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Letters, May 12

Circuses and animal abuse

I worked on the recent voter initiative in Jackson County to end the use of elephants, big cats and bears in traveling circuses. While we didn’t reach our goal because of pandemic restrictions, there was an outpouring of support for the initiative.

I was so disappointed to learn that two different circuses using these exotic animals are coming to Jackson County this month. Most Jackson County residents do not support the use of exotic animals for entertainment in circuses.

Animals used in traveling acts are forced to endure long periods of extreme confinement for months on end. Behind-the-scenes training is brutal and very different from that portrayed to the public eye. When a tiger paces in its tiny enclosure or an elephant rocks back and forth in leg chains, you’re witnessing the animal’s reaction to its unnatural life.

Circuses don’t teach children anything about the normal natural behavior of big cats, elephants and bears. We’re not sending the right message to our children to exploit these magnificent creatures and force them to endure lives of deprivation and abusive for profit. I urge anyone planning on attending either circus to reconsider what type of entertainment they want to support.

Barbara Marall

Jacksonville

Sams Valley Mini Marathon

Like many local running events, the Sams Valley Mini Marathon was sidelined by the pandemic. But, after an 18-month hiatus, it recently roared back to life.

Though the event wasn’t without its glitches, thanks to the extreme generosity of our sponsor and community partner, West Orthodontics of Medford, the entire population of fourth- and fifth-graders from D6 Central Point schools demonstrated renewed grit and persistence along Sams Valley’s otherwise serene country roads.

The Mini was established in 1974, making it among the oldest distance races in Oregon, and with nearly 800 annual participants, it’s also one of the largest. Thanks to Dr. West for his effort to restore this extraordinary event! Additional thanks to Jamba of Medford, First Student, Grizzly Peak Timing and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Mack Lewis

Central Point School District 6