I have come to know Judge Joe Charter over the past couple of years, and aside from his professional credentials and record, I can personally vouch for his character. He has qualities of mind and heart I value in a friend much less a judge — he's open-minded, compassionate, responsible and able to fairly consider many points of view.

In addition to his virtues as a individual, he brings broad legal experience to the bench for Circuit Court. He has presided over hundreds of trials and thousands of arraignments during the past four years. Judge Charter served as a Circuit Court pro tem judge, presiding over criminal jury trials and family law matters. He has been a mediator for 12 years and has served as the local Bar Association president and in statewide bar positions.

Judge Charter has the ability to practice justice and compassion. Please give him your vote. — Joseph McCormick, Talent

Recently Sen. McCain was on television correcting his comments about our economic system being fundamentally sound. During that brief appearance he appeared to be having difficulty following the script and lapsed into a confused and ungrammatical discussion of the virtues of the American worker.

Later I heard a roundtable discussion of our economic fundamentals by a panel of three economic experts. One of them stated that we are teetering on the brink of a profound worldwide depression; no one disagreed with him.

The collapse of several of the pillars of our financial system and the continued anxiety about others might help us take a clear view of what is at stake in this election. We are faced with a crisis that cannot, in my judgment, be handled by a man in his seventies. We must get past the pettiness of the campaign so far and look at the real issues. — Joyce Coleman, Jacksonville

In September 1997, Bill Kyle and I moved from Minnesota to Shady Cove. Bill became involved with the Citizen Advisory Committee and Planning Commission, and later was elected a councilman in 1992 and re-elected in 1996.

Being interested in Shady Cove's future, we're writing to support three fine candidates. Ron Holthusen, who has extensive experience in business leadership roles, is running for mayor. Margaret Bradburn, a competent reporter for the Upper Rogue Independent and very involved and knowledgeable regarding Shady Cove's government and the community's needs, is running for the City Council. Leith Hayes, a computer technician who owns Rivertech Computer Services and is well-known and involved in our town, is also running for the council and has served on the Shady Cove Planning Commission since 2006.

All three have been involved in volunteer services in our community. For more information, see these Web sites: www.ronholthusen.com, ww.margaretbradburn.com, www.saveshadycove.com. — Janet Pierson-Kyle, Shady Cove

"This election is not about issues," says McCain-Palin campaign manager Rick Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

If that is the case, what will the coming days reveal about John McCain? Will he adhere to his promises of a "clean campaign" or will he succumb to win-at-any-cost, the-means-justifies-the-ends mentality of the Bush advisors he's surrounded himself with?

We ignore issues at our own and the nation's peril. But, if you think you're better off today than you were eight years ago and want things to continue in the same direction, then vote for John McCain. However, if you're fed up and want real change in Washington and progress on the important issues of our age, you'll say, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the Republicans and vote Democratic. You'll vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. — John Severance, Medford

The McCain campaign talks about "pork," but is mostly just feeding us more BS.

Favors and tax preferences for big oil, pharmaceutical, energy lobbyists ... but no solutions to the critical financial mess, the wars, debt, health care, global warming, and energy dead-ends that the Bush administration, never held to account by Republicans, has left us!

There's no beef, just plenty of smear, and lots of "lipstick" on that "Bridge to Nowhere," and that is precisely where they want to take us. No policy, no beef, just more "conservative" lipstick on a bridge to nowhere.

McCain/Palin are a bridge to nowhere! — Rob Hirschboeck, Ashland

We support Judge Joe Charter for the position of Circuit Court judge, based on both his experience and his character.

In his 24 years of diverse legal experience he has experienced a broad range of cases that are brought to court. In addition to being a mediator for 12 years, reducing court caseloads, Judge Charter presided over hundreds of trials and thousands of arraignments over the past four years. He also served as a Circuit Court pro tem judge, where he presided over criminal and family law matters, and is a past president of the local Bar Association and also has held statewide bar positions.

A person of integrity, Joe Charter does not accept contributions from lawyers. We believe that he will be a fair, compassionate, and committed judge, which is why he will have our vote. Please join us. — Clark and Carol Custodio, Ashland

Do you want more economic depression? More dependence on oil? Corporate corruption and tax breaks for the rich? Global enemies and war? Unaffordable health care? Government waste? Lobbyists running the country? Anti-choice religious extremists? Environmental destruction? The same old U.S. regime?

What are your values? Get the facts — decide for yourself. Do you want honest, smart leaders who listen, not dictate their own agenda?

Vote for change: End tax breaks for rich corporations; cut government waste/abuse; support real energy solutions, conservation and alternatives; new jobs and technology; affordable health care (that most countries but ours can afford).

Let's rebuild global stability and respect. Vote for peace, a better economy, education, environmental protection and resource conservation.

We need change to restore our economy and society. Stand up now or we deserve what we get — more of the same. — Shelly Brogan, Talent

If we are to believe the news reports and stories, the financial mess isn't one party's fault alone! It has been "total partisanship," not "hands across the aisle" as several candidates claim.

This mess has been brewing for some time and both sides have turned their backs to it. Instead they indulge in finger-pointing and accusations! All at the people's expense. Congress has a lower approval rating than the president.

And it is not just a couple of greedy financial institutions, but almost all are on the "skids." This country supposedly has in place programs to prevent another 1929-type debacle. When we had the chance, party loyalty got in the way!

Washington does indeed need change. But not from the people who have had the opportunity, and failed to institute the necessary actions. Voting for these candidates, no matter what position they are running for, more of the same! — Bill Farmer, Central Point

For those of you who smile and repeat with glee McCain's inability to do e-mail, do you know why he doesn't? His hands and arms were so crushed by the North Vietnamese, it is still too painful for him to type very long.

Because of his injuries, at night, he and his wife lie in bed while he reads his e-mail and Cindy types for him. He is known as one of the most Internet savvy senators on Capitol Hill.

Get your facts straight. Slander is usually a lie or misrepresentation of the truth to sway your opinion. — S. Martineau, Talent

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