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Letters to the Editor, March 25

Shooting raises questions

The police shooting of Shipley raises doubts and unease. Certainly the safety of officers under these and similar circumstances is important, but does the overly militaristic presence negatively impact negotiations?

It is upsetting to see a line of law enforcement personnel, gunner, and snipers in a show of aggressive force, surrounding a private residence. What effect do military armored vehicles have on distraught, mentally disturbed individuals? Is this show of force the most effective way to de-escalate situations involving mentally disturbed individuals who may be searching for a way out of what has become a deadly predicament?

I have always supported firm law enforcement and our police. However, the scene that unfolded in the Shipley standoff reeked of a disproportionate response. While there is no way of determining to what degree that same scene contributed, in the mind of the deceased, to the fatal conclusion, it seems safe to say that it wasn't helpful in "talking down" the deceased.

Our police must often deal with mentally disturbed individuals, and are usually successful. Unfortunately, because of drugs and combat fatigue, challenges will only increase in the future.

Try leaving the armored vehicle and machine gunner in the station.

Don Skillman, Talent

Shame on Obama, Biden

Shame on Obama and Biden for shunning Israel's prime minister.

Their rudeness and petulance were inexcusable. It's understandable that they didn't want to appear as two dim bulbs standing beside a bright light, but their job code requires proper decorum.

The fact that nearly 60 Democrats stayed in the woodwork reflects badly upon all of us. If those Democrats had the wisdom of Netanyahu, and the Republicans had his courage, we would truly be blessed by great leadership.

Ron Smith, Medford

Coquilles congenial

There has been a lot of conversation about whether or not the Coquille Tribe should be welcomed to our community. Certainly their counterpart to the north has let it be known that they fear the competition — fair enough. But don't most think that capitalism and the marketplace should be based upon fair play and healthy competition?

Like many in the valley, I have visited both casinos in the past year and let me tell you, comparing the Mill casino to Seven Feathers is like day and night. Seven Feathers is much more like Las Vegas than is the Mill casino. The people (staff and management) are far more congenial and friendly at the Mill casino than what we have experienced from their Canyonville counterparts. Using customer service and overall experience as one measure of comparison, I'd vote for the Coquille Tribe.

I cannot say if the Coquille Tribe has a territorial right to the Medford area — but what I can tell you is that my interactions with their representatives on a number of occasions have been friendly, professional and respectful. I for one believe that they would make a fine addition to our community.

Alex Pawlowski, Medford

Teach them to think

Seems that the best and brightest — the kids who are tagged for AP classes — can at least read?

Shame on the textbook authors for editorializing. Put these comments in a discussion review section and invite some critical debate in the classroom. Let the students ferret out the meaning and intent by what is written. Throw in some contemporary journals and historic documents to flesh out the context and teach them to think, not ape.

Brenda Edwards, Medford

Letters to the Editor, March 25