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In the past two years, the Construction Contractors Board has made continuing education necessary for independent contractors to renew their registration. Thirteen of the mandatory 16 hours have been available locally, and the remaining three are delivered by the CCB via the Internet or a Salem classroom.

In rural Oregon, one option is truly viable: the Internet. Some opt for this, and some do not. For the "some do not," I reasoned it was more cost-effective to send one educator to Southern Oregon than to expect individual contractors to make the trip to Salem. They pay out a lot in fees already just for the freedom to work.

I spoke with CCB educators twice. The wall I ran into was "budgetary constraints" and that they "can't meet the needs of everyone." Their budget is so tight that they can't find $600 for accomodations, food and gas to send an educator to rural Oregon? Really? You have the boldness to say this to a crippled industry that supports your existence?

I think the CCB could meet this request in a heartbeat if they were serious about their responsibility. Instead, they are enjoying far too much of the authority they possess. — Kay Harris, Medford

The Mail Tribune doesn't let facts get in its way as it tars ski expansion opponents as know-nothings, claiming that "they have blocked the expansion through administrative appeals and lawsuits for 20 years, losing every step of the way because the facts are not on their side."

In fact, the U.S. Forest Service systematically violated its own management plan in approving ski expansion in 2004. It failed to protect landslides and watershed soils from development as required. The newest impact statement duplicates this outrageous flaw.

Facts prompted a federal appeals court to block expansion, even after Forest Service experts, the Mt. Ashland Association and the Mail Tribune maintained in unison that every rock had been turned, all impacts were known, and there was nothing left to do but expand the ski area.

You are entitled to your view, but not to invent facts. — Jay Lininger, Ashland

A couple named the Arizonas come home and find a person sleeping on their couch. They call the authorities to have the person thrown out of their house.

The authorities tell them that they do not have the right to throw the person out of their house because he is already an established resident there. And if they try to throw him out themselves, they are leaving themselves open to a lawsuit or possibly jail for violating his rights. Furthermore, they must provide him with not only shelter but food, medical care and tuition if he wants to go to college.

They ask how could this be and what they can do to correct the problem legally.

They are told, "You shouldn't have left the door open!" — Brad Martinkovich, Medford