I have been an attorney practicing law in Jackson County for over 20 years. I have represented thousands of adults and youths charged with criminal offenses and in dependency cases. I am passionate about protecting the civil liberties and privacy rights of our citizens.

My experience places me in a unique position to gauge the performance and character of local police officers and other law enforcement personnel. I have had numerous contacts with Greg Lemhouse since 1995, observing first-hand his service to the community as an officer for the Ashland and Medford police departments.

Specifically, on behalf of my clients, I have investigated and litigated cases presented by Greg for prosecution. He is highly respected in the community, including the defense bar, for his intelligence, professionalism and integrity.

Greg has served his community admirably and the city of Ashland is fortunate to have persons of his caliber running for City Council. — Vance M. Waliser, Medford

Regarding 80-year-old Jim Morris' letter where he laments that "Everyone seems to want the government to take care of them from cradle to grave":

That means according to his principles, he surely is not accepting Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare, or any other government help that in his words describes socialism. It is interesting that he disregards and forgets that two Republican presidents have practiced socialism in the form of bailing out the savings and loan crisis and now the billions that have gone toward Wall Street. These Republican buzzwords are meaningless in complicated times. — Katie Lambie, Medford

I have spent more than 30 years working to improve public education in Southern Oregon. As a classroom teacher, elementary principal and central office administrator I have always attempted to put kids first.

Lynn Howe shares this commitment. Lynn has been a teacher. She knows the value of early childhood education. She supports adequate funding for progressive educational initiatives. She is also committed to making affordable higher education a priority for Oregon students.

I encourage all teachers, classified employees, parents and community members who value our schools to join me in voting for Lynn Howe. — Kathleen McCollum, Medford

Who are the people behind this group known as the League of Ashland Voters who are supporting Kramer, Lemhouse and Silbiger for Ashland City Council?

This is the Ashland Big Business PAC — a PAC that is bought and paid for by large Ashland businesses, such as:

Sid DeBoer — owner of Lithia Motors — $1,000 donation.

David Bernard — Ashland Community Hospital — $2,000.

Ashland Shopping Center — $1,000.

Neuman Properties (owners of Ashland Springs Hotel), $500.

These folks have stooped to a new low in negative advertising, denigrating some of the dedicated, hard-working candidates for public office in Ashland. Instead of talking about the facts, they have stooped to personal attacks.

1. Haven't we already had enough negative campaigning from the McCains and Gordon Smiths?

2. Is what's best for the biggest businesses in town what's best for you?

Say no to negative advertising.

Vote for Vavra, Hartzell and Stromberg. — Tom Dimitre, Ashland

It now seems possible that Barack Obama may be elected president of the United States. That is the bad news.

The good news is that we will have four years to prove his hypocrisy, inexperience, questionable associations, and anti-life stance that the mainstream media has been unwilling to report. We can only pray that his socialist views will not destroy the economy that has already been damaged by the Democrat-led Congress.

In the meantime, common sense and conservatism will have time to be re-established in a country that will need it badly. God bless America, because the liberals sure won't do it. — Chad Robinson, Medford

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