With regard to Matt Witt's guest opinion, "Wall Street has us fighting over the leftovers," here's something readers can do to protest the cuts in education and other basic services brought about by big corporations and billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes.
At noon Tuesday, June 7, residents of Jackson County will gather at Vogel Plaza in Medford to highlight the huge tax breaks President Bush gave the richest 2 percent of Americans 10 years ago.
Bush's tax giveaways continued a 30-year trend of transferring wealth from middle-class Americans to the rich. Income inequality is now at its highest peak since 1928.
Oregonians can let Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Rep. Greg Walden know that you support H.R. 1224 The Fairness in Taxation Act introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois that would create new tax brackets for millionaires, billionaires and working Americans to help middle-class families cope with the recession.
The cuts in services we are facing here in the Rogue Valley did not just happen like the weather. The Bush giveaway to millionaires is one major cause. It's time that those most able to pay start contributing their share like the rest of us. — Caren Caldwell, Ashland
Kudos to the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon for their excellent performances this past weekend.
What a delight to hear the variety of music offered from the Youth Fiddlers to the Youth Symphony. The dedication of Cynthia Hutton, music director, and her associates is to be commended.
The youths were outstanding and an asset to the community as well as being an experience that should serve them well the rest of their lives. Keep up the good work! — Pat Popow, Medford
After watching and listening to the lackluster plans for all that money, and not wanting to see it thrown down a black hole with nothing substantial left to show for it, a bright new idea entered.
Think of this for just a moment. How about a carousel? It has been a wonderful addition to the Riverfront Park in Salem, and would be a wonderful addition to the new park in downtown Medford. Most importantly it would be a great draw for the downtown area.
Think of how many parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles would enjoy taking children for a ride as a fun outing, if it were inexpensive, say only a couple dollars to ride. On the weekends there could also be added a clown with balloons and a popcorn vendor. What fun!
Although this is just a thought, and the cost would have to be explored, maybe this is just what Medford needs — something new and exciting to draw people downtown that we have not had before. — Laura Meyer, Central Point
Discussions in September, noticed as executive sessions, were for the purpose of discussing amendments to the Talent city manager's contract.
Amendments were to severance and a specific piece of the morality clause removed, which included misdemeanors and felonies. These discussions took place during an investigation against the city manager for alleged civil rights violations and during a union arbitration.
Citizens have a right to ask that such illegal proceedings stop! Minutes of decisions by vote must be adhered to every time. A consensus does not meet the legal threshold.
It should be noted that the record shows that a recorded vote has always happened in the past, which is well-documented, except for this secret meeting. Citizens need to trust that government respects the transparency laws!
There are few topics that the law allows for an executive session, designed to keep city business transparent. Meeting topics noticed as executive sessions, which are not provided for, are not executive sessions.
The meetings of September 2010 are in the hands of the ethics commission. It is their task to find out how the decisions were made. We look forward to the truth, as it will become public record. — Darby Stricker, Talent
I saw the letter to the editor May 24 from an Oregon soldier stationed in New York who was frustrated by the amount of time it was taking to obtain a replacement vehicle title and new registration tags. I would like to note that DMV mailed Mr. Flynn's new title and registration tags a week before the letter was published.
DMV did not receive his first mailing because the U.S. Postal Service returned it to him for insufficient postage. When DMV received his application for replacement title and registration May 2, we processed it, produced the new title, and mailed his new title and new registration tags May 17.
DMV's service goal for vehicle title transactions is 19 days or less, and in this case, it took 15 days. That does not include mail delivery time.
We wish to thank Mr. Flynn for serving our country.
Oregon residents — including military service members — sometimes need to renew their vehicle registration or renew or replace their driver's license or ID card while they are out of state. OregonDMV.com has tips to help make these long-distance transactions as smooth as possible.
DMV has a Web page specifically for Oregon residents out of state at www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/dv/outofstate.shtml. — Tom McClellan, Oregon DMV administrator
Kudos to the Ashland City Council for choosing a "local boy" as their new city attorney.
Dave Lohman, an Ashland High grad, like many others, had to leave the valley to pursue the "American Dream." Despite the tremendous changes, both demographic and economic (gone are McGrew Sawmill, Parson Pine, Bagley Canning and Parkview Department Store, all major employers), the Ashland spirit is alive and well.
Welcome home, Dave, and good luck. — Alfred Willstatter, Ashland