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Can't change companies

If you're unhappy with your cable TV service you can change over to satellite. If you're unhappy with your long-distance phone service you can change companies. If you're unhappy with your garbage service you can't change it.

The company owns the route. The county lets them buy a monopoly. So you can be charged for one more whole garbage can if the lid is up 5 inches. If it's compacted down so the lid's not up it's compacted garbage, one whole can more charge. At the new transfer station,one week a load costs &

36;21. Two weeks later &

36;28 for the same load, no explanation, just 'cause.

Extortion is an ugly word but monopoly and extortion go together. Why does the county allow this? Is there a garbage liaison on the board of commissioners? Who oversees the garbage company and allows the county residents to get fleeced and ripped off like they are? ' Sean Vinson, White City

Don't lose FFA

With the funding problems facing Oregon FFA Association, the possibility that this great program could be cut is of great concern statewide. Agriculture education is so important for the future of Oregon.

FFA has been preparing students for careers in agriculture for 75 years. Our No. — resource in the state of Oregon is its natural resource. Where else can a student receive the education to pursue a career in agriculture starting at the high-school level?

— FFA offers so many opportunities for students. Forestry, wildlife, environmental science, agriculture mechanics, floriculture, public speaking, parliamentary procedures and the list goes on.

I can't stress enough how important FFA is to the high schools in this state. Each and every member is well polished in leadership, career success and without a doubt the most polite and respectful students you will ever meet. The students are well focused in FFA and most will continue their education in some agricultural aspect after they graduate. As a parent and a firm believer in this great association, don't let Oregon be the only state in the nation not to have a statewide FFA program. ' Elizabeth Meadows, Ashland

Thanks for funding

I would like to thank Lithia Motors for providing funding and classroom volunteers for JA Go Figure! Exploring Math in Business for my Crater High School math classes. This Junior Achievement (JA) curriculum is fun and relevant for students. The real-world application of math used by our JA business volunteers helped students better understand why math is important in so many careers.

I also want to thank Lithia Motors and our New York Life volunteers for generously donating their time and resources. We appreciate our business community and ACCESS Junior Achievement for helping prepare Rogue Valley kids for success. ' Chris Wagenet, math teacher, Crater High School, Central Point

What a great ride

I would like to comment on the outstanding job the organizers did putting together the Pride Ride May 4. The ride showed support for our military and to the veterans for all they have done to allow us to live in a free country. The ride started at the Veterans Park in Medford and headed toward Ashland, circling around and coming back through Medford, ending with a barbecue at the White City Domiciliary.

If it wasn't for our military and our veterans, the various groups such as the Women in Black and the flag burners wouldn't have the freedom to voice their opinions toward our government and the war. The 500 motorcyclists and local car clubs that gathered for the Pride Ride wouldn't have been able to show their support for our military members.

So Ladies in Black and disrespectful flag burners, the next time you see a military person or a veteran, thank them for continuing to fight for your freedom. The organizers that put this ride together: What a great ride and a job well done!

Finally, to all active military veterans, thank you for my freedom. ' Gwenn Markham, Medford

Molly keeps us informed

You recently printed a letter from a man who has a problem with Molly Ivins. He stated she is jealous of the rich. I don't think so.

I like Molly, and rather than being jealous of the rich I think she is suspicious of how many of them got rich and how they stay that way. She keeps people informed concerning their doings.

This man needs to realize that because of Supreme Court and lower court rulings, corporations are treated as individuals entitled to all the protections afforded people under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He should get out the ol' Constitution and B of R and every place the words people or person are used insert the word corporation. Makes me uneasy. ' David A. Klein, Medford