After reading the Oct. 27 headline in the MT, "U.S. water supply reaches critical juncture," does any sane person still believe we should blow a hole in the Elk Creek Dam? — Tom Brussat, Jacksonville

"Rendition myths" (Oct. 28), Daniel Benjamin's essay, is clear and accurate. He notes that the Bush administration has "taken the gloves off" in such matters.

Rendition is a human-rights violation, an extralegal procedure amounting to kidnapping. It always includes torture and/or brutal treatment. Nor should Americans feel secure: The experience of Jose Padilla, an American citizen, should remind us that we are all at risk of internal rendition and torture. Bring back habeas corpus. — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

The YAAL is a fair replacement for the YAL. Lower taxes and lots of options for extracurricular programs and local funding for core academics? I'm voting yes on Measure 15-80. Please join me. — Marylee Oddo, Ashland

I'm concerned about Central Point's attempt to charge water users an additional charge for road repairs and upkeep. Supposedly the fee will be about $5 per residence. Businesses would be charged based on traffic generated, which would result in much higher charges. This fee would have passed had not a group of concerned business owners gone to the council meeting and complained.

In February 2006, $5 per month was added to our water bills for storm drain repairs and upkeep. I marked a couple of lids in my neighborhood, and either the city is very good at replacing them exactly, or they've never been moved as of October 2007. I called the city and asked when our drains would be checked. I was told they only did the problem drains.

So all this time, all the households in Central Point are paying a fee that does nothing for me and my neighborhood. If 4,000 households pay water bills and the extra $5, then $160,000 has been generated since February 2006. Where is that money going?

Now they want more money for roads. Will the results be the same? All are charged, not all benefit. — Gary Young, Central Point

Measure 49 is a disaster. It makes a broken land-use system worse. Please vote no on this misleading, confusing measure.

Private property rights used to be sacred in the United States. Now, property owners in many cases are faced with inaccurate or down-zoning on their property which results in substantial loss of value. Measure 37 at least gives long-term property owners some flexibility and options on their property for the future. This is why so many claims have been filed.

This Legislature needed to clarify Measure 37 and address such issues as transferability. Instead, they shirked their duty, defunded the Big Look committee and gave us Measure 49.

We need workable land-use laws in Oregon. Measure 49 is certainly not the answer. Vote no on 49. — Mike Naumes, Medford

Much of the wildfires in Southern California residential development are taking place in the interface areas with timber and brush lands. In Oregon as in California, we've given up on land-use planning as a way to reduce fire risk in these areas.

Riverside County is establishing a fire hazard zone, similar to the 100-year flood plain that would prohibit development. San Diego has banned wood shingle roofs. We do neither.

Meanwhile, Oregon is choosing between Measure 37, which allows subdivisions regardless of location or hazard, while Measure 49 would allow few houses near the interface.

We think climate change and its consequences are 50-100 years away, but it's happening now in forest ecosystems through fire.

Land-use planning is well suited to map out hazards and help avoid them. But once houses are placed there by Measure 37, it's too late. At least Measure 49 prevents subdivisions on these wildlands. — Porter Lombard, Medford

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