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Three petitionsMembers of Jacksonville Citizens League will arrive soon on that city's doorsteps offering three petitions which directly affect the livability of our town. We urgently request your attention to the proposals which, if allowed to proceed, will seriously affect us all. These petitions address:

1. Population growth rate &

8212; We support the Planning Commission's recommendation for a lower 20-year population allocation from Jackson County which includes the areas designated JK1 and JK10 in the city's current UGB proposal.

2. Jacksonville proposed government complex &

8212; The city has been focusing on the Britt Steps for over six years but no formal public hearing has been held. A new site is necessary; however, a thorough investigation of our options is requested before any further investment is made in this project.

3. Timber Mountain/Johns Peak &

8212; BLM has designated this area as an off-highway vehicle play park, threatening to draw thousands of users country-wide. There is little chance that, once the BLM finishes the TM/JP Plan and EIS, this designation will be withdrawn, so our petition is of the highest urgency. We thank you for your past support and hope that you will participate again in our efforts to allow your voice to be heard. &

8212; Mollie Davies, Jacksonville

It's the Stars and Stripes This letter is to address the letter on July 11 from Isaac Walker of Ashland.

Last time I checked, the flag that is being flown at Premier West is an American flag. That would be the flag with 13 stripes and 50 stars. How does that become a corporate flag?

If the post office in Ashland flies an American flag, or a retirement center, or a government building flies the same flag as Premier West, what does that make their flag? Corporate? I don't think so.

How about if I owned a business, and flew a flag just because I am an American &

8212; is it a corporate flag? It is an American flag.

So how do they differ? I would like to have Mr. Walker answer that. Why don't the people in Ashland, the community that is so holy, so well-diversified, worry about the homeless, the flags that fly advertising, the Shakespeare Festival, the odd ones that wander around their town, their friends that can't poop in the park, and leave the American flag alone. Don't you have better things to do with your time?

P.S.: Leave the Hummer alone as well. &

8212; Mary Tenner, Medford

Bike riding rewardsI'm a retired teacher who commuted to work on my bicycle for 40 years, with words of encouragement to potential Rogue Valley bike commuters: Do it! One reward will be pecuniary; I saved over $12,000 in car-driving costs. Other rewards were less tangible: they included enjoying abundant health, facing my students each day with my blood and energy raised to a robust pitch, and savoring the beauty of our planet at its best time, dawn.

I rode (still ride!) a bike that is more SUV than lean road-racer: Heavy, but skinny tires, luggage racks, panniers (one containing a spare tire, tube, rain gear, and tools, the other carrying my change of clothes for work), a light and a tire pump always on board. I left home early enough to allow time for a tire-change. Unlike some SUVs, it burns no fossil fuel and is powered by a 1&


8222;8-horsepower engine that is silent except when it talks to itself, hums tunes or recites poetry.

I've been safe: American drivers may be the most naturally competent and careful on earth. My one accident was entirely my fault. Do wear a helmet; I've ruined three in falls that could have ruined my head. &

8212; Dave Harvey, Talent

A mouthpiece for greedSo what if Ted Kulongoski is a mouthpiece for employee unions? Unions defend the rights of middle-American workers.

Ron Saxton, on the other hand, is the mouthpiece for corporate greed. Privatization schemes like the ones he proposes never save taxpayers any money, they just funnel more cash into the pockets of wealthy CEOs.

Be wary of flag-waving, finger-pointing tax-dodgers like Saxton. If he has his way, we'll all be working for nonunion wages at Wal-Mart. &

8212; Mack Lewis, Central Point