A word about our outgoing county commissioners:

I had the privilege of working with Dr. Dave Gilmour on several major projects throughout his tenure as Jackson County commissioner, such as renewing federal timber funds and saving our libraries. Dave also worked hard to develop business while being a solid advocate for working families.

I winced when a few called him a "part-time commissioner" as he often logged 80-plus hour weeks between his commissioner and clinical duties. People who know him are consistently amazed at his understanding of the issues. He can go as deep as you want to go on a wide variety of topics from local to international. You won't find anyone more compassionate and committed. Thank you for your most generous and excellent service, Dave. You will be missed.

I also want to thank Jack Walker for his many years of service. Though Jack's positions were at times in conflict with my own, I could always count on him to be completely straightforward, which I found to be rare and refreshing in today's political world.

My heartfelt thanks to you both, and to Don Skundrick and John Rachor for stepping up to the plate! — Buck Eichler, Medford

Having lived in California until 2009, we find "No Hollywood ending for Schwarzenegger" to be a curious piece of journalism. The article commented at length regarding Schwarzenegger's failure to "blow up boxes," "restructure" government and prevail against unions representing middle class workers.

From his early musings on the Jay Leno show to his bellicose assertions during the Davis recall election, Schwarzenegger openly promised what he ultimately delivered: bad government.

It really doesn't matter which state; those promising "less government" will always deliver poor governance and fewer services for the public. As an electorate, we have two choices. We can support those who would turn our taxes into unregulated corporate contract profit under the guise of "less government," or those who believe in government and want to provide accountable and cost-effective services for our tax dollars.

The vast majority of Californians are now saying "Hasta la vista" to Herr Schwarzenegger, with no tears in their eyes. — Mary Cody and Andrew Kubik, Ashland

Last week's murder convictions in the father-and-son bank bombing came as no surprise to most people.

What might have been surprising was Bruce Turnidge's conversation with detectives, in which he regurgitated all the old right-wing baloney about Obama's plan to take away everyone's firearms, and Turnidge's nonsensical fantasy about the "New World Order" and the U.N.'s plot to take over the world.

The talk-radio clowns perpetuating this nonsense are as flaky as a Marie Callender's pie crust. A deranged nut in Pittsburgh murdered three cops last year and was widely quoted by neighbors and co-workers as being "terrified" that Obama would take away all his guns. Gosh, I wonder where he learned that?

Timothy McVeigh, America's worst murderer of all time, had similar nutty fantasies. If he had turned the radio off at age 18 or 19, he and 168 other people might be alive today. Instead of relying on newspapers and America's truthful, unbiased TV network news, this weird, alienated loner got his "facts" from talk radio, gun shows and right-wing websites. And the rest, as they say, is a sad, ugly tragedy that was completely avoidable. — James Snyder, Medford

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