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Letters to the Editor, Feb. 11

Headline misleading

The MT printed a misleading article headline, “Cancer rates drop over 20 years.”

In research statistics, cancer is defined in three areas, including incidence (who gets it), mortality (who dies), and survival (who lives through the treatment). According to NIH in 2011, the USA had the seventh highest cancer incidence in the world. In December 2013 the World Health Organization said new cancer cases increased more than 10 percent in just four years from 12.7 million in 2008 to 14.1 million in 2012.

In May of 2014 WHO stated, “we cannot treat our way out of cancer prevention. More commitment to prevention and early detection are desperately needed”.

A correct headline reads “Mortality from cancer has declined in the USA,” which accurately reflects survival rates, not how many people are getting cancer. The MT's wording of the headline leads to apathy and skews the truth about the urgency to find the cause of this dreadful disease. We need to take steps to stop the rampant and untested chemical cocktails we are pouring onto our farm and home soils, playgrounds, ball fields, sidewalks, engineering into and spraying on our crops, which ends up in our food, water, air, and most importantly, our bodies.

Cheryl Levie, RN, Ashland

Revenge?

The early white settlers in the United States wanted the land that the Indians owned in several southeastern states, so they took their land and sent them to Oklahoma territory and gave them land there. As the population kept moving west, people wanted to settle in Oklahoma, so they lined them up at the border, and when a shot was fired they came racing in to find land to settle on, but some sneaked in early to get land — they were called "sooners." 

Some people settled on Indian land. There was a man named Hefner who was a self-taught lawyer who represented the Indians, and as all lawyers do, he got a good percentage of what they got. 

When I was in high school in the mid to late 1940s, I heard stories about farmers who told Indians if they didn't let them use their land for a certain price, they would shoot them. In many other states they have been treated badly. 

They have now found a way to get their country back, because everyone likes to gamble. 

Louis ArnoldCentral Point

Preserve ANWR now

I read last week’s Mail Tribune story on the president’s recommendation to be sent to Congress designating the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as Wilderness with excitement.

A 2014 survey of U.S. citizens by the Center for American Progress found that “voters in all political parties strongly oppose lifting restrictions on oil and gas exports. Sixty-nine percent of voters oppose allowing oil and gas companies to export more U.S. oil and gas to foreign countries, including 75 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 61 percent of Republicans.”

I believe the sentiments expressed by the respondents in that survey are similar to those of a majority of our local residents who oppose construction of the LNG pipeline through Oregon. Many recent letters have stated: The risks are too great and any shared benefits minimal.

The refuge is like a place on earth that has been "preserved in amber," uniquely untouched by destructive extraction since originally being set aside in 1960 by President Eisenhower. It is deserving of full wilderness protection and the time is now.

Dennis Specht, Medford

No benefit to casino

I have been very anxious to voice my concerns since first I heard of the Coquille Tribe's proposed casino and "games" offered. Vickie Aldous' article states, "The proposed casino would only allow certain types of video gaming ..." Table games would not be offered.

I am a retired educator and avid poker player, and here's the rub. Video gaming offers absolutely no opportunity for social contact. A player can gamble away an entire paycheck or more and never speak to another person, not even the cocktail server. In table gaming there is a social censure that often takes place if someone is behaving irrationally, drinks too much, spends too much or stays too long.

There is plenty of video gaming available in Rogue Valley, like it or not. But those small gaming venues offer a social censure of their own. And the proceeds benefit the State of Oregon, whence the money comes.

Take it from an ol' poker player who has lived and studied the casino industry. Heed the advice and concerns of those who see through the sham of large scale video gaming. It is an exercise in corporate greed meant to benefit the few, not you.

Stephen E. Thomas, White City

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 11