As a Shady Cove resident, I question the petition circulating in Shady Cove asking the city to take back the responsibility for a municipal water system (Friday story). Petition circulator, Lynn Horn, suggests the city purchase a partially completed water system for $6 million. When finished, the total cost to taxpayers would be roughly $20 million. That would be a huge tax burden for the population of this economically challenged town of about 2,780 residents. — Margaret Bradburn, Shady Cove
On the school board's prohibition of guns by licensed gun owners, I simply want to ask questions that we all should be asking. The Medford School District has a policy prohibiting its employees from carrying guns, even those who have survived a background check and have committed no felonies. Why? What is wrong with these teachers, and why does the school district hire teachers it can't trust?
Or is it that the school board knows that it can't be trusted with guns and is projecting this unto its employees? And in that case, can we trust them with our children if they can't trust themselves? — Fred Kenpo, Medford
It is time to place a moratorium on destination resort proliferation across rural Oregon. Destination resorts are required to be self-sustaining, but they do not exist in a bubble. Independent studies must be conducted to determine their impact on the environment, increased traffic and demands on water.
The proposed 1,200-acre Table Rock destination resort with a championship golf course will substantially increase the demand for water, increase traffic on inadequate roadways, and displace elk, bear, deer and cougar. Water and sewer facilities must be built to accommodate this large development, but no information has been forthcoming.
Local residents have valid concerns whether the quality and quantity of their well water will be compromised. Herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals used on the golf course and sewage disposal from homes may contaminate well water and flow into Rogue River salmon-spawning beds. Salmon may be affected by pumping Rogue River water from a spawning bed area.
Weight-restricted bridges through Gold Hill and narrow local roadways cannot safely support the increased use by residents, guests and employees of the resort.
Golf courses are included in the determination of 50 percent open space requirement. Elk, deer, bear and cougar cannot survive on a golf course, they will lose precious habitat. — Edna Moore, Gold Hill
Objections by a former mayor of Ashland, the city of Ashland and others led to a LUBA ruling that has put the county's rural-use zoning on hold.
Stated objections listed in the Mail Tribune include are detrimental impact on city services. The former mayor is reported to have said that cities essentially subsidize rural use for phones, roads and other services that are more costly to maintain.
To determine which services are provided by Ashland for my neighborhood, I spoke with emergency medical services and Ashland administrators at police and fire stations, and the finance department. A cost/benefit study concerning the impact of rural homes on Ashland services seems not to exist, and the city does not subsidize emergency ambulance service to my home, provide fire and police service to my neighborhood, provide utilities to my home or maintain my road.
One negative impact my family has on city services is our use of roads within the city. This impact is offset by family purchases from merchants within the city and by my support of the school system, with $2,094 taxed to the Ashland School District.
Thus, appositional arguments by the city to rural-use zoning seem to be invalid. — Don Adams, Ashland
Am I the only one who noticed the trend that when a citizen-sponsored measure that threatens the state's ability to enhance revenues passes, we are forced to vote on it again and again for "clarification"? In contrast, here we have this $189 million school bond passed and, half a year later, we still don't know what benefits the community will receive in return.
We were sold a product for a price only to be told after the purchase that we won't be getting that product but we still are obligated to pay the same price for a lesser product that, as of yet, hasn't even been decided upon by the seller.
I'm guessing that you won't hear a single call from the "powers that be" for a vote to clarify this particular issue. Our legislators make the sleaziest used car salesmen look like saints. — Jason Wilkinson, Medford