I would like to thank Jackson County for securing federal stimulus money to fix a major problem in the Rogue Basin: the defunct Gold Ray Dam. The 105-year-old dam was taken out of electricity production decades ago and is a major liability for its owner, Jackson County.

The county is responsible for solving the dam's safety and fish problems. Available funding to remove the dam provides a time-sensitive opportunity to address this growing liability. If we don't act now, Jackson County will be on the hook for millions of dollars down the road.

Our Pacific Northwest heritage is deeply rooted in wild salmon and yet our salmon runs are in dangerous decline. Coho are already threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Oregon recognizes Gold Ray as one of the biggest obstacles in the entire state for fish passage.

The removal of Gold Ray would make the Rogue free flowing from the coast for 150 miles to Lost Creek Dam. This would be a fantastic step in restoring the Rogue's prized wild salmon.

We have a historic opportunity. The county should take quick action to help the Rogue, its salmon and county taxpayers by removing Gold Ray Dam. — Lesley Adams, Rogue Riverkeeper, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Ashland

As the mother of a son murdered by a drunk driver, I am pleading with you: Do not drink and drive. I call it murder because if you choose to drive after drinking that is what it is to me.

Do you want to chance cutting off another person's life? How would you feel about permanently disabling another person? What if it was you or someone you loved? Would it be worth it? Please, don't drink — then drive! — Lolita M. Clodfelter, Medford

We are firm supporters of the Constitution of the United States of America, including its separation of church and state. Therefore, we are alarmed to learn that some folks want to use the cross to memorialize our servicemen and women fallen in service to our country.

The cross represents one religion only, whereas our servicemen and women are members of other religions, as well or have no religion at all. Therefore if religion is to be a part of memorializing our fallen servicemen and women, all their religions should be equally represented. Better yet, leave religion out of it. — Myra and Alan Erwin, Medford

A lot has been said about removing this dam. Maybe instead of removing the dam, thought should be given to building up the downstream side of the dam.

Leave the dam in place and use large boulders and install steel beams in the bedrock to anchor everything in place. The dam would help keep the rocks in place and none of the wetlands upstream would be drained.

If the jetties can be held in place using the same stuff against much stronger forces, it should work here. And besides the fish getting upstream easier, you might be adding a little rapids to the river. I think that this is an option that is worth discussing. It would definitely save the wetlands. — Frank Kula, White City

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