To think that a proposal to cut 150-foot swaths through sensitive wetlands in the Ashland watershed to expand ski runs even exists is bad enough, but to hear that the Mount Ashland Association plans to start cutting 70 acres of virgin old growth even before the courts rule on the issue could be a disaster in the making.

If the court rules that clearcutting in these unstable soils is illegal (it has already indicated that to the Forest Service), the city could be left with 70 acres of felled timber, no expansion and a huge environmental cost.

Where is the reason in this project? The ski runs proposed are medium and beginner runs at lower levels. Financing has been a problem in the past. If the association is betting that bunny slopes at lower levels will really bring in the business when the future forecasts are for more rain than snow, they are really betting Ashland's water supply.

This is reckless self-indulgence at our expense. There is too much at risk for this to proceed. — Allan Peterson, Ashland

Recently, more folks have recognized the need to end the practice of granting citizenship to every infant born to alien parents in America.

Sen. David Vitter backs legislation in the Senate to deal with this problem and Rep. Steve King of Iowa introduced similar legislation in the House. King's bill garnered 77 co-sponsors. But there are malicious political forces in both houses of Congress that have prevented these bills from going forward.

All of that might have changed this week when Time Magazine posted to its website the article, "China's 'Born in the USA' Frenzy". The article discusses how it's become fashionable for well-to-do Chinese nationals to come to the United States to have their babies. The baby then becomes an American citizen and returns to China with the parents. But the baby can return to the U.S. at any time in the future to claim his right as an American citizen, to work as a double agent, a saboteur or whatever suits his fancy.

The People's Republic of China might have finally given King and Vitter the ammunition they need to end the cruel, sinister and unjust practice of granting birthright citizenship to alien babies in America. — Bob Messinger, Grants Pass

Is everyone confused yet? Let's figure this out.

I was taught in school and my children were taught in school that marijuana is bad for you. That it is inhaled longer and deeper into the lung than cigarette smoke. That it is a gateway drug to other bad drugs. That, at the very least, it will make you numb-headed while the rest of the world goes by.

Now we have the medical marijuana ad from Ashland telling us to trade in our migraine headaches and ingrown toenails for a permanent seat on Willie Nelson's tour bus or (drum roll please) the grandest prize of all — lung cancer!

Once again we hear the same old, tired hippie theme disguised as a clean-cut young man, and that is — if it feels good, it's OK. — Marilyn Hermant, Medford

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