Gov. Kulongoski's proposal to raise the gas tax is long overdue. We currently pay 18.4 cents per gallon in federal tax and 24 cents per gallon in state tax. We have paid that same rate for both state and federal tax since 1993.
All of the federal taxes we have paid, plus a couple of percent, have wound up back in Oregon. The state gas tax is spent only on road work.
The federal government also needs to raise the gas tax. The Highway Trust Fund that administers the federal tax was recently unable to meet its obligations to the states and Congress had to borrow money from the general tax fund to replace it. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is no longer self-supporting.
We need to return to acting fiscally responsibly and pay as we go to fund our roads. Funding is not keeping pace with increased use and maintenance needs.
If we let maintenance work fall behind we will ultimately pay more, both in terms of increased construction cost to fix and hidden economic costs for increased delays. Our economy depends on the efficient transportation of goods and people. Roads will take us to recovery. — Tom Gruszcenski, Eagle Point
It's not only Jacksonville that has a deer problem. Out here on Thompson Creek we have neighbors that insist on feeding deer with disregard to the health of the deer and safety of the public.
This fall alone we've had three hit in front of my house and each one came from a neighbor that regularly feeds "their" deer. I had to dispatch (because none of them died, they were just seriously and fatally mangled) and dispose of all three carcasses.
We need a state law that makes it illegal to feed wildlife. With the dwindling cougar population and the insistence of some on feeding their living lawn ornaments we are turning rural areas into a serious traffic hazard. No one is held responsible when someone hits one of these deer.
Perhaps it will take a human being dying in front of your house, maybe a neighbor or a neighbor's kid, like the 16-year-old girl who nearly killed herself when she smacked one of "Bob's" deer, to make this a more serious issue. Stop feeding the deer! — Robert Key, Applegate
Thank you to those who made and carried out the Veterans Day Memorial celebration in Central Point. The speakers and music were inspiring.
We realize it was not possible for all parents to bring children to the event, but we admire you who braved the rain to teach your children what Veterans Day is really about — to give respect and honor to those who are and have made our country safe. — The Jim Alstons, White City