Voters beware. The wolf in sheep's clothing are three very large timber companies (Stimpson, Seneca Jones and Jeld-Wen) who will benefit greatly if Measure 49 is defeated. They have invested $1 million in TV ads. If Measure 37 stands, they can plant houses instead of trees on the many logged forest lots they own in our coastal mountains and other parts of Oregon.
Do Oregonians really want large housing projects on valuable forest lands? Or in our Southern Oregon orchards, where "No on 49" signs have sprung up like mushrooms? The Oregon Farm Bureau and most other farmers are staunch supporters of Measure 49. Small property owners are protected by Measure 49, which allows fast-track approval for three homes, up to 10 with careful review.
Don't let these special interests carve up our forests and farms into housing tracts and strip malls. Vote yes on 49. — Traute Moore, Talent
What's the alternative to the Ashland Youth Activities and Academics Levy? Since 1994 a levy has funded elementary music and physical education, middle school Spanish, high school debate, and sports, math clubs and more, both within the school day and outside it.
The levy now on the ballot will also fund some core academic programs. Without levy funding, many programs that enrich the lives of our children will cease. How then will children in Ashland spend time? Positively and productively? And how can we expect them to grow up to be engaged citizens, if they do not have opportunities to engage in meaningful experiences as children?
Measure 15-80 provides critical support for programs that for 13 years have served 100 percent of elementary and middle school students and more than 70 percent of high school students — and at a lower tax rate than we are currently paying! Please vote yes. — Amy Cuddy, Ashland
BrainstormNW, a monthly publication, is quoted as saying Measure 49, perhaps the biggest threat to our property values in Oregon history, may well be the most dishonest ballot measure ever perpetrated on Oregon voters and we'll have no one but a complicit press, power-grabbing bureaucrats and ourselves to blame.
So by this standard, the Tribune's endorsement of 49 is supporting one of the most dishonest ballot measures in Oregon history. Why doesn't that surprise me about the Tribune? — Don Rist, Talent
Measure 49 is very deceptive and is supposed to cure problems, but what it actually does is take away even more of our property rights.
Without paying a dime, it allows the state to take away property for scenic view, wildlife habitat or open space. These provisions have been drafted by the Legislature without public input. Are we going to allow a dictatorship by the legislature and not have government by the people? The people have already voted. Measure 49 would take away what the people voted for. Get the facts. See www.stop49.com. — Delmer Wagner, Rogue River
The Oregon Legislature is asking us to vote again on the same issue: Property rights.
Measure 49 has never had a public hearing. Measure 49 only guarantees one lot out of the UGB (maximum 3).
The new measure is just too complex and will lead to all types of lawsuits. Measure 49 allows anyone in the United States to sue an Oregon property owner who is contesting the government taking of their property.
Under Measure 49, government can take your property without compensation. If you contest it, you have to pay the government's appraisers and attorneys and your own appraisers and attorneys even if you win. Environmental groups can also sue you.
Measure 49 is supported by special-interest environmental and conservation groups who have spent over $3 million on Yes on Measure 49 — who do not want to see anyone build. — Guy Bishop, Ashland
Do you oppose 31,000 acres of subdivisions suddenly eating up Jackson County's farmlands, a 297-acre aggregate mine straddling the Applegate River, large-scale development in the Ashland hills, 1,217 Jackson County acres of sensitive wildlife habitat and wetlands inappropriately developed? If so, please vote yes on Measure 49.
Measure 49 will reverse Oregon's bleak future created by Measure 37 while restoring the will of Oregon voters, which intended to allow families to build a few homes on their property if zoning allowed when it was purchased; not unplanned subdivisions, industrial and commercial development throughout our communities, farmlands, forests and special places.
Please vote yes on Measure 49 to halt the insanity of 750,000 acres of Measure 37 claims all ready to bring large development such as aggregate mines, malls and subdivisions back through existing development planning, to simplify building processes for individuals and families, and protect the future of Oregon. — Judd Hurley, Medford
I'm writing to encourage voters to support the Youth Activities and Academics Levy, Measure 15-80.
Much of the richness, variety and creativity in my 15-year-old son's public school experience has been provided by the current and past levies. The theater and music programs in which he excels would not have been available without this additional money. Please join me in keeping our schools vibrant places of learning. — Ann Bass, Ashland
The Oregon Legislature is asking us to vote yet again on a property rights issue that the voters have already spoken on clearly twice before, the last time with a 61 percent majority favoring the rights of property owners.
Measure 49 would take back these rights, allowing the government to take your property without compensation. If you contest these takings, you (the property owner) must pay for the government's appraisers, your appraisers, the government's lawyers and your lawyers, no matter who wins. Measure 49 allows anyone, even out-of-state third parties and political action groups with deep pockets, to sue property owners.
How many times must Oregonians vote to protect their property rights? Why does the Legislature continue to disregard the will of the voters? I plan to vote no on Measure 49. I urge my friends and neighbors to vote no as well. — Lary Harris, Wilderville
Before you vote for Measure 49, remember that overreaching tyrannical government is not limited to only the federal level, it can also exist at the state and local level!
You know that the State Department of Land Conservation and Development wants to tell us what is the best use of our property. Imagine that! I always thought that was our decision, based on our individual needs and desires as long as it was a legal use!
Do not be fooled by the snake oil salesmen. For all practical purposes Measure 49 is a repeal of Measure 37.
Suggested reading is an opposition argument in the voters' pamphlet, submitted by Ross Day of Oregonians in Action, quoting the Albany Democrat-Herald (page 58). This article has some facts that the above-mentioned will not tell you! — Anna Wyant, Eagle Point
What happened to the media's unbiased, unvarnished zeal on the election?
I, fool that I am, would like to see an Oregon newspaper publish one word about the ballot measures that have been unconstitutional and overturned. Then I would like to see something about the complete incompetence of the Oregon Legislature. Without a doubt Measure 50 will one day come before the Supreme Court citing the 14th Amendment.
This state needs a sales tax. Tax bottled water and people will not buy it, tax tobacco and smokers will go out of state as Californians come to Costco in Medford and Oregonians leave to purchase liquor. If people have to be taxed to pay for another person's children, those people should not have children!
The taxation motives in this state seem to be the first step to a socialistic society which is what the media is pushing to enhance the Democrats. — J.A. Robinson, Grants Pass
In Rep. Dennis Richardson's recent e-mail, he urges rejection of Measure 49 because of how it was developed, without discussing the negative effects on Oregon's forests and farms if it fails. To quote: "Every citizen who favors honesty in government should vote against Measure 49. Regardless of how they might feel about Measure 37, voting no on Measure 49 is a statement against dirty politics." Heavy stuff.
What a short memory. By that same logic, Measure 37 itself should never have passed. It was sold to voters by highlighting the plight of 92-year-old Dorothy English, who couldn't subdivide her land for her children. Yet the real beneficiaries of Measure 37 turned out to be developers, commercial interests and timber companies, rather than people like Dorothy.
Rep. Richardson's e-mail attempts to divert attention from issues to politics and name-calling. Don't fall for it. Vote yes on 49. — Gary O'Neal, Gold Hill
For at least half-a-century tobacco companies have lied about the health hazards of smoking. Now they want us to believe their claims of the dangers of Measure 50 — which will use tobacco taxes to provide health care for children. Tobacco companies' lies have contributed to, if not directly led to the death of millions of people worldwide, and now they are trying to convince us the Measure 50 is a major threat to Oregonians. As the saying goes, "fool me once — shame on you; fool me twice — shame on me."
They have poured a ton of money in to the campaign to defeat Measure 50 and created bogus "grass root" groups like "Oregonians Against the Blank Check" to serve as fronts for their insidious aims. From my perspective, if the big tobacco companies are against Measure 50, it is the right thing to do. Vote yes on 50. — Bruce Evans, Talent
If we the people want freedom and control of our own property and destiny, vote no on Measure 49. If you want more oppressive, controlling and regulatory government, vote yes.
But don't think that an oppressive government will stop with just landowners. Next time they'll come after more of your rights.
Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who will sacrifice freedom for security will soon have neither one." Do you feel secure putting your future in the hands of politicians? I, for one, do not. — Stacey Mavilia, Eagle Point