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Letters to the editor

Chained to a desk too long

Liberation! My husband is quitting his job. We are becoming beggars.

We had no idea how lucrative this occupation could be and we even fit the criteria, imperfect childhoods and all that. After reading Sunday's article, Affluent Beggars, we realized we have been chained to desks far too long.

Now, do we use a tin cup or what? ' Margaret Bradburn, Shady Cove

Beggars' family values striking

The article about the affluent beggars was most revealing. I was struck by their family values. It appears they have eschewed drugs, they have a successful business, they don't believe in abortion, they are both stay-at-home parents, they benefit from government services (health care, public school, food stamps, etc.), and they don't believe in paying taxes. If they attended an evangelical church, and donated bags of beggared cash to politicians, they would be perfect Republicans. ' Damon Neal, Medford

Spend it on troopers

Just for the sake of conversation, here is a thought for Rep. Dennis Richardson. Instead of spending &

36;4 million for a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 5, so we can visit the chickens and goats at the county fair next summer, why don't we spend that &

36;4 million on getting some OSP troopers out on I-5, saving lives and enforcing the out of control truckers and speeders? ' Ted Krempa, Medford

Pristine doesn't mean pretty

C.J. Weisenfarth's argument (letters, Jan. 3) implies pristine should apply to a place that is pretty, comfortable, well-lit and safe. In fact, pristine means uncorrupted or unchanged from the original, as is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

— This area achieved its wildlife refuge status because it was isolated, a last place for Arctic wildlife and, at that time, pretty useless to man.

We hold this place for nature as long as it is convenient is a creed future generations will cry about. Somewhere, somehow we must provide sanctuaries for the earth's other inhabitants. ' Myrl Bishop, Ashland

Bridge work is a mess

Our roads are generally in good shape and ODOT does a good job keeping them up. I have been back East, and roads there are chewed up. However, ODOT is making a mess of the Interstate 5 bridge reconstruction project.

Between Medford and Eugene they have 10 or more bridges half done. The Azalea project hasn't been touched in a month.

Now ODOT just started two more just south of Roseburg. These projects appear to go on with a work force of only five or six. ODOT needs to finish one or two bridges and only then start another one.

Also, ODOT is building two multi-million dollar bridges in Roseburg and Eugene only to tear them down in a year or two. With the state budget so tight the public needs to keep an eye on how ODOT is using our money. ' John Horning, Grants Pass

Get involved with growth

Over the past few months, there have been numerous letters here complaining about urban growth. Go back where you came from, not in my backyard, sprawl versus growth, economy versus quality of life.

The grumbles have been many, and the Tribune responded with a four-part series on change. But, one thing's been left out ' taking responsibility for what happens in our valley.

Pay attention to the issues, the proposed changes, the existing zoning and land-use laws. Find out which community managers are approving what changes. The information is there if you look for it. Check out the legals, section 816 of the classifieds. There's almost always a notice of a proposed zoning change somewhere.

Attend the Jackson County, Medford, or any city planning commission meeting and listen to the issues, even if they're not in your backyard! Study the files, determine the players, submit comments, read the decisions. Learn. Participate.

Become a part of the community instead of griping about what others are doing or calling a neighbor a name. We don't need more divisiveness!

Certainly Katrina has taught us all that we should be working together toward the type of future the Rogue Valley deserves? ' Sandy Shaffer, Little Applegate