The Rams are coming! The Rams are coming!

Too late — they're here.

The Rams (short for Rampagers) are a new breed of mountain biker. They are assaulting our trails.

They are widening, rutting and eroding them. They are making new trails alongside the original ones. They imbed loops on embankments, creating more erosion and eyesores.

They can roar down a trail at 20 mph and scare the daylights out of a slower trail user. They act like they own the trails.

(Not all mountain bikers are Rams. A few bikers even help in repairing trails.)

What can we do to thwart this alien invasion? Organize, that's what!

I am starting up a counter-group, Runners/Hikers Against Trail Scourge, or RHATS. (Mellow mountain bikers can join and become BRHATS.) We RHATS can cover the trails like mice, and stymie Rams with our snail-like pace. We can gnaw on their wheels. We can ... — Ben Benjamin, Ashland

Headline, June 5 Mail Tribune: "County seeks ways to reduce its costs." In a related article about the county budget it says: "All commissioners' salaries will increase from $68,432 a year to $86,341 "¦ the sheriff from $88,421 to $104,936."

Folks, this is a 26 percent increase for the county commissioners and an 18.6 percent increase for the sheriff! Also, the justice of the peace went from $39,666 to a whopping $55,661!

But, not to worry, this is only a 40.3 percent increase! Some justice.

A quixotic bureaucrat named Harvey Bragg bragged that "the county is taking other steps to economize and make the most efficient uses of its budget." One commissioner called the budget and the counties work a "financial miracle."

Enough with the miracles. The anger and angst over the disgraceful judgment of our elected officials of both parties is enough to suggest a closing of the Red Sea on the mental vapidness of government officials and their disdain for the average working stiff who gets a 1- to 3-percent raise, particularly in tough economic times.

Thanks for representing your interests over the public's need for "fishes and loaves," which you will probably wind up keeping for yourselves. — Joel R. Marks, Medford

I agree with Marie Griffith's letter of June 23. Bears were here before we were. They have nowhere else to go.

Shooting a mother bear and leaving orphaned cubs is unforgivable. Hunting, to me, is a sin. The only justification would be if the hunter was being attacked.

Hunters belong in jail! — Marjorie Monroe, Jacksonville

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