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Letters to the Editor, June 5

Give vets needed help

Medford Mail Tribune from Washington Post: (VA) hospitals and clinics “lack capacity to treat a huge influx of aging Vietnam-era veterans and younger service members returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

I have seen this movie before. Same old story. Our leaders have no problem funding wars, sending our young into harm’s way and promising vets they will be taken care of after their sacrifice. This commitment is followed by continuing failure to fulfill that promise.

Spare this veteran your “Thank you for your service,” sign posts at county lines that proclaim “We honor Veterans” and your parades and political hollow speeches honoring those who “gave their lives.” No one gave their life, their future was taken from them in horrible ways. Many who returned need continuing medical and mental help.

If you want to “thank me,” refrain from wars of choice and back full funding for veteran medical programs supporting the men and woman who put it on the line for you.

Larry Slessler


Fish kill unnecessary

Per MMT on May 7, in order to charge irrigation canals, the Bureau of Reclamation drew down water in the Klamath River, which resulted in a die-off of fish. River flows were decreased by 85 percent over two days. Really? Was such a dramatic and sudden drawdown necessary? Or could the needs of farmers have been met in such a way as to not leave fish high and dry?

Government agencies charged with managing resources need our input to act accordingly. This situation does not need to be political. I suspect farmers as well as fisherman would support priming irrigation systems in a way that would not kill fish and turn a river into a riverbed devoid of water.

The irrigation canals will be charged every year, and the BOR needs to do so responsibly. Let us use our collective public voice to assure Reclamation carries out its mandate to preserve natural resources and provide irrigation to farmers in such a way that a massive fish kill doesn’t happen again.

Cindy Harper


Our sugar addiction

The Mail Tribune on June 3, Page A4, published an article on the U.S. blocking World Health Organization tax talks on sugar drinks — “The Trump administration torpedoed a plan to recommend high taxes on sugary drinks.”

Send President Trump and Eric Hargan, U.S. deputy secretary for Health and Human Services, to Dublin, Ireland.

Our vacation hotel in Dublin, Ireland was located immediately behind Trinity College. It required us to walk past Trinity College. The first morning we discovered the college students were extremely thin in body shape. We entered a 7-Eleven-type establishment and noticed 12-ounce sodas were priced $5.00 Euro, equivalent to $6.00 in U.S. dollars.

On a day trip to Belfast, the bus made a stop at a small town. The sodas were only $3.80 per can (equivalent to $4.56 USD).

Fast food establishments in the United States offer any size soda for $1.00. This includes numerous refills, along with a drink to go. Eric Hargan stated in the Mail Tribune article, “It was not clear imposing a tax on sugar drinks ... would improved public health.” Both Trump and Hargan live in the realm of the “duh factor,” due to potential political backlash from our sugar-addicted population.

Bill Walton

Central Point

Population growth factor

The M-T recently published a front-page article focused on the economic benefits of reducing expected global warming, accepting, as a matter of course, forecasts by assorted climate warriors.

What we never see in discussions of this sort is any mention of the real elephant in the room: human population growth. There seems to be nothing to restrain it, other than war and plague. And, given that every new generation brings with it two main compulsions — to consume and to breed — that growth will continue, relatively unrestrained.

We humans tend to be short-sighted in the sense that we may be concerned about the future of our children, grandchildren and maybe great-grandchildren, but beyond that they are on their own. So what of those descendants 10, 20, or 200 generations down the line?

The Earth is after all a closed ecosystem; it’s all we have or ever will have, despite sci-fi fantasies of settling other planets. If we don’t begin thinking and acting long-term, we may eventually render it uninhabitable.

But what will force us to think, much less to act?

C. S. Chase


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