The solution is simple in the power struggle between the Bonneville Power Administration and turbine wind farmers in the Northwest. Lower utility rates so consumers could stop conserving electricity. The result would not only make life better for customers but use up the excess electricity. But with profit the bottom line, needless to say it's not going to happen. — Larry Bradburn, Eagle Point

On June 16, I wrote to our three county commissioners, urging them to bring Sheriff Mike Winters into compliance with the courts' rulings on concealed weapons permits for medical marijuana cardholders and stop the spending of taxpayer money pursuing his vendetta. Only one commissioner replied, Don Skundrick, who said the following:

"The sheriff as an elected official sets his own course. Commissioners have no authority (over) any of the county's elected officials."

At best, he is being disingenuous. At worst, he's a bald-faced liar. Just as the Congress can control the president's actions through control of the purse strings, so the commissioners can do the same. Let's urge our commissioners to stand up on their hind legs and stop the fiscal bleeding over a very personal, and justly futile, cause. — Jim Andrews, Medford

America has reached the crossroads. Standing at the fork in the road to our future, Americans must decide whether we'll continue to pursue ideals or make decisions that address reality going forward.

Our past has afforded the luxury of latching onto clichés and sound bites that are neither accurate nor sustainable. There is no "free market" where laws indemnify corporations from their share of taxation, codify activities that would land most Americans in jail and shower big agriculture with subsidies that keep them from experiencing the vagaries associated with a market that is truly free.

Isn't it time for a "redistribution of wealth"? A man in my bank was ranting about "socialism" in our country. He was depositing a Social Security check.

They say "tax cuts create jobs." They're just somewhere else. "Patriotism" is sacrificing one's purse and person for the good of the country. That doesn't apply to American corporations operating in underdeveloped countries to save a few bucks an hour, denying a veteran the opportunity for a family-wage job.

A lot of our slogans and ideologies work well for the wealthy. But they're not going to save the rest of us who face a very different reality. — Carlus B. Harris, Ashland

We are moms of eighth-graders who just completed attending McLoughlin Middle School.

We were privileged to be on the planning team for the Eighth Grade Celebration-Farewell, June 3. We requested donations for door prizes; the party was a great success!

As donation team partners, we devoted more than two months of our time and energy. Everyone involved has felt the support of the greater community. Business people gave generously in spite of "economic hard times." We met our goal of at least one prize for each student attending and all refreshments donated.

To all those who gave, and to those who were asked but were unable to give, thank you for your great kindness and support to the youth of this community. We feel very privileged to live in Medford where we "hug visitors" and we speak abundant love with our compassionate actions toward our neighbors and friends. — Leslie Moore and Kymberly Brooks, Medford

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