A Tuesday letter suggesting the ski area expansion will harm Ashland's water needs a response. All studies, including the one by the city itself show no risk to the watershed. In fact, careful management by the ski area actually protects Ashland water while providing great recreational, exercise and economic benefits to Southern Oregon during the winter. Ashland citizens should be more concerned about fire in the watershed, which would have significant impact on our water. — Alan DeBoer, Ashland

In reference to Katherine Tucker's letter (June 16): I read the editorials, letters to the editor and the newspaper in general every day. I don't recall any articles blaming our troops for the condition of our budget. I have seen articles stating that billions of dollars are being spent on wars that only provide scores of wounded, killed and traumatized troops, massive debt and the loss of respect for America from the very peoples we are supposedly fighting for.

I agree that the presence of our troops both here and abroad and the sacrifices they make provide us with the freedoms we have today; however, it seems to me that we need to stop wasting lives and money on fruitless wars where the countries revert back to where they were as soon as we leave.

For our troops I say, God bless and keep you safe. For our war department and all those who support it I say take a long walk on a short pier. — Patrick Socia, Central Point

On Father's Day, quite a few of us were fishing off the bank in Shady Cove at the Rogue River RV Park. Quiet serenity, the sound of the river and birds "… right? Wrong!

All of a sudden here comes this yahoo screaming up the river in his loud, flat-bottom, black and red jet boat. The thing was so loud that the driver of this annoyance even wore ear protection. He proceeded to do donuts, create a wake of three feet and make about as much noise as you can imagine.

We all gave him the thumbs down signal, which did not phase this idiot one bit. He came back three times!

We all believe there is an unspoken rule here in Shady Cove "… no power boats past the bridge. There are fishermen, lots of rafters and many private docks that can be unhinged. It's very dangerous and it ruins fishing, too. Why is this jerk allowed to do this? — Christine Allwardt, Medford

Vincent Muolo deserves a big "thank you" for his years of service at Uncle Food's Diner. We all were volunteers at this free community meal on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. during the time that Vinnie managed this project.

We witnessed again and again his ability to relate to all kinds of people, to organize and plan ahead, and to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and good cheer. Vinnie also made himself available to talk with and listen to the homeless and less fortunate of the Ashland community.

He did an excellent job at Uncle Food's with his solid and reliable management of the dinner, which has been continuing for more than 20 years. It takes place at the First Methodist Church, North Main at Laurel, sponsored by Peace House, and all are welcome.

We wish Vinnie the very best in all his future endeavors. — Jen Wessler, Harriet Snyder, Mary Ann Jones, Jody Waters and Nancy Bringhurst, Ashland

Recently, Republican David Stockman, budget director under Ronald Reagan, said that in 1985 the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans had a net worth of $8 trillion and that in 2007 the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans had a net worth of $40 trillion. During the same period our national debt grew from less than $2 trillion to almost $14 trillion and it's rising fast.

Now the Republicans want to continue tax breaks for the rich and bust unions while the poor and middle class are becoming poorer.

This country had better figure out what the word "fair" means. We also need to determine what is profiting and what is pillaging.

The fact is, if this continues, we will have a master-slave society, where the majority is controlled by a small minority. That does not sound like democracy or America to me.

I implore this publication to do a better job of informing people of the truth, and I ask my fellow citizens to do a better job of voting than they did in 2000 and 2004. The pillaging must stop before this young democracy finds itself in an economic hole it cannot get out of. — Darryl Edington, Medford

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