Former Medford BLM District Manager David Jones' recent op-ed was spinningly titled "Political forest management has replaced scientific timber harvest." But his complaint was "Democracy and changing social values hamper timber industry hegemony."

Denial is not just a river in Roseburg. The bad old days are over. Most Americans value public forests more for clean water, wildlife and recreation than the board feet and wood chips these forests will always produce with a sustainable number of regional mills.

Meanwhile, the "scientific management" of private timberlands is primarily aimed at producing only board feet. Millions of unprocessed logs from vast private timberlands are constantly shipped to Asia at the expense of mill jobs here — while timber export barons cry "jobs, jobs, jobs" crocodile tears all the way to the bank.

Sustainable? Scientific? Violating public lands law has consequences — even for government agencies. During Manager Jones' watch, BLM logged and roaded so heavily that public land logging came to a court-ordered halt because a lot more species than just spotted owls were headed for the brink of extinction. They still are. Thanks to the Northwest Forest Plan, the rate is a bit slower than the BLM binge of Jones' glory days. — Dave Willis, Greensprings

We now have a government where the Justice Department sponsors the illegal acts of "Fast and Furious" and acts unethically and immorally against The Associated Press. The IRS is subverting the law and using its unbridled power to go after and spy on Americans (who better to put in charge of our health care?).

The Obama administration lied about Benghazi and then used amateurish lies to cover up the truth. It also wants to circumvent the Second Amendment. We now have a front row seat watching how a country with an excellent constitution can fall into tyranny.

The Second Amendment is not just for hunting and personal protection, but also for stopping a tyrannical government. Our politicians must follow the Constitution as written by our founding fathers. Do not allow more of your freedoms to be taken. Write your politicians! — Ray Novosad, Eagle Point

The Ashland Kiwanis Club placed flags at businesses and other locations around town on Saturday, May 18. This was in recognition of Armed Forces Day. Based on the number of residents and tourists questioning why the flags on this day, I thought it might be appropriate to remind everyone what this day means.

Many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to honor Americans in uniform who served their country in times of peace and war. People who serve the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard are paid tribute for their commitments on this day. National Guard and Reserve units have the option of celebrating Armed Forces Day during any date in May, because their training schedules are often unique. — Ron Parker, president, Ashland Kiwanis Club

Republican's don't have the power to repeal Obamacare — any vote to that effect is just a ruse to trick voters into thinking that they actually want to kill it. Walden and the Republican House do have the constitutional power to de-fund Obamacare with a simple majority vote. They can de-fund Obamacare and all renegade federal agencies like the EPA, BLM, even the leftist 9th Circuit Court of Appeals if they want.

It's obvious to me that Republicans are secretly in favor of this Obama-style socialist takeover of America, and intend to fund our demise with your tax dollars and huge loans from Red China. I encourage all who care about our future to contact Rep. Walden and demand an up-or-down vote in the house to de-fund Obamacare and the radicals at the EPA, BLM, USFS, etc. I'll bet you they mumble at you and try to shuck and jive you into thinking it can't be done. I recommend reading James Madison's Federalist 78 before you call.

We can save America, but not if you simply sit there and watch them cannibalize our freedoms. Get active now! — Roger Fredinburg, Central Point

I just wanted to publicly thank the Honorable Judge Phil Arnold of the Jackson County Circuit Court. More often than not, it seems we're always let down by the courts and the justice system in general. However, he was the presiding judge at a family court matter I wasn't a party to, but took great interest in.

I'm happy to say Judge Arnold exercised a great amount of compassion by his judgment in this matter. It is good to know that when common sense needs to prevail, at least in this case, common sense indeed did prevail and we have the Judge Phil Arnold to thank for that. Thank you, your honor. — Steve Ryan, Medford

In the early '90s I lived in Long Beach, Calif., during that state's attempt to financially eliminate illegal aliens' (primarily Mexicans') access to social services. It was called Proposition 187.

But it occurred to me one day that I knew what was really going on. Wealthy growers and other users of unskilled labor in this country desire illegal workers — those who can be stiffed since they lack legal recourse, and also lack Social Security accounts and other benefits requiring contributions.

Of course, these employers claim they aren't competitive if they use American workers. But the unanswered question remains: competitive with whom? The answer, I suspect: other users of illegal workers.

Now, watch the immigration debate in Congress. See if the wealthy, as represented by their lackeys (usually conservatives), don't manage to kill or at least seriously weaken it (though probably that will cost them the Hispanic vote).

What do the wealthy want with workers who have rights? They're too expensive. And it would be a significant reversal in their ongoing war on middle-class income. — Hartley Anderson, Medford

Respecting the comments from Michael Palmer, and his query regarding the condition of specific properties in Eagle Point, please note that said lands, including The Oasis, and the homes and abandoned vehicles located upon them are not in the city limits of Eagle Point!

They are under the jurisdiction of Jackson County, and the city has no authority over them. It is completely untrue to imply that Eagle Point citizens and their governmental representatives do not take extreme pride in the appearance of our community! Please be aware of the facts before expressing your opinion, and note the many beautiful features within Eagle Point's actual jurisdictional boundaries.

Finally, the Fourth of July would be the perfect time to do this! — Bunny Lincoln, retired principle planner, Fourth of July director, Community Association president, city of Eagle Point

Well, it seems Sen. Jeff Merkley is in violation of my civil rights. As I constantly get letters back from him saying "we don't always agree," it is clear he is one of the worst offenders of my civil rights.

If I were him, I would seriously think about an apology to all the people of Oregon who are tea party members, and keep his nose out of anything that doesn't benefit the State of Oregon and its voters. Long before the Internal Revenue Service revealed it had improperly targeted conservative 501(c)(4) groups, a group of Democratic senators led by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer urged the IRS to do just that.

Last year, Schumer, along with Democratic senators Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al Franken penned a letter calling on the agency to cap the amount of the political spending by groups masquerading as "social welfare organizations." I'll be waiting for that apology! — Dan Fowler, Medford

Sen. Alan Bates is right to be concerned with jobs (May 12), but his citing of the official nationwide unemployment rate in April at 7.5 percent, and 8 percent in Oregon, sugarcoats the situation.

Those figures include only active job-seekers. According to the Oregon Employment Department, the real numbers, including part-time workers who want and are available for full-time work and individuals who have given up looking in discouragement, are closer to 13.9 percent nationwide and 16.3 percent in Oregon, which is to say 319,200 people.

Unfortunately, the good senator's bad ideas do little to bring jobs to rural Oregonians. Is it expecting too much of Sen. Bates to attend the Oregon Jobs Caucus to find out what would really help? — Don Paul, Ashland

It's a beautiful day outside, just enough clouds to be pretty, a light breeze blowing — a nice day for a drive; but please, use your thinking caps. We live in rural Central Point on a gravel road. Our house is 200 feet from the gate, a bit far to run swiftly without shoes.

Our two dogs were outside enjoying the weather when a black truck with children in the back slowed down, deposited a Dex phone book onto our gate latch, then tossed one dog biscuit to two barking dogs!

You don't have to be Cesar Milan to know that this is a recipe for disaster. One biscuit plus two dogs equals one large vet bill! I'm sure the people were just trying to be nice, but what they didn't know was that one of our dogs cannot have regular dog biscuits because of a seizure disorder.

My husband sprinted to the gate barefoot in time to wrest most of the biscuit from her — and hopefully no damage was done. Our dogs should be free to play on our fenced property without us worrying about strangers tossing them forbidden fruit! — Karen E. Gordon, Central Point

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Assault weapons and high-capacity magazines were developed to give our military the advantage to kill as many enemies as possible — I applaud that advantage, since my father, husband, and my sons were in the military. A gun that can kill masses of people, in seconds, in the hands of an angry, distraught and commonly unskilled marksman is not what the Second Amendment should be protecting. Of course, if you are a cannibal, you could feed the whole tribe with one successful hunt!

Having assault weapons in our society seems to condone killing perceived enemies as your mood or inclination dictates. It would be prudent, at least, to make the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that were developed to hunt and kill people harder to get. Tragically, assault weapon manufacturers fund and support the NRA. The basic result? The gun manufacturers "own" NRA, as NRA, by their support and funding, "own" our legislators! The "piracy" of our democracy is deplorable and demoralizing! Disenchanted? Be a voice! Let's reclaim our legislators! Call your legislators at 202-224-3121. — Dawn Richardson, Rogue River

Let me share with you one of my most delightful experiences of last week.

My driver's license renewal, where, in spite of a filled lobby, everyone who helped me was patient, kind, gentle and helped me with a smile. — Arlie Passmore, Central Point

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