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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I am grateful for Mary Miller's guest opinion in the Feb. 8 Mail Tribune. When I read the original news report, I was so impressed with the 21 life sentences that Judge Barnack handed down to Richard Lee Taylor that I failed to appreciate Judge Barnack's comments.

If a person convicted of 21 counts of child abuse does not qualify as a "bad person" who "does not belong outside a prison cell," what in the world would it take? Are these comments appropriate for the judge to make? Absolutely!

Too few of our leaders are willing to say what they think. I don't know whether Judge Barnack was speaking literally when he commented about Taylor's soul or that the community might wonder why Taylor wasn't hanging from a tree, but I certainly admire the judge's spirit and respect his outrage.

Also, I do not believe that it was inappropriate for the judge to ask Taylor about his soul. Such inquiries are not the sole province of the clergy. Certainly not if the questioner is "part of the race we call human." The judge's comments may not have been politically correct, but they were certainly appropriate. Thank God we have him. — Dennis Davis, Medford

Having worked at the airport for over a year, I frequently saw John Rachor's vibrant red and yellow helicopter buzzing around. I had heard that he helped out with search and rescue, but I was unaware of how successful his work has been. As a pilot myself, I am proud to see airmen volunteering their time to helping the community.

The general public does not realize just how big a contribution aviation makes to the community, and on a larger scale, to the global economy. Unfortunately, the number of active pilots is in a steady decline. Unless pilots enter the industry through the military, which is already not nearly as popular as it once was, general aviation is the only place for pilots to begin.

The White House wants to impose disastrous user fees upon general aviation pilots to make a couple bucks (pilots already pay taxes on fuel to fund government aviation services), yet they fail to realize that doing so could double the price of learning to fly and would destroy numerous communities across remote areas of the U.S. that rely on general aviation to survive.

Please support general aviation, and allow pilots like Rachor to continue what they are doing! — Michael Carlini, Medford

My wife and I have frozen our security information with Transunion, Equifax and Experian credit agencies. We are retired and do not wish to expose our personal security information to potential thieves. A lifetime of savings and security can be lost in minutes through misuse and profitable gain of those we hold in trust.

We are truly blessed to be debt-free, but we are constantly required to share our credit information and Social Security numbers with the vast majority of vendors! We have offered various means of payment for satellite, security and phone services via autopay methods with no success. Is it not against the law for a company to require our Social Security numbers?

With the increases in identity theft, we feel it necessary to block our information. Is there anyone out there experiencing similar requests? We simply do not trust any company and their employees with our credit information. The profit potential is simply too great for individuals without fiduciary ethics.

I am writing my congressional representatives today. Anyone with us? — Gary Puente, Eagle Point