Why are we so uninformed about the funds we pay to be governed? In recent editorials, David Lynch stated that we are taxed 50 percent of our incomes. Sam Campbell states 10-20 percent. Lee Morris says 32.7 percent. These are all shortsighted, discounting "indirect" taxes, which are greater than all "direct" taxes, combined. Taxes are disguised in many ways. The list is endless: taxes on sales, gasoline, and death, even taxes on taxes.

Taxes are tucked into everything we do and buy. For instance, without all the taxes added ... from seed to store shelf, a loaf of bread may cost but a few cents.

A simple way to determine the cost of all taxes: Add up the spending of every taxing agency and divide that by the nation's population. That would give us the average taxpayer's tax. If that was done, Lynch's assertion may prove to be conservative. What seems amazing is that taxpayers don't demand such a definitive analysis.

A frog, thrown into a pot of boiling water, will leap out! However, place him into cool water and gradually heat up the pot and he will slowly boil to death. Why can't Sam and Lee feel the heat? — Ron Bergquist, Ashland

In the not-too-distant past we, the public, accused RVTD of not being open and aware of its constituents' needs and aspirations. And we did so rightfully. That was then; now seems to be very different.

RVTD has been listening. The Long Range Plan is the proof that the message has gotten through. This plan was developed from data gathered at numerous public meetings throughout the valley.

Everyone at RVTD knows that future and existing service depends on reliable funding. Of course funding will be a part of the plan. One thing at a time, let's give credit where credit is due. RVTD staff and board are listening to us.

With the new management and this new direction RVTD is more commendable to the public need. Let's see where we are going with transportation here in the Rogue Valley. — Karen Barlow, Medford

They're stealing your property! True enough. If a claimant uses Measure 37 to convert his land in a way that would harm or decrease your standard of living or livelihood, you have absolutely no legal recourse nor financial recourse. You won't even be informed of the plans.

Talk about a wolf in sheep's clothing! It all seemed so innocent. Just allowing a few rural property owners to build an additional house for their grandchildren, Measure 37 supporters explained. Oh? Most of the claims for the 750,000 acres (which doesn't include surrounding areas that would be impacted), are slated for large subdivisions, commercial projects or aggregate mining.

Why don't we, the informed voters, let the intent of Measure 37 stand — three-10 homes built on each claim — but not lose the quality of life we all enjoy.

Vote yes on Measure 49. — Deborah Miller, Ashland

There is no war on Christianity as believed by James D. Anderson (Oct. 16). Just people wishing to be free from religious proselytization, imposition, bigotry, discrimination and oppression. One of the reasons for the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was religious tyranny. — Leon Willoughby, Medford

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