Alzheimer's support

 Today we saw the newly released movie, "Still Alice." Julianne Moore portrays a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. The part is well-played and shows the heartbreak of this devastating disease. Having lost our spouses to this illness, this film touched us deeply and brought back painful emotions, but it also reaffirmed the importance of support groups for families dealing with its ravages,

 We both benefited from a strong caregiving support group when our spouses were ill. This is a disease that by 2040 will affect more than 60 percent of those over age 65. The costs to battle the disease will be over $1 trillion annually.

There are local support groups for those caring for a loved one with dementia as well as for those in the early stages of the disease. Contact Lori Stanton at the local Alzheimer's office, 541-772-2230 or lstanton@alz.org for more information.

Jerry Hauck and Ellen Gardner, Ashland

Pool dilemma

How interesting to read of the dilemma that Ashland High School, as well as all the high schools in the valley, now have because SOU is not planning to replace their competition-size pool.

Is it really the university's responsibility to provide an adequate pool when no swim classes or water sports are offered by them? Why haven't the larger high schools planned for having their own pools, since they seem to be the ones using the SOU pool? Why have the cities and county pushed swimming pools to the back burner as they plan budgets? Granted, pools are expensive, but isn't anything that is worthwhile?

Many youth are swimming and are on swim teams in the valley. Grants Pass YMCA held a swim meet for Southern Oregon and Northern California with 188 participants recently, ranging 5 to 18 years of age. Swimming and water polo are wonderfully healthy sports, and something one can use throughout life.

As a reminder, Medford is now getting a dog park at Hawthorne minus the swimming pool that was designed to be there as well. As we face this dilemma, let's make our young people a priority!

 Lois Dodson, Medford

GOP's grandstanding

The Department of Homeland Security will become unfunded Feb. 27, but our Republican-led Congress is on another 10-day recess. Essential DHS employees will have to work, but they won't get paid. Thirty-thousand employees will be furloughed, including those in the national cyber security program and 90 percent of FEMA. Why? Because the Republican-led House prefers "sending a message" to governing.

ISIS threatens our troops in Iraq, but congressmen and women abdicate their responsibility to authorize military use. Mr. Boehner estimates it will take until April to get around to voting on authorization, so Congress is in recess.

Call Rep. Greg Walden. Tell him to go back to Washington and get to work. Tell him to help pass a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

Tell him it's time Congress did it's job and debated the AUMF. Governing takes hard work, debate and compromise. Stop grandstanding and learn to govern.

Kaaren Borsting, Ashland

Sadness misplaced

Damian Mann's (reporter) (journalist) (apologist) softball puff piece about "Community leaders saddened by Kitzhaber's departure" misses the mark, as does their misplaced "feelings." Community "leaders," if that's what they truly are, should be saddened by the governor's "unethical" behavior — more rightly termed "illegal" actions or inactions.

After a forthcoming softball investigation by the Oregon AG, then former governor Kitzhaber should plan how he and his girlfriend will reimburse the state of Oregon for illegally obtaining monies and repay Oregon taxpayers for the misguided leadership on Cover Oregon's failure and losses. It may be hard to do if in jail.

Bruce Wood, Eagle Point