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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Last week, I read a letter that expressed concerns with the health insurance that members of Congress receive and how Congress is addressing health-care reform. Members of Congress receive the same coverage as Social Security office employees, national park rangers and other federal employees. My goal is for every American to have access to coverage that is as good as what members of Congress receive.

I believe that the health-care debate must be held in full public view. That was the case when I met with the Senate Health Committee to pass our version of health-care reform.

That committee has held 23 public sessions to develop a plan that will lower costs, increase choice, and enhance competition. During that process, senators from both parties introduced and debated more than 280 amendments before television cameras and dozens of reporters.

After the Finance Committee passes its version, we can expect a lengthy debate on the Senate floor. This will provide a tremendous opportunity for Oregonians to make their voices heard.

I invite readers to visit my Web site at www.merkley.senate.gov and share their health-care stories and opinions about how to lower costs and provide quality coverage for all Americans. — Sen. Jeff Merkley

I have known Andy Lane for years, and this just isn't in his character. I'm sick at heart over this.

Andy has always been a very work-oriented person. Why would he jeopardize his job that he loved and his whole future? I think it's awful that the sheriff's office "urged" people to call if they have a complaint about Andy. No one likes the "dog catcher" and I'm sure they probably are flooded with calls.

This whole ordeal makes no sense whatsoever. Don't judge Andy till all the facts are in. He's a good man. — Sharyn Arthur, Gold Hill

Regarding the over-aggressive article about Andy Ray Lane: Why did the Tribune select the front page to print the story of a Jackson County Animal Control officer? At the most, the local section would have been more appropriate.

It would appear to me that the officer was performing a humane response to animals in need.

Now it would seem some are taking advantage of Mr. Lane. — John E. Van Syoc, Grants Pass

Let's hope that the people who killed the doe and left two fawns orphaned are caught and punished.

Clearly they are sociopaths without a sympathetic bone in their bodies. — Maureen Stewart, Medford

I support the arts and music in school and in our community. In these harsh economic times it is very difficult to justify the cost of these programs when people are without jobs and the means to support their families. Then the city commissions a sculpture for the City Hall that defies all logic.

What is the significance of three rotted out tree stumps? I do not have a clue what meaning (if any) this effort might project but to call it art is a huge stretch.

I believe a more appropriate sculpture taken from our area's history may be appropriate. Jedediah Smith, Jesse Applegate, Peter Britt would all be good candidates. How about a statue with a miner, farmer and a logger standing together? After all, that is the heritage that founded Southern Oregon, like it or not. — Sharleen Brown, Medford