I was very disappointed in the recent Mail Tribune article reporting that some members of the Jackson County Committee for Citizen Involvement feel that the committee is not accomplishing anything because the downturn in building activity has resulted in fewer people needing help with the application process.

As Commissioner Gilmour stated, the committee's purpose is to find ways to improve communication between the planning department and the public. The planning department's interaction with the citizens of Jackson County involves a lot more than just development applications. To limit the committee's role to simplifying or explaining the permit process is narrow-minded and short-sighted.

The committee should be improving communication and soliciting input from citizens on all aspects of county land-use planning. How about regional problem- solving for starters? Or improving the process for citizen input on topics such as siting of cell phone towers, or infrastructure projects?

Perhaps the work of the committee would be more valuable and worth its members' time if the committee would expand its vision of topics that are of importance to the citizens of Jackson County. — Katy Mallams, Central Point

I am disappointed to learn that a circus is coming back to town.

This circus advertises a disturbing elephant act. Elephants in the circus live miserable lives. They are highly intelligent creatures and in circuses endure lives of confinement and abuse.

You will never see an elephant trainer without a bull-hook, a steel-tipped instrument used to prod, strike and beat elephants in sensitive places.

The trainers and handlers in traveling circuses are not educated about animal behavior. No concern is given to the perpetual physical and psychological confinement of the big cats and elephants who are used to roaming miles in a day.

It is degrading for wild animals to be confined and forced to perform tricks completely contrary to their life in the wild. I am ashamed of the lack of compassion exhibited by those who sponsor these events and those who attend them.

I would like to see Jackson County enact an ordinance that restricts the types of circuses that come here. Give some thought to the consequences of your actions and to what your dollars contribute and then do not attend the circus. — Alissa Weaver, Jacksonville

Doesn't Rep. Ron Maurer of Grants Pass realize that current federal law still prohibits the cultivation and possession of marijuana?

In short, Maurer is engaged in a conspiracy to violate federal drug laws, and should he succeed in getting his absurd bill passed, the DEA can just walk right in to the "official" Oregon grow site and confiscate all of it in one shot before the state can collect a dime from a state tax on a federally prohibited substance. Brilliant.

I don't think Maurer thought out this silly stunt very well. — Carl F. Worden, Eagle Point

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