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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 4

Taxes for iPads

Regarding John Hopf's letter to the editor Aug. 24: I called the Eagle Point School District. Yes, our hard-earned tax dollars have been spent on iPads for 300 kindergarten students at $370 each.

300 x $370 = $111,000.

I have been told by the Eagle Point School District that these iPads are considered to be necessary learning tools. Apparently Eagle Point kindergarten teachers no longer have the skills and/or choose not to teach little children with books, pencils, paper and crayons.

V. Russell, Eagle Point

Re-elect Bates

I am writing to encourage the voters of Southern Oregon to re-elect Sen. Alan Bates.

For many years, Dr. Bates has served the people of our region with diplomacy and skill. As a mother and a person who works with families who are at risk and in need of help, I am impressed by his sensitivity to Oregon’s most vulnerable families and children through writing, introducing and bringing to law Senate Bill 964, the Strengthening, Preserving and Reunifying Families Act. His actions in this matter prove to me that he has the best interests of children and their parents at heart and by extension that he has dedicated himself to improving the lives of all Oregonians.

Please join me in ensuring that we continue to benefit from the proven representation and leadership of Sen. Alan Bates.

Andrea Bearden, Medford

A lot to answer for

Mr. Luke (Aug. 31) has hit the nail directly on the head. Rep. Greg Walden needs to go away.

He does not represent the views of any voter who wants solutions; he just wants the status quo and his cut of whatever his party says he should receive for his loyalty. Where do these people come from? Why do we allow them to keep representing us?

Unfortunately it's not just Republicans and the tea party; Democrats have a lot to answer for as well.

P. Barker, Medford

Make the right changes

I have had increasing trouble understanding the recent debates about “gun violence” since there are at least two separate and unrelated issues in play.

First is the use of guns in the commission of a crime. The answer to this is easy — require a mandatory 20-year sentence for the use of a firearm in the commission of any felony.

f during a felony you offer to kill the victim by showing a firearm, you go to jail for a long time. Seems obvious to me, but Congress has not had the heart to enact it.

Second, and independent from the first, is the use of firearms by people who are mentally ill. As President Obama said, mental care should be at least as available as firearms, and it is not. Inpatient care for the mentally ill is almost nonexistent.

Neither of these issues will be affected in the least by an “assault weapons” ban or limitation of magazine size. These measures may be desirable to prevent the citizenry from achieving parity with the government in firepower, but that is a separate debate.

Let's keep our eye on the ball so the changes made affect the problem we are addressing.

Joel A. Tobias, Medford