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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Your opinion page in Sunday's newspaper (Jan. 27) is a gold mine of useful, reasonable and thoughtful commentary.

I particularly commend you for the following reprints and articles:

1. "Five myths about recession" by Kevin A. Hassett.

2. "Q and A on recession" by The Washington Post.

3. "Economy is security for many" by Harold Meyerson.

4. "Obama's great challenge" by Paul Greenberg.

I have come to the opinion that 90 percent of the commentary and opinion in the media is mostly biased propaganda and hype. Thank you for a breath of fresh air of useful, reasonable and thoughtful commentary. — Carl Schoder, Medford

I am not a snow person. When my daughter asked me to help her build a snowman Sunday (the 27th), I was less than enthusiastic, but eventually got into the spirit.

In snows past, her snowmen haven't been too large, so we went for a personal record and achieved it. "Wallace" serenely surveyed our street as my daughter helped a neighbor lady construct yet a second snow-being in the other yard.

The next morning, I discovered some jerk(s) decided to stomp our snowman, as well as the neighbor's, to death during the night. In the scheme of things, I realize this is petty, and since I doubt the persons responsible have enough smarts to read a newspaper, this is for naught. However, in the future when they have kids and aren't all that keen about snow anymore, I hope that someone doesn't ruin their efforts to create magic in their own front yard! — Joni Arappagis, Medford

As I listened to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and to Sen. Harry Reid, speaking before the National Press Club about the Democratic plans to reverse the malign effects of the Bush administration, I admired their presentation. Before any of these changes can happen, however, they must address the fundamental cause of our national decline. This is 9/11, our festering wound.

There is no lack of solid information about the lies told after 9/11 to hustle us into war: 935 documented lies. Why, then, should we presume that the Bush administration has told the truth about that tragic day?

On the contrary, there is evidence that truth was hammered, covered up and left for dead. Why? Perhaps because politicians are famous for their ability to "go along to get along"?

One who apparently never learned that is Dennis Kucinich. We saw how he was marginalized from day one of the debates. He tried to get us to see that America is suffering from a terrible wound that must be exposed to the light of truth if ever it is to recover. Impeachment is the scalpel and the light. — Harriett Rex Smith, Ashland

There is a proposed pipeline that will carry liquefied natural gas from Coos Bay through Trail and out near Malin. This gas will go to California and maybe Nevada for consumption.

It will be dug under the Rogue and Umpqua rivers, just to name two. It will cross or go under 19 waterways in our state. Think fish, swimming, boating, tourism, birds, etc.

The gas will be non-odorized. If there is a leak you will not know it until your animals start dying; anyone with compromised lung and heart issues?

There will be a 75- to 100-foot swath cut through the landscape and a poison put down that will prevent anything from growing, ever. Think wells, water, trees in the landscape, etc.

It will pump billions of gallons of gas per day.

These are just a few of the concerns about this pipeline. Another huge concern is the size of the bay in Coos Bay where tankers are proposed to be bringing in this gas. This is a proposed line.

Help delay or stop this pipeline. Please do not think that it does not affect you. It affects all of us who live in the Rogue Valley and beyond. 1-866-211-7335. — Barbara Falcy, Trail

I see that an effort is underway to build a Veteran's Memorial in Central Point. Thank you for thinking about and supporting our veterans. I spent years working with and for veterans and in 2005 spent a year serving in Iraq.

Years ago I was proudly involved in the successful construction of a beautiful Veterans Park Memorial near the Medford Armory. This park was built to memorialize all Southern Oregon veterans from all wars who passed away in the service of this great country. How many memorials do we need in Southern Oregon before they start losing their significance?

What this valley needs is a place for veterans to meet. Veterans need the services of the County Veterans Service Office and they need jobs. The County Veterans Service office has moved so many times that I have lost count.

Organizations, particularly small groups need a place to hold meetings and socialize. Perhaps during these times when dollars are hard to come by, we need to invest in the living rather than build another memorial to the dead. — retired USNR Terry M. Haines, Central Point

The article about the county clerk and her wedding fees took me back to the "good ol' days."

I wed Donna Monia 72 years ago. In 1935, Judge Earl Day charged me $10 and then gave Donna $5 for a wedding present.

Everybody knew the value of a dollar in those days.

I was getting $15 a month feeding Fred Dutton's stock. In the summer, I got $1.50 for an 8-hour day.

We got by nicely, no food stamps or welfare. — Lincoln Charley, Central Point

Jackson County commissioners need to modernize, professionalize and review their appointment practices. Exclusion of certain citizens of Jackson County on county committees and task forces has been standing operating procedure.

How did 15 libraries close without citizen input? Where was the leadership when the first signs of loss of timber payments were known?

Commissioners, the clubby "who you know, or what you think you know" appointment process and the walling off of the public in your decisions must end.

A task to consider in a budget crisis (loss of timber payments) is to write a simple mission statement, "To examine and research options regarding the loss of timber funds." Issue an invitation to citizens to join a service or a finance committee to review county costs and services. An independent body then screens applicants for those committees and builds the strongest team possible.

It is not wise or good governance for commissioners to hand-pick task force and committee membership. A closed shop in a county of 200,000 residents? How long will citizens tolerate such practices? — Paulie Brading, Jackson County Democratic Party chair, Medford

Our youth have videos, Ipods, e-mail and so forth. All to see, and put on, all sorts of things. Some good and a lot bad.

We worry about kids going to prison, using drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, gang wars, free sex, cheating, stealing, anything goes.

Now the Mail Tribune runs an article on the game, "Don't Drop the Soap." And guess what, it's by a governor's son, who created the game, full of all the things we hope and pray our kids avoid.

The article stated, "both parents are very proud of the son." Where does common sense come in to play? Makes me sick. — Jean Albertson, a great-grandmother, Medford

How does one grow up with zero morality and then find someone just like yourself? I'm speaking, of course, about the Clintons — Bill and Hillary — two peas in a zero morality pod.

You also may ask how anyone in their right mind would vote for them. I say them because it would be a co-presidency. God help us! — Robert Peters, Medford

I ask that we please consider voting Ron Paul for president in the coming election. I write to encourage you to research and support Ron Paul because I truly believe he is offering what so many of us want.

Ron Paul is the only candidate running who will get us out of Iraq. Ron Paul is the only candidate who even addresses the freedom, rights and civil liberties we are losing. He is the only candidate who questions economic policy and corruption. He is the only candidate who honestly addresses the issues.

Watch videos of Ron Paul on YouTube. I believe that if you find out more about Ron Paul with an open mind, you will find a refreshing candidate who offers something much more than what others offer us. — Clay Lowell, Medford