Wake up, America

In 40 days, Donald Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago have already cost taxpayers more than President Obama’s annual vacation to Hawaii.

Considering his criticism of Obama — “Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter”; “President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars----Unbelievable!”; “Obama’s motto: If I don’t go on tax payer funded vacations & constantly fundraise then the terrorists win”; and “I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf” — there seems to be a tiny bit of hypocrisy here.

Of course the real difference is that Trump needs to make his weekly visits to Mar-a-Lago at our expense to justify doubling the cost of admission to the "trophy wife set" members of Mar-a-Lago to $200,000 (annual fees and the opportunity to enter the code to initiate nuclear holocaust are additional). Trump is getting richer off of our tax dollars while paying no taxes himself for the past 20 years.

Of course, as Trump puts it, “The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest.” Wake up!

Jim Lebo

Medford

Thanks for shoe donations

My name is Andrew Hall. I started an Eagle Project in November that was a shoe drive for students at Jackson Elementary. I had a goal of 500 pairs of shoes, and by late December I was not as close to my goal as I needed to be and felt like I had exhausted my avenues for shoe donation.

Then the Mail Tribune wrote an article on my project and I received so many phone calls for donations that I collected over 650 pairs, surpassing my goal! I just wanted the community to know how grateful I am for your willingness to come to the aid of this school.

It was a very powerful moment when we delivered those shoes and watched the students break into smiles. Without your help and the help of the Mail Tribune I would have fallen short. I am forever grateful.

Andrew Hall

Medford

Changes welcome

Recent changes to the opinion page and letters to the editor are encouraging. We note that there have been a few more opinion guests that are less strident and more conservative than in the past. Increase in publication of letters to the editor is also welcomed.

Letters by Stewart and Collins (March 10) are in keeping with our views that words and their usage make a difference. Vitriol does not lead to reasoned discourse. Discussion should begin with lucid presentation of one's idea and active listening to other opinions.

In a society as diverse as ours it is unreasonable (and unreasoning) to believe one will have one's own way. Reasoned discussions can lead to reasoned compromise which has the best opportunity of implementation.

The same concepts regarding words should be applicable to news articles. Many articles, though using factual events, are tainted with words, syntax and omissions to turn to slanted reports. We look to you to be attuned to that.

Reporters and editors may not be able to be entirely unbiased. It's folly to believe otherwise and it's the readers' responsibility to understand that and be vigilant also.

Please keep the expanded letters to the editor feature.

Jerry Sands

Medford