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ELECTION LETTERS

Thoughtful, smart, caring and committed are just a few of the words that describe Rick Dyer as a person. These are exactly the character traits we need to lead our County. Join me and vote for Rick Dyer for Jackson County Commissioner. — Eli Matthews, Medford

As you receive your ballots and consider how you will vote on Measure 15-119, I encourage you to follow the money first-hand before making your decision.

Public information supplied by Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown's office lists entities that oppose the ban. Most are not from Jackson County.

Simply Google search:

"Filer/Committee ID = 16578"

Our local GMO issue is not as complex as some would have you believe. GMO bans exist throughout the U.S., and all over the world. Places with GMO bans will not come near our local products if they are genetically modified. Others will follow this inevitable trend.

All local farmers and consumers will feel the economic devastation that is sure to follow widespread GMO contamination of our produce and our seed crops.

Say yes to our healthy, self-determining local communities and our economic stability.

Vote yes on Measure 15-119. — Shantrin Lininger, Ashland

When GMO soybeans are sprayed with Roundup, the beans absorb this powerful herbicide. When you eat GMO soybeans (they are in a lot of prepared foods) you are eating herbicide!

GMO corn is modified to produce its own pesticide: Bt delta endotoxin. When you eat this corn, you are eating a pesticide — yum, good! Big Ag and the USDA tell us that there is no problem eating these chemicals. What could go wrong? — David Lane, Ashland

We are lab rats in a grand experiment to see how many chemicals corporations can inject into us. DDT, nicotine, Agent Orange, PCBs, and leaded gas were all denied as problems. GMOs are the latest.

They say GMOs are an extension of what farmers have been doing for millennia. Selecting the best seed is different from an animal gene spliced into a vegetable. What they mean is an extension of Monsanto's bottom line.

They say Roundup Ready crops will feed a growing population. More technology to solve a human problem. We have too many people, not too little technology.

They say 15-119 is expensive. We huddle in empty libraries with no police protection. That has not happened anywhere else.

"Trust the free market; they have the best of intentions." Sure they do — to make the most money they can.

Stand up, all you lab rats. Vote yes on 15-119. — Ken Gosling, Talent

All voters for Jackson County libraries: Remember, this will be on your tax bill forever.

I attended the meeting of commissioners on the subject of libraries. Approximately 80 people attended, and I was the only one opposed to funding of libraries.

First of all, 15 new libraries should have never been allowed.

People on fixed incomes cannot afford any more on their taxes. If they want the library open, get volunteers. No more tax hikes. Take a look at Josephine County — we are next.

Vote no on library taxation. — Richard Goble, Ruch

Senior homeowners will soon be paying $90-plus a year for their library card if the library measure passes. Imagine you are a retired senior on a fixed and limited income (Social Security and maybe a small pension if you're lucky). Your property taxes keep going up and up. It's one thing to default on your cable bill; all they do is turn your cable off. But if you don't pay your property taxes, they take your home away.

I propose giving senior homeowners an exemption from having to pay the additional tax mandated by the library measure. We acknowledge seniors' more vulnerable financial situation by giving them discounts in other areas. When it comes to the roof over their heads, isn't there an argument for showing them the same respect and courtesy? Or will grandma have to pay 90 bucks for her library card? — Barry M. Trowbridge, Ashland

What rankles me about your Sunday editorial (Believe science, not ideology, in GMO debate) is a deceptive headline and industry talking points stated as enlightened truth.

An editorial should be an informed view that considers the issue before drawing a conclusion. Yours was an advertisement meant to influence rather than inform. One can find each point made, often verbatim, in industry propaganda!

Science isn't cherry-picked studies from the biotech industry. It's a method for separating fact from fantasy. Your "editorial" treats conflicting data like it doesn't exist, when it does and isn't difficult to find. There are serious concerns about GMO impacts on human and animal health and agriculture itself. The biotech industry has been conducting an open-air experiment for decades, without proper controls or consent, and without accountability, making us all their guinea pigs.

Your editorial breaks trust with your readers. I'm voting yes on 15-119. — Dr. Rick Kirschner, Ashland

In July, I will conclude a 40-year career in municipal law enforcement. I have had many opportunities to work with and get to know all three candidates for Jackson County sheriff.

My associations with Mike Winters and Bob Sergi go back at least 20 years; I've known Corey Falls for a decade.

My interactions with these men included daily policing activities, SWAT operations and critical incidents. I've heard each discuss professional and local issues.

Based on firsthand knowledge, Corey Falls will get my vote for sheriff.

Corey will be a strong, fair leader. He will be a fiscally prudent administrator, allocating taxpayer dollars to the best benefit of Jackson County citizens. He will increase professionalism through better training.

I am confident that Corey will strengthen the relationship between the sheriff's department and surrounding law enforcement agencies for the good of all. — Tim Lytle, Medford

Much of the discussion about Family Farms Measure 15-119 has concerned the cost of implementation and the danger of GMOs, but one important issue has been overlooked.

Recent research has found problems with glyphosate, the residue left behind when GMO crops tolerate heavy spraying of Roundup to kill competing weeds. Roundup was originally considered the safe pesticide because it rapidly dissipates in soil, while actually Roundup might be gone but glyphosate residues remain.

International opposition to GMOs has focused on the deleterious and deadly effects of glyphosate residues, most recently as a vehicle for heavy metal toxicity possibly linked to renal disease and death in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

As a physician I worry about the real hazards of glyphosate exposure as well as the irreversible effects of introducing genetic alternations into our food chain.

I'll be voting with the Family Farmers, yes on 15-119. — Deborah Gordon, M.D., Talent

Who should be the next Jackson County commissioner? Most commentators believe we have enjoyed good elected leadership in recent decades. That's doubtful. In fact, we've generally had custodial placeholders for the local establishment, with actual governance forfeited to senior staff, i.e., Danny Jordan.

It must be recognized that the county benefited greatly from an accident of history: a great wave of California migration with the resulting housing boom and tax receipt windfall. Yes, the commissioners managed to squirrel away quite a reserve fund, much of which is gone. Now what?

Business as usual won't cut it. Unless we maintain an obsessive control on spending, and subsequently develop a strategic vision for economic revitalization, clearly involving a return to the woods, Jackson County is in trouble. Colleen Roberts is the only candidate who offers us a chance to break out of the tunnel vision born of the prevailing fallacy of continuity. — Will Reishman, Rogue River

My perception is measures 47 and 50 were a con perpetrated against the people to vote for a $2.01 per thousand assessed property value tax to replace O&C funds. Measure 47 combined three levies. We were told the combined levy monies would ensure permanent funding for the libraries, sheriff and county roads departments. That was in the voter's pamphlet explaining the purpose for Measure 47.

Measure 47 passed. The people were told an obscure provision in 47 made it unconstitutional. Measure 50 was supposed to be the fix for Measure 47. Only hidden in Measure 50 was a provision allowing that money to go into the general fund. Until the combined levies' money goes toward the purposes for which we were told it would be used, I will never vote for any money measure proposed by county government officials. I don't like being conned. Do you? — Randall Hale, Medford

Members of Southern Oregon Elders Council of The Mankind Project (25 local men, representing many more) wish to offer full and heartfelt support to Our Family Farms Coalition campaign to rid our beautiful valley of the dangerous presence of genetically modified organisms.

We urge you vote yes on Measure 15-119. And please be aware that large, out-of-state corporations are funding a big bucks campaign against the measure. They are using scare tactics, as they did in California and Washington state, based on misleading and erroneous information.

Here in Jackson County we have a chance to stand up to these mega-corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta that are attempting to control the world's agriculture, including that of Jackson County. Let's be David to their Goliath. Vote yes on 15-119.

For more information visit www.ourfamilyfarmscoalition.org. — Victor Novick, Ashland