Rep. Greg Walden voted against health care reform.
Some Oregon doctors were refusing to see Medicare and Oregon Health Plan patients because they weren't being paid enough. Oregon hospitals were shifting their losses to insured patients. Now the medical providers will be paid enough when they treat Medicare and Medicaid patients, thousands of whom live in Walden's district.
Walden didn't care. Mr. fat-cat Walden, the man who loves his party more than his constituents. — Damon Neal, Ashland
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Chris Monte — you and several others need to go to www.oregon.gov and check your facts. Click on Employment Department, go to Unemployment Tax, go to Frequently Asked Questions, see No. 3.
Employees do not and never have paid for their own unemployment. This is a benefit to you provided by your employer at a state and federal determined percentage rate of your wages. All employers start out paying at least 3 percent of their total payroll to the state of Oregon. In addition, the federal government gets their portion on top of the state's amount. If the employer has no claims against their account, the percentage rate goes down slightly; should there be any claim, no matter how many employees file, that rate goes up just to make sure you receive your benefits.
You need to check your W-2 and show me and other employers exactly where it shows the deduction taken for your unemployment. Unemployment benefits certainly aren't free and your employer pays dearly for it. Get your facts straight Chris Monte, investigate before throwing that stone. The next day you work, thank your employer for all they pay for that which benefits you. — Vicki Hunt, Medford
We've been trying to contact a lady named Zenna Seastrunk for some time concerning a posting she left on Ancestry.com in the year 2000. To date, we've had no luck, but recently saw a letter to the editor from Zenna Seastrunk and since it's not a common name, we hoped that we might reach out to her through your paper.
The posting she left on the board said she had letters and other information concerning a "Dulibon" family from Grants Pass. We've been doing genealogy research for that family and have had very little luck in finding answers to their queries. The grandson is in his 90s and wants to know more about his grandparents, Orval and Mary Dulibon.
There are variations to the way their name is spelled. His grandfather died when his mother, Maude, was a baby. If anyone can help in our search, we would truly appreciate the assistance. Thank you. — Martha Metcalf, Josephine County Historical Society, 541-479-7827
Are you aware that the Jackson County commissioners take home fat paychecks of better than $90,000 a year and further, can raise their pay any time they wish? To top that, they can also increase their retirement plans, their health coverage and their perks without restriction — nobody, no agency, can say stop except us, the voters, who elect or reject them at the polls!
Finding three honest and capable citizens deserving our vote may not be easy, but it's worth a real try. What do you think? — Bill Seeman, Medford
Chris Monte of Jacksonville accuses the Mail Tribune of "fanning the flames of ignorance." It looks like he is running the gasoline concession.
As an employer, I am all too aware that unemployment is not a deduction from wages. It is a tax on the employer, which the employer pays. I don't know what universe Mr. Monte lives in, but in this one, when an employee is paid unemployment compensation, the employee will eventually get a 1099-G form from the state to report that income, but there is no box on the W-2 form for unemployment because the employee does not contribute to it. Shame on Mr. Monte. He doesn't know what he's talking about. Take the log out of your own eye. — Nick Tennant, Ashland
In response to Lindsay Paulk's letter and the Sunday, March 21, top story in the national news:
I am sick but not surprised that it has come to this. Something was bound to frighten the racists in this country enough for them to rip the mask of "non-racist" right off their foolish faces, and of all things, it was health care. For all the silly hats with tea bags dangling in their faces, the tea baggers have finally shown their true colors in Washington. This isn't about your relationship with your doctor. This is about the color of your skin. If that is the only thing that makes one person better than another, then we as a society are not as evolved as we might think.
If you have never been to Washington, then you don't know that you can hear 20 different languages spoken in the mall without even turning around. There was some language there yesterday that embarrassed me as an American. Always in history, the chuckleheads with the fewest good ideas have the loudest voices and the worst manners. Not just in Washington, either. — Kim Cower, Talent
To the governor and attorney general of Oregon: Gentlemen, hang political parties. You were elected to aid, improve and protect the lives of Oregon's taxpaying citizens and the new health care plan our federal government is passing into law actually discriminates against and literally throws all senior citizens under the bus, in spite of them having a long and productive working life of honesty, being law-biding, raising families and paying all taxes to the state when due. It's the state's obligation to protect (I mean all of), Oregon's citizens including senior citizens from the federal government's discrimination and abuse.
Please unify with more progressive states and file suits against the federal government. It's your obligation and duty. I'm not a legal eagle but there must be legal means of obtaining our free choice of a more favorable private health care plan as competition aids cost. — Milton J. Meek, Grants Pass
There's much news about legalizing drugs. We have police, judges and other public servants corrupted by the massive money produced from the sale of illegal substances; not to mention the scourge of gangs, dealers and vicious crimes that come about from such drugs. We must find a way to put these drugs into a clean, legal, well-regulated environment.
No one should be permitted to grow marijuana (nor "special poppies," etc.) in their backyards. However, getting a grip on this outrageously impossible war on drugs is essential. Our citizens and beleaguered police are endangered and our prisons are bursting!
Specialized, not-for-profit growers of marijuana should produce "medical" amounts, available through government-sanctioned clinics for anyone with a proper ID, yet sold for far lower prices than are charged on the streets. This plan will rid our neighborhoods of dealers, because they cannot compete with these clinics. The clinics would offer intense drug counseling, because repeated use of marijuana can cause brain damage and smoking is smoking! It's bad for all our lungs.
Legalizing is very complicated, but it must be done. — D. Pestlin, Talent