My apologies to the woman making the right turn on red from eastbound Barnett road to the Intestate 5 interchange at about 10:40 a.m. Thursday. I had to scream "Hey" at her when she tried to turn in front of us. We were pedaling our yellow tandem southbound during the green light phase from Highland to the sidewalk curb cut to the Greenway. We're sorry we slowed her down but we thought we had the right of way. — Edgar Hee, Medford
Lots of talk about the bottom to the recession. What kind it will be and what will lead the recovery.
Recovery will be slow and weak. Unemployment will peak around 10 percent in 2010. Weak wage growth too. Trade will not lead either. Our trade deficit is still large (mostly from our trade with China and oil imports).
Housing will take years to recover because of unsold inventories. For the first time, investments in home improvements exceed investments in new single-family homes.
Social Security will not give COLA for 2010 and 2011. Commercial real estate is the next shoe to drop. Small and midsize banks will face big losses from commercial real estate. Shopping malls are dwindling in numbers because of loss of tenants (see more on www.deadmalls.com and www.labelscar.com).
Small banks are not too big to fail, so they will have to sell assets and cut back on loans to save capital. The credit crunch will recede slowly and people will be cautious with spending.
On the subject of waterboarding: Since we just celebrated Memorial Day, we should remember that in 1945, the U.S. hanged Japanese officers for inflicting waterboarding on U.S. prisoners. — Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.
State workers have begun taking unpaid furlough days, with more to come. Pay freezes, pay cuts, deep layoffs are certain. In an effort to spare vital services, state workers are taking deep, painful hits.
It was therefore with (literal) disbelief that I read Rep. Sal Esquivel's opinion piece asserting that state workers were slated to receive raises this year.
Esquivel is either willfully uninformed or deliberately untruthful. In either case, he owes state workers an apology and I urge this paper to set the record straight. There will be no raises for state workers, this year or in the foreseeable future. There will be pay and benefit cuts, and Mr. Esquivel knows this, or should.
State workers' (eroding) health care benefits are not "free," they were exchanged for huge pay concessions which make Oregon state workers the lowest-paid in the West. These pay concessions are now certain to be compounded by pay cuts and job losses.
At a time when state workers are making the largest sacrifices in a generation, Rep. Esquivel's shameful exercise in untruth has a particularly bitter sting. — Phil Newton, Murphy
I am willing to bet that if the Bush administration had passed a $750 billion fiscal package without letting the Congress even read it, took over the banks and the automobile industry, and then appointed 16 "czars" overseeing 16 separate portions of this country's economy (and made them accountable only to the president) the Democrats would have gone crazy. However, since it is President Obama who has done this, it is being called just "change."
Wake up, I am afraid our country is being stolen from us, and all you Democrats do is stand and marvel at his skill as a speaker.
This letter, if it is printed, will get me labeled as a right-wing nut case. As I proudly wore the uniform of this country for 37 years and swore to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, I have the right to write and express my concern for where I fear we are going. If I get hate mail from this letter, it only makes my point. — Lloyd N. Clodfelter, Medford
This regards the artwork for City Hall by Bill Vielehr, as discussed in "Three Rogue columns," June 7, page 1C. I assume the illustrations accurately depict the sculpture offered to the city, (model, page 1C) and the work being constructed (remaining illustrations).
It is clear that the work being produced does not remotely match the one proposed. The model shows broad tubes, tapering toward the middle in a pleasing way; there are perhaps five smooth undulations along the openings; and the openings are uneven from top to bottom. The model presents a quite pleasing artwork.
The work as constructed has long, narrow tubes, of constant size and opening from top to bottom; there are approximately 20 undulations from top to bottom. The work simply has none of the feel of the model.
I have no objection to an artist creating his art as he pleases, but I believe that a commission should very much match the spirit of a model submitted, especially in the case of a competition. If the photographic depictions in the article are accurate, I believe the city should require Mr. Vielehr to provide a work matching his model. — Paul Monaco, Medford
Chris Conrad's front page article of June 10 reported on Central Point residents' concerns in regard to the proposed four-day school week for next school year. As a teacher in District 6, I, too, lament the loss of instructional time. However, the district has carefully weighed the options and made the best decision in what can only be described as an economic and educational crisis.
The suggestion to cut principals (each of the four small schools has its own principal) ignores the fact that administrative costs at the high school did not increase when Crater converted to small schools. Furthermore, since the conversion to small schools, dropout rates at the high school have decreased and graduation rates have increased. Since public schools receive funding from the state based on enrollment, this means Crater's "bottom line" is more economically efficient with the small school structure and with its four principals.
More students staying in school for their entire academic careers better allows teachers to accomplish our jobs of educating students and preparing them to be productive citizens. — Adrienne Hillman, Medford