Your recent front-page series on Southern Oregon's Mexican cartel problem reads like a Mike Winters appeal for public funding and/or re-election. To put the cartel threat in perspective, you might have highlighted a few facts:

1. Sheriff Winters and his colleagues offered no shred of evidence that Mexican cartels have been involved directly or indirectly in large marijuana plantations on public lands in our region, only conjecture. If you check your own clip file, you will find that the only high-level arrests associated with these plantations involved some guys from Roseburg. Roseburg may have issues, but it doesn't have Zetas.

2. The plantations, which are certainly undesirable, have mostly disappeared. You mentioned this. What you didn't mention is that the local dope market has been flooded with high-quality legal and quasi-legal medical marijuana. For better or worse, the marketplace has spoken. It doesn't want junk grown in the woods.

These facts suggest that we are wasting scarce tax dollars on Sheriff Mike Winters and his helicopter. Sheriff Winters contends that he is protecting us successfully from very dangerous people who happen to be thousands of miles away. What does the Mail Tribune think? I'm looking forward to your editorial. — Diarmuid McGuire, Ashland

I had no idea that the post office was looking for a new building. What a great post office our old Dollar GMC Buick facility would be; plenty of parking and nicely laid out. The old service department would be a great downtown parking lot also. Thanks for the timely article. — Alan DeBoer, Ashland, partner in the property

I've been viewing old Christmas movies and, sadly, Republican types abound — the dowager in "The Bishop's Wife," who finally understood after an angel's cajoling; the Burgermeister in the claymation "Santa Claus is Coming to Town;" grasping Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" and tightfisted Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" — each a study in avarice and/or self-serving power.

As Jesus often remarked, many have eyes that don't see, and ears that don't hear. — Hartley Anderson, Medford

I am amazed at how many times I am the only one in the audience at council meetings (except for the uniformed officer to keep order).

Your Medford City Council members work for free and put in more time than you can imagine. They all are on other committees and attend other necessary functions and give much of themselves. I do not think they are corrupt, but do believe when it is always the same people attending, calculating, deciding, reviewing and ultimately making decisions, then yes, it becomes the "good ol' boys and Karen." Go to meetings, volunteer for committees and commissions.

Letters to the editor are not enough. Run for office, get involved or sit and watch, like the lemmings you are. — Brad Martinkovich, Medford

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