We live less than a quarter mile from the south end of the recent fire on Roxy Ann. During that frightening time, we were enormously impressed with the coordination between firefighters, Medford police, Medford city employees directing traffic and others helping.

The ground firefighters and air support were quick, effective, and, I'm sure, saved lives and homes. Medford police were uniformly courteous, clear and helpful.

Sometimes we resist and resent paying taxes to keep our community safe and healthy, but yesterday's work demonstrated the result of having the resources to hire well-trained, effective, intelligent, skilled, well-organized public servants. Our heartfelt thanks to all who saved the homes in our neighborhood and, indeed, saved our city from what could have been a horrifying disaster. — Ross and Kathleen Davis, Medford

My sincere thanks to the drivers on West Main Street (across from Complete Pet) who stopped for my mini-Schnauzer when the snap broke on her leash and she darted across the street. There really are thoughtful drivers in Medford. God bless you. — M. Trenton, Central Point

Last month the MT published my letter contending that Oregon's leaders do not have the political courage to reform our tax system, which is totally dependent upon income tax and constitutionally limited property tax. I advocated adoption of a reasonable sales tax; a most unpopular idea.

Now Oregon's leaders (Buckley and Hicks) are in a public dust-up about the Legislature's tax increase. Oregon's dilemma is either increase state revenues, or cut state services to a level where the budget is balanced. Cutting state services would be easy if legislators did not have to face re-election: If the revenues are down 20 percent, cut services by that much (four-day school weeks, 20 percent fewer troopers, courts closed one day a week.) Simple. Right? The only alternative is to force hard-working citizens and businesses to pay more income tax to meet the basic services necessary to operate this state. This dilemma is not new.

With such unpopular alternatives, why don't our leaders look to the obvious unpopular compromise, a sales tax? It's time for reasonable, pragmatic reform!

It's time to stop the bickering. It's time for leaders to lead. Get out that glass of courage and take a sip! — Robert Graham, Medford

What has happened in America?

We all must be reverent for the sacrifices and leadership that keeps America a free country. It is unacceptable that the President of the United States was heckled while addressing our nation.

Opinions are like excuses: Everybody has one. I'm positive much worse has been said about many presidents, however not in such a disrespectful manner.

I will always love this country, even if Mickey Mouse was president. I can hear it now: "He wasn't born in a real mouse hole." "He has rats for relatives." "He bowed down to a cat."

History shows many twists and turns on our way as a nation; let's all love her enough not to destroy her. Since man has been here some nut job has been running around blithering "It is the end of times ..." Live a happy, productive, earnest life. Bless us all. — Ron Cavalli, Medford

Thanks to all of you who helped me clean up a major paint spill in my car on Friday at the paint recycle center.

When you saw the extent of the spill in the back of my SUV you could have easily said, "no way is that going to clean up" and walked away. Instead you gave a team effort and went out of your way to offer assistance. Believe it or not, with lots of elbow grease and water, we were able to get all of the paint off of the seats and floor. You would hardly know anything had happened. Thanks again. — Curtis Swanson, Central Point

Since the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2008, they have adopted a new party slogan: "All for none and none for all." — Ron Steffani, Ashland

Kudos to the drivers who showed remarkable courtesies to the other drivers when the traffic signals didn't function. It was a display of consideration that will long be remembered. — Maxine Scott, Ashland

Some of the recent letters suggest that many in our community didn't have TV or newspapers over the past few years — please allow me to shed some light.

Our banking and financial systems nearly collapsed. Top economists, the SEC and Fed economists persuaded the Bush and Obama administrations to act aggressively to prevent what could have very possibly been the worst economic disaster the world has ever seen. The cost of a weak response would have likely been a great depression (try living in your car for several years). Our economy is now very fragile and we have a mountain of debt.

Our government is vigorously pursuing two issues key to our national security. One is to promote energy independence, creating jobs in a new green economy, and the other is to permanently reduce huge economic drag by reforming health care.

So if you drank from the fairy's keg and fell asleep under a tree ... you will be relived to hear that we are not undergoing a government takeover of the private sector as part of a grand liberal conspiracy to turn us all into communists, but rather experiencing a rare case of competent government action. — Keith Shirley, Medford

Standing in line at a Medford fast-food restaurant, I was shocked at the treatment of a couple of Navy sailors who were ordering lunch. A woman behind the counter attacked the two young men as "life ruiners" and went on and on about how awful it was that they would serve in our nation's military.

The two Navy sailors were polite and did a good job of not lashing back. They just waited for their food and left without incident.

I know that this attitude doesn't represent all this company's restaurants, but in my opinion it was disgusting and showed an extreme lack of class and professionalism on the part of this employee. I'm not sure what the company's policy is regarding political attacks on customers, but outside working hours the woman behind the counter has the right to speak her mind in any way she wishes. The U.S. Constitution guarantees this right — and these sailors are the ones who protect and defend it. — Jeremy W.P. Smith, Medford

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