Medford's unemployment rate sits at 2 percent higher than our state average (November 2013, Oregon Employment Department). City department budgets are strained, and yet our city government finds the means to stockpile a significant amount of cash for a legal fight to prevent a project that would deliver employment opportunities to our community.
In this economic climate, very few cities can afford to forgo projects that deliver any opportunity for employment. I find it difficult to understand why our elected city officials would spend scarce financial resources to fend off the Coquille Tribe's project.
As for any contention that such a facility will attract an undesirable element, this is certainly not the case at the Coquille Tribe's facility in North Bend. I have stayed at the hotel there and have never witnessed what I would perceive to be any undesirable element. The hotel is, in fact, one of the nicer lodging facilities in that area.
The ardor with which our city leaders continue to terminate this project makes one wonder if there are other factors at work here. We need to ask our city leaders why they are spending our money in this manner; these decisions and actions make no sense. — Todd Hansen, Medford
Recently I have noticed flasks being sold in local stores. These stores are geared toward teens and young children.
The flasks are decorated with sparkles and glitz, in pink and other popular colors. This is very upsetting, knowing flasks were originally used to carry personal amounts of liquor!
Why is this product being sold in the teen market? Don't we gave enough trouble with teen drinking, without glamorizing it? — Cindy Carss, Medford
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, a shot was fired during an argument between three men in Trail. The assailant is charged with, among other things, being a "felon in possession of a weapon."
So, where and how did he buy or get possession of a firearm? If he bought it from a licensed gun shop, the background check system failed and needs to be fixed now! If he didn't buy the gun at a licensed gun shop, I'm guessing he a) stole it, b) "borrowed" it from a friend, or c) bought it from an unlicensed dealer, gun show, private person or Internet site that, under current law, isn't required to do a background check on gun purchases.
So I ask the "gun rights" folks: what's wrong with having a background check law on all gun purchases that just might have kept this crime from happening? No injuries, no property damage, and the felon wouldn't be in jail using taxpayer monies for his room and board and court costs in the near future. Because of our love affair with an outdated 238-year-old law in the Constitution, we've had over 5,000 gun deaths since Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Enough, already! — Brian Tingle, Ashland
A rider can get from SOU to Medford by Wightman to the bike path, then along that until you have to get on A Street at Fourth. A is narrow, but that makes drivers go slow, and you can be off it at Oak, which takes you down to the excellent Greenway bike path. I can make downtown Medford from SOU in about an hour and a half if I push a little, and I'm ancient and creaky. I don't know whether waiting for a bus with a space on its bike rack would be much faster than that.
I commuted by bicycle to school, 1946-'65, then to my jobs, 1965-2003. I pedaled about 185,000 miles doing that. Most was on busy streets and highways, and at least a million American drivers passed me. None of them hit me, and a few saved my butt in close calls. My only bike-car collision was my fault, not hers.
Except when they're texting, drunk, stoned, or otherwise impaired, I give our domestic motorists high marks. Still: Wear your helmet and be wary as a rabbit! Bravo to you and your car-less life! — Dave Harvey, Talent
The ARCO station (Ashland's cheapest) near the exit 14 on-ramp is closing down.
We've had numerous occasions to gripe, rightfully so, 'bout the new, nonsensical engineering projects on road 'n' highway "improvements" 'round here the last few years, and the 75-foot beautification barrier they put in where the bridge intersects with the freeway was but one of 'em. It was put in six months ago when they redid the overpass bridge.
Have no idea if it's part of the city of Ashland's beautification plan, a state of Oregon idea for "accident prevention" because it's a state road, or a collusion of both.
In the 25 years I've lived here there were no accidents there, until they dug the hole for the potted plant barrier.
In any event, the barrier prevented access to gas stations on either side of street, subsequently dropping their volume, sales, etc., to the point ARCO couldn't survive.
The Texaco across street, doing low volume before the "improvement," will likely die off as well.
Thanks to the new improved engineering decisions, the small- business economy takes another hit. — Pat Weber, Ashland
Captains of industry are searching for incentives to bring manufacturing jobs back to the USA. One such incentive is America's relatively low energy cost made possible by an abundant natural gas supply, which comes to us at great cost. There are great profits to be made by a few if a pipeline from Malin to Coos Bay is constructed and our relatively clean-burning power source can be delivered by ship to Asian markets.
Exporting this vital fuel will lower the cost of producing goods in Asia and raise the cost of existence here in every way. The incentive to bring jobs home will vanish forever. We can stop the pipeline to China and the delivery of our security, our freedom and our future along with this national treasure.
Rather than allow a few to become filthy rich by exploiting this resource like horse-pigs it should be extracted and used as needed to insure competitiveness and sustainability at home.
Write or e-mail your representatives and insist that our best chances for survival and prosperity be kept here.
Otherwise we can continue to greet the container ships from China at the harbor and continue to be systematically handed our butts. — Chris Mathas, Butte Falls
Regarding Mr. Glimpse's letter, I believe that the Sweet Cakes issue was not about whether they could or could not sell a product, but about to whom they could or could not sell that product.
"The Oregon Equality Act of 2007 prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The statute includes public accommodations, such as businesses."
So if Sweet Cakes is allowed not to sell to lesbians and/or gays, what is to stop them from not selling to Native Americans, Republicans, African Americans, Jews, Catholics, Latinos, atheists, Democrats, politicians, or generally irritating Americans? Wouldn't this put us right back into those dark ages that many have worked hard and even give their lives to get us out of?
This is not about freedom of religion. This is about bias, pure and simple. — Sheila Whitesitt, Medford
Mr. Sinclair's double-negative question, Feb. 2, whose name is intriguingly, Sin (without) clair (clarity): there is "not nothing" because he exists. To attain clarity and the sublime state of not-nothingness, he needs to expire, then write MT another omniscient-omnipotent dissertation, aka a dead letter — all metaphors apply. If we don't read his ecstatic essay from the otherworld, then he himself will prove there is "not nothing," or that he is selling a triple-locomotive trainload of male bovine scybala. Digressively, my name derives from Greek "leukos," related to Latin "lux" (light), which I hope I have shed on this illusive subject.
Don't mistranslate this as an urge for him to drop dead, quick-like: Bon voyage, write soon!
P.S. Honk! Honk for teachers! Thanks for the vocab. — Dean O. Luke, Medford
Although letter writers to the Mail Tribune on GMOs and LNG pipelines seem to be well-meaning and thoughtful citizens, their uninformed desire to protect small family farms, clean water and rural Oregon quality is missing the big picture.
What about the quarterly profit of large agribusiness and petrochemical corporations and their effect on Wall Street? What about a CEO's ability to purchase that third vacation home in Hawaii, or that new Learjet to get there? How will upper and middle-management afford that Lexus for their college-aged child?
These letter writers need to realize how desperately these corporations, and in fact our entire way of life, need the Rogue Valley and Oregon to step up to the plate and take one for Koch Industries, Monsanto, many multinational corporations, their CEOs and stockholders.
They said it incorrectly in the '60s: it's "Think locally, act globally." Also: "Act loyally, think globally." — Ken Gosling, Talent
Shame on Providence! This is regarding Robert Kridel of Medford. Talk about "bait and switch" — Providence required him to sign a pain management agreement that he uses medical marijuana for pain. For God's sake, he is in a wheelchair. Does Providence require people to stop drinking alcohol to prescribe these pharmacy drugs? You don't think people are taking these opiates and getting in their car and drinking and driving?
You would think by now, we could all get along. Why not use both for pain; maybe he wouldn't need so many opiate pain killers, if he could mix the two? But I guess the doctors wouldn't get the big bonuses with the drug companies! I cannot believe that a doctor should make you choose between medical marijuana or narcotics for treating pain. Absurd! And inhumane! — Cheryl Hall, Gold Hill
Just like me, the state of Oregon needs to live within its means, including clearly defining and realistically providing for future obligations. The only way this is going to be brought about is to elect sensibile, responsible individuals to represent us.
We have allowed our demand for services to overtax our physical capacity, which is clearly unsustainable. We've gone from tax and spend to promise and pray. I am proposing we send Dave Dotterrer to Salem to help recitfy this present unhealthy situation. — Phil Dollison, Jacksonville
The road change from Ashland to Talent is an accident waiting to happen. It's confusing for motorists and bikers. So why even entertain the idea of repeating such a messed up configuration from Talent to Phoenix? Just use the space to the right of the road. The improvements would look good and equally work well. Safer for bikers and pedestrians. — Elizabeth Brown, Talent
Most often the cartoons by Toles in your newspaper are obscure and frequently demonstrate the artist's lack of knowledge of the issue he is trying to portray.
For instance, the one you ran on Jan. 30 portrayed the president issuing an executive order while being confronted by a tangle of GOP elephants with a sign in front of them that reads, "Congressional Disorder." I presume the point is that the president must resort to these orders because of the problems being caused by the Republicans in Congress.
The artist overlooks the fact that many of Obama's recent orders violate the Constitution. However, the artist seems to say that the Republicans are making him break the law. It's not really Obama's fault, which is, as we know, a frequent refrain of his.
Is it OK for an unemployed barber to rob a bank because he needs money, and he tells the judge it's the fault of his former employer who fired him that he doesn't have any? No. Of course not.
The Toles artist describes a terribly dysfunctional line of reasoning, and he does your readers a disservice to offer this, in my view. — John Emanuelson, Medford
I am compelled to respond to Suzanne Fretwell's letter in the MT on Feb. 16, "Guns were not OK."
Her letter brings back memories of when I was going to grade school on Loring Air Force Base, Maine, in the 1950s. One of our teachers wrote the local paper complaining about the noise the B-52s made while taking off for training exercises. She stated that the noise was frightening and she could not conduct class while the jets were taking off. The base commander responded to the letter by saying that he was sorry that she was unhappy about the noise but wanted to remind her that the noise was "the sound of freedom."
I associate the appearance of citizens carrying firearms in public places as "a vision of freedom." You can only be intimidated if you allow it, and if you lack self-confidence. When you no longer see citizens carrying firearms in public you will realize you are no longer free. — Kirby Wheeler, Central Point
I, as a proud American, applaud President Obama's decision to make "recess appointments" during his almost six years in office. It is not apparent that the GOP or the tea party have any desire to work with Obama to correct the many wrongs that he inherited when he came into office in 2009. In not working with this president, the opposition is responsible for unnecessary suffering of the most vulnerable in his country. But I do understand their actions because, when you introduce racial hatred and anger onto the human condition, you get the absurd. Voila, the GOP and tea party. — Lindsay Earl Paulk, White City