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Thanks, Baker and Britt

Beth Baker performed at Britt Sunday evening to a standing ovation! What a fabulous singer. and a beautiful person! Thank you, Beth Baker and Britt, for a lovely evening! ' James Harbison, Medford

Art exhibit promotes cruelty

In the 10 years I've lived in the Rogue Valley, I've never seen such cruelty in an art exhibit as in Professor Shawn Busse's exhibit showing at the Schneider Museum at Southern Oregon University.

Animals are isolated in tiny, almost barren containers ' treated as if they have no more feelings than splotches of paint on canvas. It's not surprising that many of these fish have died.

Fish may be as loving, fearful and sociable as dogs and cats. Scientists have not proven otherwise. On the contrary, they have found that sociable fish don't thrive as well when isolated like Busse's fish.

By allowing this animal cruelty, this professor, museum and university are sending the message to society that animals are nothing more than art objects. They're helping to shape culture by exhibiting living creatures so callously. When young people and others learn to be callous toward animals, they may become more callous toward people, too.

— If you feel similarly, please write to the museum and local papers. Ask for the live animals to be removed, and for SOU to ban live-animal art exhibits. No animal should have to suffer in the name of that glorious thing we call art. ' Barbara Rosen, Ashland

Dollar takes precedence

The almighty dollar again takes precedence over children. It's not about the kids... too bad. Oregon's public educational system ranks below private and home schooling.

Are teachers taking early retirement because of PERS or early retirement because the school system is failing?

Then, how good has the teaching been? Perhaps it is time to hire new teachers with fresh ideas, to replace those slacking due to tenure. ' Carol Fischer, Central Point

Make reform retroactive

The news has some bad news about the PERS system, and high-paid public employees retiring early before reforms are made.

I am a PERS retiree. For years I pinched pennies to raise my children as a low-paid public servant. I retired with a generous pension that makes some generosity possible. I am grateful for that.

For years the PERS system was managed well, bringing in good interest rates that made a good retirement possible. The managers apparently made some mistakes. They used archaic life-expectancy tables and they did not plan for an economic turndown.

I benefit from these mistakes while many people pay dearly. Present employees pay a very high rate into PERS, and agencies have budget problems partly because of high PERS costs. Attempts to balance budgets with layoffs leave a greater burden on remaining employees. Those who retire early to beat the system are making the problem worse.

PERS reforms should be retroactive to include money-grabbers who try to get all they can at public expense before reforms are made, and me too. I always wanted to earn everything I got, and I still do.

Many think they were worth those high salaries and still higher retirement. I doubt it. ' Ira M. Edwards, Medford

Better amused than nauseated

I want to thank Mr. Carl Miller for proposing a full page of liberal editorials (May 20). Mr. Miller stated he is amused by the liberal letters to the editor. He stated he often reads the liberal letters again, later in the day, just to get a chuckle, he says. Some are so hilarious, he suggests replacing the cartoon section with them.

Yes, Mr. Miller, the slaughter of innocent people around the world is about as funny as it gets. The president asking Congress for a &

36;984 billion increase in the federal debt limit ' total debt &

36;7.34 trillion ' while proposing a tax cut for the wealthiest — percent of Americans is about the funniest thing I've ever heard. And the plight of the elderly, poor and sick are just a hoot! It's heartwarming that some can find humor in the heartache of their less fortunate fellow citizens.

Yes, Mr. Miller, I too agree the Mail Tribune needs more liberal perspectives. It is infinitely better to be amused by the liberals than nauseated by their counterparts! ' Michael Smeltz, Butte Falls