OK, pondering for the day! With all the issues on illegal immigrants, how can illegal immigrants work for the forestry department and associated companies to fight fires? That requires that each person attend and pass the classes. That person is also paid.

We, as private citizens, cannot find a worthwhile and willing person to pull our weeds. If we hire an illegal, we are subject to loss of our benefits and, under the Little RICO Act, probably our property.

Problem is, we cannot find people to work for $10 per hour, show up, and do a decent job.

I know of a person who is working to fight the wildfires. No papers, no driver's license, no insurance, no Social Security card, took the classes and is being paid and fed in the fire camps.

Our taxes are paying for this as well. Someone, please explain how this works! — Susan George-Bouknight, Medford

While I respect Jim Moore's take on "downtown vagrants," I object to several of the terms used to describe "these people."

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 13 percent of the homeless are veterans. Now, whether or not one agrees with the war that they fought, they are still the ones paying the sacrifice. Another percentage are the people who recently lost their jobs in the banking crisis. Criticize them, but I am assured that you know someone who went through the same ordeal.

As a former homeless person with many homeless friends, I am continually amazed by their generosity and kindness. As many times as I have seen somebody addled with mental health or drug problems, I have seen the beauty of the human spirit. I am sorry that "these people" walk the alleyways, but where are they supposed to go?

The answer is not to take away human kindness, but to recognize the beauty in the men, women and children who have been degraded by the real problem, having no home. — Rhiannon Eppard, Medford

In an attempt to bolster his standing with Hispanics in the last election, President Barack Obama issued an executive form of the Dream Act. He did it by fiat, and this unwise act will remain in effect until a federal court overturns it.

In Oregon, the president's political idiocy was compounded by Gov. John Kitzhaber. Kitzhaber boarded the president's bandwagon and began an effort to grant driving privileges to beneficiaries of Obama's questionable dream act. Then the Oregon Legislature passed a bill, SB 833, the governor signed it and the process of putting illegal aliens dangerously behind the wheel in Oregon began in earnest.

Fortunately for legal residents of Oregon, a group has come forward to restore a sense of legality to the state's streets and highways. Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) has begun to circulate a petition to get a referendum on the November ballot to put an end to all of this legislative nonsense. They need your help. Straight thinking Oregonians, urge voters to save themselves from misguided public officials and get behind OFIR. Urge friends and neighbors to sign petitions. Support this effort to restore sanity to Oregon's highways. Stand with OFIR. See www.oregonir.org. — Robert Bennett, Grants Pass

The Mail Tribune reported "(Ashland) Road Diet"¦ snarls traffic"! Snarls? What snarls? I use North Main frequently during various times of the day and I have never experienced a "snarl."

Sure, sometimes when I am turning onto North Main I have to wait for a string of cars to go by, but the wait time is in seconds, not minutes. The road diet is traffic-calming. There are left-turn lanes everywhere. And I have yet to see a car T-boned, which I had witnessed several times before the road diet was established.

I hope the Ashland City Council decides to keep this innovative approach for a long time. I love the road diet! — Jerry Kenefick, Ashland

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