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Letters to the editor

Regarding the proposed sale of Jacksonville land to the Motorcycle Riders Association, the City Council is ignoring the citizens of Jacksonville.

In a Dec. 8 Mail Tribune article, the mayor observed that three people spoke in favor of the sale at the Dec. 6 council meeting and none spoke against it, leading to the conclusion that the sale is a go.

He needs to recognize that there is opposition, and there is concern that the citizens are being ignored.

Two-hundred-and-fifty citizens signed a request to the council to put the issue on the ballot. The council rejected the request.

In 2007-08, 100-plus citizens created the Jacksonville Vision 2028, which included a very clear statement: "Major decisions that will financially impact or change the character of the community are decided by a vote of the electorate."

The proposed sale will be one of the biggest decisions this City Council will ever make.

It is time for the Jacksonville City Council to acknowledge the will of the people by holding an advisory ballot on the land sale. — Jerry Mathern, Jacksonville

I was shocked to read of Lisa Herrald's dismissal from Griffin Creek Elementary School for gross neglect of duty.

I know that when there is a complaint, the School Board has to take action. That doesn't mean the person in question is guilty.

Let me tell you about the teacher, Lisa Herrald, who I have had the opportunity to know for the past nine years.

I am a substitute teacher with the Medford School District, and whenever I subbed for Lisa, I knew her plans and supplies would be in order.

She had a classroom management plan with specific expectations that were appropriate for her students.

I especially loved her literature plans where the students were organized in cooperative learning groups.

Again, the students knew exactly what their responsibilities were and participated appropriately.

Lisa provided a quiet mood in her classroom with low-playing classical music in the background.

I could tell that Lisa always had her students' best interests in mind. I can't imagine how a teacher of Lisa Herrald's caliber could be accused of gross neglect of duty. — Mary Jo Follett, Medford

Our Justice Department prosecutes Wall Street insider traders; our people in Congress have made insider trading legal for themselves. That's how congressional members can enter Congress with less than a million dollars, and become multi-millionaires within a few years.

Massey coal mine supervisors were told "move coal," don't fix safety violations — 29 miners died, with no prosecutions.

Big banks hired people to do nothing but sign fraudulent mortgage foreclosure documents — with no prosecutions.

President Bush, using more signing statements than all other presidents combined, assumed dictatorial powers, trampled our constitutional rights, violated international treaties, started two illegal wars and ran our country into virtual bankruptcy — with no prosecution.

BP oil violated safety rules, 11 died in a Texas refinery and caused the worst oil spill in history — with no prosecutions.

While exercising our First Amendment right to peaceful assembly, demonstrators were gassed, clubbed, kicked and pepper-sprayed by police, resulting in one policeman getting what amounts to two weeks' paid vacation.

Should our Pledge of Allegiance be changed to "One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all who can afford it?" — Sidney Stitt, Phoenix, USAF (retired)