One step closer

I am one step closer to becoming a vegetarian after seeing the news item about lion meat being served in restaurants in the U.S. — Marty Lewis, Eagle Point

Preserve Extension Service

I want to express my concern about the budget committee recommendation to defund the Extension Service in Jackson County. If the county decides to take away all funds from the Extension Service, all the programs will likely be lost.

Having gone through the Master Gardener classes in 2008, I have benefited from the exemplary curriculum in sustainable gardening that program supplies. Master Gardeners have just put on the Spring Garden Fair at the Jackson County Expo. Thousands of folks from all over the county look forward to the Garden Fair, where they buy their veggie starts for the coming season. I fear that all of that expertise and goodwill is going to be lost if the Extension Center is closed.

In dollars and cents, the services provided by the Extension and Research Station bring in eight to 10 times more than the Extension's cost to the county. It seems very penny-wise and pound-foolish to close this valuable resource. The Extension is part of our common wealth in the Rogue Valley, and should be preserved for the years to come. — Sherrill Morgan, master gardener, 2008, Ashland

Support Extension funding

The first thing on my list when I retired was the Jackson County Master Gardener Program.

Taking the classes and volunteering in the greenhouses, gardens and Plant Clinic, I learned an incredible amount from the faculty and volunteers. I discovered the enormous contribution master gardeners make in Jackson County. Master gardeners provide college scholarships, grants for teachers, funding and volunteer labor for community gardens that donate thousands of pounds of produce for ACCESS, homeless shelters and schools. They put on the annual Spring Garden Fair, the largest plant sale between Portland and San Francisco. When I volunteer in the Plant Clinic, it's busy with people seeking answers to home gardening and pest questions.

Master Gardeners is only one of the programs supported by OSU Extension. Others include 4-H, Small Woodlands, Land Stewards, Family Food Educators and Small Farms programs. Extension agents also assist commercial orchards and vineyards. For every $1 from Jackson County, OSU faculty bring in $8 in grants and contracts. It would be incredibly short-sighted to let OSU Extension disappear from Jackson County. — K. Mallams, Central Point

Question the charges

Regarding "Hospitals: Are they padding the bill?" This is what happened to me. In March 2013, I was "infused" with two units of blood. In April 2013, I had to have two more units of blood.

It was the same hospital and the same exact procedure. The billings from the hospital certainly were not the same. One billing was $975 more than the other bill.

I think my insurance company should question these charges. — V. Paine, Medford

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