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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Well, I see in the Mail Tribune of the 16th that a couple of Monday-morning quarterbacks have now explained to us that the recent shooting incident in south Ashland was "unjustified" and the shotgun "probably was not pointed at the deputy at all."

Isn't it amazing how someone can sit on their backside in the comfort and safety of their home, and criticize those who are sworn to protect and serve, without a clue as to the actual circumstance? After reading their comments, it occurs to me that neither gentleman has a particular liking for our Sheriff's Department, or for that matter, law enforcement in general. Just how would either of them have responded to being confronted by a man with a shotgun, while enforcing the dictates of the court? Does the fact that the individual was known to have ignored court mandates for an extended period prior have any bearing on the incident?

The only people to know the facts of what took place that day are the people who were there at the precise moment the incident occurred. To demean by "opinion" is simply unwarranted! — Jack Sutherland, Ashland

It seems incomprehensible that Americans have not come to the conclusion that "the emperor has no clothes."

Does anyone remember Obama quotes such as these: "I've pledged to build a 21st-century VA for veterans. It means no more red tape"; "If you like your plan, you can keep it"; "We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq."

There have been numerous other missteps, such as the "reset" with Russia, the Benghazi disaster and cover-up, the "red line" in Syria, encouraging the IRS to throttle free speech. Obama is definitely the worst president of my lifetime, but the media, including our local paper, give him a free ride. — Don Ogren, Medford

Gary Harrington from Butte Falls watched as an ODOT crew demolished his homemade reservoirs with two excavators and a bulldozer in nine hours. According to a 1925 law, Harrington's ingenious plan of catching rainwater from the unregulated heavens is illegal because state law considers "diffuse water" not a private right, but a public right.

Harrington had docks and stocked fish, but attorneys interpreted the law as a threat to government water rights. I think Harrington should go to jail for stealing the government's water from God. Oops! He has, twice!

On a lighter note, 400,000 acres in parts of Colorado and Utah have been designated off-limits for energy exploration or development to preserve the Gunnison sage grouse. The BLM says we have to protect this fat little bird, which lives in a tiny tract of acreage, so that the evil developers and energy gorging Rockefellers don't destroy America before they get the credit for doing so.

On another front, nuns in Chicago want a strip club removed from close proximity to their convent, disturbing them and the surrounding neighborhood. The opposing attorney says there is First Amendment protection guaranteeing freedom of expression. He even said James Madison would agree. — Joel Marks, Medford

When technological ingenuity causes vast environmental change, we often call it geoengineering.

Many activities have been suggested to fall under this heading. While immense projects damming and diverting rivers have been undertaken for millennia, probably the greatest and most destructive effort at geoengineering has been purely accidental.

When the steam engine was invented three centuries ago, no one thought it could pose a global threat. But the impact of this invention, followed by invention of the internal combustion engine, has been profound.

On the positive side of the ledger, these technologies allowed great industrial advances and a tremendous liberation of humans from labor. Unfortunately, this success, coupled with the availability of cheap fossil fuel energy, now threatens the very ability of our planet to support life as we know it. Our human future is threatened.

The impact of gas emissions resulting from these steam and internal combustion engines is well-known. Our understanding of how these gases are impacting our global climate is clear and accepted by climate and atmospheric scientists across the globe.

It is only the campaign of lies promoted by corporate greed that sows doubt and prevents our solving this problem. This geoengineering exercise must be curtailed. — Alan Journet, Ph.D., Jacksonville, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

In light of recent articles about the condition of Medford pools, another pool not to overlook is the Joe and Frances Naumes Aquatic Center at the YMCA.

The Y has been meeting local needs since 1944 and built the aquatic center in 1992. It has an eight-lane pool with a slide plus a smaller 97-degree therapy pool. A new UV water filtration system was installed in 2009 — according to the World Health Organization, UV is better than saline and chlorine systems.

In 2011, additional handicap parking, a special entrance and a new aquatic lift improved access for individuals with limited mobility. In 2013, new training equipment was purchased because the Y trains most of the lifeguards in the area.

The Y offers a summer swim pass for $25 for youth and $37 for adults per month plus awards financial assistance scholarships thanks to The Oregon Community Foundation, so low-income people can participate. Current activities include swimming lessons, recreation swim, lap swimming, water fitness classes and so much more.

The Y is a charitable, nonprofit organization that does not receive tax dollars but instead depends on program fees and donations. The community has strongly supported Medford's newest pool. — Brad Russell, CEO/executive director, Rogue Valley Family YMCA