Letters to the Editor, Oct. 5
It's called democracy
In a recent Mail Tribune guest opinion, John Burkhart warns that "Ashland and friends" are trying to "take over Jackson County politics." His reasoning: The margin of yes votes for the libraries measure was greater than the margin of support county wide. In other words, if Ashland and Talent votes hadn't been counted, the measure would have failed.
Burkhart finds this "astonishing." This phenomenon is a little something called democracy. Is Burkhart's solution to deprive Ashland and Talent residents of the right to vote?
In May of 2007, county voters disapproved a measure to fund libraries. Libraries were closed. The no vote margin in Medford precincts was greater than the total no vote margin county wide. Did Burkhart warn then that Medford was trying to take over Jackson County politics? Probably not.
The new library board is composed mainly of greater Medford area residents, who, I'm sure, will serve the interests of all county citizens.
The election is nearly five months old. It's time to accept the results and work together to make our libraries the best they can be with the resources available.
Jim Flint, Ashland
Picture of the year
Jamie Lusch's shot in the Sept. 25 Mail Tribune of the boy in a mud puddle gets my vote for best picture of the year. The splash caught at the right moment, the spatters, Isaiah's expression — perfection. Having raised three boys of my own, I can relate to that.
Helen Russ, Medford
Not the best solution
What types of governments in the Middle East should America support with arms shipments and air strikes?
A) Brutal, quasi-secular dictatorships?
B) Shifting coalitions of Islamic extremists?
C) Oil-rich hereditary oligarchies?
D) Tolerant, Western-style democracies?
Oops. Sorry, “D” does not exist. Choose A, B or C.
Hmm. Maybe more arms shipments and air strikes aren’t the best long-term solution.
Bruce Borgerson, Ashland
Acceptance isn't rare
In response to Noni McCrillis' letter on gay marriage (Sept. 25), she is a part of a rapidly growing body among those who attend church whose views are changing toward acceptance of same-sex marriage.
This opinion really isn't rare at all. It is, however, increasingly rare to find someone who regards the Bible as inerrant. For that person, when the Lord quotes from the book of Genesis on what the definition of marriage is in Matthew 19, this is where the argument ends.
Bruce Edwards, Central Point
The Edge is worth supporting
It would be easy for the Grants Pass Daily Courier story about concerned local parents to give readers the wrong idea about the anti-bullying program The Edge, which runs sessions in various public schools that guide students to unusual levels of honesty, courage and compassion for one another.
It’s true that the program shakes some kids up. But what’s getting shaken up are old patterns of fear, shame and painful secrets that make them feel like they’re weird and alone in an uncaring world. Bullying is very often a desperate attempt to blast out of that pain. It thrives on secrets and the kind of isolation that lets kids pretend that unless they’re direct victims, the bullying that goes on around them is someone else’s problem.
In its short history, The Edge has changed that belief for thousands of kids. They find they’re not nearly alone in the doubtful insecurity of adolescence, and begin to stand up courageously for decency and personal respect in their schools.
If you’re skeptical, see if you can find an Edge session to witness for yourself, and then listen open-mindedly to the kids it touches. You’re likely to find that this kind of shake-up is worth supporting.
Jeff Golden, Ashland
Who are we fighting for?
If Ed and Patsy Bruce were writing their classic song, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys," today, maybe they'd call it, "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Soldiers."
I'm thinking of all the mamas and families of soldiers right now. In the Middle East churns a massive hurricane years in the making that pulls at us all.
Some compare the situation to Hitler in Germany. I think they are mistaken. This complex conflict seems more like a prolonged guerrilla war with basic, civic institutions crumbling and refugees galore. Today it's ISIS, yesterday it was al-Qaida and tomorrow it will be someone else. Who are the rebels/terrorists and who sends them money and arms? Why are they fighting to change leadership of their land?
Some folks seem awfully enthusiastic about the U.S. fighting this war. What countries, kings, sects and corporations do they represent? Who are we fighting for? They need to be identified and named. At the very least, the people of the Middle East need to have some skin in this "game."
Y. Provosty, Medford
Thanks for honor
The family of Jack Walker would like to thank all those involved the ceremony to honor Jack for his efforts to keep the tanker base located at our airport. The Jack Walker Tanker Base was an honor to Jack and his whole family. I mean, how many people get anything named after them?
Thank you, especially to Bern Case.
Andrea C. Walker, Phoenix
Slow down for workers
Everyone who lives in Southern Oregon is aware of the construction project at Exit 24. The speed limit is posted at 50 mph.
I am amazed at the people who rush through this area at 65 mph. When I slow to 50, people drive around me and look at me like I am crazy.
This section of road is only 1.9 miles. Are we all in such a hurry that we can't slow for that short distance?
There is a reason for the reduced speed — the protection of the construction workers. I know OSP is overloaded, but I have never seen an officer ticketing folks in this area. Even the big rigs ignore the posted speed limit.
Pamela McMaugh, Talent