Democracy works

“I heard it on Fox.” “Just listen to NPR.” So few of us have first-hand knowledge.

I got some yesterday. I met with six public school administrators and Reps. Pam Marsh and Carl Wilson and Sen. Alan DeBoer at the Southern Oregon Educational Service District. Two Rs and one D, but that did not matter.

Imagine 10 public servants conversing. About an equal number of questions were exchanged between the elected officials and the administrators. On topics including PERS, taxes, graduation rates, new building trades programs in the high schools, cooperation among districts and community colleges, union contracts, disruptive behavior, children’s health, drug and alcohol abuse and the impact in classrooms, changes to the Oregon Health Plan and possible effects on K-12 education — we shared intelligent, creative, fact-based ideas and questions. Often speakers admitted what they were not sure about an issue or needed more information.

All 10 of us sat around a table cooperating to find ways to solve problems for our constituents. Each participant asked for help from others. No one bullied, harassed, hazed, intimidated, menaced or abused anyone else. I left the meeting encouraged.

Democracy works fine when people practice humility and respect.

Sam Alvord

Pinehurst District 94 School Board chairman

Ospreys say thanks

Rogue Community College and Ospreys Athletics would like to extend thanks to the community, our staff, coaches, and the players themselves for a great season of support and success.

To our student athletes, thank you for the long hours on the field and in the classroom. Thank you for your dedication. To the coaches, thank you for endless hours spent crafting tomorrow's leaders in pursuit of success both on and off the pitch. To the staff, thank you for helping to spread the Ospreys name and for supporting our student athletes in all their needs. To the community, thank you for getting behind a young program that is working to make a name for itself and, in the process, bring the Rogue Valley a new source of pride. Together we can build a program to benefit everyone, together we can achieve success, together We Are Ospreys.

Darren Van Lehn, athletic director

Rogue Community College

Enough is enough

OK, I think enough is enough with today’s reaction to sexual abuse issues in the media with regard to Matt Lauer. I do not understand why many recent high-profile individuals are being terminated from their jobs even though they have stellar, long-term careers and have contributed to our culture, to philanthropic causes, and to the news and entertainment industries.

I heartily acknowledge that many allegations are true, are sometimes extensive, and have been occurring over the long term. I acknowledge that sexual misconduct is and has been unethical for a long time and should not be tolerated. But, does sexual abuse rise to the level of terminating a person from their career? Even murderers and others with more grievous crimes than sexual misconduct are not cut off from their means of earning a living. The punishment does not fit the crime.

Not to mention that for some of these celebrities, the misconduct happened many, many years ago. The laws and the culture of those times were such that such things happened. How many of your readers have engaged in such conduct? I’ll bet it’s much more than just a few. Let the punishment fit the crime.

Janey Thomas

Medford