I still can't figure this thing out with gas prices. Especially diesel prices. Diesel used to be cheaper than regular gas. It is a by-product of gas and is cheaper to make.

As for gas, why are Central Point stations, all of them except Pilot, 15 cents to 20 cents higher than most of Medford or Grants Pass for that matter? There is one station in Central Point that kind of sets the price in the city but people still keep lining up to buy the high-priced gas.

It is a lot like price-gouging. It seems like people would smarten up and buy somewhere else to save money in these times. — Gary Young, Central Point

"City officials" say $47.6 million in new bonded indebtedness is necessary to build spaces for police and fire and for an aquatic facility.

Medford Fire Chief Dave Bierwiler is worried that a single ladder truck has an estimated five- to seven-minute response time. The national standard is eight minutes, but perhaps Chief Dave is a perfectionist.

Sadly, the Tribune article did not mention the costs of actually paying the Teamsters (firefighters) to staff the brand-new downtown station or the alarming costs of equipment. Sounds like the Jackson County Library's building boom.

The city fathers must demand to see actual fire logs and look closely to response times, actual attack times, staffing adequacies, and the incident commanders' post-incident evaluations. Today, fire is held at bay by strict building regulations, new construction techniques, education of kids and adults and smoke alarms and detectors.

Medford is well-covered right now. Will tossing money at "the problem" save property or lives? How many? In the recent past, most fire rescues have been made by neighbors or utility workers. That's no criticism of firefighters, but that truly is Medford's recent past.

Think about costs and benefits. How much is too much? — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

It should be no surprise that in recent letters to the editor, Dan Hernandez, Andrew Kubik, Robert Warren and Michael Steely have alleged that the current fiscal problems are the result of President Bush and/or the Republicans/tea party.

Amusingly, selective memory can be beneficial when ideology is substituted for facts. Although Obama inherited a $10.6 trillion debt from Bush, he quickly increased the debt to more than $14 trillion, added another war, and wants to spend more while raising taxes.

In 2010, Americans overwhelmingly voted to send new members to Congress to reduce spending. Interestingly, the 2010 election was the largest repudiation of Pelosi's Congress since Warren Harding.

One has to wonder what about cut, cap and balance Obama, Harry Reid (who blocked it), and Pelosi do not understand. The answer is found in the words of liberal columnist Froma Harrop (MT Aug. 2): "Democrats would do themselves a huge favor if they had a living, breathing leader as their presidential candidate in 2012."

Predictably, if we have a president who is unfamiliar with the number of states in the union, then Obama should not be expected to understand simple economics. — John Mittendorf, Medford

I'm 87 and not much into politics. I vote for the man, not the party. Like so many, after the honorable Mr. Bush, I hoped President Obama would be our prince on a white horse. Unfortunately, it didn't happen.

The "war" in Washington, D.C., has cost our United States so much. Our financial mess, our dignity, our pride, security, No. 1 place in the world, respect, etc.

If someone can tell me what good it does to vote, I'll listen. Sadly, this mess started with Mr. Bush and the urgent war with Iraq. He left this country in a terrible mess.

Unfortunately, the spokesman for the Republicans over the debt — I can't remember his name — and his smug, self-satisfied demeanor spoke volumes.

I will only, if still alive, vote to keep a woman out of the White House. — Mary Holt, Medford

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