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Letters to the Editor, June 15

Fronting for Syngenta

Your reprint of the Oregonian article "Jackson County GMO ban in effect" tried for balance, but appeared pro-GMO. To clarify:

Bjork and Bushue of the Farm Bureau both argue that the GMO ban was based on "non-GMO farmers' unwillingness to coexist." But later in the article, the story is told how chemical/GMO company Syngenta walked out on coexistence talks of the Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association. The GMO growers were unwilling to work for coexistence, not the small family farmers.

Besides, coexistence equals contamination. Syngenta (and their spokespeople at the Farm Bureau) know this, and it is part of their business model to displace competing seed growers and pursue their world-wide seed monopoly. Coexistence equals contamination equals bankruptcy for the small local farm, and that's just how Syngenta would like it.

But small local farms are big to us in Jackson County, and 66 percent of the voters want them to remain. Far more than "the whim of a few folks," as Bushue states.

Remember, the Farm Bureau locally and nationally donated hugely to the campaign that tried to defeat what is now the verified, legally protected county GMO ban. Long may it reign.

Gregg Marchese

Ashland

Picture in bad taste

Your front page photo for June 10 (lower right) of the spotted owl and the white mouse does not make one very happy with the wildlife biologist.

Very impressive photo, but which life is more important, the white mouse or the spotted owl? The white mouse would have been placed there in all its innocence to be brutally murdered by the owl. If the owls can't find their own food you are not going to save them by feeding them live mice.

I am sure the white mouse did not appreciate what came a few seconds after the picture was taken. Nice picture but bad taste.

Jane Henry

Ruch

Leadership needed

The article in the June 7, 2015 newspaper entitled “Mental health crisis” was very enlightening about the “leadership” in Jackson County and the city of Medford. Problems appear to extend all the way from the county commissioners and city councilors to the administrators of the various public departments.

In that article, public officials initially denied a mental health crisis. They then complain that the responsibility for addressing the issue lies in the private sector, another department, or another agency.

The police and sheriff’s departments should take responsibility to assess the problems as well as the opportunities for addressing the mental health issue within their jurisdictions. Such opportunities might include changes in policing policies that include more community policing. Bicycle and foot patrols of local parks and trails, neighborhoods, and the downtown area would better acquaint them with the public that they serve.

Our publicly elected officials could start with evaluating the assessments noted earlier in this letter and determine how to marshal our existing, as well as new public and private resources to get the job done. I think that’s what we elected them to do and I think we could call that leadership!

Harry Foster

Medford

Letters to the Editor, June 15