I want to express my appreciation on behalf of car drivers for the efforts of local public works staff to distribute the small rocks to reduce the chance of sliding on frosty days.

Also, I want to thank the same department's street-sweeping programs for then sweeping these rocks from roadsides and bike lanes so it is easier for us bicyclists!

Your efforts are much appreciated. — Eric Dittmer, Medford

Take a bow, Gold Hill Historical Society, for your help in researching facts and photos for local author Dennis Powers' latest book, "Gold Hill," which is among the "Images of America" series that includes Ashland, Jacksonville and other local towns.

During the Gold Rush days a miner could become a millionaire with just one lucky strike, but few actually did. Gold Hill was "the place to be" with its saloons, dance halls and the opera house. Gold Hill was "wet," meaning liquor was available and served in the saloons, and Medford was "dry," meaning no liquor was available — at least not legally.

The book of primarily images with captions takes you through colorful accounts of fires and floods that nearly destroyed the town, of fortunes made and lost over the years, and tales of farms foreclosed when the mortgage wasn't paid in a timely fashion.

There are numerous photographs of Gold Hill residents with images of picnics, massive mining equipment, class pictures and much more. Altogether the book provides real insights to local history.

Dennis Powers generously donated his time and all proceeds from the book sales to the Gold Hill Historical Society and its support. — Audrey DeMott, Central Point

The article about John Rachor and nonpartisan county commissioners raised a similar question I've had for years: Should the county surveyor, county clerk and county assessor continue to be elected positions?

In my mind there is absolutely no need for these to be elected positions. Each is strictly governed by state statutes and has to follow the same rules no matter who is elected. They are basically department heads subject to review and evaluation by the county administrator and commissioners.

Perhaps Mr. Rachor and the other commissioners could do some research into this question as well. — Robert Janssen, Ashland

I am writing this letter in support of Lynn Constantino of Rogue River Mortgage.

I have been doing business with Mr. Constantino for more than 10 years. He has continuously demonstrated the highest integrity in all transactions.

Lynn can be counted on to represent both sides of any transaction with equal integrity. This is no small feat in the complex lending industry. — Steve Sacks, Ashland

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