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Concerning the cross displayed at the Coos Bay Veterans Memorial:

There is something inherently very wrong when a national organization based in another state can even have a say over what happens with religious displays halfway across the country in another community.

The atheist movement in this country seems bent on interpreting the "freedom of religion" clause to mean "freedom from religion," thereby imposing its minority beliefs on the rest of us. — Chris Adams, Ashland

So you want to reduce the deficit by just cutting spending? Look out.

The press conference by the Pentagon, which has to reduce spending by $41 billion between now and the end of September, is connected with the news concerning timber payments to counties being returned to the federal government. You don't get what you don't pay for. And if the 5 percent reduction in federal spending over six months lands in your backyard, who is accountable? How about the party controlling the purse strings in the House and the 60-vote threshold in the Senate to get anything passed there.

Unless more reasonable heads prevail we will be locked in to more spending cuts for a long time with no revenue to offset cuts, not even scrutiny over tax expenditures that benefit the wealthy. That is money not collected as shown in the Romney 14 percent tax rate.

The net effect is to depress economic growth and cut jobs. Where do you think the timber payments to counties end up? Did Rep. Greg Walden think rural areas in particular would not get hurt by the sequester passing?

Top priority is job creation and jobs bring in revenue. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

Why can't the leftist liberals ever answer the question, "What is a fair share?" when it comes to taxes?

They insist the "rich" don't pay their fair share — their "share" currently being at about 71 percent of all income taxes collected. How much of every dollar should be paid in taxes? Fifty percent, 75 percent, 95 percent? At what point should this "fair share" kick in? How much money will be gained from this "fair share"? — P. Moran, Medford

To the Ashland City Council, the mayor and all the committees that brought us the Plaza Beautification Project, one question: Where's the beauty? — Allyn Kaufmann and Bruce Dicoskey, Ashland

I want to say thank you to the two men who kept me from falling as I was attempting to stand March 29 at the DMV office. I failed to properly thank you at the time. Your quick response kept me from falling and suffering injury, as well as embarrassment.

I am thankful for your reactions and strength, and for patiently holding me up until I could walk on my own. — George Eshoo, Medford

The Northwest Forest Plan produced timber sales at projected amounts in the first five years, including more than 1.6 billion board feet in 1996 and 1997 combined. In 1999, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service refused to implement measures to protect rare plants and animals that depend on old-growth forest habitat, resulting in a court injunction that dropped timber output to about 200 million board feet by 2001.

The plan works as intended when foresters do not shirk environmental safeguards. The plan also created more than 2,000 jobs in salmon habitat restoration and increased emphasis on thinning dense, young stands to improve wildlife habitat and support logging jobs. Those timber sales have exceeded targets in the past decade and do not attract appeals or litigation.

Only the Medford and Roseburg BLM districts consistently fail to achieve logging quotas because they emphasize old-growth harvest opposed by most Americans. Across the Pacific Northwest, the timber industry logged about 490,000 acres of old-growth forest on private land between 1994 and 2008. That exceeds by 250 percent the amount of old-growth habitat lost to severe fires in the same period. — Jay Lininger, Ashland