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Letters to the editor

Political extremists

The continuing assault on Oregon's public school system is led by predominantly conservative Republicans opposed to taxation. They have become political extremists.

The GOP leadership in Salem has been worthless, with several abdications and few accomplishments. Rep. Greg Walden has shrouded himself in the flag, offering nothing but patriotic psychobabble. Sen. Gordon Smith sees this wave of extremism sweeping the state and chooses to remain silent.

These elected offices are about leadership and responsibility. However, there is no leadership, and Republicans are not taking responsibility for anything.

A GOP legislator in Salem crafted a small, temporary tax increase, then claimed he could not support it. Later, an outside agitator, Republican Dick Armey, rode in from Texas to rally the gathering anti-tax storm troopers.

The next rounds will hit our schools hard. Any recovery will be difficult and take years. This is extreme politics, profoundly affecting our children, and it comes straight from the ranks of the GOP. It's unbelievable!

Rather than being silent, moderate Rs should deal with their radical right-wingers. Failing this, they should all be held accountable and labeled as wacko zealots.

— Conservatives, extremists, Republicans, radicals '- they are one and the same, having done it to themselves. ' Lloyd Knapp, Ashland

SOHS says thanks

On behalf of the Southern Oregon Historical Society, I want to thank the community for your support in recent weeks.

The opening of our new History Center exhibit, Celebrating Flight: A History of Aviation in Southern Oregon was a great success.

The reopening of Beekman House in December also was well received. SOHS plans to resume the Living History program at Beekman on weekends this spring.

Comfort and Joy: Christmas at Hanley Farm Dec. 20 was attended by 300-plus people.

Thanks to all who attended, and to the donors who made the events possible. In these challenging economic times, it is heartening to know so many appreciate the region's unique history.

SOHS is member-supported. We invite you to join. Visit our History Center, 106 N. Central, Medford, the Jacksonville Museum and Children's Museum, or . Happy New Year to all our members and supporters. ' John Enders, executive director, Southern Oregon Historical Society

Olive branch

In this coming year of national elections, I would like to offer an olive branch to Molly Ivins and the left wing of the Democratic Party. Let us argue policy on its merit or faults; discuss candidates on their worthiness, without personal attacks; and cease name-calling and using pejoratives as weapons.

Our democratic party system works best when we support our own candidates and quit denigrating the opponents. The candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination could benefit from this approach! ' Gene Rushing, Medford

A human face

Your front page article on the kindness and generosity of our community in response to your Light One Candle series was the best Christmas gift I've had in a long, long time. The articles gave a human face to those in need, and today's story gave me hope and faith in the rest of us. Thanks. ' Deirdre Barber , Ashland

Thanks for skating

On Christmas Eve morning, Roller Odyssey graciously opened their doors to the public for a free skate session. We had a great time skating and were touched by their generosity.

A big thank you to them for a fun morning and also for continuing to provide healthy entertainment for the young at heart. ' Cindy Hughes, Eagle Point