I agree wholeheartedly with Kurt Kessler's guest opinion in support of state employees. An earlier MT editorial calling for state employees to lose "step" adjustments, in addition to a two-year salary freeze and eight unpaid furlough days (more accurately called pay cuts), was way off base.

This will be the third contract in recent years in which state employees have agreed to a pay freeze. Step adjustments were lost in one of the those contracts. Let's support our state employees. They have already sacrificed enough. — Steve Kious, Phoenix

I must say we all can feel much safer now that OSP and Oregon Department of Transportation have the "illegal movers" off the streets.

If these were first-time offenders why were they not just given a strong warning instead of such hard fines? Sure, they need to follow the procedures to become licensed like everyone else; give them a chance. Many are just trying to make a living in this hard economy.

My hat is off to those that want to work instead of living off the government. Second time offenders, sure, fine them. — R. Thompson, Medford

To the Tribune, ODOT, and the OSP ... thank you for the enlightening article regarding the "movers' sting" in the Feb. 20 paper. I, for one, will sleep better knowing that my tax money is being spent to stop the high crimes and misdemeanors of which these hooligans are guilty! — Sheila Whitesitt, Medford

In response to your editorial on the proposed beer tax being a 1900 percent increase, I am reminded of the phrase, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Alcohol abuse causes the state to incur far more expenses than the existing level of taxation pays for. When the cost causer (i.e., beer) does not contribute enough revenue to pay for the costs that it causes then the state has to subsidize the difference. Why subsidize a recreational drug (yes, beer is a recreational drug in that it affects one's judgment, reactions and coordination) when we are cutting back our children's educations?

Fifteen cents more will not stop me or any other responsible drinker from enjoying a couple of beers, but 15 cents extra per beer will definitely help cut down the state's subsidy to beer so that other more worthy purposes will not need to be cut.

I'll bet that if any of the 477 Oregonians who were killed by drunk drivers in 2006 could come back and testify before the Legislature they would all say their life was worth more than 15 cents extra for a bottle of beer. — James Crary, Ashland

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