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I watch with amazement the tea party demonstrations, because most of the people look like me (old).

My wife and I live modestly but not deprived. We live primarily on Social Security and a couple of small pensions.

We have Medicare and can purchase a supplemental health policy. We own our home.

We pay no federal taxes, and because Oregon doesn't tax Social Security, very little in state taxes. A sales tax is our biggest worry. It's the most regressive (look it up) form of taxation ever devised.

I did some math. A married couple with two kids under 17 and a gross income of $50,000 should pay no federal tax for tax year 2009 even if they claim the standard deduction. Now that sounds like most of the young families I know.

Single people with no dependents get pounded by the current code. But from the media coverage, it looks like geezers like me are the driving force in the tea party movement. Go figure. — Terry Landreth, Central Point

Great news that rural homes may have the same services as homes in town. Thanks to all who worked to change this policy and allow homes to become modern and of greater value.

Unfortunately, the septic issue is small compared with the policies that still exist regarding other utilities and water. Rural homes, farms and ranches in Jackson County and the rest of Oregon suffer under rules and regulations that make it very difficult to obtain basic utilities and water.

Land-use laws meant to protect our farm and forest land have been used to deny basic access to utilities and water to farmers, ranchers, and other rural citizens.

I hope our local and state government will consider changing policy and law to make us all equal and have the same opportunity to own a modern home, with clean water, electricity, gas and communications, at a fair and equal price. — Glenn R. Archambault, Phoenix

Sorry to hear of the Josephine County Animal Shelter likely having to close its doors and euthanize more animals due to the lack of funds (April 16).

The majority of the budget is funded by licensing and adoption fees. I urge readers to license their pets to support the shelter.

Please volunteer your time to clean cages, walk dogs or simply provide attention. Please adopt rather than support breeders.

This is simple economics. If breeders are not funded, then more dogs will not be bred that end up in shelters.

Please spay or neuter your pet.

Lastly, don't close your eyes to abuse or neglect. Report the same. We can stop animal abuse one animal at a time.

Keep in mind that human abuse has its roots in animal abuse (e.g. Ted Bundy, Albert DeSalvo, aka, the "Boston Strangler," David Berkowitz, aka, "Son of Sam," Jeffrey Dahmer, etc.). We depend on Animal Control to aid in the rescue of countless neglected and abused animals. — Lisa A. Frost, Ashland