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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Mike Mooney (June 27) writes that Republicans first complained it was President Obama's fault when gas prices were rising, but now are not giving him credit for falling prices. I would like to remind Mr. Mooney that gas prices are double what they were when President Obama took office. Does he think that's a good thing for the president? — Maureen Stewart, Medford

Recently there have been statements regarding local support of Southern Oregon wines. As the oldest winery in the region, Valley View would not be here today if our local wine consumers had not supported us throughout our 35 years of making wine. We believe it is not simply because we are local, but because we produce high quality, good value wines that taste really good — and happen to be made right here!

We price our wines for the local market with many under $12 a bottle and a few under $7 a bottle. And because we self-distribute, nearly every dollar stays here in Southern Oregon.

When Valley View first started, Oregon wines were a novelty. It is now a $2.7 billion industry. We are proud of our contributions to this industry, our commitment to nonprofits in our area and the loyal support of our customers. Whenever you spend your precious dollars please consider our local businesses and producers; we are living proof that it does make a difference. — Mark Wisnovsky, president, Valley View Winery, Jacksonville

There has been a lot of misinformation printed and said about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including a June 28 press conference by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Before the Affordable Care Act, our nation had the most expensive health care system in the world, with actual patient outcomes worse than most other developed countries. This created unnecessary suffering for those needing health care, but also made it difficult for our businesses to be competitive in world markets, leading to substantial job losses.

Romney falsely states (June 28) that the Affordable Care Act will add trillions to the deficit. The reality, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is that the 10-year deficit will be reduced by $124 billion. We cannot and must not return to the disastrous situation prior to the health care act, as proposed by Romney. He is playing on voters' natural concern about such a major and inevitably complex change with deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.

The bill gives dependent children better coverage. It prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions. It removes the huge cost of uninsured patients using hospital emergency care facilities. The list of positives is extensive. — Marc Heritage, Rogue River

At 5, I learned to ski the hills and mountains of New England. Twenty years later I joined countless others in pursuing our passion on Oregon's mountains.

As Mt. Ashland begins a fund-raising campaign to survive a disastrous recreation season, I think of how much the ski area has meant to our community in its nearly half-century of existence.

Although numerous physical ailments forced me to "retire" from skiing several years ago, the mountain's current plight brought home to me its importance to the Rogue Valley's winter recreation, charitable youth programs and employment.

Millions of dollars have been donated to local youth organizations to provide a healthy outdoor winter recreation experience. Now it's time for the community to help Mt. Ashland after missing its first in 20 years of sustaining a nonprofit operation. Other nonprofits (i.e., Britt, Shakespeare) conduct fundraisers like this regularly, because ticket sales alone seldom are sufficient.

For years, affordable season pass and daily lift ticket prices have remained low to encourage young and old alike to benefit from an exhilarating winter recreation pursuit.

Please participate in this fund-raising drive. — Kurt Austermann, Medford