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Thanks for caring

We want to thank the people of Jackson County and the surrounding area who so caringly and kindly expressed consolation to our family upon the sudden, tragic death of our daughter of 10 years, Michelle Rose Ellen Aguirre.

Your letters, cards, flowers, gifts, visits, phone calls and prayers have helped my family in their efforts to regain composure and learn to live without her, with the blessed hope of being with her again one day. The kind neighbors of West Griffin Creek have been a comfort, and the brethren at Talent Friends Church.

Hollie has been miraculously healed of her injuries and is back to normal except for her longing for Michelle. Time will heal us all, and the gracious promises of our Lord to be with us especially when we need him most. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord. ' Ed and Carroll Aguirre, Medford

Thanks for support

In October 2002, the Phoenix Elementary School PTA proudly opened the doors to the Phoenix Elementary School Art Center. The center, staffed by a professional artist four days a week for most of the school year, included a lunch recess drop-in art program and regular afternoon art lessons.

During these times of budget cuts and staff reductions, operating an art center has been especially challenging. However, this has been an exciting and rewarding project for the PTA. More importantly, the kids loved it!

— This art center would not have been possible without the support of many local organizations. The Arts Council of Southern Oregon provided technical support. The Carpenter Foundation, Bear Creek Corp., Bear Creek Kiwanis and Phoenix Elementary School families provided financial support.

Thank you for helping to make this wonderful and enriching opportunity available to PES children, families and staff! It would not have been possible without you. ' Sue Carroll and the PES Art Committee, Phoenix

This miserable mess

Defeat of Measure 28 was a godsend for the people of Oregon. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on the problem, now the Legislature and budget committee will have to deal with the real problem. The problem they created themselves by giving taxpayers' money away in the form of exuberant pensions and benefits to public employees.

This miserable mess was orchestrated by committees feathering their own nests. These acts are criminal and somebody should be held accountable. It will take years of litigation to bring the &

36;15.5 billion deficit in line. An albatross future generations will have to live with; and they had the gall to ask the taxpayers for more money in a spiraling economic downturn that saw Oregon lead the nation in unemployment with benefits running out.

Now, the drumbeat is for a sales tax. You can see it coming like a runaway freight train going downhill without brakes.

The budget has risen 114 percent in the last 10 years, while wages have risen 4 percent. To keep many companies afloat, wage earners have taken benefit and wage cuts. And the drumbeat goes on. ' H.T. Smith, Medford

Veterans forgotten

June 6, 2003, 59 years since the armed forces of the United States sent almost 200,000 men into battle to start the defeat of Hitler. The first day saw almost 10,000 men die for their country, to defend our freedom and give others the same rights we take for granted.

So what do I see on the front page of the Mail Tribune? A young lady who gets pregnant at 16 and, with the overwhelming help of others and a little soul searching, graduates. This young lady receives a front page spread for getting pregnant at 16 and the 10,000 that died to give her the freedoms she has do not receive one word of gratitude or thanks.

What a role model for all those 16-year-olds out there. Let's have unprotected sex, get pregnant and we can be front-page news while those that give their lives for the freedom these young people have get tossed into the garbage like scum.

As a disabled veteran who put my life on the line many times, I am disgusted. You should be ashamed for putting a back page story ahead of those that died for this country. ' Steve Bossingham, Medford