I was very disappointed with the slant in the April 16 Tribune article on the retirement of Medford's Police Chief Randy Schoen. The article's implication that Chief Schoen, whom I barely know, was retiring due to "several controversies" is neither fair nor accurate.

"Controversies" cited were the dismissal of a police officer for lying to his supervisors as upheld in court, a complaint by a marijuana advocate that Schoen spoke against unrestricted use of marijuana, and the placement of a communications tower that was a shared project by several city departments. From speaking long ago with a distant Schoen family member that I do know well, I knew the chief's retirement had been planned well before these "controversies" surfaced.

As I read the article, which included a long list of significant contributions Schoen has made, I was very disappointed to see 33 years of service tarnished by suggesting "controversies" resulting from wrongdoing were forcing a resignation. We need to celebrate a clean record of very significant, very public service whenever we can. Chief Schoen needs our thanks and the "controversies" the story cites aren't and have nothing to do with a planned retirement. — David F. Young, Medford

On May 17, the registered voters of Ashland will decide if they agree with the City Council's 2011 bond proposal to replace Ashland Fire Station No. 2.

The current facility was built in 1965 using unreinforced concrete block. It has clearly outlived its usefulness and is much too small. Most importantly, it is no longer a healthy workspace for our firefighters or a secure facility for emergency equipment.

The proposed solution is a new, 10,478-square-foot facility with an estimated cost of less than $3 million. This represents a 26 percent reduction in size and a decrease of $2.4 million in estimated cost from the 2006 proposal.

For more information, see www.ashland.or.us and click on Fire Department, then Ashland Fire Station 2 Bond Measure Information. Please vote yes On Measure 15-109. — Don Mackin, Public Safety Bond Committee

Raymond Smith, in his April 16 letter, strongly criticized Jeff Golden's letter entitled "Wasserstein owes us nothing." Mr. Smith apparently hadn't read the text of Jeff's letter carefully, as he completely missed Jeff's main point.

Jeff stated that the damage done to Harry and David by the private equity firm Wasserstein was perfectly legal under their corporate charter. Therefore, Wasserstein owes nothing legally to the community.

Predatory private equity firms like Wasserstein have destroyed many sound businesses all over this country. In his letter Jeff stated that we need to "expand the base of businesses that care about our community for the simple reason: their owners live here." Our communities must encourage by all reasonable means "locally and regionally owned businesses" instead of corporations whose loyalties are to Wall Street and not to Main Street.

I would suggest that all of us ultimately have the same goals here. Let's continue a more civil dialogue, working together to help our communities thrive again by bringing our jobs and businesses home. — Dawn Morris, Ashland

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