A job well done

This letter is a thank you to all the firefighters who have done such a wonderful job on the Reeves Creek Fire in Selma.

The firefighters who worked so hard and long to protect our home and property were here 24 hours a day for nearly four days, and were vigilant in finding and extinguishing any and all hot spots in very steep and difficult areas and were diligent in preventing damage to all endangered structures.

Everyone living in this section of Reeves Creek Road owes a huge amount of gratitude to the following fire departments and foresters that participated in the fighting of this wildfire:

Illinois Valley Volunteer Fire Department; Rural Metro Fire Department —  numbers  1, 3, and 7; Medford Hot Shots; Grants Pass Emergency Rescue; Jacksonville Fire Department; North Pacific Forestry; Indian Hill LLC; Oregon Department of Forestry, Medford and Eugene; Coos Forest Protective Association; Knight Forest Management and Logging; Forestry Based H B Co. INC Wild Land Firefighting Division; Grants Pass local dozer crews; the helicopter and fixed-wing water- and retardant-dropping aircraft crews; and everyone who's name and organization that I may have missed.

We will be eternally grateful for your skill and dedication.

Patricia Schieber, Selma

Confusion reigns

Confusion reigns supreme. Two recent Library Board meetings occurred. One swore on the Bible of 60 cents per thousand, then in a unexpected reversal after media, county and citizen pressure, the price to check out "Huckleberry Finn" decreased to 52 cents a thousand. The Library Board will borrow some millions from the county, who will of course collect interest allowing that $320 million  government to act as the Shakespearean Shylock whilst the inexperienced Library Board fiddles with unread contracts, leaving the board's attorney briefless. Previously, the word went out from county representatives that 44 cents a thousand was sufficient until they decided the politics of the county would sustain 52 cents.

But how does any intelligent commissioner or board member know what the correct, sustainable levy amount is  without a carefully crafted budget? The question asked should be what services do we really need? Do we need 15 libraries? Do Ashland, Talent and White City need extra benefits that are unequal in hours and moola from other communities? How about less personnel? Maybe the correct figure is 32 cents a thousand, but we will never know, because in 2014, "Huckleberry Finn" costs way more than an 1890 edition.

Joel Marks, Medford

More contemplation

Has American society become so orally fixated that we are unable to have thoughts without verbalizing them? Witness the prevalence, one might even say dominance, of the Internet, cellphones, Facebook, Twitter, even the signs on the back of our cars.

Somehow we can't seem to have thoughts, however mundane or stupid, without immediately expressing them to others. Perhaps this is also manifested in excessive drinking and the almost constant cup of coffee.

Some psychologists and psychiatrists have advanced the theory of unmet oral needs. With the decline of tobacco use, possibly we should go to adult pacifiers. In the recent book, "Quiet," author Susan Cain extols the virtue of the introvert, one who is by nature quiet and contemplative. I vote for more of those.

E.A. (Don) Seebart, Ashland

Bring back conferences

We were shocked and dismayed to read that parent/teacher conferences won't be happening yet again this school year.

Ninety-two percent of parents desire them, 90 percent of teachers think they are important, yet the School Board decides to cancel them anyway? It makes us wonder how successful the board really wants our schools to be.

Communication between the teachers and parents once a year is not too much to ask, and is a very important tool for the success of our students. To completely disregard this vital link between school, child and home is incomprehensible to us. We are puzzled as to why Medford School Board bothered spending time and money having everyone fill out surveys about conferences last spring if our opinion was going to be disregarded anyway.

We have already missed three years worth of conferences. It is not acceptable to miss yet another year. Please rethink your decision and listen to your community.

Jim and Julie Scull, Medford