LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Shame on you, Mail Tribune! I was sickened and on the verge of tears to see that the Mail Tribune felt the need to post pictures of the child victims of the house fire on 10th Street. I was amazed that you felt it appropriate to show firefighters giving CPR to these poor victims.

I can't imagine the crushing blow to the families and friends who will have to see these photos. As journalists, I would expect a little more compassion and tact. I guess I expected too much. I would hope these pictures be removed from the photo gallery out of respect for the family. Maybe the paper should be renamed The National Enquirer. — Tanalyn Pfeil, Medford

Tuesday's MT presented the community with some interesting contrasts.

Not surprisingly, the editorial was a thinly veiled opposition to the police department's new license plate scanner. The ACLU has also weighed in with predictable opposition. This is nothing new from these liberal-oriented entities.

Then we are presented with an excellent series of news photos on the tragedy that occurred Monday on 10th Street. Our hearts must go out to the victims and their families.

However, nowhere in the photos was I able to identify any ACLU lawyers or members of the MT editorial board performing CPR or otherwise aiding the victims. Rather, the photos documented the courageous efforts of Medford's police and fire departments doing what they are trained to do, without hesitation and doing their best to protect and save lives in our community.

God bless our police officers and firefighters. We are fortunate to have these heroes in our midst. — Ted Krempa, Medford

Guess what? Great news. The "Republicans" are finally helping Americans.

No. Really. Forget about the dismantling of the middle class, taking our hard-earned benefits and old-age pensions, insurance corporations preventing affordable health care, enriching defense contractors with three wars and making the environment unlivable for generations. They are going to make our world safe for: light bulb choice.

That's right. Now we can relax. A bill they are sponsoring will prevent us from having to use energy-saving light bulbs. We will have the freedom to choose to make power companies wealthier by choosing to waste energy. Free at last! — Joyce A. Woods, Ashland

So I see the city is now being run by the Parks Department and their Internet "friends"? Why else would the council put the $21 million bond to the voters?

Haven't the council members noticed the number of home foreclosures, the number of failed businesses and those moving out of state? The unemployment numbers?

What are they thinking? Geez, why just $21 million, why not $50 million and add a giant roller coaster that goes high above and under the viaduct so visitors can observe the dog park at Hawthorne! What a mess! — R. Jurgens, Medford

You have run two especially good editorials recently that I hope many of your readers will pay attention to. One was about GOP actions to hamper the recovery, such as standing in the way of tax collection by preventing funding for additional agents and standing in the way of some of the Dodd-Frank measures, including the establishment of an effective Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and others.

The other editorial concerned the ridiculous "dancing with the debt" that the Republicans in Congress are doing. Your paper has also shown clearly that we are not paying an excessive level of income taxes.

There is no excuse for members of Congress to ignore the disastrous effects we will all suffer from not raising the debt ceiling. We need a balanced plan, including raising revenue and reducing spending, not either alone.

Your stories have also covered the role Grover Norquist has played in this scenario. He has got most Republicans in Congress to pledge never to raise taxes, and the tea partiers apparently agree with that pledge. For voting purposes I wish you would tell us which state and local officials have signed the Norquist no-new-taxes pledge. — Mary Ann Delsman, Ashland

Since taking office two and a half years ago, Barack Obama has struggled mightily with the financial mess he inherited from the Bush administrations.

We should not forget that under Clinton the last Democratic budget projected a surplus, a surplus that Bush and Cheney squandered invading Iraq and topping that blunder by jumping into the eternal quagmire of Afghanistan. The ongoing Republican strategy of unanimously opposing any and all Democratic budget proposals unless vital entitlement programs are eliminated or severely cut back is injurious to the nation and incredibly shortsighted in that the Democrats would ultimately exact payback by utilizing the same shameful gridlock tactics against a Republican president.

It is time for Republican officeholders to stop worrying about the drivel being spewed by tea party ignoramuses and protect the integrity of their party lest it be captured by those same ignoramuses. If that calamity should occur, the Republican Party would cease to be a responsible entity capable of offering rational, qualified candidates for public office.

Republican officeholders are doing both their party and the nation a disservice by not rejecting tea party demagoguery. — Robert Warren, Central Point

The GOP, the Grand Old Party! That may have been the case at one time, but from what I have observed, that description no longer fits.

I am a proud American who immigrated to the country in 1954. I have seen a lot of presidents come and go. For many years I was a Republican, until I took a real close look at how they do business. Never since 1954 have I seen such hatred and disrespect towards a president as now. Hillary Clinton should be glad that she did not become president, because they would be treating her the same way.

Those old bulls in Congress belong to the good old boys white club. They don't want to see an African American or a woman as president, and they are pulling every dirty trick to get President Obama out of the White House. When I became a citizen of the U.S., I learned that no matter who is in the White House, we need to respect the office of the presidency. A lot of people need to look at their behavior. — Lisa Roberts, Medford

The city of Medford needs to change our motto from "Medford — City of Hugs" to Medford — City of Gravel Streets and Potholes." It would fit a lot better. — Paula Waldrop, Medford

Now that our police department has new technology that allows them to scan multiple license numbers at one time, I wonder how long it will be before you can buy an app for your phone that will render it useless when your number is scanned? Someone will get rich and the police department, along with the taxpaying citizens, will be the ones who pay the price in more ways than one. You know it will happen. — Robert D. Ipsen, Medford

Letters in support of the Mount Ashland Ski expansion call out "lies" to those opposing, but give no refuting facts.

An upgrade of the ski area is acceptable and needed, but the expansion proposed by the MAA is totally out of proportion for the environment and the climate of the area. Facts support this: Why is there any argument about it? Because business and investors want this piece of property. When it fails, Ashlanders will pay for it or the MAA will file for bankruptcy or they will turn it into a resort or a gambling casino — or sell it to someone who will.

When are we going to stop playing the money/politics game and care for sustainable community values which are now both Ashland's and the planet's? — Kathleen Meagher, Ashland

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