It seems that voters don't want to fund a library in every town in Jackson County, and who can blame them?

Do we really need all those libraries as the library supporters claim? I say no. I think we could get by with two: one in Medford and one in Ashland.

Why don't we get a say in that? We were given an "all or none" choice. Obviously, Jackson County residents didn't think it was much of a choice.

I think our county leaders need to think outside the box and listen to the public instead of trying to tell the public what they need. Less libraries = less cost. — Karl MacNair, Ruch

I think both Jackson and Josephine counties can quickly and easily regain solvency by assessing properties closer to their actual value.

Property taxes are based on assessed value. Assessing properties at less than half their actual value is poor business practice.

Cutbacks in county services hurt everybody. Perhaps a law can be enacted that property must be assessed at its selling cost. Such a law might help keep real estate prices more reasonable, as well. Perhaps a substantial fee could be charged to a seller for any humongous difference between a property's assessed value and the market price.

Property taxes are a bane, but people oughtn't to whine so loudly where they pay per but a fraction of a property's actual value. — Patti Morey, Ashland

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that Jack Walker and Dennis C.W. Smith violated Oregon's land-use laws by failing to take into account the effects on cities of hacking up 164,000 acres of Jackson County countryside. But Commissioner Walker would have us believe that only a small minority care about losing the rural nature of Jackson County.

It is now the job of Jackson County residents to directly give input to Commissioners Walker and Smith or to make their city councils take a stand on this important issue. If county residents and the city councils fail to act to try to protect our resource lands, Mr. Walker will soon bring forth a proposal to further partition not just farmland but also the forestland in the county.

Walker and Smith seem intent on damaging the viability of county resource lands at an unprecedented rate and on loading up our roads with even more traffic. They believe only a small minority care enough to try to stop this onslaught on our heritage. Let's hope that is not true. — Brent Thompson, president of Friends of Jackson County

How refreshing to read that, if there were no lawsuits to defend against, Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy (Mail Tribune, May 15) would expend the freed-up resources on restoring landscapes.

Now there is some sorely needed new thinking! I await a list in your paper of all the great restoration projects Conroy promises to enact when he has money for them. Upon his solemn word to do so, maybe we will all be so impressed that we will send Conroy the money.

It's also refreshing that Conroy finally wants the public to know the whole truth — and "needs" such citizens — for productive participation. Let's have an independent audit of the Biscuit Fire Recovery Project, to see just who got how much for what. Conroy will agree, since he is opposed to "unsupported exaggerations and ... misrepresentations (which) inflame rather than enlighten."

One of the things the audit will show is that the first environmentalist to file an appeal was the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association. If Conroy were to have earmarked funds from Biscuit sales for restoring landscapes, contingent upon no lawsuits being filed, the timber industry would have sued him before the ink was dry! — Jim Wells, Jacksonville

Gratitude here for our state representatives considering a number of important issues. One I'm sorry they must address is the mandatory fluoridation bill.

This is an issue best left to scientists. And while Dr. Dienel is not a scientist, I admire him taking a stand in the face of a controversial issue and appreciate his presentation of some facts in the Sunday, May 13, opinion pages.

A primary concern to me is that fluoride is effective in preventing cavities only when applied topically. Putting it in water is like eating sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Additionally, that any substance untested for safety and effectiveness is added to water for all to drink in uncontrolled doses is preposterous. — Keith Maclaren, Ashland

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