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The letter writer who predicted employment rates would be harmed by President Obama's call for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour today to $9 by 2015 — an increase that by most measures would be termed "modest" — needs to be aware that there is little evidence to support that view.

In fact, a February 2013 survey article authored by John Schmitt at the Center for Economic and Policy Research ("Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?"), looked at the academic work done on this widely studied economic question, published since about 2000, and concluded that the research indicates there is almost no change in employment in response to modest increases in the minimum wage.

It seems every time an increase to the minimum wage is proposed this same old canard that it will result in job losses is trotted out. Schmitt's entire article can be found at www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage-2013-02.pdf. — Mike Mooney, Ashland

If you are a Phoenix resident and haven't attended a Phoenix City Council meeting, you are missing an opportunity to see our council in action. Here is an opportunity for you to speak up and share with the council what you feel is important to you and our community.

Our new Mayor Jeff Bellah is doing his best to reach out to our community to share the objectives in resolving critical issues that concern all of us in this city.

One big issue is water. There is going to be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19. A regional development specialist will report to the City Council and the Water Commission examining the water system data and methodology for fairness. — Louis Junghans, Phoenix

Shaun Hall's article on the March 2 front page mentioned the proposed tax that was rejected by Josephine County voters. It would have been our second public safety levy in 10 years.

A well-funded sheriff's office is important. The local government should use methods including salary reduction for county commissioners and allowing logging on county land. Perhaps some city- and county-owned land should be sold to pay the police.

I will not ask property owners to pay more taxes. I will, however, ask these politicians to correctly use the resources we already have. — L.R. Pielaszczyk, Cave Junction