tax steroids. Then (based on the way Congress typically operates) it can pass laws allowing us to all buy steroids.

Except those imported from Canada, of course. I'm sure these politicians can find ways to waste this additional tax revenue ' probably on buildings they've named after themselves.

Knowing their work is done, our elected representatives and senators can then retire and become lobbyists for the steroid industry. At that point they will start telling us that steroids are safe, after all. ' M. Conens, Medford

Have they no shame?

The Washington Post printed the following on Tuesday, March 15: The Bush administration, rejecting an opinion from the Government Accountability Office, said it is legal for federal agencies to feed TV stations prepackaged news stories that do not disclose the government's role in producing them.

No more can there be a presumption of honesty in this administration. These are the same people who won't allow photographs of the coffins of returning service personnel. And the same people who are pushing a change in Social Security to the benefit of Wall Street. And the same people pushing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge originally protected by President Eisenhower.

As Judge Welch said to Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s witch hunt, Have you no shame? So can I say to this administration, an administration intent on returning the United States of America to a world of poverty of mind, of body and of natural resources, Have you no shame? ' Sidney E. Goldberg, Ashland

Stop the bleeding

Vickie Aldous' comprehensive article on March 17, Ashland Fiber Network considers debt options, indicates there are no solutions.

Kudos to Russ Silbiger for his well-reasoned observations. Also Mayor Morrison and Finance Director Lee Tuneberg's concerns.

Let's stop the bleeding. Take it to the public, let them decide whether to continue with this ill-conceived venture ' they're paying for it. Cut the losses, take your lumps and use the effected savings for affordable housing. ' Al Willstatter, Ashland

An important service

The Mail Tribune has performed an important service by publishing extensive Sunshine Week articles and editorials concerning public access to government records.

Most important, you've demonstrated that open records laws are not just for journalists. They allow any citizen to find out what his or her government is doing on a whole range of important civil and criminal issues.

Of course, these laws also permit reporters, as surrogates for the public, to dig out vital facts and hold government accountable. We all should be grateful for that, although recent studies have found that a shockingly high percentage of people do not understand nor appreciate our press freedom guarantees and think journalists should have to get government approval of news articles before publication.

These people, in particular, need to read your Sunshine Week coverage. ' Jim Risser, Ashland

Rededication was thrilling

How thrilling to me it was to participate in the recent rededication of the Ashland First Congregational United Church of Christ.

The 1926 building in the Historic District was completely refurbished in 10 months by builder Brad Roupp, who added his metalwork artistry among myriad skills from design to finish. The vision of hope was kept alive by Becky Martin, who encourages generosity of members and friends of the church.

I always enjoy an ecumenical service, as did the overflow crowd. The marvelous acoustics did justice to outstanding music and dance performances to praise the spirit within us all.

And then there was Richard III at OSF ' a grand performance on the nature of evil. Thank you, Libby. Nothing like a good balance on a visit to Southern Oregon. ' Jeanene O'Brien, Auburn, Calif.

Proud of my country

A number of mistakes were made in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. This being said, no one can truthfully argue that the events occurring as a result of the war are anything short of spectacular. Many of us voted against John Kerry because we felt he had no program or plan to fight terrorism. President Bush did.

Because of bold action taken by the United States, other countries are now accepting democracy for the first time. Afghanistan held open elections; Iraq also held open elections with a 58 percent turnout in spite of death threats if they voted.

Libya agreed to stop its attempt to acquire atomic weapons; Egypt and Saudi Arabia seem willing to have open elections, with women allowed to vote for the first time; and Syria is being forced to remove its army of occupation from Lebanon.

The United States, with little help from its European and Russian allies, has started this trend toward freedom. It's far too soon to declare victory, or even to know if the movement will succeed in helping millions of people have better lives and make the world safer.

I am extremely proud of my country for trying. ' Gene Rushing, Medford

Playing musical cars

As an employee at the Central Library, I couldn't agree with Jobie Grether's letter more. We do have a beautiful new library that I am pleased to work in.

Initially, I thought that staff parking would be provided by MURA. We have about 60 employees; many, like myself, are part-time. We, too, play musical cars each day.

The cost of renting a space isn't affordable, and more importantly, as the previous writer indicated , spaces aren't available. In October 2004, RCC Riverside Campus had an enrollment of 4,936 students.

Given the high crime rate in that area, I don't feel safe walking any distance to a car, especially under the overpass when I work until 7 p.m.

The MT recently reported that Medford Senior Center is collecting pennies for more parking spaces for the seniors visiting the center. Should we be competing with them too?

Incidentally, MURA provides free parking for the two gentlemen who addressed our parking concerns in March 2003 when we were still at the Carnegie Library. ' Wyllajo Martin, Medford

Goldberg is insufferable

Because I detest Jonah Goldberg and everything he believes and stands for so thoroughly, I debated if I should send this or not. Since his arrogance is surpassed by his stupidity, three things need to be said:

1. Killing feral cats doesn't solve the problem. There's an endless supply from irresponsible owners and idiots who dump cats.

2. Not everyone is a good shot. Cats will suffer horribly at the hands of trigger-happy cat-haters and bird-lovers obsessed with getting rid of cats.

3. Goldberg's statistics are a crock. Cats, big and little, are able to catch prey only 20 percent of the time.

I do trap/neuter/release with ferals, like a lot a people in this area, and we care for these cats. If they're ill or hurt we see that they get the attention they need, humanely. Goldberg is insufferable. ' Jean Strong, Medford