LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dog issues are emotionally charged. I personally know many wonderful dogs who happen to be pits. I have seen the adorable photos of pits in T-shirts, loving on babies, and pro-pit rallies, but then I study statistics.

Please refer to www.dogsbite.org, and learn that each day about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care for a dog bite injury. Compiling dog attack deaths and maimings in the U.S. and Canada between September 1982 and December 2013, the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death are: pit bulls, Rottweilers, presa canarios, cane corsos, and similar breeds.

A 2009 report issued by dogsbite.org shows that 19 breeds contributed to 88 deaths in a three-year period. Pit bulls accounted for 59 percent, followed by Rottweilers at a distant 14 percent.

Yes, these breeds can be delightful family pets, but the public has cause for concern. Please put emotion aside and study the statistics when developing community policy. — Jan Vidmar, Ashland

There has been an important change in the Oregon tax form that is of special importance to taxpayers 62 and older. All should make records of their own medical expenses.

The good news is for those who do not itemize deductions on federal Schedule A. From your Oregon income, you may subtract up to $1,800 or $1,200 or $1,000 depending on your income. Incomes must be below $100,000 for single filers.

The bad news is for those married couples filing jointly and itemizing their deductions. You must separate medical expenses for taxpayer and spouse. A spouse under 62 cannot get the medical deduction. Moreover, the generous deduction of 7.5 percent of medical expenses that the feds don't allow is omitted. No one may take more than $1,800 of additional medical expense.

For anyone who comes to the AARP TaxAide sites to efile tax returns, the computer program does the necessary computations. Some will benefit, but many will be disappointed to find that their refunds are smaller or the tax bills are larger. — Jane Hall, Tax instructor for AARP TaxAide

I'm sure I'm not the only traveler frustrated by the Medford airport, with its custom-tailored fog bank designed specifically to be just large enough and dense enough to cancel all flights. When my 9:15 flight was canceled on a recent morning, downtown Medford was totally fog-free. In fact, the overpass at exit 30 was fog-free.

Obviously the present location is the worst possible choice for an airport. Any thoughts to building a new one at a higher elevation? Or perhaps equipping the Ashland airport as an alternate? I did some measurements on Google Earth, and apparently by extending the Ashland runway a few hundred feet into the adjacent vineyard, it could handle the Dash 8 and EM2 aircraft. Could TSA set up shop temporarily in a hangar?

Otherwise, you'd think it would make more sense just to shut this one down in mid-winter and charter buses to Portland and Sacramento. — Bruce Borgerson, Ashland

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