The concealed weapons on campus debate misses a critical point.

This teacher feels threatened enough to warrant carrying a concealed weapon. What on earth is she doing on a campus packed with students? She and administrators should have the good judgment and ethics to move her away from the student population until her situation is less volatile. Until then, she is placing her students in the same danger. — Paul Murdoch, Jacksonville

A Sept. 16 letter to the editor suggested we "do the math" to see what it would cost a property owner if the library levy passes in Ashland. So I did.

According to last year's Real Property Tax Statement, our home had a Real Market Value (RMV) of $616,020 with a Total Assessed Value (Net Taxable) of $270,990. So the key number at 20 cents per $1,000 is $270.99, not the $400 one given in the Sept. 16 letter, which was probably erroneously based on the median price of homes in Ashland: $400,000 or so.

Thus, $270.99 X .20 = $54.20 per year, or $4.52 per month; and at 25 cents, $5.65 per month. Something we, and I imagine most of us, can well afford.

Even at 58 cents per $1,000, had that number remained, $157.17 per year or $13.10 a month, the price of one large pizza or so, does not seem like a huge amount, especially when considered against the value of a library to a community.

Furthermore, all of us immediately enjoyed the benefits of Ashland when we moved here, a considerable amount of which no doubt was financed by other taxpayers. It only seems fair that we do our share, for us and for the community. — Joor Nadav Bol, Ashland

The fortuitous publication of Naomi Klein's new book, "The Shock Doctrine," needs some public attention. She demonstrates the planned (by our rulers) "shocks" administered to whole economies of societies or portions thereof, the point of the "shock" being to stun the public and allow for the privatization of the commons.

As Wes Brain, our neighbor and valued labor and social activist, has observed, her book directly relates to our local library situation. Following our collective shock at having the libraries rather suddenly closed, the public has been softened up enough to allow, and even to happily greet, what is clearly the first step toward the privatization of this public good, a vital aspect of our commons. "Shock therapy" worked, but it really is a lobotomy and grand theft larceny of public assets. — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

I attended the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy fundraiser Sept. 15 and as always I came away impressed by how much can be accomplished when landowners, municipalities and the conservancy work together to preserve undeveloped land through conservation easements.

A case in point is the Jacksonville Woodlands, a wild area close to home where we enjoy hiking the many trails.

Another example of broad public support is the proposed Copper-Salmon Wilderness along the Elk River drainage near Port Orford. The Elk supports strong runs of wild steelhead and chinook salmon and I look forward to my annual winter steelhead trip.

A wilderness classification will protect the spawning habitat necessary for a sustainable fishery. Thanks to Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Peter DeFazio for introducing the bill last week. A letter to Sen. Smith asking for his support will go a long way toward giving this gem of a headwater wilderness the protection it deserves. — Peter J. Tronquet, Medford

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