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Intersection is deadly

This past summer a fatal accident prompted many people to call for a solution to the problem intersection at Highway 140 and Kershaw Road.

In response, ODOT came up with the idea that Kershaw intersected the highway at an angle, and that was the problem so they slapped down some pavement parallel to Kershaw and re-paved a short stretch of Highway 140. In doing so they removed the flashing red and yellow lights and paved over the lane marking lines, then left it that way for the past several weeks.

This morning there was another accident at the same intersection, and earlier this week a fatal accident on Foothill. The amount of traffic using Foothill to Corey to Kershaw is too much for a stop sign crossing a major highway. Early darkness and fog make that intersection even more dangerous this time of year.

My wife travels that road daily, as do I and many other people, and we want something done now. I'm sure it's physically possible to have a traffic light installed and operating by the end of this month, but is it bureaucratically possible, or does someone else have to die? ' Frank Vetter, Eagle Point

Highway workers super

I want to say thank you to all our highway, city and private construction workers.

Wow, I know how hard dealing with the drivers on our roads and highways can be. I know because I drive a school bus.

— Not only do you all deal with the motoring public, but also all of our buses, not an easy task! I do believe one could be a saint and still have problems with this task. A special thanks to our guys working in the Phoenix-Talent area, you are all doing a super job! I so appreciate all the smiles and waves, so to one and all, thank you! ' Diana Whitmire, Laidlaw Transit Inc., Medford

Dusty road unhealthy

I live on the only unpaved road in the city of Central Point, Laurel Street. I have heard talk about the city planning to pave it. I have lived there for two years now, and nothing has happened.

It might not be so bad if people went the speed limit that is posted for a school zone. We have traffic exceed the speed limit and it is just a small narrow road. I have made calls to the city with no response.

I wish police officers would help control this. I am tempted to put a sprinkler on my lawn that will purposely hit the road, to keep dust down.

Dust rolls into our home and our neighbors' home. Our vehicles, driveways and homes are constantly covered with thick dust. You inhale dust in your vehicle because it is everywhere. Our vent in our home needs changing about once a month. This can be a serious problem for those of us that live on this street. We have to breathe this.

I would like to know what can be done, and who we can approach on this matter. I see money being poured into downtown to improve things. This is a city street. They need to do something about it! ' Susie White, Central Point

Citizen involvement squashed

As a person who has been active with the Sams Valley Citizens Advisory Committee since its inception, I'd like to commend the county Planning Department for the job that it does to involve Sams Valley citizens in land-use issues affecting our Sams Valley community.

I fear that any proposed new system for citizen involvement is doomed as long as county commissioners are disrespectful of the process and citizens most affected by particular land use decisions.

Case in point: County Files, LRP2003-00008 and SUB2003-00073, rezoning and subdivision of land in Sams Valley, recently concluded. The application involved untold hours of county paid staff time and reams of local citizen testimony, finally concluding with county Planning Commission denial of the application. (Commendable job by all that participated.)

The applicant appealed the Planning Commission decision to the county commissioners. Commissioners Walker and Smith voted to overturn the recommendation of the Planning Commission and all the affected citizens that participated in the process. Commissioner Smith, I'm told, upon conclusion of the public hearing, even prevailed to personally insult the Sams Valley citizens in attendance that had participated in the process.

Where is the future in that? ' David Kizer, Sams Valley

Thanks to Dunn House donors

October is a month dedicated to victims of domestic violence. A committee of community members helped women in need and their families recently by sponsoring Diamonds and Spurs, a line dance fund-raiser for women in need held on Saturday, Oct. — at the Ashland Elks Club. Thanks to all those who donated their time, money, resources and energy so tirelessly.

For the past four years, the Ashland branch of the American Association of University Women as well as local community members have donated everything from personal care products to washing machines to Christmas gift cards to victims of domestic abuse. The women who benefit from this generosity are usually graduates of the 28-day emergency shelter program at Dunn House; they are struggling with self-esteem issues as well as the practical problems of how to buy pots and pans and diapers. ' Suzanne and Jack Witucki, Ashland

Better representation needed

Regarding the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission appointment: It is imperative that we appoint a person with the understanding of Southern Oregon's fishing and hunting issues. For a long time now our representation has been that of an elite fly-fisherman and extreme environmentalist.

Decisions have been made and passed with no regard to ODFW recommendations. The commission has actually gone against biological data.

With timber and agriculture on the wane in Southern Oregon, we need to look carefully at what will bolster our economy. With the current fishing restrictions (bait ban) on the upper and lower Rogue River and Umpqua, we have lost millions of dollars in the Southern Oregon communities ' fishing licenses, hotels, restaurants, guides, gas, etc.

We need an appointment of someone like a Brian Brush or John Anhorn to fully address the needs of the economy. Also, to listen to our state biologists. Why are we paying them if their advice is not used?

If you care about fairness, please take a moment to e-mail or write Gov. Kulongoski and your senators. ' Roger King, Eagle Point

Democracy near collapse

Why would we want someone on the Supreme Court who has absolutely no experience as a judge in any U.S. court? Why would a Supreme Court justice only need political qualifications?

These justices make decisions to which there is no appeal available. If experience counts for so much in almost any honest hiring process that one can imagine for an executive level position, then why does a Supreme Court justice not need any?

If Harriet Miers is, as Bush claims, the most qualified person for this position in the entire country, then our democracy is on the verge of imminent collapse. ' Seldom, Gold Hill

Tax and trade follies

With Bush tax cuts that he wants to be made permanent, these cuts mostly benefit the rich. The result has been to force the middle class to bear a greater share of the cost of government, to weaken their support for programs and stir resentment toward those who depend on them, like the poor. Medicaid beneficiaries are paying more out-of-pocket medical expenses than before.

In 2004, 37 million Americans lived in poverty. Americans consume about &

36;700 billion a year more than we produce and we have to borrow to finance this trade deficit.

Most other nations depend directly or indirectly on export to us. Three billion new workers from China, India and former Soviet bloc countries will enter the global economy, which will put further downward pressure on wages for Americans. Our exports to China increased only modestly recently.

Our retailers depend on China. Our hi-tech companies transfer hi-tech knowledge to China. We depend on China to finance our debts.

Critics of the Central American Free Trade Agreement point to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which depopulated the Mexican countryside, moving them into the cities and sending a wave of illegal migration north and increased our trade deficit. ' Arthur Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

Charges were insufficient

A Sept. 24 Mail Tribune news article described how a mother and her two sons were involved in a single vehicle accident injuring herself and her sons. The mother was cited for driving while intoxicated; she was released on her own recognizance. The accident severely injured her son; he suffered a broken leg, and a few days later he underwent major surgery to repair a multiple broken hip.

At the onset, charging the drunken mother with felony child endangerment and/or assault charges did not figure in this case. Simply put, it is not mandatory to charge the mother with anything other than what she was found to be at the scene of the accident.

In this situation, I feel we need a harsher law, for example: The mother in the above-described case should have received mandatory felony charges, applying specifically to the first-time offender. It would require a high bail, no own recognizance release, stiffer penalties if convicted, and lastly, Child Protective Services should determine whether the intoxicated parent who injured his or her kid actually deserves to have that kid ' I doubt he wants to be crippled for life. ' Reuben Ingraham, Butte Falls

Miers nomination shocking

What is most shocking about the nomination of Harriet Miers isn't the fact that people from both sides of the political spectrum are opposed to her nomination. It is that President Bush would even nominate her at all.

Miers' qualifications are not enough to be appointed to the Supreme Court. She has never been a judge or weighed in on significant constitutional issues.

Another concern is the sheer cronyism of Miers' nomination. The fact that Bush would appoint a close personal friend to the Supreme Court over other qualified candidates is insane.

We the people have a right to know the facts about Miers. I urge everyone to take a good hard look at her background and ask yourself: Is Miers qualified?

The answer is clear to me. She is not! ' David English, Medford