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Letters to the editor

Who is really greedy?It appears that Mr. Bowman believes that it is the fault of unions that most products we use are made in another country (Letters, Oct. 11). I wonder if he would agree that anyone who works should be paid a wage that will allow them to pay for a home over a 30-year period, feed his family and still save a little to send his children to college. That doesn't seem like a whole lot to ask, does it?

These are the people that do the grunt labor to get the products you want in the store, build your house, and a host of other things that you would not have without them. It seems that the employer has found out that if they move their operation to a Third World country, they can get by with only a bowl of rice a day per employee and put a lot more money in their pocket and in the pocket of the stock holders.

Has Mr. Bowman heard about the multi-million dollar salaries of the CEOs of those companies who moved to China? Who are really the greedy people? &

8212; Walter Petitt, Eagle Point

Speaking for the fish

Sadly, our current county Board of Commissioners, in a 3-0 vote, has approved a project that was discarded years ago as an inappropriate use of resources. By endorsing Dom Provost's bid for a destination resort in the Neil Creek watershed, our commissioners have demonstrated a serious lapse of ethical judgement and an ignorance of local history.

Twenty years ago, there wasn't adequate water in Neil Creek to support our threatened runs of salmon and steelhead, let alone a golf course. By what lapse of judgment would one expect the situation to be improved in 2006?

Mr. Smith and Mr. Walker have shown repeatedly that their regard for critical habitat stands well below their desire to despoil our limited natural environment, but until now, I thought Dr. Gilmour might be an enlightened supporter of healthy ecosystems. Alas.

As an editorial board supporting the heathy environment in the Bear Creek Watershed, I implore you to report fairly on this unfolding tragedy of the commons. I implore you to give a voice to people who will appeal this disastrous, short-sighted decision.

Who will speak for the fish? I will, and I trust you will also. &

8212; Clayton L. Gillette, past president, Rogue Flyfishers, Medford

Ban smoking statewideAccording to the American Heart Association, more than 35,000 nonsmokers die nationally each year from coronary heart disease due to secondhand- smoke exposure. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke; not even a little bit.

As a person who appreciates sitting in a public place and not dealing with the aggravation of secondhand smoke, the results from a Pueblo, Colo., study showing a link between a citywide smoking ban and decline in heart attacks is impressive. In the 18 months after a no-smoking ordinance took effect in Pueblo, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 27 percent.

Oregon pays over $1 billion each year in health care costs and lost productivity due to disease and early death from smoking. While the state requires most workplaces to be smoke-free, the law excludes bars, bar sections of restaurants, tobacco retailers, bowling centers and bingo halls. Aren't those workplaces as well?

Lawmakers, it's time to follow the lead of our neighbors and turn the entire Beaver State smoke-free. A statewide nonsmoking ordinance will not only lower heart attack rates and prevent deaths, it will save Oregon a lot of money. Push this through legislation and improve the health of all Oregonians. &

8212; Juliann Hofmann, Medford

Preserve Ashland's waterPreserve the source of the Ashland Watershed as nature created it, untainted for future generations of our children to draw their loftiest inspiration from.

Primal pristine source of original purest inspiration. Only fools directed by blind logic can conceive tainting your holy water sanctuary.

Among indigenous peoples, it is a universally accepted truism that the source of a water course is among the most hallowed, sacred places on Earth. Of all the places to put a ski run, the planners chose the worst possible spot. The mechanistic-minded imposition of a skiing development in the heart of the headwaters of the Ashland watershed is an act of supreme arrogant folly, i.e. hubris. As if we can merely erase nature, without any adverse effects.

An ecological system such as a watershed cannot be subdivided into a bunch of unrelated square boxes. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If this ludicrous plan goes through, Ashland's waters will forever be tainted by all the toxic petrochemicals used in the development, maintenance and use of the ski run. And all petrochemical products are toxic.

Let us all preserve Ashland's waters untainted forever. &

8212; Andy Sarhanis, Talent