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I vehemently oppose reducing traffic lanes on Highway 99 to accommodate bike lanes. Here in Ashland with the road diet, I see four or five bicyclists a week and I travel that road daily. What I do see every morning and night is congestion during commute hours. Why would we want to replicate this commuter's nightmare on Highway 99 for the pleasure of a few bicyclists?

It is a myth perpetuated by the very vocal bike lobby that cyclists are commuting to work. Wrong! Most bicyclists are out for a joy ride, recreational riders, not commuters going to work.

And when are motorists going to speak up and demand bicyclists pay their fair share? Might I suggest the first step be a registration fee and a large license plate? This identification plate would do much to curtail cyclists' flagrant disregard for traffic rules.

I am sick of subsidizing this elitist group and their $3,000 bicycles. Enough already with this road diet nonsense! Quit impeding the working folks of this valley just trying to get to work. — Ellie McKeon, Ashland

Recent D9 contract negotiations ended positively. Negotiations ended before the old contract expired for the first time since this administration arrived in 2007-08.

What were the financial results?

Most teachers should see a $750 to $1,100 (2 percent) salary increase during 2014-15. Most classified employees should see a 50 cents to 80 cents an hour (4 percent) raise during 2014-15.

Administrators received raises June 2013. The superintendent exceeded 13 percent in raises to total over $190,000 in salary/benefits. During 2012-13, the business manager's salary/benefits increased over $22,000 (approximately a 25 percent increase).

In 2013-14, all district office administrators (excluding the superintendent) increased from approximately $146,000 salary/benefits to approximately $155,000 (over 6 percent).

The high school principal's approximately $140,000 in salary/benefits in 2012-13 went to approximately $148,000 for 2013-14 (almost 8 percent). Middle school principals increased from approximately $133,000 in salary/benefits to over $140,000 for 2013-14 (almost 7 percent). Elementary principals increased from approximately $132,000 in salary/benefits to over $139,000 for 2013-14 (over 5 percent)

In 2014-15, administrators will take $4,000 to $9,000 salary/benefit increases ($143,000 to over $159,000) in addition to the above raises. Thank you, teachers and classified, for your unselfish sacrifices for students. — Jim Mannenbach, Eagle Point

In response to Mr. Bill Hartley of Medford's letter to the editor Dec. 31 titled "Capitalism means choices": I thank Mr. Hartley for suggesting we "pay no attention to the Mail Tribune's claim that the canceled (health insurance) policies weren't very good."

I will pay attention, however, in spite of his instructions, because facts are facts. Also because all Republicans seem to do these days is tell us what to believe no matter the reality.

My recommendation to Mr. Hartley and Republicans like him is to break out of their bubble and return to the fact-based world. — Wes Brown, Medford