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Letters to the editor

Kids need to knowWhat I want to know is how come we don't have a more developed kid's section in the newspaper other than the comics? I think we should have a more developed kid's section where kids write things kids want to and need to know about. Such as who made honor roll, who hasn't missed a single day of school, what the standings are for middle school and high school sports, and other after-school activities.

I mean, think about it, kids want to know what's going on locally and nationally. But they want to know it in words they understand. I think we should have it in the more developed kid's section of the newspaper where they'll understand it better than have them watch the news where they might not understand it. Plus, if kids write stories for the paper, they'll get used to writing and maybe get better grades in language arts and other writing classes.

Plus this more developed kid's section would be a wise investment because it would increase the amount of future readers and the circulation numbers.

Kids need to know. &

8212; Tayler Donegan, White City Union vote clarifiedSeveral statements have been made recently in the media about the sheriff's race that should be clarified. The Jackson County Sheriff's Association recently polled its members regarding which candidate to support. We have done this in past elections and in fact supported Sheriff Winters four years ago.

We participated in a democratic process in which each member had an opportunity to be heard. Ballots were sent to each member and anonymity was insured. No one was "coerced" into voting.

The majority of those who chose to vote supported Tim George. For Sheriff Winters to say all his support comes from his "patrol guys" is simply untrue. Supporters of both candidates can be found within patrol, corrections and support staff.

The sheriff recently dismissed reports of low morale, stating, "if morale was at an all-time low, you wouldn't see them working as hard as they do." I can assure Sheriff Winters and the public that most of the sheriff's office employees worked hard before he became sheriff and will continue to do so whatever the election outcome. That is who we are and what we do. Giving anything less to the citizens we serve is simply unacceptable. &

8212; Pauline Redon, Executive Board member, Jackson County Employees Association (JCSEA)

Go back to hand sawsJeff Golden's column entitled, "What do you say to 'we told you so?' " (Oct. 15) has inspired some thinking.

Why don't we allow the harvesting of as much timber as can be done with a two-person hand saw, a spar pole and a donkey (the machine, not the animal)? That would put many people to work but still slow down the process enough so that replanted forests could thrive and be ready for the generations of people that want furniture, paper towels, etc.

Does anyone remember the 1940s? &

8212; Donna Daniels, Ashland

Protect fish passageNow is the time for fishermen and conservationists to influence the re-licensing of the PacifiCorp's hydro facilities at six dams on the Klamath River. We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to push for fish protection, fish passage and dam removals.

The lower three dams on the Klamath have no fish ladders, and ladders at John C. Boyle Dam are inadequate. Hundreds of miles of traditional spawning areas have been unavailable since Copco — was constructed in 1918!

You can push for bringing Klamath salmon and steelhead back home to Oregon in the FERC EIS process. Send your comments to Magalie R. Salas, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St. NE, Washington, DC 20426. Comments should be sent by Nov. 24 and should reference Project No. 2082-027.

Ask for removal of the lower four dams. If the dams aren't removed, ask that fish passage, screening, bypass flow and ramping rate conditions proposed by federal agencies be mandated. These conditions are legally required and scientifically justified. Trap-and-haul methods are ineffective and should not be considered. &

8212; Bill Rittenhouse, Medford

City should be ashamedRecently, my water bill included misrepresentation of facts concerning the city's role in financing a new headquarters complex for Lithia Motors by way of the Middleford Commons project.

Although the statements by the city were technically accurate, they were designed to mislead the average voter into thinking that MURA will finance Middleford Commons with free money obtained through tax increment financing. While the amount of money MURA is allowed to skim from the property tax base is determined by changes in valuation of the district, the actual cost falls upon individual property taxpayers citywide. MURA hid this fact from the public for years until the Oregon attorney general successfully sued urban renewal districts to force clear declaration of what they take on our tax bills. Our tax bills now show how deceptive the city is. The fact is that the city's method of financing Middleford Commons fits the dictionary definition of money laundering. We will pay for this scheme by either increased taxes or reduced police and fire protection.

Our city government should be ashamed of this deception, and those promoting it should resign or be fired. &

8212; Robert M. Pearson, Medford

Mobile spaces disappearingThere is a very serious problem with the closing of mobile and manufactured home parks. Since the beginning of 2006 approximately 1,100 home spaces have been lost, putting people of all ages, mostly seniors, out of their homes. Homeowners are given 365 days to remove their home.

Some older mobile homes cannot be transported on the highways. Moving a home is so very expensive, many cannot afford the move.

Other parks won't let older homes in their parks. The homeowner is then sometimes charged for the removal and destruction of their home.

Many seniors are on very fixed incomes, and are at a complete loss as what to do.

There is a nonprofit organization protecting the rights of mobile and manufactured home park residents called the Manufactured Home Owners of Oregon-OSTA made up entirely of seniors living in mobile or manufactured home parks. MHOO is well-known and well-respected throughout state government. MHOO can be of help to all mobile and manufactured homeowners living in a park on many issues. If interested call 1-800-423-9371 or 503-554-0483, or visit . &

8212; Terry Smith, Medford

Mall water too hotI have been to the Rogue Valley Mall on a number of occasions over the past few months. On several of these occasions, I have washed my hands in the restroom by the food court, and was surprised to find out how hot the water was when washing my hands in the first sink on the right.

I am an adult woman and I could barely keep my hands under long enough to rinse off the soap; I can imagine what the temperature would do to a small child. I have called the Mall office twice and been assured each time that the temperature would be lowered, but when I was there this past Monday, there had been no change.

Please advise the patrons of the Rogue Valley Mall to be careful, especially children, when washing their hands or they may get burned! &

8212; B. Inget, Eagle Point

Where's Walden?Earlier this year here in Southern Oregon, citizens took to the streets to obstruct log trucks entering protected forest. Months later, the courts called the logging illegal. Where was our elected representative at the time?

Where was Greg Walden's leadership to encourage timber companies to wait for the courts in fairness and respect for the law? Where's Walden when it's time to debate the issues of environment, deficit, war, health care, education? Carol Voisin speaks and speaks. Where's Walden? He refuses to appear with her. He refuses to put himself before the voters.

Where's Walden indeed. He receives more timber money than any other elected official. But at leadership time and election time, where's Walden? &

8212; Marjorie Black, Ashland

Don't vote for CharterLast year I was lured off Interstate 5 by an ODOT public service announcement and caught in an illegal ticketing scam. I say illegal because the conditions for a citation to be written were not met under Oregon law.

I appeared in Joe Charter's court to contest this citation. Judge Charter chose to ignore the law and find me guilty, not under the law but in spite of the law.

I believe I was not treated fairly in Joe Charters' court and my civil rights were violated. I would not recommend Joe Charter for municipal court judge. &

8212; Mike Patnesky, Gold Hill

Greif is partisanA judge is supposed to act impartially and without a political agenda. That's why the position is nonpartisan.

No ties to a political party are allowed by the judicial code of ethics, I am told, so I am quite concerned that Lisa Greif, candidate for judge, is either unaware of the requirement or, worse, has chosen to violate it. She has a link to her judicial candidate's Web site on the Democratic Party Web site. Her campaign materials are located at the party's headquarters and amazingly enough I have been told she held a "joint" fund-raiser with a democratic candidate for a "partisan" position.

Ms. Greif is clearly acting in a very partisan way while campaigning for a nonpartisan position. I shudder to think how she would act if elected. We don't need political activists on the bench. Even though I too, am a Democrat, I simply cannot support her. &

8212; Kristin Shimek, Medford

Make a positive differenceIt is not every day that the opportunity comes up to make a significant choice that helps secure the future of our children. We now have that opportunity. A yes vote on Measure 15-73 will bring every school in the Medford School District up to current standards, eliminate dangerous problems that now exist in many of the older buildings, and build new state-of-the art high schools designed to last for 100 to 150 years.

If this opportunity is passed by, the cost to do the very same work in the future will be enormous. It just does not make fiscal sense to ignore this opportunity.

I strongly urge a yes vote on the Medford School District bond. Please join me in helping to make our schools safe and functional places for our children to learn and thrive. &

8212; Chuck Lockridge, Medford

Support DavidsonDiane Davidson is running for Jackson County commissioner Position 1. I have known Diane for many years and have had the opportunity to work with her.

Working with Diane, you yourself become very focused and determined because she is a very determined, focused and self-driven individual. Diane will look at all angles and is very open to new ideas; giving up just isn't an option with Diane.

But the most important thing is she is honest and cares. So I hope you will give her your vote and support. &

8212; Roseann Snapp, Eagle Point

You get what you pay forAs you mark your ballot this year, please keep that old adage in mind: You get what you pay for.

As with food, furniture, or anything else you buy, spending less on government doesn't buy you less government, just shoddier government. Measures 41 and 48 may reduce your taxes, but they will also significantly reduce your quality of life. &

8212; William Ashworth, Ashland

Elect NavickasIt is with great cheer that I ask others in Ashland to elect Eric Navickas to the City Council.

Eric's tenacious pressure on city leaders to take their responsibilities seriously with regards to the ski area's impacts on our watershed was considered almost radical when he began to spearhead this issue many years ago. Now, city input and oversight of ski area expansion is understood, finally, as common sense. Even a month ago, how many council members saw this issue clearly or were willing to act?

Ashland is fast becoming a stratified society of low-paid service workers and well-to-do retirees. While many of us, including newcomers, wring our hands about the Ashland we seem to be losing, Eric Navickas has done his homework, knows the issues and will take creative action to help forge a dynamic, economically diverse future for Ashland. &

8212; Andy Bayliss, Ashland

Supporting JewettI support Mike Jewett for Ashland Municipal Court judge. I have know Mike both personally and professionally for over 20 years. His integrity and professionalism are beyond reproach.

Mike's commitment to the Ashland community is only one of the many reasons I endorse his candidacy. This commitment is exemplified by the hundreds of hours he has donated to the Ashland High School mock trial team. He touched the lives of countless students with his energy and enthusiasm. He will bring the same energy and commitment to the position of Municipal Court judge.

Mike is the best candidate for the position and I strongly urge your readers to vote for him on election day. &

8212; Jeni Feinberg, Medford

We need PrewittAs a business professional I have a vested interest in the continued growth and livability of our community. Every indication points to the fact our county will experience further expansion that will challenge our resources. That is why I believe we need the experience and dedication of a full-time county commissioner.

Craig Prewitt is the right person to give us the full-time leadership and dedication to the position that is required. Craig represents Oregonians, businesses, and the agricultural industry all in one.

Craig Prewitt has the experience through his dedicated service on numerous community boards including more that 16 years on the board of Phoenix-Talent School District. Craig Prewitt and his family are home-grown Rogue Valley residents.

If you care about the future direction of our community then I suggest you join me in supporting Craig Prewitt for Jackson County commissioner. &

8212; Rick Holcom, Medford

Support Sheriff WintersIn 2002 we elected a new sheriff for Jackson County. Since that time we have had some significant changes.

We now have increased sheriff patrols. The deputies work 12-hour shifts and are able to spend more time performing their duties.

We now have a traffic division to deal with traffic-related incidents, thus keeping the patrol division dealing with criminal activities and protecting our private property. There has been a coordinated effort to work with other jurisdictions including crossing county and state lines to accomplish a firm law enforcement presence in rural Jackson County!

I have also seen the sheriff out on patrol and working in the county. It is time we support Mike Winters with our vote and support his team this next term to further increase the capability of the sheriff's department as his integrity and professionalism have proven he can protect the citizens of Jackson County! &

8212; Bryan Baumgartner, Central Point

Vote RepublicanAs a Republican, I believe in individual rights with less government intrusion. Equal rights/justice for Americans regardless of race, age, gender, disabilities.

Free enterprise for Americans will bring opportunity, economic growth and prosperity. Government must practice fiscal responsibility, as we all must for the survival of America. Government must help genuinely helpless citizens, a hand up, not hand-outs! A strong military provides "peace through strength."

Democrats cannot argue substance, they haven't any. They pit one group against another, "divide and conquer."

Democrats degrade our president and military. America needs strong leadership from county sheriff/commissioners to president. If Republicans refuse voting privileges because of unhappiness for a candidate, we all lose. We lose the House, Senate, presidency, Supreme Court appointments. If we don't vote locally, we lose our county to the Democrats.

Republicans, please vote for your country, state, county commissioners/sheriff. Republicans' vote is extremely important! &

8212; Nancy McAllister, Medford

Oregonians not overtaxedThis election season, let's get something straight: Oregonians are not overtaxed. Oregonians rank 40th in the nation for overall individual tax burden and 49th for overall corporate tax burden.

The so-called "rainy day amendment" does not actually establish a rainy day fund or protect the kicker. (The kicker is based on whether the Legislature correctly guesses what revenues will be two years ahead. If they guess wrong, education and other programs suffer mightily.)

Oregon law prohibits communities from charging new housing developments to pay for additional fire and police capacity. Without local bond measures, the only way to pay for repairs to create safe schools is to further gut classroom resources.

Read your voters' pamphlets. Turn the TV off for one evening and read it thoroughly. Ask questions. Think. And follow the money. Look up those out-of-state interests. Candidates will "dance with who brung 'em." And, most importantly, vote. &

8212; Karen Lollis, Medford

Back to the wellThe Medford School District has now presented its $189 million dollar bond measure proposal to the voters. Once again, scare tactics are being employed, warning voters of what will happen if the measure fails.

Because of past failures, students no longer attend classes on a daily basis, but rather get days "off" throughout the school year, presumably to save money. Perhaps the district should think about reinstating classes before fretting over air conditioning in schools. If a full schedule of classes is unaffordable, how can the building of new schools even be considered at this time? Perhaps a line item budget for voters to consider needs to be published showing exactly how each dollar is to be spent, rather than requesting a blank check as usual.

Finally, can the school district assure voters that those receiving services through taxpayer funding are indeed deserving and qualified to receive those services? &

8212; Jim Langhoff, Medford

Voting for GreifI've known Lisa Greif since law school and we've been on opposite sides in court.

Lisa will be a terrific Circuit Court judge. She is smart, ethical, and honest. I've always been impressed with her knowledge of the law. She always keeps her word and you can trust her absolutely and without hesitation.

As a judge she will bring these strengths to the bench. Please join me in voting for Lisa Greif. &

8212; John Norton, Medford

Yes on 46, 47A vote for Measures 46 and 47 will keep big money, including out-of-state donors, out of local and statewide elections in Oregon.

Measure 46 amends our Constitution to allow laws regulating campaign contributions, an Oregon Supreme Court requirement. Measure 47 bans corporate and union contributions, creates low limits on individual and PAC contributions and limits individual contributions including those candidates make to their own campaigns.

Opponents say that 47 is too complicated. It is, rather, very comprehensive, and needs to be to proactively anticipate potential loopholes and challenges.

Be aware, we are going to be subject to a barrage of last minute adds and erroneous information paid for by organizations representing corporations, unions and out-of-state interests. Don't be misled! This is our chance to make substantive changes in how candidates are elected in Oregon. &

8212; Gary O'Neal, Gold Hill

Vote for NavickasEric Navickas is dedicated to public service. For years he has attended City Council and various commission meetings. He has been out front about his views and committed to process and dialogue.

I have not always agreed with Eric, but I have always respected his idealism. I remember Eric at meetings of the Ashland Watershed Alliance, communicating his concerns about proposed logging. But he wasn't there just to talk, he appreciated expertise being shared and listened patiently to a range of other viewpoints.

Ashland has been a home for four generations of my family. I want leadership here that can carefully steward our natural, cultural, and economic resources. Leadership that looks to the long view in caring for our community.

I trust Eric to help guide us forward because he is thoughtful, hard-working, honest and dedicated to Ashland. I encourage you to vote for Eric Navickas for Ashland City Council. &

8212; Ruth Coulthard, Ashland