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letters to the editor

Flawed logicIn response to the recent letter and the general attitude that blames environmentalists for everything from Mr. Kim's death to terrorism to hemorrhoids: Along their "logic," the Kim tragedy was actually caused by the timber industry, because Bear Camp Road would never have been built were it not for the timber industry. And the tragedy wouldn't have happened if not for flawed policies allowing unchecked logging and minimal forest (and road) management. --Ben Harris, Central Point

Devil is in mitigationAs an erudite student of the Mount Ashland expansion EIS, I protest your Dec. 15 statement of editorial faith that "planned mitigation measures will mean the ski area will actually generate less silt after expansion than it does now." It confounds me when anyone expresses confidence in "planned mitigation" because the technical details of such untested measures remain unspecified. The twin devils of uncertainty and risk reside in the details of how eroded soil and petroleum contaminants will be kept out of waterways that feed Ashland's drinking reservoir.

The Forest Service authorized chair-lift construction and heavy equipment operation in wetlands and a perennial creek channel in perpetuity. It will be a messy show with ample opportunity for unintended mishaps. Mitigation guidelines state that no contaminants may enter Ashland Creek, yet the Forest Service exempted Ashland Creek from monitoring for petroleum contamination. If you don't monitor pollution, you can't mitigate it. The EIS definitively states that expansion will forever denude wetlands and streams. Moreover, endangered Pacific fisher hunt in the expansion area, and will be displaced by removal of old-growth forest in Ashland's backyard roadless area.

Most importantly, we know that the "design period" of municipal watersheds is forever, and that damage is best prevented not cured. &

8212; Jay Lininger, Ashland

Uranium mining unnecessaryMy wife just returned from Arizona attending a summit on the effects of uranium mining on indigenous communities. Uranium is and has been milled and mined in ways that do not respect the 4.8 billion-year half-life of uranium's radioactivity, nor the resulting pernicious health effects. She saw firsthand the birth defects, cancer and death that uranium mining has left as a legacy to these communities, especially on the Navajo Nation, which, as a result of the toxic devastation, have instituted a ban on uranium mining.

Scientists and economists have proved there is enough byproduct from past production to run nuclear power plants and make nuclear weapons, making the mining of uranium completely unnecessary. I am happy that the MT has included an article about this devastating issue in Friday's paper. To learn more, see . &

8212; John Dowd, Ashland

A simple solutionA simple solution to the library chaos &

8212; one that should have been anticipated when pouring taxpayer funds into new buildings:

Close all satellite branches keeping only the main branch open (that albatross in downtown Medford &

8212; the one that RCC students frequent).

Institute a user fee on those that wish to use the services provided by the library. Those that choose not to use these services are not imposed upon to support it.

After the last bond failure, it seems reasonable to conclude that either the voters decided they didn't want to support libraries, or simply couldn't.

At some point, county commissioners and the Medford City Council need to realize that those owning property in the Rogue Valley are not an endless source of revenue. Wise up &

8212; and while you're at it, quit trying to turn our utility (water and electric) bills into revenue-generating bills. &

8212; Jim Langhoff, Medford