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ELECTION LETTERS

The candidate with the greatest support of fellow officers is Bob Sergi, a point made by the MT but you somehow missed the connection in the endorsement in spite of false charges. Who had the most to gain by these charges? The citizens of Jackson County deserve the next sheriff to be the one with the most experience, the best qualified, the one with the greatest support of fellow officers, the next sheriff of Jackson County, Bob Sergi. — George Tipton, Medford

Potential news stories for organic food: "Yet another study verifies that organic foods are a labor-intensive, expensive, boutique food source offering no proven improvement in health outcome".

Potential news stories for GMOs: "Apple developed that cures cancer proves an apple a day keeps the doctor away," "Bananas that cure erectile dysfunction (with enhancement) and avocados that cure PMS bestselling GMOs of all time," "GMOs combined with cheap nuclear energy and water desalinization cures hunger in Africa," "Potato developed with high levels of protein eliminates the need for meat."

To ban all GMOs is just silly. The potential benefits are just too great. If a farmer can prove that he's been harmed by GMOs, the lawyers will line up in droves to sue Monsanto, making the farmer rich. Even organic foods have evolved by the slow process of selective breeding and are quite different from the wild variety. — Larry Fields, Medford

I love our beautiful, rural valley and the friendly culture that we have created together. The Jackson County Research and Extension Service is a big part of the reason we can live the way we do.

4-H, Master Gardeners, Land Stewards, Small Farms Groups, Master Food Preservers and the research support to farms big and small has created a thriving agricultural economy that makes us a destination location for tourism and an ideal spot to live. I want to keep it that way. The Extension Service came to the Rogue Valley in 1914, so it celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Please join me in voting yes on Measure 15-121 to continue supporting Jackson County Extension for another 100 years. — Georgia Hilton, Medford

Organic producers erred by banning GMO plants. The only issue is that plants are free from pesticides or other drugs. GMO use is not relevant.

GMO technology is used daily for food production (yeasts for bread making, beer and wine production) and new vaccines/drugs. A major "organic farm" in Ashland is downstream from the Ashland wastewater plant that goes into Bear Creek, and the aquifer and that water has everything from aspirin to chemotherapy drugs to antibiotics; yet the farm dares to call itself "organic."

Herbicide drift from a conventional farm to an organic farm or the movement of pests from an organic farm to a conventional farm is an issue for the farmers to resolve. The passage of 15-119 will insure many family farms in Jackson County will go out of business, cannot be passed on to the next generation, or will be developed. — John Maas, Ashland

We are cheaply bought. The agribiz blitz is hugely funded by out-of-state billionaires hiding behind local faces.

They hope we fear only the GMO monster today. They don't want us to see the far greater monster looming tomorrow: creeping takeover of all our farmlands by corporations. When a GMO-infected farm leaks pollutants into the organic farm next door, the organic farm can't maintain purity. Farm by farm, Big Ag buys its victims, moving on to crowd the next property line. Eventually we will lose all access to our kids' organic food, and Big Ag continues expanding our risks by riskier meddling with our food. Yes on 15-119. — Dean Ing, Ashland

There have been many studies and observations in animals that raise red flags about proven and potential health and environmental risks of GMO food production and consumption. GMO safety research is funded in large part by agribusiness, compromising scientific objectivity.

Scientists who have demonstrated negative effects of herbicides, GMO foods, etc. have been ruthlessly discredited by Syngenta and other biotech companies via retention of heavyweight public relation firms. An example is detailed in the Feb. 10, 2014 issue of The New Yorker magazine, detailing a U.C. Berkley scientist's discovery that Atrazine, made by Syngenta, caused sexual abnormalities in reptiles.

Biotech companies have exerted tremendous influence over our government and convinced the FDA that GM foods are safe. Therefore no safety evaluations or labeling have been required.

Let's join with more than 60 nations who have instituted bans on GM foods and vote yes on 15-119. — Uma Freese, Talent

Corey Falls walks his talk, making him the best candidate for sheriff. He has proven his dedication to making our community safer.

He implemented coordinated, collaborated problem solving for violence against women; increased sexual assault awareness; improved information sharing and teamwork; helped to create crisis intervention training with the mentally ill; and recognizes officers' achievements in problem solving community issues, enhancing morale.

Beyond work, Corey Falls strengthens the community as a: volunteer coach for Kids Unlimited and YMCA, SMHS volunteer, Relay for Life participant, Career Day presenter at Ashland High School, Special Olympics Torch Light Run participant, Shop with a Cop Community Outreach volunteer, the Rotary Club, Youth Leadership counselor and the FBI National Academy Association.

The highest honor comes from those he works with: Command Award (integrity, great sense of duty to those he supervises, knowledge, self-discipline); top 20 percent of doctoral degree classes, selected Delta Mu Delta. Dedicated father/husband. — Janai Lowenstein, Ashland

I am writing in support of Measure 15-121 to maintain the OSU Extension in Jackson County. I am in the process of completing my training to be a Master Gardener and have only recently begun to see the amazing contributions that the Extension brings to our community.

The Extension gives free advice and affordable classes that benefit forests, orchards, vineyards small farms and home gardens. Their remarkable work supports, educates and encourages kids, families, working people and active retirees through 4-H, small farms and master gardening programs, food preservation programs and land stewardship programs.

The experts and volunteers that staff the Extension are deeply committed to improving and sustaining the quality of all of our lives in Jackson County. Please join me in voting yes to Measure 15-121 so we can continue to enjoy the benefits of this extraordinary resource. — Deborah Rosenberg, Ashland