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ELECTION LETTERS

We are supporters of the library concept, but certainly not in favor of the funding concept. We were also opposed to the grandiose library building project that occurred a few years ago, which we are still paying for.

I heard that a funding method was not included at that time, as there were concerns it would not pass. Well, they got their Taj Mahal and no money to run it.

Ninety bucks per house in Jackson County is a sizeable chunk of dough. We think the property owner has his/her neck stretched out about as far as it can go.

Eagle Point also has plans for a levy extending bus service from White City to Eagle Point. All of these things are nice and desirable, but who pays? My thought is the user should pay the most. — Ralph and Anna Wyant, Eagle Point

Looks like The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County did not do their homework on Measure 15-119. I am disappointed that an organization representing businesses in our area took a stance that undermines our agricultural economy and our local businesses.

If passed, following the growth trajectory in agriculture of other counties who have banned GE (genetically engineered) crops, Jackson County could easily add 600 to 1,100 new agricultural jobs and $33 million a year to the economy in the next few years.

Sixty-four countries have either banned or regulated GE foods. Jackson County farmer Jared Watters lost $250,000 during last year's "wheat scare" when Japan halted exports from Oregon after discovering GE contamination. Let's ensure that "accidents" like this do not happen.

If you are a business that cares about our long-term economic growth, please know that voting yes on Measure 15-119 is key to the health of our economy. — Eden Luz, Jacksonville

When I was at the Pear Blossom Festival, I stopped at the booth of FORE — Friends of Research and Extension. The volunteer pointed out that most people attending the festival would spend more money at the food and craft booths that day than they will pay in taxes in one year if Ballot Measure 15-121 passes: an average of $7.71. So true.

Passage of Measure 15-122 to assure the continued operation of our public libraries would cost the average Jackson County taxpayer more — $92.53, or less than $8 per month. My guess is that most of us spend at least $8 each month on things we can't even remember consuming.

What we might ask ourselves is this: Will we continue to seek the good life by spending money on ourselves for transient pleasures, or will we find deep satisfaction in building a decent society for our children and grandchildren? — Herbert Rothschild, Phoenix

I own a traditional small farm here in the valley. However, I am contemplating planting a bio-crop. The yield is much greater and it is less susceptible to crop-destroying insects. So it should greatly improve the economic welfare of my farm.

However, I am concerned that marauding pollen patrols with ill intent from lower-yielding organic farms in the valley will make my crop less productive and unsellable.

So I plan a signature campaign for a ballot measure entitled "Protect Family GMO Farms," which would make it unlawful for any person to propagate, cultivate, raise or grow organic plants in Jackson County. Organic farmers would have a year to harvest, destroy or remove those inferior plants from the county. Failure to comply would result in the confiscation and destruction of those crops during daylight hours.

I'm looking for 6,700 signatures or so to qualify. Thanks for your support. — Bruce Henderson, Central Point

We all have an immune system, and it goes into powerful action whenever even a small irritant like pollen or bacteria tries to invade.

Some people in Jackson County are like this immune system, working hard to protect the land, economy, animals and people from a foreign invader. That invader is Syngenta and its PAC, Good Neighbor Farmers. The Farm Bureau is also part of this disease trying to harm Jackson County.

But these are not small diseases. They are hungry and greedy to take over our land and food, seed and money-making. Behind them are even bigger worldwide diseases, like Monsanto and Dupont and the other GMO/chemical corporations.

Working hard to keep them out and maintain a healthy Jackson County is Our Family Farms Coalition. They are like immune cells, going everywhere to protect what is healthy. Vote yes and join the immune system to help repel invading corporate diseases. — Craig Capomaggi, Ashland

I was happy to read Mr. Marlowe's vision for Jackson County. He rode along on my school bus and seated the students where he wanted them to sit. Some unruly riders refused to board and chose to walk home. Hank sat in the back of the bus and observed.

Almost all students thanked me as they departed the bus. More importantly, a couple of the unruly riders changed their behavior on my bus; one even asked my help to him find a job!

Hank made a difference in that setting and will make a difference for Jackson County. I have known Hank for many years, have discussed many issues with him and have seen him in action. Jackson County needs his vision. — Steve Holmes, Central Point

With all the attention focused on GMOs and the sheriff's race, the Extension Service seems to be taking a back seat.

My personal interest is 4-H. My family has been active in 4-H for four generations. They've been active in every aspect of 4-H. One of the buildings at the old fairgrounds was named after my late uncle Bill Bigham.

4-H is so important to so many Rogue Valley young people. Those who raise livestock learn the responsibility for having to take care of an animal.

Many are able to help finance their college careers from the proceeds of selling their animals each year.

I have two special young friends showing horses, both straight-A students, ages 14 and 9. The oldest has blossomed through 4-H. Her sister has just started this year.

Join me in continuing this vital association for our youngsters by voting yes on Measure 15-121. — Patricia Bigham Green, Medford

Two thoughts on your editorial conclusion that "The basic argument against GMOs is based on a health risk premise that has never been proven."

1) With GMOs flooding our food system before the completion of any long-term studies on human and animal health, is that really where you want to assign the burden of proof? Your exact phrase was used to sneer at early doubts about tobacco, DDT, thalidomide and other deadly "advances." Rapidly growing (inconclusive) research, heeded by the many prosperous countries that ban GMOs, points to big regrets in our future.

2) There are other "basic arguments." Like the demonstrable economic damage GMO operations elsewhere inflict on nearby growers who, like 99 percent of those in our county, don't use GMOs. Like the probability that the spread of GMO products will reverse our hard-earned progress towards managing our own food system.

I'm proudly voting yes on Measure 15-119. — Jeff Golden, Ashland

Finally, we the people can do something that will make a huge difference in our lives in this valley. It's as simple as voting yes on 15-119, to stop GMO corporations from shutting down local farms.

They are not our neighbors. They are not our friends. They will say anything to stop us from standing up for our rights, as their blatantly misleading TV ads prove. A yes on this measure will save us money, support local businesses, and stop their virus from spreading through our valley.

Syngenta, the Swiss company that wants to do GMO business here, is banned from doing that in their home country! And for good reason. They peddle poison and use millions of PR dollars to scare voters into helping them. But we're smart enough to vote yes and deny the profiteering outsiders who only care about profit, not contributing to our healthy community. — Will Wilkinson, Ashland

Vote yes to form a library district for all libraries in Jackson County (Ballot Measure 15-122). The funds raised from a relatively small, permanent assessment on property value will only go to provide staff for libraries and make them accessible to all in the county. A five-member, publicly elected board will oversee distribution of funds.

Please read the information in your voter's pamphlet and join those who argue in favor of the measure. Support for public services such as libraries means we all pitch in, whether we might use the service or not. Please consider especially the children, young adults and less fortunate who otherwise would not have access to the educational opportunities that libraries provide.

From any perspective, it is hard to imagine a region without libraries open to all. That tells a lot about what people value and why a family might want to live here. — Steve Haskell, Ashland