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County crisis artificialIn 2000, Clinton signed the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act (county timber payments act) that was to expire in 2007. Every budget Bush has come up with since shows a vast reduction or elimination of these funds. Why then do our elected officials act as though this loss of federal dollars is a surprise? Answer: To create a crisis that requires drastic action.

Believe it or not, politicians have been known to manipulate information to achieve political and/or personal goals. In times of crisis, people often make decisions they might not have otherwise or agree to something they have opposed in the past. History abounds with examples of both the manipulation and its results.

Certainly, southwest Oregon is going to hell in a handbasket. But come election time, I, for one, will keep in mind just who has been weaving that basket. &

8212; Matthew Morey, Shady Cove

Students need our help

"Leaders push affordable education," John Darling's article on Feb. 24, is the most gripping account I have read on this subject. Pointing out the real lack of support for education in Oregon over several years, the stark fact that "the state portion of the higher education budget has dropped from 26 percent to 16 percent" is shocking!

In spite of attempting to raise our Fairy Godmother Scholarships each year, to meet the RCC tuition, I was not fully aware of the fact that "students have borne the brunt in higher tuition, which is our largest source of revenue for higher education." Referring to Oregonians under 35 as "the lost generation," Chancellor Pernsteiner speaks clearly on what could have been, had Measure 5 not passed in 1990. They "have had to enter the job market with less education than their parents."

It is extremely important that local media continue to emphasize the real need for supporting education. Students need our help, and we need theirs. It can be a win-win solution. &

8212; Faye Hutchings, Medford

Running out of timeWhile Congress and Americans fiddle, Iraq burns and Iran is about to.

American infrastructure is already disintegrating and we neglect the terrible suffering worldwide. According to a Seymour Hersh investigative article in The New Yorker magazine, and other sources, the U.S. is indeed poised to go to war with Iran, and George Bush only needs 24-hour notice to give the OK to begin another war. Bush, Cheney and Rice have already ignored and lied about intelligence regarding Iran's threats to America and Iran's real attempts to enter negotiations with the U.S.

It's way past time to take action. The White House comment line is 202-456-1111. The Capitol switchboard (for congressional contacts) is 202-224-3121. Protest. March 17 is a national day of war protest, including in Medford.

George Bush has already proven himself an incompetent president, making moronic decisions. To boot, any untreated alcoholic or addict, sober or intoxicated, (he's a self-admitted alcoholic, never treated) is prone to lie, steal, cheat and have a giant, self-serving ego. He does not deserve the power he has.

Impeachment for Bush and Cheney may be the only way to save life as we know it. We're running out of time. &

8212; Robin Emmens, Jacksonville

Bank doesn't need my moneyI am totally in agreement with the letter written by M.S. Hardage on Feb. 25.

Last summer I approached the manager at the local Bank of America about a banner in Spanish that advertised loans available. I mentioned that I thought the people approved should at least speak English. I was informed that it was business for the bank.

At the time I thought it was inappropriate to finance foreign residents, and this last incident about credit cards is the final straw. I presume they don't need my money and my account is being closed and I think that the bank might be wise to review its policy. &

8212; Sue Cobun, Medford