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Commissioners must approveOnce again the county commissioners have given themselves a benefit &

8212; expected contributions &

8212; and intentionally inflicted harm on the disabled, the elderly and especially those with little or no means! I reference Charter's new TV lineup.

The commissioners must approve of the conditions before Charter can operate in the county. Because the commissioners are charged with the welfare of the people &

8212; all of them &

8212; they et. al. are guilty of the above. &

8212; Charles D. Tisler, Central Point

Appalled by resort plansMy family and I live out by Table Rocks and are happy to live in ranch country among wildlife areas such as TouVelle Park as well as the fantastic Table Rocks, to mention a few. These are areas filled with rare environmental treasures not found in other areas of the country. They are very fragile and easily destroyed by human greed and carelessness. We are appalled by the plans of rich men and corporations who plan on building resorts out here!

What can we country folks do to prevent this area from turning into another congested concrete jungle? We are desperate to stop it.

Please advise &

8212; soon. &

8212; Cheryl Young, Central Point

No to YOYO policiesIt seems that Harry & David is changing its pension and health-care packages to look better to Wall Street when it goes public. Is this a good idea for the employees? No, it's not.

This raises a larger question. After the Great Depression our economic policy goal was that we as a society tap our collective potential and fully employ our resources like people and provide people with protections with public insurance against undesirable market outcome (unemployment and rising poverty rates). It's called the "we're-in-this-together" economy (WITT).

Now some would like us to have a "you're-on-your-own" (YOYO) economy. Shifting the risk from government and firms to individuals and loss of policies like pension coverage, minimum wages, health care and overtime rules as a safety net that smooths some of the rough edges of the economy. Most people would do better under the WITT economics policies than the YOYO economics policies.

If you think Congress is going to do anything, think again. In 1947-1948 the Republican-led "Do-nothing Congress" met for 254 days. The number of days this Republican-led Congress is scheduled to meet: 241 days. How do you feel about our future now? &

8212; Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

Stop Opp Mine threatThe proposed mining of the Opp Mine property just outside of Jacksonville poses an egregious threat to our county's most historical treasure. I cannot conceive of our county government approving such a venture. The mining of this land would benefit a few people and cause great detriment to thousands of people for many years to come. The serious detriments include air, noise and water pollution, compromised respiratory health, destruction of wildlife habitat, and long-lasting negative impact on various sectors of the local economy.

I urge citizens throughout Jackson County to take action against the Opp Mine project by contacting the Jackson County Planning Commission. Opposition to this project needs to be immediate and unified.

We must remain vigilant in protecting the tranquil and healthful quality of life in this valley for present and future generations. &

8212; Cheryl von Tress, Jacksonville

No regrets for HiroshimaThere goes that peacenik segment of Ashlanders again. The last time I wrote it was because of the flag burning a few years ago, with the cops standing by and not stopping it. Now the Presbyterian and Methodist churches sanctioned a vigil for the poor 250,000 Japanese who died at Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

Let us not forget that they attacked us first, killing about 3,000 of our GIs at Pearl Harbor. Not to mention the thousands of GIs that were killed pushing them out of the islands in the Pacific that they forcibly took over. And let's not forget the POW's that were tortured and killed. The Japanese got what they deserved.

This vigil was indicative of a weak, namby-pamby populace. In my opinion this does nothing but show our present enemies what wimps some Americans are. Let's see if they'll have a vigil on Dec. 7. We should have no regrets for what we did. We saved American lives. &

8212; Ed Seward, ex-Marine, Medford

Israel not supportedAs a Jew and a long-time supporter of Israel, I am greatly distressed by the conflict in Israel and Lebanon. For the past five decades I have watched Arab countries support and train suicide bombers, support the Intifada and break treaties while the world watched and did nothing.

Now, when Israel has seen it cannot survive any longer without fighting back, the world again does not accept their right to exist.

I say to the Israelis, better "condemnation than consolation." &

8212; Murray Tepp, Talent

Remembering BuchenwaldI still remember Buchenwald. The lampshade made of human skin at its entrance, vases filled with human ashes, the cremating ovens, the stench of decaying human bodies.

Forever etched in my memory, looking into the eyes of a skeletal, debilitated human man. Scales the size of a half a dollar on his skin. Emaciated and feeble, he raised his hand, smiling, an expression of gratitude to this American soldier.

We were required to survey this concentration camp a few days after its liberation by the First Army, of which I was a participant.

I still remember my (non-Jewish) Polish uncle, imprisoned into slave labor by Hitler at Auschwitz, perishing there.

In view of the existing anti-Semitic sentiment prevalent internationally, also in America, I would pose this question: "Should the Allies of World War II have allowed Hitler to continue the anti-Semitic sentiment at Buchenwald, Auschwitz, Dachau, et. al.?

Yes, there was a Holocaust! Must history repeat itself? &

8212; Ed Wrona, Ashland

A regrettable historyMay I thank you and appreciate your courage to present the most touching report, "A doctor's cry from Vietnam" on the front page of the Mail Tribune on Aug. 5.

Sometimes wars are inevitable, but the United States was not endangered in any way by Vietnam or Iraq.

Our invasion in both countries was not called for and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and the destruction of properties, as well as the death of thousands of brave American soldiers was uncalled-for sacrifice, a regrettable part of our history, for which the leaders of our government should be held responsible. &

8212; Fritz Krieser, Medford

China mistreats dogsHaving an Asian family member, I have been told that the attitude toward dogs is different in Asian countries. They eat them as well as keep them for pets. Despite this unacceptable difference, why is it that they do not vaccinate?

I know that we are not able to go over there and save the surviving canines (who will soon be lying in agony on the ground while Chinese creeps beat the life out of them), but surely the drug companies who manufacture vaccines or the National Veterinary Association can contact the appropriate Chinese organization to suggest animal care instead of cruelty. They might also suggest euthanasia as a kinder form of animal killing, if killing is what the Chinese feel they must do.

In the meantime, I will not buy, use or recommend anything made in China. I am also available to volunteer my services if anyone needs them to help combat this disgusting situation. &

8212; Susan Hamilton, Medford

Fluoride's benefits debatableRob W. of Ashland asks, "Do the health risks of (fluoridation) outweigh the benefits?"

The answer depends on whom you ask. If you ask the Union of Scientists of the EPA the answer is no. They are calling for an immediate national moratorium of fluoridation because the accumulating scientific evidence pointing to fluoride as a likely carcinogen affecting young males and a bioaccumulative poison potentially affecting children's IQ, thyroid, and a host of pathologies throughout the body. The fact that fluoridation chemicals are from the waste effluent of industry and contaminated with lead, arsenic, and other toxins should raise serious questions why any municipality would allow their precious water supply to be used as dumping ground for industries' hazardous waste.

It's long been recognized that fluoride's benefits are topical and not systemic, which means swallowing fluoride is like swallowing a band-aid to treat a cut. It doesn't work and partially explains the growing list of fluoridated cities around the country that have decay as their number one problem.

Children in poverty need access to dentistry and healthy diets, not more fluoride. Fluoridation will soon join the growing list of medical mistakes like DES, HRT, and mercury in vaccines. &

8212; Michael Framson, Medford

Tax those big homesIn the past history of the United States each generation has tried to leave a legacy to the next generation that they will be better educated and have a brighter financial future. This is not the case with my generation, the baby boomers.

Through PERS, they have not only raped the state treasury, but my generation has financially raped the future of their children's generation and their children's children.

At present many retirees of PERS are retiring at 90 percent of their working wage with some administrators in government and in education making more money in retirement than when they worked.

Also, many retirees are building trophy homes. This gluttonous, ostentatious opulence puts stress on our country's natural resources and is one of the primary reasons housing is unaffordable for young families.

To ensure schools have sufficient money to educate our children and the city governments have adequate funds to pay the PERS, I propose the following:

Residences with two people would be allotted 1,500 square feet. Baby boomer couples living in housing over 1,500 square feet will be charged 25 cents per square foot per year.

People owning RVs will be taxed $2 per linear foot. &

8212; Mike E. Miles, Medford

Don't create straw menWhen it comes to the debate over energy in Washington, D.C., you can always expect the most irrational policies to gain traction. With record profits being realized by U.S. oil companies, the move to ensure that there is no price manipulation or collusion is a good one and will instill consumer confidence in the market. But calls for a new Windfall Profits Tax on U.S. oil companies are ridiculous.

Congress passed a similar tax back in the early '80s and repealed it six years later because it led to an increase in dependence on foreign sources of oil. If there's bipartisan agreement on anything it is that the U.S. should not be subject to the foreign policy whims of Iran and Venezuela. In addition, a price increase is nothing more than an increase in the cost of doing business, which is ultimately priced into the cost of the good being sold. So, as usual, we're the ones paying the tax, not the oil companies.

Congress likes to create straw men on whom they can blame the country's ailments. Instead of grandstanding, they should get serious about finding new U.S. sources of energy to meet the demands of our growing economy. &

8212; Mindy Gilmore, Medford