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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Let's see, I've read articles concerning landowners adjacent to timber, mining and government lands. They don't like logging, don't like mining, don't like dust, don't like target practice, don't like flatlanders bringing their families and OHVs up to "their peace and quiet."

What do they like? (As if I didn't bleedin' already know). Their own private wilderness deeded with their 5- and 10-acre parcels?

BLM is trying to balance the scales of neighbors and the needs of flatlanders enjoying pressure-relieving activities on public lands.

I ride a sewing machine-quiet Yamaha trail bike. In fact, it is quieter than my lawn mower. I am a member of the MRA, which supports responsible, decibel-limit OHV noise.

What would it take to keep neighbors happy (impossible task?), but still give flatlanders access to a quality riding experience?

For cryin' out loud, John Gerritsma of the BLM just closed 1,500 acres in that area due to overuse and neighbor concern and is doing his best to balance all of the issues on the table at this time.

A taste of reason avoids indigestion. — Rocky Reeser, Medford

As usual, in today's paper (Nov. 8) there is very little of anything good to read. Mostly it concerns murder, rape, incest, dishonest politicians, glorified sports, glorified hunting (the unnecessary killing of beautiful deer, etc.), sex among youngsters, a woman biting a man's tongue severely during "sex," and let us name it all — it is out there just by the buckets full — crooked politicians endorsing other crooked ones — and advertisements encouraging people to spend their last dime on frivolous merchandise, toys, expensive automobiles, motorcycles.

It is no wonder that there are so many poor people, food lines and destitute people.

What we see currently on most TV stations is violence, sex and all kinds of devilish crap. (Witness Oprah Nov. 7 on ABC.)

I wonder what the world would be or become if more people had Bibles and read them and followed the words of God, Jesus, Moses, John, Peter, Paul, James and others found in the good book?

It is doubtful in my mind that this little note will be published because, you know, I had the audacity to mention God, our creator, and I skipped over dinosaurs completely. — Vinton Snyder, Medford

With all this recent talk of land-use laws and property rights, I've been wondering how the state of Oregon could have gotten away with taking people's property rights through zoning for so long. I did some research and found something that might better inform the debate.

In 1926, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. It found a zoning ordinance in question was constitutional, ruling that zoning was a reasonable extension of the village's police power and did not have the character of arbitrary fiat. The court further stated Ambler Realty based their assertions of depreciated property value on speculation only and that speculation was not a valid basis for a claim of takings.

This Supreme Court ruling stands today as the landmark decision on zoning and provides the legal justification for the zoning ordinances that nearly every local government in the country has in place. The village of Euclid passed these zoning ordinances so local government, representing its citizens, could reasonably determine its future in an urbanizing environment.

This ruling affirmed a local government's role to protect its people from public nuisance and maintained a community's ability to be self-determined. — Dominic DiPaolo, Ashland

Our safe and secure little town of Eagle Point is changing.

We moved here in July of 2003 and have enjoyed the quiet and safe neighborhood. We have had a small deer statue in our front yard since 2003. It has been enjoyed by everyone in the neighborhood and children on walks with their parents always stop and loved to look at the deer. It sat between our two aspen trees and seemed to peer out at you.

During the night of Nov. 8, some evil person(s) took our little deer. He/she/they did not stop there. They proceeded to take more little figurines that we had alongside our front patio. We had a turtle, squirrel, a little mouse with a plaque that said "I Love This Place", and two small gnomes.

My wife enjoyed what she called her little garden and loved the deer. It broke her heart when we discovered them missing the morning of Nov. 9.

Whoever took them, please return them, they are missed, no questions asked. — David and Diane Giles, Eagle Point

The article on Nov. 6 about the thriving landscaping business, which has as one of its clients the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, was very nice. But, there's another story that needs to be investigated and told.

Why is there an elaborate landscaping project taking place outside of a government building which the article says "is not open to the public?" Starting last April, with the removal of several trees and installation of ornate lamp posts (the previous ones seemed to function just fine), there are now also numerous stone paths, meandering rock walls, an expensive irrigation system, lovely plants and I assume costly labor bills. How much cost exactly? Why? Whose decision?

I live one block away from the laboratory. Each morning, my son walks by it on his way to school. He is 13, yet even he realizes the absurdity of investing all these resources at a place that is not on public display, except from a passing car.

Maybe the Mail Tribune will discover that this project was funded by a generous donation from a local benefactor. That would relieve me. But, I suspect this is not a gift — this is a forensic folly! — Azade Rosenberg, Ashland

Teachers are supposed to set examples for their students. What a lesson this gun situation is for all.

Ms. Katz has shown them (according to the Mail Tribune) that she has signed a school employee policy agreement that does not allow weapons to be carried by unauthorized employees at school. She says it's OK to sign an agreement and then renege on it and expect to be patted on the back. Some example.

The news media gets the story and next will be an ACLU lawyer to say it's OK to endanger our children and please overlook this, and also students be sure and not check her out every day to see when and where she is concealing this gun, instead of doing their school work (kids will be kids).

I suggest she get a job as a police officer or security guard so she can carry a weapon legally. At least that's a respectable role for others to see and can only harm lawbreakers, not innocent children.

The job of parents and teachers is to protect children, not endanger them. Shame on her, there are other legal ways to resolve her personal problems, not in a public school. — Mary L. Koontz, Medford

While many were out collecting candy this past Halloween, there were those of us who were collecting something different.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is an organization that (among other things) helps children who were orphaned by AIDS. The money collected goes to schooling, food and medical care for these children. Halloween night, the Phoenix High Key Club collected money on behalf of these children raising over $100.

We would like to thank the community for their generosity. All the money received will benefit those children greatly.

With the success of this year's event we can only look to next year for an even better turnout. Again, thank you for the kindness and generosity those in the Phoenix community expressed toward us; we hope to see you next year. — Kevin Marshall, Phoenix High School Key Club Member