Ashland leaders strive for a "small-town feeling" and that's great, but I think the tourists they attempt to cultivate appreciate the few sidewalk displays in front of a few businesses much more than the nude female bicycling through town to "make a statement" and the group of nude Frisbee players in Lithia Park.

The business community is forced to jump through enough hoops to keep their heads above the water of recession. — Ila Richardson, Medford

Since the 1980s the Democratic- controlled congresses have denied that the U.S. is a crude oil-producing nation. Republican attempts to increase crude-oil production were defeated by either filibuster or presidential veto.

George Will (June 8) rightly notes that Congress and the voters who elected them have no right to complain about fuel prices because present U.S. energy policy effectively restricts crude supply.

Global integrated oil companies, Big Oil, are small compared with the national oil companies of producing nations. Saudi Aramco alone has four times the reserves of Big Oil and 10 times the reserves of ExxonMobil. Producing nations account for 94 percent of current global crude production with newest fields in Russia, Africa and Brazil.

Russia's threatened winter withholding of gas supplies to Europe shows its commitment to free markets. None.

Most alarming, U.S. domestic crude production decreased from seven million barrels per day when Bill Clinton vetoed drilling in ANWR to five million barrels per day now. U.S. consumption is up less than 5 percent, but we are far more dependent on foreign oil because of Bill Clinton's and the Democratic Congress' inaction. Streamlining refinery expansion permitting and drilling here, drilling now will help in the long term. — Donald C. Young, Medford

We totally agree with Garth Harrington's guest opinion on tagging. He said publicly what we have been saying privately.

Tagging is vandalism, the destruction of property. Our parents taught us that the consequence for making a mess was cleaning it up. This seems like an appropriate consequence for convicted taggers.

Perhaps spending six months to a year of community service cleaning up their own "messes" and those made by other taggers might make them think twice about using a spray can to vandalize property in the future. — Mel and Char Beaty, Medford

Jen Moss is an exhibitionist, not a nudist. The best way to deal with such types is to ignore them.

Should she succeed in appearing in Ashland's Fourth of July parade, we parade-goers should silently turn our backs as she goes by, not giving her the satisfaction of being watched which, of course, is what this pathetic creature craves. — A.R. Beatty, Ashland

In regard to Don Elliot's letter of June 15, the only entity hoarding oil is Congress, which forbids drilling where we have known stores of oil.

Speculators don't "attack" or "hoard." They provide liquidity in the commodities market so that commodity producers and users can hedge to reduce risk and assess supply and demand.

Without speculators there would be no efficient markets and chaos would reign. — Gordon W. Dickerson, Medford

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