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Letters, Sept. 29

Wildfire and gas pipelines

The wildfires in our area have been very destructive and disruptive for all of us.

Lives have been lost. Homes, businesses, infrastructure and forests have been lost or damaged. Some people may never recover their former lives. Forests will take decades to come back as they were.

The fires are still burning and we are faced with the Canadian corporation that wants to put a natural gas pipeline through Southern Oregon. This is a 36-inch, high-pressure pipeline filled with invisible and odorless deadly gas. After breathing smoke all summer and watching endless destruction on television every single day, how can anyone with a lucid mind think this pipeline is a safe and plausible idea?

Tom Collett

Gold Hill

McConnell misuses office

Power-hungry and greed-driven, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has misused his office, to this country’s detriment.

When President Obama took office in 2009, this nation was in the midst of the Great Recession. Such crisis called for congressional incumbents to focus on recovery measures. Alas, McConnell strategized: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

McConnell demanded unified resistance against Obama, who was tasked with saving the country from another Great Depression. Compliant Republicans voted against any legislation with potential to succeed and redound to Obama’s credit.

McConnell’s salary is $193,400. He has generally opposed increases in the minimum wage. He has fought against campaign-finance reform.

The American people have endured three decades of McConnell’s putting politics and his monetary gains before their interests. He has stalled, stonewalled and misled consistently. He denied Obama’s request for a bipartisan warning about Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. He refused to hold a hearing on Merrick Garland, Obama’s stellar nominee for Supreme Court justice.

Kentucky voters should wise up and vote obstructionist McConnell out of office in 2020.

Marie Arvette

Medford

Incarceration excessive

Today in this United States, we verifiably have the highest percentage of the population in incarceration of any nation on Earth.

Long-tolerated police brutality has, due to the collapse of the news censorship caused by the internet and social media, become a popular issue — and a sore on the gums of race relations — seeing as African American males are often targeted for brutality. But the problem is not just prejudice: it’s protocol.

The handcuffs used to restrict accused citizens, who are presumed to be innocent under legitimate law, are so restrictive that the prisoner often cannot walk safely without police guidance, which points him to a claustrophobic back seat of a police car where he then undertakes a rocky ride, with no seat belt. Arrests are often near-death experiences, which greatly lessen the ability of the accused to resist plea deals and offer an organized legal defense, however innocent the citizen may be of the original crime.

All told, police brutality and mass incarceration are twin vices that cost the United States greatly in productivity and family cohesion, but perhaps most importantly are a taint upon legitimate law and order, which is needful.

Sean Lawlor Nelson

Medford

Reduce emissions

Whether it’s dwindling snowpack affecting water supplies, increasing temperatures or the increasing wildfire risk, we can see what global warming and its climate consequences cause before our eyes. We’d have to be blind to miss it. We also know that the concentration of climate pollution building up in our atmosphere as a result of human activities is driving global warming.

If we wish to solve these problems, we will need to reduce emissions of this pollution. While Oregon only contributes a small amount to the global emissions budget, we cannot urge other states and nations with greater impact to curtail their emissions if we do not make a serious effort ourselves.

This means we should support legislation to reduce these emissions (voluntary efforts imposed in 2007 have failed) and support only candidates who likewise support aggressive action. Regrettably, the federal and state Republican caucuses have politicized science and oppose action.

Alan Journet

Jacksonville

Obama’s voice

Eloquent, sincere? Honest? Positive? Historically astute? Calm? Optimistic?

This great person almost wrecked America and its Constitution. I will take the other person any time as he understands America, America’s citizens and values, and works tirelessly for the people.

Ray Novosad

Eagle Point

Bert and Ernie

The Tribune reported on an article initially in the Washington Post concerning the continual controversy regarding the sexuality of the cartoon puppets Bert and Ernie in the Sesame Street show beginning in the early ’70.

Who is traumatized by the possibility that Bert and Ernie of the Sesame Street Cartoon puppets might be gay? OMG, they are puppets! They are best friends. This is not the evil left infiltrating your life. Get over it.

A. Patterson

Medford

Tricky politics

Remember Tricky Dick? Forget that amateur. Tricky Dianne Feinstein is the real professional.

Two years ago, I knew Trump was a heartless businessman who misused his power. I soon learned he overreacted to any criticism and his opinions were stated as truth. I didn’t expect much of his presidency.

I was wrong. Though he acts without full understanding, he has countered the al Husayni/Nazi-inspired, Israel-hating world, unlike previous pandering or intimidated administrations.

As an anti-globalist and environmentalist, I respect the mission (not practices) of agencies like the EPA. President Trump has rightly put brakes on wildly power-seeking and politicized agencies.

I have doubts about a second-term Trump. However, I have no doubts about his tricky, mean, deceitful, vulgar empire-seeking opposition.

Ira Edwards

Medford

Are you informed?

A founding principle of a democracy is an informed electorate.

Unfortunately we don’t have an informed electorate. If we did, a majority of Americans would publicly object at the ballot box to the expenditure of some $720 million a day to support our presence in Iraq, a nation perpetually divided by religious schisms. In neighboring Afghanistan, American expenditures of $2.4 trillion over the past 20 years underlines our naive efforts to bring about change in a nation ruled by warlords and securely ensconced in the 15th century.

Our uninformed electorate has failed utterly in discerning the infectious evils that inevitably flourish in a Congress consisting of people who are there to serve themselves, not the the electorate. Gerrymandered voting districts have resulted in corrupt incumbents being re-elected to office at a rate of 90 percent to 95 percent in recent elections. If we somehow managed to rid ourselves of all career politicians, some men of good character would undoubtedly be sacrificed, but we would also rid ourselves of a great many whose vote is always up for sale under the guise of “campaign funds.” Until we do clean house, nothing will change, no matter what inhabits the oval office.

Bob Warren

Central Point

Me Too, Me Too

The #MeToo movement has become a farce and robbed truly legitimate victims of sexual harassment of any sort of justice. It’s become who can bring down the biggest fish and who can get their name out there for the longest time with the biggest impact.

Just as the travesty of the Duke lacrosse players having their names and reputations ruined by a false accusation, nothing repairs the reputations even after the accuser has been found to be a fraud. When you can’t remember when, why or how, the accusation needs to be taken with a very large grain of salt and then dismissed.

There are too many women and men whose sole role is to bring down anyone they don’t like or disagree with politically. This entire fiasco with Kavanaugh has become a joke. After six FBI investigations, weeks of Senate hearings and innnumerable questions and allegations by Democrats, for them to come up with an anonymous secret letter to Diane Feinstein that she held for two months shows how genuinely desperate they are.

The Democrats weren’t going to vote for him anyway. Truth be damned. See how many more women we can get who will shame themselves on our behalf.

Pat Butler

Medford

ODFW kills

ODFW’s response to the death of Ms. Bober is no different than their cougar management strategy: ignore facts, ignore science, ignore public safety risk and kill more cougars.

Fact 1: Cause of death is undetermined. ODFW statement: Death by cougar. Fact 2: No forensic evidence can be tied to a cougar. ODFW statement: All evidence shows the cougar they hunted down killed her. Fact 3: The only evidence ODFW can provide is pictures of the resident cougar on trail cameras.

Despite the lack of information, ODFW’s response is their norm: Kill as many cats as possible. The best science available shows that Oregon’s management strategy of continually increasing the indiscriminate killing of cougars (from less than 200 in the mid 1990s to a record high of 571 last year) increases the risk to public safety.

Instead of going on a witch-hunt to bring in a body, any body, they should be taking responsibility for the risk they have caused and change their flawed and unscientific management.

Sally Mackler, carnivore advocate, PredatorDefense.org

Jacksonville

Fish in tree

Perhaps your proofreader was on a coffee break when a photo of a bird in a tree was labelled as a “baby blue herring.” Thanks for a much needed laugh.

Lucille and Warren Carlson

Medford

Them and us

Whatever happened to the idea that politicians were ideally supposed to work for the “people”?

I have been bombarded by the Brown/Buehler attack ads. It reminds me of the picture of the eagle with a tear in its eye.

I was taught by my parents and in school to be as honest as possible, to tell the truth and the old adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” These two are so crooked they have to screw their socks on.

The definition of politics is “The art of manipulation for gain.” I learned a long time ago not to vote for the one I believe in, but to vote for the one I think will do the least damage. Good luck, my friends, there is no “we the people,” there is only them and us, and we are food for them.

Bob Bartlett

Central Point

Democrats’ desperation

Recently, we saw Democratic senator, under the carefully rehearsed direction of the Senate minority leader, discard any pretense of civility, decorum and respect for the Constitution, the rule of law, chamber rules and tradition.

Exhibiting the desperation of desperation of a cornered predator, Senator Schumer unleashed Senators Blumenthal, Harris, Whitehouse and “Spartacus” Booker against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a man of integrity with a long and open record of achievements on the federal bench. These people sold what is left of their souls to achieve the destruction of Judge Kavanaugh while displaying their animosity for the Constitution and disdain for American citizens.

Never intending to approve his nomination, they set out to destroy Judge Kavanaugh with all sorts of accusations, innuendo and insults, yet could not lay a hand on him no matter how malicious their interrogations and intentions.

They appeared as petty, snarling actors in an amateurish production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” respecting neither themselves and their office nor the Constitution while being outwitted intellectually and experientially by the nominee.

Wasn’t this charade just another brilliant example of the Democratic Party pursuing symbolism over substance?

Dominic Fontana

Medford

Thanks to angels

I would like to thank the three ladies who called 911 and continued to stay with me and my young granddaughter in the heat and smoke on Aug. 4 when I fell outside the mall until the ambulance came.

I never got your names or told you how grateful I was for your concern and care. You kept my poor granddaughter from panicking and kept me calm, as well. You didn’t have to take the time out of your busy day to stay, but you did.

I’ve always believed in angels and you have proved me right. I only hope you will see this and know I will always remember you.

Pat Dumas

Medford

Thanks for coverage

I want to congratulate you on the highly important coverage you gave in your Sunday paper to the problems of climate change and the consequences to Oregon with severe forest fires all summer. The coverage fairly represented the positions of all sides and is excellent journalism. And, your editorial was right on with all sides needing to come together and listen to the science and look at what seems to have worked well and not be beholden to the lumber industry and their economic interests.

And the article about the young people in Eugene who have filed a climate change suit against the state is a real ray of hope that maybe, as a people, we can eventually turn things around as more people learn that this is not a hoax but needs to be addressed as seriously and rapidly as possible.

Thank you for presenting these issues on your front page.

Donald and Traute Moore

Quail Run Vineyards

South Stage Cellars

Talent

Beyond the realm

It would have been one thing to write about the Medford council candidate’s obscene insults in an article. However, it was beyond the realm of good journalism and decency to splash them across the front page of the paper.

Mary Ann Johnson

Jacksonville

Coverage went too far

I opened the paper to what I thought was a political ad! My husband and I have never seen a city vilify a political contender with such a stunning front-page article!

This goes too far, both for the paper and the candidate! They seem to both be stooping to the same level! While I do agree that the public needs to know about the actions of this person, did it have to be done like a slap in the face first thing in the morning?

Re-iterating Trump-like language, however justified, will only further its use. I hope that not too many teachers read the MT to the kids that day!

J. Copper

Medford

Unbelievable

Reading the article in Tuesday’s paper on Curt Ankerberg, I was stunned. Is this the kind of person we want on the City Council representing Medford?

A foul-mouthed, bigoted oaf. Someone who can’t even speak without swearing and denigrating everyone around him. I’d vote for anyone other than him. It wouldn’t matter who.

Please take note, those of you in his ward. This is the picture and voice that will represent you and us.

P. Moran

Medford

Use technology

We can send a ground vehicle to Mars, over 34 million miles away, land it at a designated location, and send clear video back to earth. We can put a telescope in space and receive clear images of space material several billion light years away.

Soon we will have autonomous big-rig transports on the highway along with erratic and irate human-driven passenger cars, mostly from California, making it safely to their destinations. Yet we are still unable to safely fly an aircraft in smoky skies to suppress a wildfire.

The current Klondike fire is a prime example. We constantly hear that the smoky inversion has grounded all air support. This is the period that the fire is least active and great gains in achieving containment could be accomplished. Perhaps technology funds should be directed to firefighting on our own planet instead of looking at black holes in a galaxy we will never visit.

Dennis Hammond

Eagle Point

Anger Burger

Regarding Medford City Council candidate Curt Ankerberg: We the people of Medford do not welcome his obscenity and pedantic rantings and vitriolic diatribes. We also do not want him representing any of us to the city government. His standards fail to reach to the lowest level of acceptability so I ask that he please take his putrefaction and remove himself from the political scene.

Bob Rolls

Medford

A stellar candidate

Stephen Jensen is a top-notch candidate for the Ashland City Council. Steve and I worked together in education for over 15 years and I personally witnessed numerous traits that are desirable for a city leader.

Steve is a voracious reader and writer and enjoys researching complex topics. He couples that with strong problem-solving skills and the ability to finish projects in a timely manner. Steve likes to brainstorm ideas and has a unique ability to listen to others and help formulate complex answers to difficult problems.

In short, Stephen Jensen will get things done.

Robert Black

Medford

Thanks for coverage

My first letter ever — I want to thank you, Mail Tribune, for your front-page headlines alerting us to dangers of angry candidates. I applaud your coverage, your concern and care for Medford.

Thank you, you are an asset to our community.

Ruth McLeod

Medford

Forester should know

I read John Prendergast’s guest opinion “Wildfire smoke, science and perspective” in the Sept. 16 edition.

John wants us to believe that because “gross annual growth” of vegetation on BLM and national forest lands far exceeds what is being removed by logging, the result is an accumulation of fuel. That’s been repeated by foresters, BLM and Forest Service officials and politicians for longer than I can remember — and I’m 71!

These logging advocates never subtract the amount of vegetation that rots into soil each year. Nor do they subtract the amount of vegetation that goes up in smoke. If you believe them, logging is the only way to remove biomass from the forest.

The timber sale is a poor tool when the task is reducing fuel and fire risk. That’s because when the tool is a timber sale contract, economics, not good forestry, determines what gets cut. Commercial logging opens the canopy too much and the result is more fire risk five years later. That would be OK if the BLM and Forest Service would then come back with prescribed fire or mechanical fuel reduction, but too often they don’t come back.

As a forester, Prendergast should know these things.

Felice Pace

Klamath, California

Get your flu shot

It is almost flu season. Reminder: Please, get your flu shot.

Ask your doctor. Ask your pharmacy. Go to a clinic.

When you get an immunization, besides not getting the flu, if you catch a new flu strain, then the severity and duration will be less. If enough of us get immunized, it will be a lot less contagious.

Let’s stay healthy and keep Medford healthy.

George Fribance

Medford

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