Letters to the editor

Save Little Hyatt Lake!

Little Hyatt Lake is a simple, undeveloped, accessible 11.5 acre mountain lake 18 miles east of Ashland, where families, fisherman, Pacific Crest Trail hikers and outdoor enthusiasts have come for over 80 years to recreate. It is quiet, beautiful, full of wildlife and available, at no cost, for anyone to enjoy

BLM is leaning strongly toward removing the Little Hyatt Lake dam. In 1999, a comprehensive study was completed on the dam, determining it would cost $295,000 to remove the dam and $402,000 to repair it &

extending the life of the dam 100 years. In today's dollars, that would be approximately $500,000 to remove and $700,000 to repair.

Over 1,000 people in southern Oregon have expressed their wish to keep the lake for future generations to enjoy and not lose this irreplaceable treasure. We urge everyone to speak out in favor of saving Little Hyatt Lake now &

before BLM takes irreversible steps towards its removal. Call the BLM at 618-2200 let them know what you think. Call Senator Wyden at 858-5122, Senator Smith at 608-9102, Congressman Walden at 776-4646 and other elected officials and ask them to help save Little Hyatt Lake and appropriate money for a solution that tax paying Oregonians want. Let them know that we want this "drop in the bucket" amount of tax dollars to be spent on something that we here in Southern Oregon, can all enjoy for the next 100 years.

Deb Evans

Save Little Hyatt Lake Group

Vote 'yes' on Measure 15-79

Having recently returned from six weeks abroad, I've been catching up on local issues. I've learned from friends that the tired Conservative tactic of privatizing public services (now called outsourcing) to circumvent unions is being applied to the library problem in Jackson County. That's my only hesitation about supporting Measure 15-79, which supplements county funds contracted to an out-of- state private company. The cost of the levy will be only 20 cents per $1,000 assessed value (25 cents the second year), about 13 cents a day on average. The library, a vital public resource which most communities take for granted, can be open 40 hours a week with full services. But in order for the measure's effect to be permanent, Ashlanders must vote yes on 15-79 (in sufficient numbers) and work toward the establishment of a Library District separate from County administration in November of 2008 or 2010. I confess I vote yes, hope for the best, work for the rest.

Jack Seybold

Endorse county's library decision

For many, the decision to open libraries with a private provider was heart wrenching, even inviting comparisons to "Sophie's Choice." But that decision has now been made.

I would invite concerned people to evaluate this difficult decision with an open mind. There are many complexities, and one must assess the risks of further delays in reopening, not the least of which is a critical attrition of former library personnel, whose unemployment insurance is soon ending.

Although I would have appreciated more public input, upon close examination, I accept the county's decision as a necessary, but hopefully temporary fix.

LSSI had many bidding advantages that the union does not enjoy. For instance, by not including costs for human resources, payroll, purchasing, etc., they use revenues from their other libraries to subsidize ours. The union bid included those costs. Soon enough, LSSI will not only charge us for them, but perhaps even use our taxes to initially fund similar ventures elsewhere. We will never really know, as they don't open their books.

Let's accept the county's decision with understanding today, and restore our public employees as soon as we are able. Passing Ashland's modest levy will neither entrench nor displace LSSI.

Buck Eichler

Jackson County Employees Association


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