I am not one of those "leftist liberals" Pat Butler condemns in his or her letter of March 18. I decry all "vulgar diatribes" used against women, whoever uses them. I cannot think of anything more vicious, vulgar or disgusting than Rush Limbaugh's tirade against Ms. Fluke.

It is far worse for a child to be born into a family who doesn't want it or cannot give it the care and support it needs than it is to prevent that birth. Many of our tax dollars Pat Butler is so concerned about are spent helping such children. Contraceptives are also used to address certain medical problems. Women without access to them have lost their ovaries, as did Ms. Fluke's friend.

I am glad that Ms. Fluke's Catholic university has strongly condemned the attack on her, as should all of us, men and women alike. While Ms. Fluke might get a large salary when she signs with a law firm, most women are not that lucky. For many women who need it the most, the cost of birth control pills is prohibitive. — Mary Ann Carlson, Central Point

To all those who park in the boat trailer parking area at any Lost Creek lake marina, last year I parked my Chevrolet pickup with trailer there, and someone drilled a hole into the top of the tank right in front of the rear wheel and made off with all the gas. This not only cost me the gas, but also a new tank.

Oregon State Police and the park ranger were notified; however, I want to warn the public. So beware when you park there. I was also told by the State Police the week prior that a trailer was stolen from the same area.

Gas is higher now, and I think something needs to be done in these recreational areas. Put cameras up, thats a start. — Robert Lee Sr., Central Point

My granddaughter would be 25 years old on April 3 if she had not been killed by a drunk driver. Happy birthday, Leah. — Jay Therien, Phoenix

First, the oil lease, then the cost of setting up the drill site, engineering costs, payroll and insurance. Add the cost to transport crude to distilling, then the transporting of the products to distribute. Then add the dealers' cost to get to the customer, the cost again of payroll insurance and taxes, both state and federal.

Gasoline is actually a byproduct of the oil industry. Where the oil companies make their money is from road oil, bunker oil, nylon and plastic and from the pharmaceutical companies.

If someone is willing to give me thousands of tax dollars, I'll get some figures.

Drill Baby Drill. — W.H. Fischer, Central Point

It seems to me that Medicare, as currently constituted, is pretty much a medical welfare program for our aging citizenry.

My wife and I have been on Medicare for several years. Fortunately we're reasonably healthy and our current medical needs are minimal.

I have no idea how our costs versus contributions compare, but I suspect we're a little ahead. That will surely change as we continue to age, and statistics show our expenses will be at least double our contributions by the time we're gone. Taxpayers pick up the difference. This program needs major surgery to remain viable.

I don't have many answers and I'm skeptical of "solutions" coming out of Washington, as I suspect they're largely politically motivated. We need cost-versus-benefit improvements, waste/fraud reduction, and much more. Individual contributions need to be increased also.

We like Medicare and want it to remain viable for ours and future generations. "Don't change Medicare" is not an option, and those of us currently covered should be willing to bear part of the burden. We may be deserving, but we're not entitled. Medicare revisions should be phased in starting as soon as possible, not years hence. — Stan Loer, Grants Pass

The City of Glendale is dumping raw sewage into Cow Creek during rainstorms, which was one of 51 reports of overflows statewide after one storm in January. Nearly 2,000 streams in Oregon were recently added to the water quality impaired list under the Clean Water Act. Popular parks around the Rogue Valley are posted for dangerous levels of bacteria in creeks. Coho salmon and other fish are struggling to survive.

And the list of challenges to our water resources goes on and on.

But we have glimmers of hope in projects such as WISE, which seeks to modernize irrigation systems and water use to benefit both farmers and fish, and in innovative conservation measures that are becoming more common.

The Rogue Valley is growing at a faster rate than the average in Oregon and the nation. A central challenge of this growth is managing our water resources in a way that ensures clean water for a variety of uses, including consumption, food production and salmon.

In 1993, March 22 was designated as World Water Day as a means of focusing attention on the importance of fresh water. But really, every day needs to be water day. — Lesley Adams, program director, Rogue Riverkeeper, Ashland

In the March 22 letter by Alan R.P. Journet, "Republicans practice deception," he states, "deceptive campaigning becomes outright lying."

Give me a break! Both parties practice this deception and outright lying. Mr Journet's letter is biased, amusing and laughable through obvious absurdity. His foolish accusation makes Mr. Journet the deceptor himself, and another example of one-sided thinking.

Our president as well as several Democrats have told huge whoppers. Case in point: President Obama recently spoke in Cushing, Okla., and said that he will fast-track the lower section of the Keystone pipeline from Cushing to the gulf, even though this section has been permitted and is in the process of construction. He has no control over this decision. "Big Lie" from our president!

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has claimed that the "Republicans want to kill seniors and hate women" — another whopper! I could go on.

Mr. Journet needs to clean out his ears and hear the deceptions from both parties. Our elected officials depend on the ignorance of their constituents. — Richard Massimino, Eagle Point

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