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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

How could a swimming pool slide possibly cost $50,000 as reported in Tuesday's paper? I heard a decent residential in-ground swimming pool — the whole pool — costs about that.

I realize that we should be used to government paying a premium when it buys things. But $50,000! What's the catch? Does the contractor throw in a free pool? — Robert Soltz, Medford

It was unfortunate that in your article about Rogue Ales co-founder Jack Joyce's death, you did not mention the fact that he grew up in Medford and attended Medford schools. — William S. Dames, Medford

Here we go again. Just another murderer who was described as "a nice kid," a "quiet, well behaved boy." He was so cool, just a really neat kid. And this last one is said to have been a devout Mormon, a deacon at the age of 12.

I am so sick and tired of hearing all these stories of murderers who were great relatives or neighbors. He was not a good kid. Face up to it, people, he was just a bad little man. — Don Heath, Medford

I was quite interested in the county commissioners' report on finances in the June 5 Mail Tribune.

Before the election and the passage of new taxes to sustain the libraries and Extension Service, we were absolutely unable to fund libraries or the Extension. However, during that short time to after the May vote, all of a sudden we have a $17 million surplus of money to go into the reserves.

My question is this: Which time were they wrong — when we had a $10 million shortfall or overnight when we have a $17 million windfall? Can this possibly be correct (or believable)? — Jessie Carte, Gold Hill

To further the impressive reductions in truck crashes over the past decade, the trucking industry is supporting a Senate amendment that would suspend two risky provisions recently added to the truck driver hours of service regulations.

Before I explain them, let me be clear that the trucking industry supports retaining the bulk of the truck driver hours-of-service rules — the daily and weekly driving limits, mandatory off-duty rest periods, and the "restart" provision. Since 2003, when the framework for these rules was put in place, truck-involved fatalities have declined 21 percent — even as trucks drove over 50 billion more miles.

However, new restrictions placed on the restart provision increase the risk of crashes. Specifically, a recent DOT study shows that drivers operating under the new restart restrictions are more likely to operate during the day, when crash risk is higher, an impact FMCSA did not anticipate or properly research before implementing them.

For this reason, suspending the restrictions and conducting the needed research on the true impacts and benefits of these provisions will likely make roads safer. — Mike Card, Central Point, president, Combined Transport; immediate past chairman, American Trucking Associations