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Letters to the editor

Elect Mickey Mouse next

After the election in California on Tuesday, I am thankful that I had the foresight to return to my home state of Oregon after retirement 11 years ago.

Now that a cartoon character has been elected as California's governor, perhaps the Republicans can arrange for Mickey Mouse to run for the next statewide office. It will be interesting to note how many of the state's problems The Terminator will have resolved two years from now. ' Bob Carson, Medford

Thought police at it again

Well, the thought police are at it again. After complaining and screaming censorship after the Dixie Chicks spouted off, they are doing the very same in relation to Rush Limbaugh's football comments. It seems you're free to have any opinion, so long as it's theirs.

I read that one of their gurus of liberal free thought (an oxymoron if ever there was one) in the form of Molly Ivins, is coming to town. Just so you know, a local teacher takes her column to her fourth-grade class. Not for the great ideas therein, but to correct her grammar. The last one taken to school had no less than four errors in grammar that an educated fourth grader should be able to catch. Shouldn't we expect better from an allegedly professional journalist?

The content and character of her column leads me to believe she is no more careful about her facts and figures than she is about the tools of her trade. But then, why should she be? After all, she get paid to say what her audience wants to hear. Any relationship to that and the truth is purely coincidental. ' Jerry Ross, Grants Pass

Hope ESPN gets it

When I heard that ESPN had asked Rush Limbaugh to join Sunday NFL Countdown, I was incredulous. They had to have at least considered that Limbaugh, an entertainer famous for his intolerant views and outspoken commentary, might not be trusted to mollify his opinions for a national television audience.

Upon their announcement of hiring Limbaugh, Mark Shapiro, executive vice president of programming, noted, Rush is a great communicator and a fan's fan. His acute sense of what's on the minds of his listeners combined with his ability to entertain and serve as a lightning rod for lively discussion makes him the perfect fit for this new role.

I can't deny feeling smugly gleeful about his resignation over the whole McNabb fiasco. I hope the fallout from this matter sends a clear message to ESPN and other media: Narrow-minded bigots like Limbaugh do not speak for the minds of all viewers.

ESPN got exactly what they were looking for in their lively discussion. The question remains, at what cost? ' Cindy McDonald , Jacksonville

Good news for Americans

On Sept. 29 the Grants Pass Daily Courier showed a burned out room and described U.S./Iraqi operations where 92 people were arrested. Iraqis helping coalition forces capture the bad guys is good news!

There are many positive stories of our progress in Iraq that never seem to appear in the mainstream press. For example, a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal reported the following facts that are certainly good news:

Since the major conflict ended in May, Iraqi students are returning this month to hundreds of secondary schools rebuilt by Americans. Almost all major hospitals and universities are reopened.

More than 5,000 small businesses have opened. Crops are growing in the fields. Oil is flowing.

More than 6,000 civil affairs projects have been completed. The Iraqi Governing Council and municipal councils are formed and making important decisions about Iraq's daily life, and more than 56,000 Iraqis have been trained and armed to protect and defend their own country. This is good news!

Americans can be proud of our successes in Iraq. Sound and honorable leadership is critical in these uncertain times. The good news is that President Bush is such a leader. ' Kathy Chmelir, Grants Pass

The least of the problem

Mariah Carey is performing in our new 5,800-seat amphitheater. The music is billowing into the air. You can hear it from White City to Miles Field. Anxiety is high, the crowd is going wild!

When the concert is over, 2,900 cars rush to the surrounding streets, attempting to go home, only to find gridlock at every turn. Trucks are backed up for miles on Interstate 5 trying to get into Pilot Truck Stop.

Central Point police demand more help. We need to hire many more officers to control the situation. The streets just weren't designed for this type of traffic, they announce. Who let this happen?

Think this can't happen? Think again! Wal-Mart is the least of the problem! ' E. Shingle, Central Point

Manage growth better

I've seen it before and it's happening here in Medford. Small, healthy cities don't manage their growth correctly, don't emphasize open spaces and park lands, don't value the history of the area and put profit before aesthetics. They become wall-to-wall concrete and unhealthy, unappealing places to live.

Medford is on its way to becoming one of those cities. Orchards are being plowed under, citizens are in support of mega-shopping stores, little is being done to protect open lands, create parks, slow the development of housing tracts or preserve the city's history, and traffic is increasing on poorly planned roads.

Downtown Medford could be a very appealing place with creekside dining, live music, interesting shops, art and street vendors surrounded by buildings restored to original glory. Instead, it offers little to the tourist or the resident.

Compromise can be reached to accommodate those for and against major growth. Population increase in the valley can be managed wisely. Wake up, people, and put a stop to this progress before it's too late! ' G. Putnam, Medford

Support WinterSpring

I arrived at WinterSpring in desperation, seeking relief from the grief that had consumed me over the loss of my husband. After 18 months of numerous hospitalizations, intensive nursing and endless sleepless nights, my physical and emotional bucket was on empty.

I learned quickly that death is the elephant in the middle of the table, obvious to all, but no one knows what to do with the huge thing. I also learned there is no calendar or clock with an appointed date and time for mourning to end. Death is an event and the recovery for those left behind is a process, one where we have to go through all the emotions and ride out the waves to a gentler side.

Tom died at home on Oct. 1, two years ago. I still think of him every day but the pain is less, largely due to the coping skills I found through WinterSpring.

One of the hardest events for me was spreading his ashes at sea, but having a stone which bears his name at the WinterSpring Memorial Grove has given me (and others in this area) a place to visit, remember and continue to cope with our loss. ' Nancy O'Connell, Jacksonville

Give us an alternative

To those who take issue with our involvement in Iraq, had the U.S. not decided to invade, the question arises: Short of an explicit U.N. Security Council authority for war in Iraq, what exactly were the alternatives? I believe there was only one ' to leave the murderous Saddam regime in power and muddle through with the discredited 12-year policy of containment. Not something anyone in their right mind would support.

Until we invaded, 20 million Iraqis were trapped inside a cruel autocracy, where basic freedoms existed only at the whim of a gang of criminals. This autocracy has now been dismantled by the U.S. and its allies and a nation freed from tyranny and placed on the path, albeit shakily, towards a true democracy.

I say, well done! To those who insist on opposing this humane gesture, I again say: Give us a viable alternative. Moving forward, I believe the media can continue to do our country a great service by sending reporters to Iraq who are not blinkered by any ideology nor carry any preconceived ideas for a story yet to be written and who actively seek out the true opinion of the Iraqi people. ' Doug Forsyth, Ashland

Right in the back yard

I was prompted by a letter from a woman, in the Oct. — issue of the Medford Mail Tribune, who lives much closer than I to Miles Field. She felt there should be a decibel level for the location when amplified music is being permitted.

I couldn't agree with her more. I am much farther away from Miles than she, way over on Laurel, west of King Street in Medford. I had a small group of company that evening for a quiet garden party.

It was a beautiful evening and was intended to be a gentle farewell to summer. Instead, we had to move inside, as the Christian Rock 'n' Roll was so loud that it was unpleasant to be in the back yard.

It seems evangelicals these days believe they have the right to impose their views on others, not only in the White House, but right here in my back yard. ' Jim Willeford, Medford

Wal-Mart supports valley

The Wednesday, Oct. 1, edition of the Mail Tribune's front page article on Wal-Mart has Velma Meiners quoted as saying that Wal-Mart doesn't support communities or schools. We'll support Wal-Mart when they support us. It is a shame that statements are made and printed without knowing the true facts.

The fact is that the Medford Wal-Mart, just in the year 2003, has donated &

36;25,700 to local schools and communities within the entire Rogue Valley area. Crater High School, North Medford and South Medford High Schools, Eagle Point High School, Walker Elementary, Hedrick Middle School, 4-H Leaders Association of Jackson County, Medford Ski Education Foundation, City of Medford Fire Department, several local churches, and the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad, located in Central Point, are just a few of the nonprofit organizations that Medford Wal-Mart has donated to this year.

As the Community Involvement co-coordinator for the Medford Wal-Mart for the past five years, donations like those listed above, have been an important part of Medford Wal-Mart's commitment to this community. ' Tammy Woodworth, Community Involvement co-coordinator, Medford Wal-Mart

Take away their cars

In the article you did on Sept. 20th about the number of fatal accidents from drunk drivers, I don't think the solution is more deputies. We all see the same names over and over again in the police reports. What we need is higher fines and stricter sentences .Take their cars away and sell them at public auction. It could save a life ' Diane Johnson, Rogue River