On May 25, 2012, Thomas P. Schlosser, attorney for the Hoopa Valley tribe, filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Hoopa Valley tribe for a declaratory order that PacifiCorp failed to pursue re-licensing of the Klamath Project and ordering PacifiCorp to file a plan for decommissioning of project facilities.

The request included a finding that the California Water Resources Control Board and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality failed to act on PacifiCorp's applications for water-quality certification, first filed in 2006, within the one-year time limit required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and waived their certification authority.

It has been 11 months since the filing of the petition. Yet FERC has not acted on the petition. The inaction on the part of the commission is a dereliction of its authority to enforce a requirement to construct a clear passage for endangered species through the dammed portions of the Klamath River, or decommissioning and removing the dams.

It's time for FERC to assert its regulatory function and act on the petition. — John M. Sully, Ashland

The fire laddies of District 5 are in the news again, announcing from their main station (the Taj Mahal on Highway 99) plans to purchase new equipment, principally engines.

I would never be so cynical as to imply that firefighters are, by nature, stuck in adolescence, nor would I ever accuse some of being disingenuous in their pleas for new toys. However, the public should take a few facts into account.

How many actual miles and other severe wear and tear does a fire engine undergo? Don't you suspect that these engines are lovingly well-maintained by the laddies when they are not sleeping, weight-lifting or watching DVDs?

Does the public realize that engines retired from one department go directly to resellers and are bought by fire departments with conservative budgeting policies? Google them.

One other item, this "first out" and "second out" twaddle about equipment is just that — as if the newest engine will dramatically outperform an older one. In that case, the public is in danger unless all departments stock nothing but current-year equipment. C'mon, guys. — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

Just say no to Ron Bjork and Bob Crouse!

Just because these two guys haven't seen any harmful effects of GMOs doesn't mean anything except that they support Big Ag and biotech giants. And that they have little regard for real food and the thousands of years that we have grown and survived on natural ways of growing food and cultivating the land so that we can sustain it for many thousands of years to come.

Bob Crouse says RoundUp doesn't do much harm — he is seriously misinformed and doesn't study soil microbiology. Jackson County and Southern Oregon are exceptional areas for growing safe and healthy foods.

I pray that Amy's Kitchen and all of her friends and supporters keep up their good fight to preserve the bounty that Mother Earth has bestowed on us to nourish and preserve for future generations. God help us! — Claudia Little, BSN, MPH, Ashland

The good news is that those conservatives' efforts to increase oil production, including hundreds of millions of dollars of federal subsidies and tax credits annually, and the liberals' providing tens of millions of dollars of state and federal subsidies and tax credits for ethanol production have dramatically increased oil and ethanol supplies.

The result: Oil is exported to the south, where it brings greater profits, and ethanol prices were raised to pay storage costs.

More good news: Politicians and the oil and ethanol industries are wealthier than ever. The bad news: We are paying increasingly higher prices for fuel. And too much tax money goes to the wealthy and not to us. — Robert Murphy, Phoenix

The Phoenix Food Pantry thanks the generous donors who almost tripled the 500-pound goal set by the Phoenix High School FFA for its canned food drive, delivering 1,300 pounds.

The pantry shelves were nearly empty when this community-spirited group saved the day. Generous donors in Phoenix participate in a neighbor-to-neighbor effort six times per year. Groups who fill in between are very much appreciated!

The next Green Bag Food Drive by the Phoenix Food Project will be 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 13, with delivery to the First Presbyterian Church. For more information on how to participate in feeding the hungry in our community go to www.phoenixfoodproject.org or call 541-778-1517, or join us April 13. — Glenda Crenshaw and Karen Jones, Phoenix

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