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Sheriff lives up to pledge

Last summer, at a town hall sheriff candidate debate, candidate Mike Winters pledged, if elected, to take the free training offered by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The training provides chief executive law enforcement officers with information and resources in the most efficient policy for responding to a missing child's report to law enforcement.

We would like to commend Sheriff Winters for fulfilling his commitment. The Tommy Foundation was honored to meet with him shortly after he took office. He has signed up to take the training this June. This will help ensure the safety of our community's children. Thank you, Sheriff Winters, from the parents, children and families of Jackson County. ' Tom Kelly, The Tommy Foundation, Phoenix

Bills are quite simple

The editorial carried on March — from the Oregonian newspaper made some of the bills now being presented in our Legislature concerning pro-life issues sound very complicated. They are quite simple. For example: Most of these bills, in force in other states, are common-sense laws.

HB 2547 requires a woman be informed by a doctor of the risks of abortion and pregnancy, information about fetal development 24 hours before an abortion.

HB 2563 requires free-standing clinics to the same state regulations that govern all medical clinics.

HB 2552 requires one parent of a minor girl be notified if she requests an abortion. In all parent involvement laws there is a by pass mechanism. Several states already have these bills in force and all of them have been upheld by the Supreme Court. None of these bills prevents women from having abortions; however, they ensure that all of the information needed for an informed choice is given. ' Lorraine Mussack, Talent

Distressed by column

I was distressed to read Les AuCoin's commentary on Sunday (Feb. 23), especially in regard to his views on abortion. It seems Mr. AuCoin believes a healthy, prosperous society includes policies that allow people to kill our most innocent future citizens and create a more irresponsible citizenry.

Mr. AuCoin believes laws protecting the unborn will create more headaches for pregnant women as if an unwanted pregnancy is just a headache to be relieved (aborted). It also seems that Mr. AuCoin thinks abortion has no adverse affect on a woman's physical or mental health or future plans. I'd be willing to bet that the choice to abort a fetus affects a woman's life more adversely than giving birth to a child, whether the mother gives the child up for adoption or chooses to be responsible for that child's care.

I hope Mr. AuCoin would agree that a healthy, prosperous society, whether female or male dominated, would include: protection for innocent human life, respect for a woman's right to say no to sex, and citizens who take responsibility for their sexuality. ' Jeff Wheeler, Medford.

Food and Friends needs cash

As a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels, I would like to make people aware of how much our seniors who receive meals appreciate this service. Friendships are made, and sometimes I am the only person these folks see all day. For many, it is also their only hot meal of the day. As a volunteer, I can honestly say this has been more rewarding for me than any other volunteer work I have done.

Rogue Valley Council of Governments runs this program, Food & Friends, the meals program for Jackson and Josephine Counties. Monetary donations are badly needed.

Your dollars could not be spent on a more needed program. If you have a couple hours a week, drivers are also needed.

Budget cuts have caused some of these people to lose this service. Participants of this program are asked to donate, but are under no obligation to do so; as a result, many meals are provided at no cost to the recipients. If you wish to make a donation, please make your check payable to Food and Friends and send it to 155 N. First St., Central Point, OR 97502. ' Dave Dorman, Central Point

Spend money wisely

With the longest bear market since the 1940s, the largest amount of corporate failures in our history, the worst mortgage default rates and personal bankruptcies in our history and with climbing unemployment rates, why are our elected officials looking for ways around Measure 28's defeat to extract more money from us? They remind me of spoiled, out-of-control children who can't take no for an answer. Where is the representation?

When money gets tight, you don't spend more money. The average taxpayer has learned this basic lesson. What's wrong with Salem?

I'm impressed with the fiscally responsible ideas coming from Rep. Rob Patridge. There are currently 198 school districts in Oregon. The concept of one school district for each of Oregon's 36 counties makes sense. It seems feasible to me to eliminate most of these redundant districts instead of reducing teaching jobs and school days ' the result of irresponsible fiscal spending and tunnel vision.

The voters who defeated Measure 28 are not against schools. However, we're not happy about the current tax-and-spend attitude in Salem. We must hold our elected officials accountable. Rep. Bates and Sen. Hannon, are you listening? ' Charles Johnson, Gold Hill

The wrong image

Our valley and the United States in such dire straits: the decline of school days, loss of jobs and medical insurance and unemployment at an all time high in the United States and Oregon. In short the economy is in the pits. Yet, you choose to show us a woman sitting in her &

36;50,000 bathroom and living in a &

36;1.6 million home (MT, March 15).

It would be more appropriate to run an article on how to cut costs and do-it-yourself projects. Get real! ' Amy L. Burks, Phoenix

An opportunity missed

On March 7, Central Point Elementary School hosted a lunch, funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation of Roseburg, to which students invited their family members. Families enjoyed lunch with the children and were encouraged to play board games with them.

It was a marvelous opportunity to spend the lunch hour with the children. However, there were few adults attending.

It is sad so many family members didn't make an effort to spend this time with the children.

It was a rewarding time. ' Jean Simpson, Medford

Three outrages

Legislators have failed to pass bills protecting U.S. borders against entry of illegal aliens. Eleven million illegals now live in America.

FBI agents continue to arrest prospective terrorists. HR 200 sponsored by Rep. Gutierrez gives amnesty to all undocumented immigrants. This bill is now being debated by Congress.

According to the Washington Post, politicians are working with Mexico to give social security benefits to its citizens. This idea is not only outrageous but would penalize American citizens. President Roosevelt intended these benefits for seniors only.

Politicians have also used these benefits for other purposes.

Outrage No. 2:

Continuous attempts by the ACLU and special interests to eliminate any reference to God from our constitution. To those who dislike our values you are free to go to Iraq or Iran.

Outrage No. 3:

Recent burning of the American flag. I have e-mailed Rep. Walden to persuade members of Congress to vote for resolution No. 4 as introduced by Sen. Hatch and Rep. Cunningham.

Our Constitution protects free speech, but not destruction. ' Orin G. Bartholomew, Central Point

Gardeners thankful

Thank you, KMED, for recognizing that Southern Oregon is home to a large number of passionate gardeners. Plant material and gardening paraphernalia is a vital industry in a state where we have lost too much industrial vitality.

We moved here from our 30-year home above 8,000 ft. in the Colorado Rockies to be able to garden year-round and still enjoy four seasons. Like many others, we depend on Stan Mapolski, the Rogue Gardener, to help us minimize our risks and disappointments and to maximize our rewards and successes in our chosen avocation.

Local culture is valuable. Too much is mega these days. We're sorry that KCMX chose mega over local, thereby losing the right to call themselves The Original Hometown Radio Station.

We look forward to Saturday mornings with Stan on KMED. ' Lu and Jan Wilt, Jacksonville

Don't worry, be happy

If you're one of those few who worry about the economy: Please! Don't worry, be happy, because it's always guaranteed to be really good about four months before election time. ' Tommy Rolie, Medford

Rewriting the dictionary

Robert K. Stock's claim (2/27) that the confederates were patriots is a horrendous re-writing of the dictionary. I have no interest in demeaning the old south: I had ancestors down there, too. But it's important, especially now, that people know that their Pledge of Allegiance really does mean something, as a number of folks have pointed out in these columns regarding a recent flag-burning by local idiots.

A patriot is defined as one who loves, supports, and defends his country. A traitor is one who violates his Pledge of Allegiance.

A few weeks after the election of Abraham Lincoln the confederates broke their Pledge of Allegiance. They attacked the USA and its defenders by bombarding Fort Sumpter. The confederates made their own flag, still proudly referred to, by some, as the rebel flag. During the rebellion, the southerners pledged allegiance to their new flag and killed boys true to Old Glory.

If the rebels were patriots, as Mr. Stock suggests, what do we call the hundreds of thousands of men in blue who died defending their country against armed aggression? ' John McDougall, Talent

Write to Victoria's Secret

Many thanks to Cathy Wolff who wrote about contacting Victoria's Secret to complain about their revolting photos. I and many of my friends don't even go to that part of the mall any more; to me those photos amount to child molesting. I called the mall manager who is unable to stop them, but he did tell me that Victoria's Secret has pulled their photos in smaller markets where people have complained. So, if you are offended too, please write them and ask them to respect our community values and remove those photos. Appeal to their business sense (they have no moral sense).

I told them I was a former customer and would remain so unless things changed. I recommend snail-mail which is not so easily deleted. Write to: Client Relations, P.O. Box 16586, Columbus, OH 43216, and send a copy to the mall too. Please pass the word: there is real hope for change if they are flooded with letters. We may yet be able to return to the mall! ' Lynn Barton, Medford

Blame legislators, not voters

I am used to reading letters to the editor with strangely twisted logic, but editorial page editor Gary Nelson's Commentary on March 11 begs for a reply. He repeatedly blames the current school closure days on the voters, when the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of our elected leaders who have done a poor job of spending.

Using the logic presented by Mr. Nelson, I could blame my own children should my lack of fiscal responsibility cause me to be unable to make the car payment. Sure, why not, I mean if I warned them that we were going to lose our wheels if they didn't pony up their allowance and they either didn't believe and or didn't care, I could blame them when the repo-man came.

But, seriously, let us place the blame where the blame belongs; on our elected officials for not doing their job. ' Chip Anthous, Central Point

Don't neglect mental illness

More than ever before, lawmakers this session are confronted with the harsh reality that our state is in serious financial straits! The revenue forecast seems to get worse and legislators are asked to make extremely difficult decisions.

Perhaps the most difficult are those regarding mental illness and the need to treat it. Yet, for some reason, many people's perception of mental illness is reminiscent of the 1960s. A majority of us still lack a real understanding of the nature and pervasiveness of mental illness.

We can no longer afford to treat mental illness as if it is secondary to other health concerns. The issues of mental health and caring for those who are mentally ill are real to thousands of families right here in Oregon. These are not issues that simply affect other people ' they affect each and every one of us.

We spend far too much time and energy treating symptoms and not nearly enough treating causes. Until we Oregonians change the way we think about mental illness and those who need our help, we will continue to spend more on criminal justice and jails and less on health care that deals with the causes of mental illness. ' State Sen. Lenn Hannon, Ashland

Why Oregon is in trouble

This quote from Sunday's piece on talk radio is indicative of why Oregon is in trouble: My husband is going into retirement soon and we will have to tighten our belts. The government should do the same when the economy isn't doing well.

Unfortunately for the working class, retirement is always about what was, a futile rearguard action against the tide of the future. Government doesn't have the luxury of going into retirement, and any modern state that tries to match its output and pace to the expectations of its retirees is a state in decline. Think Italy, Japan, Scotland and Germany, all aging geratocracies. Who looks to them for solutions for tomorrow?

The voting youth and workers of Oregon are going to have start looking out for their own best interests. An aging baby-boomer modestly submits these two slogans to kick off the campaign: Oregon ' The Future Comes to Die Here. Or, a more positive twist on a perennial favorite: Retirees ' Get a Job!

We could try leaving the stragglers behind in the snow. It's worked for other subsistence cultures that couldn't afford to be slowed down by non-productive members. ' John Gaffey, Ashland