We were recently invited to a benefit lunch sponsored by the Community Health Center. The program featured a noted speaker and short film.

We were recently invited to a benefit lunch sponsored by the Community Health Center. The program featured a noted speaker and short film.

Although familiar with the center, new information did raise our eyebrows.

If you're out of work, uninsured, or have high deductibles, where do you go for medical help? Community Health Centers in Ashland, Medford and White City exist to help these people with affordable medical care. And no one is turned away due to an inability to pay. How good is that?

We learned that the center has partnerships with local hospitals and doctors that allow for diagnostic and specialty services.

Peg Crowley, RN, executive director who we spoke to after the lunch, said that even with a dedicated staff and volunteer physicians, the grants they get aren't enough to keep up with the sharp increase of families in need of medical care.

When you reflect on the notion of "community" and what the truly means, you have to agree that this center is certainly worthy of our admiration and support. Obviously, we think so.

If "community" is a value of yours, consider a tax-deductible donation to this center. Send to Community Health Center, 19 Myrtle St., Medford, OR 97504. — Ann and Phil Gagnon, Ashland

My son Wyatt, who has Down syndrome, isn't sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but I hope he'll be a lifelong learner.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has enabled many individuals with developmental disabilities to learn and grow with their nondisabled peers. This has created a wonderful problem. We have a growing number of students who are ready to go to college. Clearly, SOU isn't prepared to deal with this issue. That's unfortunate but understandable. Not many colleges have put much thought into the idea of inclusion at the post-secondary level.

Why didn't SOU just say it wasn't prepared for a student like Eliza? This would have been disappointing, but the family could have tried other options. Instead of having an open, respectful conversation early in the quarter, Eliza was dismissed after completing two-thirds of the course. Now, both sides feel wronged and a formal appeal process will begin. At this point, all sides lose.

Eliza is a capable young lady who was eager to learn and is now struggling to understand what she did wrong. I hope she doesn't give up on her dreams as easily as SOU gave up on her. — Maria Thorpe, Phoenix

I am excited about the potential purchase and historical renovation of the Holly Theater.

Ron Kramer and his organization have the leadership and financial, theatrical and business sense to make the grand ol' lady shine as she once did. With her 1,000 seats and with the successful experience of Mr. Kramer, it can be brought back to life and be profitable.

I have many fond memories of her as I grew up and have been saddened by her demise these past years since her final curtain call. That part of our town can use the help of a revival of the arts as part of a renewed interest in that area.

The city of Medford should well support the effort as it did with the Craterian Theater, another fine example of our city's emergence as a cultural and arts center. And with MURA giving the Craterian Theater well over $1.5 million to help, I hope it can find the funds to help with this fantastic opportunity. I ask all readers to help support this effort and the restoration of a grand asset in our community. — Scott A. Henselman, Medford