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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 21

A pathetic display

The city of Medford should be ashamed. I drove by the "Christmas display" at The Commons and was truly shocked.

The main tree looks like something Charlie Brown would have had, and the other two are a joke. That's the best Medford can do?

Aside from the tree in lights on Central and Main plus the one building on Main at Front, no one would even know this town was having a holiday. Absolutely pathetic!

Patricia Green, Medford

Why no charges?

A featured article in the Dec. 12 Mail Tribune described the death of a lady pedestrian who had lawfully entered a crosswalk under the statutory protection of a "walk" signal.

I fail to understand how the chief deputy district attorney could absolve the negligent driver of any criminal responsibility for her death. Am I missing something?

Gordon Pearce, Medford

Inform, don't attack

How could Measure 92 fail?

Who would deny us from knowing what's in our food?

My theory: The measure should have required GMO ingredient disclosure be included in the nutritional facts/ingredients section on packaged products to inform interested consumers. Instead, the disclosure was allowed to be prominently displayed more as a warning than a disclosure, akin to a skull and crossbones.

This obvious threat acknowledged by food processors and GMO seed companies resulted in a $20 million campaign to defeat measure 92.

I shared this theory with a senior GMO scientist during Thanksgiving week, who agreed that his company might not have donated $4 million-plus if the labeling was intended to inform and not attack.

On a positive note, Oregon voters surely benefited from the avalanche of information and exposed myths in our ever popular global GMO debate.

Robert Doyal, Medford

More thinning? It depends

Reference David Schott’s Dec. 14 guest opinion headlined “Forest thinning means water for the future.”

That depends on whether the thinning is done repeatedly over a period of time — to maintain optimum tree canopy closure. Tree canopies shade the ground. A tree canopy opened too much allows the ground to dry out, as is usually the case with timber sales. Subsequently, an over-abundance of brush starts to grow in the understory.

A healthy forest does not depend on a specific range of the number of trees per acre — 25 to 75 trees, as Schott suggests. The number of trees per acre of a healthy forest depends on the size of its trees. A healthy forest of predominantly old, large trees doesn’t need numerous trees to keep its relatively closed canopy, but a healthy young forest does need numerous trees to keep its canopy relatively closed.

There is a risk of keeping the tree canopy completely closed; that is crown fires — i.e., wildfires that spread from tree to tree without reaching the ground. So, there must be a happy medium for canopy closures. But that is not accomplished by timber sales. It is done by pre-commercial thinning.

Fred Fleetwood, Trail

Letters to the Editor, Dec. 21