I'm a fan of RVTV community television because its programming is usually relevant, informative and nonpartisan.

But this election season things have gotten out of hand. I've seen Pete Belcastro's political campaign programs repeated in prime time since August. Perhaps that's because Pete was an employee, or that other local candidates contacted RVTV later in the political season.

I'm surprised that SOU, which owns and operates the RVTV channels, allowed such repetitions when topical local programming is rarely given more than three repeats in a season.

I expect nonpartisan, even-handed broadcasts for our tax dollars from RVTV and SOU, so I'm glad to see that other candidates are scheduled into the next few weeks heading into the end game of the election. Find a schedule for both stations at www.roguetv.org in the upper right hand corner of the Web site, and tune in to watch our local candidates make their case. — Nan Trout, Ashland

"Why Not Obama?"

1. His early training by people with Marxist-socialist views. His philosophy today reveals he embraces those views.

Why won't he release his college records? What's he hiding?

His questionable friendships. Two Pakistani college roommates, Bill Ayers (unrepentant terrorist), Tony Rezko (convicted slum lord), Valerie Jarrett (native Iranian) now his chief adviser, former mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright to name a few.

His infanticide beliefs.

Who contributed the $400-plus million dollars to his campaign?

His mysterious Kenya connections.

Oh yes, the ACORN connection.

Lastly, his engaging charisma. I remember Jim Jones and dictators Castro and Hitler. A charismatic leader will make changes for sure, but what kind? Personally, I do not want a socialist America!

That's "Why not Obama?" — W. Johnson, Phoenix

In regard's to the Oct. 15 debate, I am an independent. In the beginning I was for McCain, but after the last two debates, my opinion and vote has changed.

Obama had answers to the questions and McCain had stats. And if history has told us anything, stats are useless.

I like the ideas Obama has and I think it's what this country needs. McCain's stand on health care is bad and I think he might just be protecting himself. He does not look good and if, God forbid, he is elected president and something should happen, we will be stuck with Palin, who in my opinion could not possibly run this country.

Obama was polite and had an answer for every question and McCain just did the bashing with his stats. We don't need stats, we need a leader that will change America back to America. Voting for Obama. — Kim O'Connell, Phoenix

Jackson County clerk is an important position, tasked with many important responsibilities requiring honesty and sound morality from the one who holds the office. Fortunately, we have such a person: Chris Walker.

Having worked in the clerk's office for over a decade, she brings the experience necessary to ensure the job gets done, and done right. Join us in voting for Chris Walker, Jackson County clerk. — Mel and Joanne Mecham, Phoenix

Every great nation has had its rise and fall. America's standard of living has been in gradual decline for decades. But, the decline will become precipitous if we elect a Marxist as president. Obama's "changes" for the economy, have never succeeded anywhere, in making the people better off than they once had been.

Once established, it will be near impossible to abolish our communist entitlement programs that will certainly cause a total economic collapse. It may take a century to overthrow a political system not conducive to liberty and prosperity.

Of course, if Obama doesn't win, it will be blamed on "racism," not because most Americans acknowledge communism as a failed experiment.

Republicans should have known the leftist media would play the race card. Had they chosen a black man like former congressman J.C. Watts, Walter Williams, or Thomas Sowell, either would have beaten Obama hands down. — Ben Stanos, Ashland

We, judges in Jackson County, write in support of Lisa Greif's candidacy for the Circuit Court bench.

We believe she has the temperament, background and experience to be a tremendous addition to the court. In addition to her years as a practicing attorney, she has been very involved in local and community affairs. She has the support of the majority of her peers in the bar because they recognize that her attributes will cause her to be a fair, just and conscientious decision-maker for the citizens of Jackson County. — Lorenzo A. Mejia, Rebecca G. Orf, William G. Purdy, Patricia Crain, Ross G. Davis, Medford

I met Doug McGeary through the medical community — his dad was a respected family practice physician in Medford for many years.

I have since served with Doug on a board of directors for a local nonprofit organization. He worked to genuinely solve problems and mediate legal issues that the organization faced.

Doug is respectful, listens to both sides of the argument, and helps people understand the nature of their decisions. With a long family history in this area and extensive experience in the law, I believe Doug McGeary is an excellent choice for judge. Vote Doug McGeary, Jackson County Circuit Court judge, Position 6. — Debbie Ameen, Applegate

At a recent candidates night I was impressed at the innate leadership from Rick Mori, Judy Shanrock and Bud Rees. They led the discussions of direction for Shady Cove with the other candidates merely echoing their ideas.

Rick openly demonstrated that leadership means taking the reins when opportunity presents itself. Judy pressed for more open hours at City Hall, pointing to other valley communities.

Bud has been working for a year to broadcast the City Council and planning meetings. Someone was listening to him, since Tuesday night the city's radio engineer worked taping that meeting for future broadcast.

After seeing these three candidates as enthusiastic volunteers in our local groups, I can say without hesitation that they are ready to go to work as the positive leaders we need now. New leadership is: Mori, Shanrock and Rees. — Dee Hawkins, Shady Cove

To assert, as the Oct. 10 Mail Tribune editorial did, that Mr. Statler, winner of Peacemaker of the Year Award in 2004, cannot build coalitions is simply wrong.

The problem Mr. Statler faced when his council term began was that he was dealing with an entrenched "old boy" network dominating the City Council. To Mr. Statler's credit and notwithstanding strong headwinds, there has been a perceptible shift in council's "center of gravity" towards many positions that Mr. Statler has advocated since the inception of his term.

In short, Mr. Statler is having an effect on the City Council — one that takes careful consideration of how council's actions and expenditures affect Medford residents.

Those voting for council on Nov. 4 should focus on the positives beginning to percolate in Medford, understand that, in part, Mr. Statler is responsible for those positives, and not risk taking a step backward to more of what the city has experienced for so many years. — Laurence M. Kahn, Jacksonville, director of a medford-based agency

Russ Silbiger has given Ashland outstanding service in his term as City Council member, and the voters should return him to continue what he has started.

A careful look at his record shows that he has made sustainable, fiscally responsible, and environmentally aware decisions. He doesn't just support any idea that sounds good, but only the ones that are good. In these times, I want the environmental council member who has been endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, but also the fiscal council member who eats financial reports for breakfast. Fortunately, Russ Silbiger is both. — Paul Collins, Ashland

We are fortunate that a man of Pete's caliber has stepped to the plate in this election. As an independent, he has pledged to hold the intrust of the voters above those of any political party. And now more than ever we need an independent voice in Salem. — Cliff Craft, Ashland

Property taxes go up 3 percent every year. Our elected officials should limit their pay raises to 3 percent instead of 24-30 percent, which they definitely don't earn.

They should also be limited to two terms to reduce the graft that's going on. Then, the country would have money.

Instead of getting multi-million dollar severance checks, those CEOs should be doing hard time in prison for fraud.

Don't vote for incumbents — vote these weasels out of office. — Buck and Connie Day, Medford

Although Dixie and I no longer live in our beautiful community of Ashland (which we greatly miss after 60 years), we want to share our support for Pete Belcastro in his bid for House District 5. We have personally known Pete for many years and can attest to his good character, honesty, and his community involvement at every level. Please join Dixie and I in our support for Pete Belcastro for state representative. — Lenn and Dixie Hannon, Salem

Obama says he has more governmental experience than Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Says he got that experience running his campaign. Huh? One would think he's running against Gov. Palin instead of Sen. McCain.

Obama wants free health care for everyone. Whoa! The poor have health care. (Go to any emergency room.)

He's planning to give the middle class a huge tax break (yeah, right) so guess who will pay this multi-billion dollar project? Yep, you're right, the top 10 percent wage earner has to work a little harder and dig a little deeper.

Obama will be the commander in chief of our military. Oh dear! He wouldn't go visit the wounded soldiers when he had a chance, chose to do a workout at the gym instead.

Finally, Obama voted three times for infanticide in Illinois, babies who survived botched abortions.

Obama lacks experience, common sense, and certainly compassion. — Nancy McAllister, Medford

A Barack Obama administration will require support in Congress. Jeff Merkley can be the vitally important 60th Democratic member of the Senate.

Send change to Washington. Vote Merkley for U.S. Senate. — Pam Marsh and Diarmuid McGuire, Ashland

OnTrack has been involved with local schools for approximately 31/2; years with counseling, job placement and positive activities for these kids at risk in joining gangs.

Ryan Marrs of OnTrack and Officer Hot from the Medford Police Department have worked together in channeling these at risk kids away from gang activity. They have made several trips to Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City with these at-risk kids.

The kids that have gone on these trips met and witnessed in a positive forum with incarcerated gang members on what will happen to them if they continue their gang activity. They witness a real life-and-death scenario so hopefully they can decide to make the right choices.

Mr. Marrs and Officer Hot contribute work time and personal time to be an example of positive influence on these young at-risk kids. The key is not arresting and punishing them after they join the gangs but to channel them prior to joining. With people like Officer Hot and Mr. Marrs the supply of new gang members could soon dry up in this area and eventually so will the gangs. — Rick Marrs, Medford

We live in a nation where various factors have caused our law-enforcement agencies to act in insane ways (perhaps the whole political system deserves some criticism).

For example, mind-altering substances such as marijuana, LSD, mushrooms, etc., are just as illegal as robbery. Yet society praises the music of the Beatles, the art of Picasso and Van Gogh, and Shakespeare (just a few undeniable users).

But Jackson County takes unethical law enforcement to a rare level; the conditions inside the jail are unsafe and inhumane, and they conduct their other responsibilities similarly.

Here's an undeniable example of how local law enforcement blatantly violating the law: The federal courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States, have clearly and repeatedly ruled that nobody can be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings because the literature is full of religious material. And guess what local probation officers do all the time? — Sean Lawlor Nelson, Medford

This is an editorial regarding the solar winds article that appeared in your newspaper Oct. 18. Quoting:

"Scientists recently discovered that the solar wind pressure is at its weakest level in 50 years, although the exact reason remains a mystery."

I've got the answer — Al Gore's "global warming." — Bob Waldo, Medford

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