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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 3

Money is the reason

Concerning the proposed LNG pipeline and Jordan Cove “Energy Project”: Because our regulatory agencies are numerous and specialized, there seems to be no one to field the over-arching, most pithy question on the minds of many concerned citizens: “Why is this project even being contemplated?”

The answer of course is simple: money (and its virulent impact on the political system). Setting aside this, and the inevitable deleterious impacts any industrial-scale project will have on the environment, let’s look at the Center for Biological Diversity’s analysis of safety data: since 1986 there have been nearly 8,000 “significant” pipeline incidents, resulting in more than 500 deaths, more than 2,300 injuries and nearly $7 billion in damage.

What are the benefits to the people of Oregon: a number of temporary jobs and a handful of permanent ones, some tax revenue, and — what? All this risk with negligible benefit so a foreign corporation can export fracked, liquefied methane to Asia; who in their right mind could find that acceptable? Wherever exists the will to trade the health of our environment for that of our wallets, you will find the most dangerous forms of psychosis.

Dustin Lyons, Ashland

Why release arrestees?

I've finally seen enough to voice my concern over the daily Emergency Services reports I see in the Trib about local arrests for charges of drug possession, theft, assault, harassment, driving while suspended, interfering with making a report and, in many cases, "failure to appear."

To make a bad situation worse, these charges are followed by the final irksome phrase, "released on their own recognizance."

I don't know who makes the decision to release these people back into the community, but whoever you are, know that these folks already have your number. Give me a break! Recognizance means a "promise to the court." Do you really think this promise means anything to these offenders the second time around?

I know we can't hold all offenders in the slammer until their court dates, but we need to try to find some way of ensuring those who have already failed to appear in the past, are guaranteed to show up this time, and are not just laughing at the system.

As is often the case, the complainant doesn't have the answers, but I'm hoping someone more closely associated with the process can offer some insight or suggestions.

Rick Ludlow, Medford

Article reprehensible

I am responding to the article depicting a "botched" murder case. I feel this article was reprehensible in attacking Judge Peterson.

It is clear he did all he could to hear the case, in getting an oral waiver allowing him to proceed. The fact that he recused himself after failing to receive a daily written waiver speaks to his concern over a proper trial. The fact that he was a newly appointed judge, or that he lost an election over this matter is inconsequential.

This article is a bitter diatribe attacking the fine reputation of Judge Peterson. He was supported by all his co-judges in the election, and the results of the election had nothing to do with this issue. David Hoppe was successful in the election largely for his experience and skills, not a result of a mistrial. Mr Peterson now serves as legal counsel to St Mary's School as well as athletic director, a position for which he is highly qualified and a major bonus for the school. Also, the fact that an old witness list was given to prospective jurors by Judge Peterson's office is a mistake, but not one to be blamed on the judge.

Ronald G. Worland, Medford

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 3