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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 16

Nothing to worry about

I was a lawyer in Texas and sometimes represented people whose property was taken by pipeline companies using the power of eminent domain.

A pipeline company typically takes a narrow strip of land — say 50 feet wide, like the Jordan Cove 36-inch pipeline. If your farm is 500 feet wide, the pipeline company is taking about 0.6 acres. If your farm is worth $10,000 per acre, the pipeline company might therefore pay you $6,000 for your property and the right to move flammable natural gas under that land, although it can be expected to have a lower opinion of the value of your farm than you do.

You have received next to nothing for the pipeline’s intrusion and you now have a 36-inch-wide, 500-foot-long natural gas bomb next to your remaining property. The bomb will adjoin your neighbor’s property as well, and she will receive nothing from the pipeline company. Take heart: According to Wikipedia there have been “only” 855 “serious incidents” involving gas pipelines in the last 20 years.

David Beale, Medford

Troop 7 says thanks

Boy Scout Troop 7 thanks Medford for their generous support of this year's Christmas tree pickup. This Christmas season, we handed out about 7,000 fliers and subsequently picked up over 500 trees. We also thank Hillcrest Orchard for providing us a place to dispose of the trees and Bartlett Tree Service for chipping the trees into mulch. The donations collected will be used to pay for summer camp, which this year will be at Camp Pigott near Snohomish, Wash.

Troop 7 has been chartered by the Men of the Methodist Church since 1928. Since that time, we have seen almost 100 young men achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

We are continuing to receive donations from the community. If you would like to make a contribution, please make your check payable to Troop 7 and mail to: 3559 National Drive, Suite 102, Medford, OR 97504.

Riggs Loftin, First Class Scout, Medford

Leading from behind

On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederates commenced an artillery bombardment from 150 cannons. It was concentrated upon the Union's Second Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock. In his later report, Hancock wrote that it was "the heaviest artillery fire I have ever known." Union soldiers hunkered down behind anything that would give them protection while the cannonballs passed over their heads.

On horseback, Hancock slowly rode along the front of his line and inspired his soldiers with his calmness and courage. One of his brigadiers said to him, "General, the corps commander ought not to risk his life in that way." Hancock replied, "There are times when a corps commander's life does not count."

This came to mind after seeing America "leading from behind" at the rally in Paris.

Dan Baumgartner, Medford

 Hate still fills world

In November 1963 I was a middle school student whose studies were interrupted by our native-born French teacher Madame Smith tearfully telling us of President Kennedy's assassination. In her sorrow she explained that "a voice for freedom" had been murdered by someone filled with hate.

Her emotional words have stayed with me for over 50 years, and now I am honored to respect her memory by offering my own, "Je suis Charlie." Our world is, sadly, still filled with those who hate.

Robert Lowe, Gold Hill

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 16