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Letters to the Editor, July 20

Protect wild rivers

As we await the decision, it is assuring to know that the Forest Service just heard from 22,065 people who support the withdrawal of the Kalmiopsis rivers region from the outdated 1872 Mining Act, compared with five who were not in support.

This issue has gained national recognition, due to the threat of proposed nickel strip mines at the headwaters of our region’s finest wild rivers. The hazards of metal mining include toxic waste, pollution of surface and groundwater, air pollution and dust. The impacts to our public lands will be drastic and irreversible.

Mining stands as a great threat to the North Fork Smith River’s pure waters and salmon fishery and Baldface Creek in the South Kalmiopsis and Hunter Creek and the North Fork Pistol River — known for salmon and steelhead runs. Additionally, such mining operations would restrict public, open access to these treasured places.

Thanks to Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., for introducing the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act of 2015, which would protect pristine areas in southwestern Oregon. It's in the best interest of our local community to see this legislation pass.

Art Fortgang

Ashland

One people

Black lives matter is self-evident in police departments. I've never heard, "White lives matter." Police officers do not ask, "Is he black or white" when responding to a call.

Television reported a police officer lying on an apparently wounded black lady to protect her while many other officers surrounded civilians for protection in Dallas where five officers were killed.

Our founding fathers gave us a Judeo-Christian nation. We cannot ignore that evil exists, but we can't live by it.

It is only by loving one another that we can survive in peace and harmony and be the great nation we have been given by the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Where we can worship as we please no matter what god or religion we follow.

May God bless us as long as we bless our God.

Hugh Hendrickson

Medford

The choices we have

We have Hillary, who has some real problems with honesty, has never been a successful leader (after being given numerous opportunities), and is only there because of the deal made with Bill to endorse Obama.

Then there’s Donald, whose main claim to fame is he’s not an "establishment" politician. He does have a problem with "foot-in-mouth disease," but his direct style of speaking is also an asset.

Neither candidate is a great choice, so it’s probably good to speculate about where we’ll be four years down the line. If we go with the Dems' choice, we’ll probably be $25 trillion in debt, have wage controls, be more culturally divided, and sorta fighting some wars somewhere. The GOP’s choice, who the heck knows.

The system is flawed in that we don’t get to choose the best leader out of the 200 million available. What I would like to see is someone who focuses on things that matter. Jobs for everyone, affordable housing, energy that’s cheap and clean. Let the U.N. be the world’s policemen. Electing politicians should be less of a rah-rah moment and more of getting the right things done for everyone.

Larry Fields

Medford

Letters to the Editor, July 20