We are retired, senior homeowners in Jackson County and, of course, don't want to see our taxes go up. However, if it is the best solution to keep our libraries open, we're for it.

Literacy and education are very important for quality of life for everyone, whether you yourself walk into a library or not. We want to urge our community to get behind this. It will be a big loss for all ages should they close. The libraries offer so many important services to so many! — Jerrine and David J. Rowley, Jacksonville

On July 1 the national synod of the United Church of Christ passed a resolution to divest from fossil fuel companies, the first denomination to do so. This action is part of a campaign to call into question the legitimacy of business as usual by the fossil fuel companies.

For 200 years fossil fuels have been a huge benefit to humanity, helping make possible great advances in living standards, health, and longevity. But we now realize the unintended consequence of our continuing and escalating use of fossil fuels: climate change, which threatens all our gains.

We have to admit the greatest market failure: not pricing in the ecological externalities of fossil fuel use. We must rapidly shift from fossil fuels to renewables to support our economy. Continuing fossil fuel use will wreck the conditions for civilization. It is morally wrong, as is continuing to profit from that wrecking.

Fossil fuel companies must stop exploration for further reserves, exploitation of the dirtiest forms of fossil fuel like tar sands, and lobbying for subsidies and against action on climate change. They must become renewable energy companies.

Support divestment by institutions you belong to, and lobby our representatives for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. — Robert John Scheelen, Medford

I see the appointed "first chief education officer" for the state of Oregon lasted less than one year.

He "had pledged to stay in the Oregon job for three years" according to OregonLive, and was paid $280,000 for his time. That time included six weeks paid vacation, an additional 160 hours of vacation time, up to a $30,000 moving allowance, $1,000 per month automobile allowance as well as all normal PERS benefits.

In his separation agreement the state (that is, we the citizens!) would not ask him to repay the travel expenses he incurred for his own personal benefit. During his employment he traveled to Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, N.M., Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bahamas. When an individual was brought in to review his expenses, she is quoted as saying:

"Crew pushed back and while the process of review was going on, Dr. Crew resigned." How much did this experiment by our government cost versus what we benefited? Remember this the next time the state of Oregon wants us to pay more in taxes and especially for education and "our kids." — Alan Ludwick, Shady Cove

Media coverage of daily news events reminds me of George Bernard Shaw, who defined newspapers as "a device unable to distinguish between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization." — Harry Hutton, Ashland

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