Did I get this right? My environmentalist neighbors and rancher neighbors overcame a mountain of disagreement and worked out a buyout of the ranchers' grazing rights on public land. Then the enviros raised another mountain of private donations to compensate the grazers.

Rancher and enviro shook hands. Senators Smith and Wyden shook hands and moved this legislation through the proper Senate committees. Then out of the sagebrush, Rep. Greg Walden floats a bill in the House to see to it that if there is a buyout it be funded with federal tax dollars.

This with the certain knowledge that the Senate will not vote to appropriate funds for a buyout? Why is Congressman Walden doing this?

It seems that in an era when free-ranging cattle over public and private land has proven so destructive and when our nation is deeply in debt that our congressman would be praising the fiscal responsibility, generous patriotism and conciliatory spirit of his rancher and enviro constituents and working hard to make sure this legislation passes in his chamber as well. Is there more to be reported on this story? — Sam Alvord, Ashland

Saturday morning, looking over the Tribune's local section, I was disappointed to see your "West" news briefs. All three stories covered sex with minors.

If the crimes covered in the briefs affected a segment of your readership, I would understand seeing these stories. These events, however, all occurred in the Portland metro area. Is there nothing else that happened in the news in the Pacific Northwest on that day?

Usually I appreciate the editorial standards of the Mail Tribune, but how disappointing that you scraped these stories from the bottom of the barrel. Just because certain people cannot get enough of these salacious stories does not make them newsworthy.

Such practices seem to permeate throughout our media as of late. If they are not sensationalizing some small, insignificant gaffe by a political candidate, they over-report such gruesome and tawdry items as these. Raise your standards and report on something that affects your readership and its communities. — Carrie Andries, Central Point

At a time when the men and women of our armed forces should be uppermost in our thoughts, it's incredible there was nothing about Armed Forces Day in either the Mail Tribune or The Oregonian on May 17. — Gunnar A. Johnson, Medford

I was very surprised and offended by Mr. Fred Moran's allusion to lynching that he used in his letter (May 18) about how "fitting" it would be to see Hillary Clinton "swinging from a tree." I was even more surprised that the Mail Tribune would print it.

Would you have done so if he had said it about Barack Obama? References to this most horrible tactic of racial intolerance that has scarred our country's history is unacceptable, even if it's gender-based and not racially based. — Paul Giancarlo, Ashland

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