Surely I am not the only one who has noticed that our formerly welcoming little city of Ashland has come to resemble a medieval fortress, since residents are forced to build high fences to try to keep the large local vermin (aka deer) from demolishing their plants.

My backyard is a fortress with high fences and walls, but the deer still got in and destroyed at least 40 rosebuds and new leaf growth. My next move is to install rolls of razor wire on top of the fences. The argument that we humans have invaded the deer's territory doesn't hold; I have many friends living below the boulevard who say that the deer did not invade their area until five or six years ago. Who are the invaders?

Other cities have successfully dealt with the deer scourge by allowing bow hunters to periodically thin the urban herds, with the meat distributed to local food banks. However, our cowardly City Council people are in thrall to the Bambi lovers, so nothing is likely to be done, and we all must build ever higher barricades. — Terry Stone, Ashland

Our State Sen. Alan Bates is "ecstatic that there's a forecast of increased state revenue because of our tenuously improving productive private economy." ("Legislators Report," May 19)

I hope the forecast proves to be correct, which we will know sometime next year. Bates, though, wants to commit to spending the money now. It seems to be burning a hole in his (our) pocket. He ignores our state's history of ramping up spending on good forecasts, then having to cut essential programs when the tax take inevitably falls during the next downturn, or the revenue increase doesn't even materialize.

How about spending extra revenue after it's received, or better yet, paying down past debt and preparing for future lean years, like the rest of us do? — Kenneth Fawcett, Ashland

I was disheartened to read in the paper that the Legislature was going to pass the "tethering bill," House Bill 2783.

I am in agreement that pets chained up for a long time is cruel; my complaint is that the people of Oregon seem to care more for animals than people. In Grants Pass, citizens will not support raising taxes to pay for law enforcement, but when the county animal shelter was in danger of closing there were all sorts of fundraising efforts to help out.

When Senate Bill 390 was proposed, a bill that would close a loophole in the law blocking children from riding unrestrained in the back of trucks, it failed to get out of committee. Because of this loophole my niece — along with eight others crammed in a five-passenger vehicle — was involved in a rollover ejecting three people, and killing two. Why is it we seem to care more for our pets than our children? — Marvin McGary, Medford

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