This note regards an incident from fall 2012 involving bike riders, trails and hiking. A local and highly-regarded psychiatrist was terminated by the Jackson County commissioners, and some believe the journalists involved in providing public information regarding the incident likely played an improper role as a heinous crime about the same time and circumstance is unsolved.

For me, it is the proper role of the media to inform members of the community and be a reliable conduit for education.

Slanted coverage, in contrast, misinforms and directs readers to faulty conclusions: Bike riders can roam wherever they choose regardless of signs to the contrary.

A narrow format hides relevant information: By not reminding readers that it is a common rural practice to close a gate after opening it.

Last, in being judgmental the opportunity is lost for the common-sense conclusion: Looking where you are going aids hiker or bike rider to avoid endangering themselves.

In other words, increasing heat by pouring gasoline on a fire through blame and bias misdirects attention from important considerations within problems, among other things. Please take this opportunity to review relevant professional ethical standards for reporting on future community issues. — Thomas O. Guss, Ph.D., Medford

You talk about your red-headed, freckle-faced stepchild! I refer to the southern part of Oregon. I can understand why some Californians talk about wanting to split from the rest of California because of a lack of representation.

Let's look at Oregon. The following figures come from the summer edition of the Oregon Sheriff's Association magazine. Oregon has 36 counties with a total population of 3,326,059 and a total area of 97,272 square miles. If you drew an east/west line roughly through the middle of the state, you'd have about 25 counties in the north with a population of 2,560,345 in an area of 43,788 square miles, and 11 counties in the south with a population of 765,714 in an area of 53,484 square miles. The five most densely populated counties (Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah and Washington) are in the north, with an aggregate total population of 2,308,086, in only 8,885 square miles.

It's pretty obvious that the five most densely populated counties can carry any vote, regardless of the votes of all of the southern counties combined!! So we "southerners" vote one way and "the big five" vote their way and we are totally outvoted. Makes you feel a bit disenfranchised, doesn't it? — Murray LaHue, Medford

As Senator Merkley said, "America should bring the world together to condemn and penalize Syria for this action. Such an effort, however, is best pursued through international negotiation and diplomacy." The U.S.-Russian agreement to peacefully disarm Syria of its chemical weapons is one example of how diplomacy can help make the world a safer place.

But that should be the beginning — not the end — of creative, effective, international diplomatic efforts to address the Syrian crisis. — Vivianne Mosca-Clark, Williams

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