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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Despite the holiday mood, I must speak out about the outrageous plan hidden within the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) to turn much of Applegate Valley and the Deer Creek watersheds into new "Off Highway Vehicle Emphasis Areas." Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are also known as ATVs and ORVs, and they make a lot of noise, cause significant soil erosion and ruin quiet forest trails.

Within the WOPR proposals are plans to turn over half of the 2.6 million acres public land that BLM purportedly manages into "timber management areas." Notably, much of this is in Southwestern Oregon because this is were the remaining old-growth trees that yield the most money still stand. In addition, the plan is to build 1,000 miles of new logging roads over the next decade and thus open over 100,000 miles of forest roads to "OHV Emphasis Areas." The impacts on quality of our lives, our property values and opportunities for ongoing economic development have not been considered.

The idea of OHVs, ATVs and ORVs in or near everyone's backyards brings the WOPR right into our faces. Please contact your congressional representatives and the governor about your concerns. — Dorothea Hover-Kramer, Cave Junction

In a Dec. 6 letter to the editor, Paulie Brading appears to be a concerned citizen upset by the lack of O&C funds and what she termed a "flawed" process the county commissioners used to close libraries. In reality, the letter was part of a blatant and intentional political tactic.

It would have been more honest had Brading or the newspaper identified her as the chairwoman of the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee and contributing editor for BlueOregon, a progressive democratic organization. In a November 2007 article for BlueOregon, Brading discussed the 2008 campaign strategy and wrote: "Some of us will sit staring at the M49 and M50 results precinct by precinct trying to find a correlation, any correlation ... with the chances of unseating a county commissioner."

Obviously, Brading has chosen C.W. Smith as her personal political target. But in setting her sights, she has misled readers.

The fact is, both Democrats and Republicans made the unanimous decision to close libraries and cut budgets in public and televised meetings. During part of the process, Democratic Commissioner Gilmour was chairman. And remember, "budget pain" existed long before Smith was elected. It's why he ran for office in the first place. — Jamee Pineda, Medford

The Medford Chapter of the American Sewing Guild, as well as many other organizations, make quilts each year for veterans at Christmas time. This year we decided to come together to make a lap quilt for each veteran at the White City Rehabilitation Center in White City.

We have reached our goal of 500 quilts, one for each resident of the Rehabilitation Center. We wish to say thank you to all of the stitchers who made the quilts and to the individuals and organizations who sent quilts, fabric and money to make this program possible. We wish to thank Fasturn Junction for providing a space to store all the quilts.

The quilts were given out at the veterans' Christmas party on Dec. 15 in the Station Theatre at the Veterans' Domiciliary. — Alma Gates, president, Medford Chapter, American Sewing Guild

If you were fortunate enough to receive a "kicker" check from the state of Oregon, now is your chance to share with the less fortunate. Treat it as found money or an unexpected bonus and pass it on.

There are so many possibilities of underfunded agencies trying to make our communities better places — take your pick. Mine will go to the Southern Oregon Historical Society, who unfairly lost all public funding when the county sucked up their 60-year levy. They are struggling to keep their doors open and preserve our heritage for future generations. Maybe you too could help them (and ourselves) out — just kick it back. — Vicki A. Bryden, Medford

Commenting at the release of the Mitchell Report, George Mitchell said, "Everyone involved in baseball over the past two decades ... shares to some extent the responsibility for the Steroids Era" (MT Dec. 14). What a coincidence: George Bush was an owner of the Texas Rangers ball club from 1989-1998, but I'm sure he'd plead clueless. I don't expect he would know any more about that than he did about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. — Michael Steely, Medford