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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

First I will say that Secretary Shinseki should be removed. The waiting list is happening at other VAs and it should never have happened on his watch.

No this is not the only VA that it is happening at. For example, a local veteran goes in with multiple complaints of the same problem. He is sent for tests to the Roseburg VA and still is told nothing is wrong. Veteran collapses at home and wife calls ambulance. Result: emergency heart surgery, five-way bypass. Otherwise, another veteran would have died.

Having been a nurse for many years, I can say that there is no excuse for this happening. The veteran had been seen multiple times locally and at the Roseburg VA, so it couldn't have been missed. You don't get a five-way blockage overnight. Either it is incompetence at the White City VA or the Roseburg VA. Maybe both. Was he on a list?

My final comment is that the VA should not be conducting its own audits! — Alice Thomsen, Medford

Here are two simple ways to help the Earth:

1) Carry our own container for drinks we may want during the day. This helps reduce the number of trees cut, and paper cups cluttering landfills.

2) Grocery shopping: Bring our own sturdy cloth bags. Two bags are even better to cover the one we didn't get around to replacing in the car.

It may take a while for these two simple acts to become a habit, so be patient and persevere. Our beloved Earth thanks those who are already doing this. — Carola Lacy, Ashland

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Dutch Bros. organization for their most generous offer of free coffee to honor Nurses Day on May 6. We are very grateful for the company's support of all the nursing heroes in the Rogue Valley. — Donna L. Rudy, director of perioperative services, Providence Medford Medical Center

In Chiloquin, approximately 80 miles from this valley, where I own acreage, they have an ordinance that all home/property owners are to have a gun of some kind.

This ordinance was brought about, I assume, because they have only one state trooper patrolling that area — it takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to drive from Klamath Falls to Chiloquin, and at least that amount of time again to reach some outlying homes. I asked a state trooper what the crime rate is now in Chiloquin. He said "zero." We should seriously consider an ordinance like this one. — Dixie Taylor, Eagle Point

Scala Electronics announced the scheduled closure of its assembly plant in Medford in 2015 because Medford is too remote. This is really sad.

It's just too expensive to ship from Medford. There must be a way to cut airport and other shipping fees. (And maybe passenger fees, too?) They're opening a new plant in Mexico. Somehow Mexico is not too remote, even with drug cartel protection fees. No mention was made of a wage issue, but I'm guessing that it is really a wage issue. Companies move to low-wage areas like Mexico and China, and still compete (ship) successfully on a global scale.

Oregon has had difficulty attracting new industry. Now we can't keep the ones we already have! — Mike Oliver, Central Point

On May 3, the Mail Tribune printed a water-use warning from the city of Ashland. I understand that Ashland is facing a serious water shortage by the summer. Various water curtailment and mandatory conservation measures will befall the citizens of Ashland.

My complaint is that although we're supposed to let our gardens die, the city will continue to pour thousands of gallons of water on the baseball fields. How right and fair is that? — Sandra L. Hendrickson, Ashland

I would like to thank the Medford Police Department for helping our neighborhood on Springbrook. With the road cutting through now to Costco, vehicles are driving way too fast and we've almost been hit several times due to speeding traffic on a blind curve.

I sent an email, and within a week a police officer was out to take care of the problem and monitor the traffic. I really appreciate their concern for our safety. Our neighborhood has four houses with small children and the road has gotten so busy, it is very scary to pull out onto Springbrook. Please slow down on Springbrook for the safety of others. The speed limit is 25 for a reason.

Thank you, Medford Police Department, for taking the time and resources to address this safety concern! — Susie White, Medford

Does the demand for highly skilled, well-paid physicians in Oregon create "a new health care mess?"

A May 3 editorial from the The Bend Bulletin says a flood of new Medicaid patients under ACA/Obamacare taxes the supply of primary care physicians in Oregon. Is the solution pushing these new Medicaid enrollees back into the shadows?

Before ACA, many Oregonians couldn't afford primary medical care and waited until they were critically ill to clog our emergency rooms, to receive expensive services for serious illnesses that could have been treated at a much lower cost if caught earlier. The ERs were often unreimbursed, financially draining hospitals, state and local governments and communities. And it endangered all of our health, as contagious diseases in our communities went untreated.

The ACA forces us to face up to a primary problem with our current health care system — the lack of sufficient primary caregivers in rural and poor communities. ACA's increased Medicaid enrollees create demand; the next step is more supply. Providing solutions like more schools and financial incentives for nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and internists will bring us a cost-effective and humane health care system; burying our heads in the sands of political rhetoric won't. — Art Baden, Ashland

Regarding the releases from Lost Creek Dam on May 11.

Thank God Lost Creek is there! I don't know how the fish survived without it! — Tracy Van Hee, Eagle Point