State Sen. Alan Bates, a Democrat, put together a committee to help solve Oregon's Medicaid problems. Its solution is being considered as a model by the other 49 states.

The federal government recognized the potential for success in Oregon's plan and awarded the state a $1.9 billion grant to implement these changes.

And how did this happen? The committee was made up of three Republicans and three Democrats who put Oregon ahead of their parties. They worked together, ironed out their differences and came to consensus.

Thank you, Oregon Republican senators. Thank you, Oregon Democratic senators. You are statesmen, not politicians. Why can't Congress follow your example? — Jerry Kenefick, Ashland

In your editorial of Nov. 8, you inaccurately describe the Ashland Chamber of Commerce as "supporting" candidates. We think people believe what they read in newspapers, especially the editorials, so it is important that you state the facts correctly.

We have by policy a long-standing practice of not supporting or endorsing candidates at any level — city, county, state or national. In fact, we host and pay for a televised candidates forum in order to help educate citizens.

Our members are, of course, free to participate in any way they decide — and, in fact, we have members who support candidates and issues on both sides of every election. We believe this is important in a vibrant community, and we believe our mission is simply to help those involved get their message out so we have a more informed citizenry.

We do not have a PAC, we do not participate in a PAC, and we do not belong to the U.S Chamber because of its PAC. — Lisa Beam, president, Ashland Chamber of Commerce board of directors

I was really disappointed to see that the bond for the pools in Medford did not pass. I just got home from living in Germany for the last five years where we had six, yes six, modern pools within 15 minutes from our house between two towns the size of Central Point — three of them were indoors.

I voted yes for it even though my parents have a big in-ground pool and never mind their grandkids coming over and swimming. Have we really just become so attached to our money that we can't think beyond our front door? We can't look out and see the bigger picture and how this would help many, many people in the community? Not to mention Hawthorne Park in dire need of some kind of change. — Erich Norum, Central Point

The Ashland library levy has been approved by 79.5 percent of its voters. Fire District No. 5, which serves Talent, Phoenix and rural areas, will probably not get new fire engines to replace their 1980 trucks. Fifty-six percent of Medford voters have rejected a measure to replace the city's aging pools. These results reflect a fundamental philosophical difference, summarized by a Talent pear grower quoted as saying, "We don't care for the socialist European philosophies of the Obama administration."

The pools would have cost owners of a house with an assessed value of $200,000 an increase of $30 per year in property taxes. I am proud of the "socialist" Ashland voters who understand that we are all in this together and believe in shared sacrifice to benefit the welfare of our community. — Donnelly Fenn, Ashland

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