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If there is one phrase that motorists should memorize — and heed — it is that speed kills.

We always read these traffic accident stories that say "because of the wet pavement," "because of the fog," "because of the ice." Nonsense.

These accidents are the result of speed. Drivers accustomed to going 70 mph on the freeways don't think they have to reduce speed to accommodate weather conditions. If drivers would learn to slow down when weather conditions deteriorate, we wouldn't have so many traffic crashes, and certainly not the multi-car pileups which are so frequent. — Clarence Zaitz, Rogue River

On Thursday, Feb. 5, I was on my way into Safeway and tripped. A young couple and a young lady using her cell phone offered me their assistance; the young lady interrupted her call to do so.

After thanking them and starting my shopping, I was asked by a young man if I had left my purse in the cart, which I had. I usually have the purse on my shoulder but I wasn't focused. It turned out the young man was from the same area in California, and he made sure I got back to the cart. He mentioned he worked in loss prevention and told me that up to 50 purses a day are stolen from carts.

Because I was careless, things could have turned out differently, and I want to thank all who offered their help — there are thoughtful people who do care! — Jeanne Jensen, Phoenix

In response to Mr. Van Syoc's letter about wolf management on Jan. 30: Unlike Oregon's governor, Sarah Palin has the courage and wisdom to let trained biologists use sound management practices and put the needs, safety and rights of the people of Alaska above the "rights" of an animal.

In fact, also unlike our governor, Sarah listens to the vote and will of the people in her state, who recently voted for aerial wolf management to continue. Saying it was for "sport" is a sadly misguided statement.

Wolves are not rare in Alaska. In fact, they are a huge problem in many areas. Wolves are in Oregon already. What are you going to do when they are in your backyard? Go Sarah! — D. L. Scroggins, Medford

Thanks to the mismanagement of this country by the previous administration, America is in serious economic trouble. It is time to act and act quickly by getting President Obama's stimulus plan under way! While there is no quick fix — and, anyone who thinks there is should wake up and smell the reality of the situation — there is need for quick action.

Opponents of the president's plan have cited various reasons for delaying passage of the stimulus package. Every day that we have to suffer due to their delaying tactics sees a further decline in our economy.

We watch as another business folds and workers lose their jobs while they split hairs over some part of the package. Opponents stand by and quibble on the dock as Americans slip further into the depths of an almost certain depression. For heaven's sake — shut up and throw us the stimulus package life ring before we drown in debt! — Denise B. Cyr, Medford

It seems to me lately that the naysayers are taking front stage in criticizing the closing of Gitmo.

I have heard that they are saying that convicted terrorists are being let loose in our backyards. Well, my backyard has a large fence and is guarded by two rescued pound-breed canines.

But I do know that several terrorists have been prosecuted and successfully incarcerated in high-security federal prison such as Colorado's Supermax facility, which is far away from our backyards and is not posing any risk to the public's safety. This includes Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik convicted in the first World Trade Center attacks. We have the best justice system in the world, and it is fully capable of entertaining and taking care of sensitive national security issues without compromising fundamental rights.

So, think carefully and let's have some faith in reconstructing our country in accordance to our founders. Let us make informed criticisms, this way we don't fall into the fear tactics of the old regime. — Jo N. Hannon, Medford

Is the county so hard up for money that they are resorting to Gestapo tactics?

The animal control officer went through our neighborhood this afternoon. He went door to door asking people if they had dogs. If they had dogs he wanted to see their licenses. If they weren't licensed then he commenced to threaten the owners with a ticket. If they had no license he told people "I'll return Friday to see if you have gotten a license." I would like to know if he did this for the full day.

Are they going to check the whole county? What a waste. Where are these officers when you need them? You can call animal control with an animal problem and all you get is a runaround. Why not do away with those positions and let them find a real job instead of sucking the taxpayer dry?

I have lived here for over 60 years and this is the first time I have ever had someone go through the neighborhood checking to see if dogs have a license. Why won't they do anything about all the cats running loose and using everybody's yard for their own toilet? I'm getting tired of paying and getting nothing in return! — Donald Charley, Central Point

Jim Hughes was timely in his Feb. 2 letter, "The Republicans are a disgrace." Of course, so are the Democrats! Case in point: Anti-gun political activist Eric Holder was recently confirmed by every Democrat in the U.S. Senate, including 17 traitorous Republicans, for U.S. Attorney General under Obama's administration.

Holder believes the honest gun owner and citizen is thus not entitled to rightfully own a firearm. Also, that criminals and terrorists should be able to buy pardons for cash and votes. Holder is now in charge of prosecution and political persecution of American gun owners. Source: Oregon Firearms Federation at www.oregonfirearms.org.

My own lengthy letter in the Jan. 9 Ashland Daily Tidings titled, "Anti-gun agenda is class warfare" via www.dailytidings.com: enter "search" — confirms these socialist crooks in both political parties, both houses of Congress, including our state legislatures, simply desire to subjugate, control and enslave the common working class producers of America, many of whom are innocent, honest gun owners. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

About the elk being relocated from north of Medford: Five have already died after being torn from their families and friends (none too kindly I imagine), plus being prodded into noisy trucks to be hauled off to who knows where.

Doesn't it remind you exactly of how we whites dealt with the American Indians — insensitively, thoughtlessly, frighteningly, brutally? It would seem we have not learned a thing in all these years. — Elaine Witteveen, Jacksonville