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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I'd like to give a shout out to Joel Ockunzzi, currently running for Jackson County commissioner.

I've known Joel for over 20 years. During that time, he's been a consistent example of fairness and leadership in both his business and personal life.

He's been a mentor to many young people in this valley, including his three kids who love and respect him, which says more than anything else I could hope to add. Personally, I told Joel he should be running for president, but he's got his sights set on the Rogue Valley.

Please join me in voting for Joel Ockunzzi, Jackson County commissioner. — David Sprunger, Medford

Radiation was first considered to be a wonder cure. It took years to discover its negative side effects and how to regulate use of that technology for safety.

DDT, once praised as the way to eradicate insect-caused diseases, was years later determined to be too toxic to use.

Widespread consumption of GMO-raised food may end up having a similar fate. We don't yet have enough information to be sure.

Resisting pressure from business interests that care mostly about their bottom line will give us time to learn what the long-term effects of GMOs are and if we can safely use the technology.

Voting yes on 15-119 is a way to show we've learned from past mistakes. A way to say "wait a minute, let's study this a little longer." Voting yes on 15-119 is choosing the path of moderation, of keeping our options open. — Selene Aitken, Ashland

On April 5, the Mail Tribune reprinted an editorial of the Daily Astorian stating, "It is time to more carefully take slope stability into account when considering logging permits or giving the go-ahead to other types of development."

Expansion of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area will clearcut trees on 14 acres of high-risk landslides at the headwaters of Ashland Creek. The U.S. Forest Service initially dismissed effects of landslide cutting as insignificant, but a federal court said the agency's own watershed analysis could not be ignored.

The Forest Service now admits that high-risk landslides will be impacted, but still refuses to apply rules requiring protection of water quality to the expansion plan.

Clearcuts increase landslides, especially in the Ashland Watershed. The damage should be prevented. — Jay Lininger, Talent

The hot topic now is whether or not to arm school teachers.

Five years ago, I would have thought that it was a good idea. That was before our recent strikes. After watching teachers behave like common union thugs, I've lost my desire to see them packing firearms.

Let the cops be the ones carrying guns. I still trust them. — Ron Smith, Medford