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Transparency in local government derives largely from adhering to due process of law. That's why it's important that the burden of proof for land-use decisions be established through findings of fact made in formal public proceedings duly recorded for later review.

It is unsettling, then, to see the Housing Authority of Jackson County solicit ex parte contact with the Cherry Creek disputants in the midst of a pending appeal. Closed-door negotiations only breed allegations of corruption and contempt for government.

Any assurances that HAJC might make to stakeholders about the nature of the project during such sessions would be nonbinding, so why bother? There's only one venue for making your case in a quasi-judicial decision and that's on the public record. If you don't make it there, you don't make it at all. — Steve Bismarck, Medford

People might think they're "sticking it to the man" when they drive off from a service station without paying for their gasoline. But they are actually sticking it to the person who pumped their gas.

Service stations make the attendants pay for the stolen gas, or they fire them. It's just horrifying to know this goes on, and I think it should be against the law. Service stations should be required to have video surveillance and other strategies, such as retaining the gas caps until payment is received, to prevent theft. While the service stations aren't making much profit, I think it is unfair for service station owners to understaff their gas stations and not have any kind of security at all, but then to hold the attendant responsible.

But it is totally unfair and also totally unlawful for people to drive away without paying for their gas. They are hurting hardworking people who need to pay bills and buy food and help sustain the economy of Southern Oregonians. — Patti Morey, Ashland

It doesn't really matter, but in response to Lindsay Paulk's letter, while I know nothing about the racial preferences of the people of Iowa, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, I do know that Iowa is known as the "Hawkeye" state, not the "Buckeye" state, which is Ohio. Rather like getting the Beavers confused with the Ducks. — Edward Goldhamer, Medford