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Legal counsel appropriateThanks are in order to the Ashland City Council for hiring additional legal counsel. The Forest Service and MAA already have expert legal advice, and the city needs to be on the same footing. Protecting the city's interests needs no apologies to those who might be afraid of legal threats from those "nice guys" on the MAA board.

Anyone who says the science supports not worrying about damage to the watershed is simply taking sides. The plaintiffs have scientific experts disputing the findings of the EIS as both invalid and inadequate. The science is what this lawsuit is about. The plaintiffs have a very strong case and are likely to win on appeal.

In spite of diversionary grandstanding by MAA, let's keep our eyes on the ball here. If MAA creates a massive clearcut in the watershed before the appeal case is decided there is still a high risk the expansion will never be completed (if they lose the appeal). Then we will have an environmental, economic, and political mess that will make the current crisis appear minor. The City Council must take a firm stand against logging until the appeal case is decided in court. &

8212; Paul Copeland, Ashland

Thanks for support

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers for my son, Joshua, and my family. Your empathy and support really had an impact on our situation. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. God bless you. &

8212; Rachael Thornhill and family, Phoenix

Dump HussIf Ron Saxton loses the gubernatorial race and resumes his column, please dump Larry Huss and reinstate Saxton. Saxton is a thoughtful conservative voice. Huss is, at best, a mean-spirited front for rabid anti-tax advocates and others whose philosophy seems to be that it's OK to stir up hatred for those whose policies you dislike.

The Sunday, Sept. 24 column was Huss at his worst. He "backed up" his vitriol with a falsehood so obvious that any college freshman in a political science class would notice it.

In referring to the practice of governors appointing judges, Huss said, "Had the founders of the Constitution envisioned this abusive practice, most assuredly they would have written some form of additional checks and balances into the judicial selection process."

Uh, Larry? Alexander Hamilton, perhaps our greatest conservative constitutional framer, wrote in Federalist 78 about how important it was that judges be appointed and not elected. Federalist 78 is one of the three most-cited of the Federalist Papers.

So, either Huss is woefully ignorant, or he is deliberately distorting facts. There are lots of better-read, more intelligent conservative voices in the world. Larry Huss doesn't deserve to use the MT as his platform. &

8212; Hal Wing, Medford

Blame the LegislatureIn answer to Dee Pickett's letter to the editor of Sept. 22: Our legislators have made it impossible to coordinate a recall with a regular election. That is why it will cost us $38,000. They only need to change the time line in the recall statute but they were too busy in the last session passing legislation to keep Ben Westlund off the ballot.

As for the council members up for re-election, it costs the same to recall five council members as it does three. We are going door-to-door circulating petitions and it takes no more work for two signatures than for one. That is organization, efficiency and maximum utilization of volunteer time &

8212; something we hope to see from a new council. &

8212; Christine Lachner, Medford

Hilltop does logging rightIf all the lumber used in this country were harvested by companies like Hilltop Logging, "sustainable logging" wouldn't be a dream, it would be the order of the day.

There are some sick persons out there who certainly weren't thinking of anyone's good when they did this. I hope they're caught and spend their prison time getting their minds straight. I hope the damage to the equipment turns out to be fixable on a timely basis and that the Avgeris family is back in business soon. &

8212; Angus Brownfield, Ashland

Lemhouse listensIt is such a pleasure for me to vote for Greg Lemhouse for Ashland City Council. He is putting what's best for Ashland over partisan politics. He will represent Ashlanders of all types &

8212; old, young, poor, well-off, newcomers and old-timers alike. He has a common-sense approach to how a city gets things done &

8212; old-fashioned hard work and integrity.

Greg will listen first and speak second. He will offer fresh thinking. He is not part of the political chattering class. For Greg it is a simple matter of giving something back to his native Oregon and a city that has been good to him and his family.

He is smart and patient and respectful. He has good manners, something you don't see so much lately. I count on him to look out for us and make sure we have a city that's on solid footing and full of hope. &

8212; DeAnna Sickler, Ashland

Re-elect JacksonThe re-election of Kate Jackson to the Ashland City Council is one of the most important votes any Ashland resident can make. She is a person of great integrity and genuine caring for our city.

She takes a thoughtful approach in decision-making that affects the future of Ashland. It is never a "party line" decision. Each is independently thought out and carefully reasoned.

Kate gives much time not only to council business but also to other city and regional commissions, community organizations and Ashland schools. When I mention her name to friends working within governments of other towns in the Rogue Valley, the response is invariably positive and respectful.

Most of all, she has the experience that's so necessary on Ashland's City Council. Now is not the time for Ashland to have inexperienced people running the city.

Kate Jackson has my vote for Ashland City Council position number 4. &

8212; David Bjurstrom, Ashland

Vote for LemhouseI am going to vote for Greg Lemhouse for Ashland City Council. Greg, a native Oregonian, lives in Ashland with his wife and three children where he began his career in public safety in 1995. He brings intellect, energy, maturity far in excess of his years and broad understanding of the issues facing Ashland. He will be a strong voice of reason much as Chris Hearn and Alex Amarotico, whose position Greg would replace. Greg is a consensus builder with proven management skills. Ashland needs the kind of character and integrity represented by Greg.

It is time for new voices. Greg Lemhouse will also be a strong listener and respect a diversity of opinions as he seeks to put Ashland first. I hope you will take time to get to know Greg Lemhouse. You will be glad you did. &

8212; Andy Cochrane, Ashland

Voisin offers alternativeIt's unlikely that Rep. Greg Walden will fall on his sword, but that would be the honorable thing to do.

Walden's role as our representative in Congress has been rendered comic by his lickspittle loyalty to the president and the party. An early and breathless supporter of a war gone horribly wrong, he's also part of the Contract With America, whose regressive policies have given us millions of Americans without health insurance, attempts to privatize Social Security, attacks on environmental laws and regulations and the working poor, corporate fraud and disappearing pensions. Rubber-stamp Walden has to go.

Democrats offer an outstanding alternative to Walden: Carol Voisin. Voisin envisions a new direction for America, where hard work is rewarded by the ability to support a family and where all citizens share in the promise and security of a 21st century America. &

8212; Bill Sherwood, Phoenix

Lemhouse stands for allThere has seldom been such a clear choice in candidates for Ashland City Council. My candidate, Greg Lemhouse, comes to the race with no political baggage. He has no constituents or narrow special interests to serve. He stands for Ashland, all of Ashland.

Greg Lemhouse is a consensus builder, a team player, a positive, forward thinker. He is grateful for the rich history and abundant life in Ashland and its people. He is not focused on what Ashland should be, but what it could be: Not a regressive, backward-looking anti-business, anti-tourist view but a vision of a vibrant, healthy, sustainable and economically diverse community with opportunity.

Greg is pragmatic and knows jobs don't grow on trees any more than living wages or affordable housing. It will take hard work, not ideology; planning and investing, not sloganeering; team-building, not grandstanding. Thankfully, the choice is clear: Greg Lemhouse. &

8212; Chris Duran, Ashland

Vote for Ashland schoolsHave a leaky roof? A patch job and a fresh coat of paint may hide the damage, but the problem is still there. The Ashland School District has leaky roofs, crumbling foundations and failing heating systems. The maintenance staff keeps the buildings looking good but at some point systems and buildings need to be renovated or replaced.

As a member of the School Bond Committee, I worked for over a year with a host of experts to prioritize needs and develop a financial package that met those needs. The committee worked to recommend renovation when practical, upgrades where needed, and building replacement when necessary, always insisting that the facility improvements be sustainable and serve the district's long-term educational needs.

Join me in voting yes for Measure 15-68. The bond package is practical and necessary to maintain the quality education environment we all want for Ashland's kids. &

8212; Curt Bacon, Ashland

Winters' record deficientMr. Winters said he wants to run on his record as sheriff, so let's look at the record. Prior to his election, the Sheriff's Department had two corrections facilities, was receiving income to house inmates from other counties, had two lieutenants, JACNET had the support and participation of every county law enforcement agency, deputies concentrated on the rural areas, and he had a majority of the Sheriff's Department employees support his election as sheriff.

Now, under his administration we have one corrections facility, pay about $2 million a year to other counties to lodge our inmates, have four lieutenants, one sheriff's deputy at JACNET, answer calls inside the city, and a majority of the Sheriff's Department employees now support his opponent, Lt. Tim George, for sheriff.

If he wants to keep his job he should run on another issue, because quite frankly, Mr. Winters' record stinks! &

8212; Richard Cavalli, Medford

Vote yes on 43Suppose doctors secretly performed appendectomy or tonsillectomy surgery on your teenager without you knowing. You'd be outraged and likely sue the medical practice that would dare think they have more say in your child's health decisions than you do.

Yet your underage daughter can have abortion surgery without you having any idea whatsoever. What if complications happen? Are there family health history facts the doctor needs to know, like clotting problems, stroke problems, bleeding problems, hormone problems, anesthesia problems, heart rhythm problems, breathing problems, mental problems, breast cancer family history (yes, abortion can increase the risk of breast cancer). A legal bypass is included in the measure for girls with dangerous home situations.

Parents' rights are being eroded at an astonishing rate. Join the 44 other states that passed a common-sense measure that protects the health of girls and protects the rights of parents. Vote yes on Measure 43. &

8212; Niquita Wilkinson, Eagle Point

Winters has it downSo the sheriff's deputies want to toss Mike Winters overboard and sign up a new guy. Never mind Winters has the job down pat and the department running well. How much confidence can we have in a bunch of deputies who display the pettiness of middle-schoolers? &

8212; Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

Shame on WaldenFor shame! Rep. Greg Walden did not represent the moral stance of Southern Oregon when he voted to leave torture up to "presidential discretion."

Torture should have been condemned by the Congress outright. If Walden does not see it as wrong on humanitarian grounds, he should have opposed it as yet another risk for our troops, should our enemies retaliate.

For shame, Mr. Walden! &

8212; Alice Rutter, Ashland

Vote for 43I would like to talk about Measure 43, "Parental Notification." I'm all for it!

If someone were to try to convince me of an issue, I would certainly expect to hear some persuasive, reasonable, logical arguments.

Likewise, if I were to try to convince anyone of my concerns relative to an issue, I would like to give my very best reasons. And, here they are:

1. I whole-heartedly agree with last Friday's Tribune editorial, which recommends a yes vote because "Notification is a reasonable step ... Measure 43 would give Oregon parents something it's clear they should have &

8212; the opportunity to play a role in a major physical and emotional event in their juvenile daughter's life."

2. Parents (in all schools) have to be notified even to give their child an aspirin, but not (now) of an abortion!

3. It will help save lives.

4. Visit "abortion pictures" and click on "CBR/Abortion" &

8212; Everett Cade, Medford

Steyskal the right choiceI have known Don Steyskal for over 15 years. He has served as a volunteer on the Talent Parks Commission, Planning Commission and City Council.

He has given long hours, and always good work, to those duties. In addition he has filled many liaison positions that I gave him while I was mayor, and for Mayor Telerski.

He has served as an able chairman of the Planning Commission and other committees and is now the president of the City Council, demonstrating, even at contentious meetings, an understanding of the technical aspects of meeting management and the importance of public input on issues.

He has the experience, the dedication and the ability to be Talent's next mayor. &

8212; Mayor Frank Falsarella, Talent

No to more taxesHow many more times can government (state, county and city) go to the tax well to get more money to fund projects that have no end to their financial needs?

1. Taxes to operate existing schools.

2. New taxes to tear down and rebuild schools.

3. Taxes to build and upgrade libraries.

4. New taxes to keep the libraries open.

5. Taxes to build a roundabout nobody wanted.

6. Taxes to build a south exit nobody wanted.

7. Taxes to reconfigure the north exit that nobody wanted and put several businesses out of business and crippled others.

8. What will "Middleford Commons" really cost taxpayers and what about the businesses that will be pushed out?

Based on figures printed in this paper, I will pay at least $600 in property taxes added to my $2,798.38 tax bill.

How much more can we withstand?

It has to come to an end! &

8212; Allen Stewart, Jacksonville