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Letters to the Editor, Dec. 4

Dyer deaf to cliché

I read the editorial "We shouldn’t turn our back on history" Sunday, Nov. 27. In summary: County voters approved tax levies for libraries and the Historical Society; a statewide measure dumped that money into the general fund; the county commissioners in acts of fiscal management have beggared the Historical Society and reduced library services; the recent defeat of an additional Historical Society tax levy was hailed as a “loud and clear” rejection of public funds by County Commissioner Rick Dyer.

Decidedly, Jackson County residents are tired of taxes. The specified local levies, you noted in Our View, are still being collected. Those levies once provided ample revenue. Now they are compiled in a general fund used by commissioners to pay for their higher salaries and other county expenses.

Commissioner Dyer must be deaf to the wooden cliché of his remarks. Obviously, he has little regard for the preservation of local history. Perhaps he is skeptical to the point that an archive of thoughts, feelings, facts, lifestyle and events has little purpose in today’s world. History, after all, is troublesome. It is replete with truth if one can stomach the search.

At least the library is open seven says a week.

Lester Melton


Silence is evil

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor and theologian who was killed in a German concentration camp on April 9, 1945. One month later the Third Reich surrendered unconditionally to the Allies.

Bonhoeffer was one of thousands of priests and ministers imprisoned and killed by the Nazi regime because they opposed Hitler. One of Bonhoeffer's quotes is as valid today as it was during World War II:

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

In our most recent election, 40 percent of eligible voters did not take the time to vote.

Meetings have taken place in Trump Tower discussing ways of cutting down on veterans benefits, with some advisers openly advocating privatizing the Veterans Affairs Department. As one shudders in shame at these discussions, the Bonhoeffer quote takes on even more importance.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

David L. Israel


Is there a limit?

The Nov. 17 Mail Tribune's front page reported on the difficulty a man in a motorized wheelchair was having negotiating rail tracks at Stewart and Riverside avenues. Perhaps the gentleman had no alternate route. That's unknown to me.

Medford taxpayers were recently nicked $650,000 to "improve" existing sidewalk ramps — a requirement by executive order pursuant to the federal government's administration of the Americans With Disabilities Act. I am moved to ask myself, "Is the government's pursuit of utopia-for-all infinite?" Better said, does Medford have needs and priorities which might, perish the thought, take precedence over every act of theatrical empathy?

For example, the Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers of wheat products an average of 9 mg or more rodent excreta pellets or fragments per kilogram of the grain. So, as I munched on my mouse-poop Cheerios this morning, the thought occurred that there just might be a rational limit to dollars spent on resolving that doubtless-deserving man's dilemma.

Hubert Smith


Letters to the Editor, Dec. 4