Library is more than computers

I invite the letter writer of April 1 and all those who may have similarly assumed from reading the March 21 Mail Tribune article featuring a photo of a 3-year-old on a Medford Library computer that we may be "sending toddlers directly to computer games and bypassing books" to please come to the library and see for yourselves.

You will find a myriad of activities and materials at any branch of the Jackson County Library that promote early literacy and support families who want to share the joy of reading together. You'll see babies in their mother's arms, wobblers and preschoolers happily arriving for storytime.

You'll see elementary school classes touring the library and learning where to find books for their research projects. You'll find kids with their parents looking for books to read for "Battle of the Books."

You'll hear the quiet buzz of parents and grandparents reading to rapt youngsters on their laps. If you come in June, July or August, you'll hear a little louder commotion — that of kids of all ages participating in the annual summer reading program. And, yes, you'll see kids on computers. But, you will not conclude that we have bypassed books! — Patt Colwell, children's librarian, Jackson County Library, Medford branch

We'll always have Medford ...

Recently I overheard customers in an Ashland restaurant putting down Medford, calling it "Dreadford," among other epithets. Here are some quotes about your neighbors to the north that might surprise the more snobbish elements of Ashland:

"Good Americans when they die go to Medford." — Thomas Gold Appleton

"Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and, in this, hasn't changed since the time of Dickens. Medford, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman." — John Berger

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Medford as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Medford is a moveable feast." — Ernest Hemingway

"America is my country and Medford is my hometown." — Gertrude Stein

"There is no place on earth that makes its way more directly to the soul than Medford." — Bret Harte

So there, Ashland! — Jerry Murphy, Medford

Why 'scenic easements'?

John Ward and the Rogue Flyfishers have gotten their very own Sen. Alan Bates to sponsor Senate Bill 401 — yet another shot at having their way with use of the banks of state waterways under the guise of protecting our natural resources.

Just what is a "scenic easement"? Truly this is just another angle for them to try and gain access to the rivers and streams that are private property. If you live or own property or operate a business within 440 yards of either bank of the Rogue, Applegate or any of the other waterways listed in the bill, your rights to do what you wish on your property will be diminished. Follow a map of the waterways and see how far from either side 1,320 feet really is. This creates a half-mile swath of land.

First it was navigability; that didn't work, so now it is "state scenic designation." Please read this bill and let those in Salem know just how ludicrous this plan is. A quarter mile! Really. A scenic easement: What is it and why do we need one? — Daniel Sathre, Jacksonville

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