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Kudos to the Mail Tribune for informing the community on the less-than-truthful DEQ proposal which will lower air quality and increase respiratory problems in the Rogue Valley. ' Gary Pellett, Central Point

Other views healthy

Duane Sample wrote to the Mail Tribune (Jan. 15) complaining about columnist Rich Lowry's defense of our government. In view of Molly Ivins' attacks on our government, I think it's healthy to have another point of view.

I certainly respect disagreement with a columnist's opinion, but I admit to being very uncomfortable when a writer to the Tribune suggests our country, the greatest democracy on earth, and Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, are fascist states.

Every morning when I get out of bed, I thank God that I was born in America. ' Maynard Telpner, Ashland

Good Samaritans

This winter, when Interstate 5 was closed for several days due to snowy conditions, Callahan's Restaurant and Lodge on the Siskiyou Summit demonstrated exemplary community service to many stranded travelers. During this inclement period, Callahan's opened its doors to allow motorists to sleep in their front lobby and park their vehicles in their parking lot without charge.

During this period, Callahan's was robbed by three of the stranded motorists and one of their employees was criminally assaulted. Despite this, Callahan's continued to assist motorists in distress after this sad event.

— This good Samaritan policy of Callahan's has not only been demonstrated this winter. Last summer, I met a horseback rider on the Skyline Trail who was riding from Canada to Mexico who had run out of money, and he told me that the owners of Callahan's had provided him a free meal and lodging, as well as hay and boarding for his horse in their barn. He said he intended to pay them when he got some money.

It is my belief that this type of generosity and community service should be acknowledged and rewarded. The owners, Ron and Carl Bergquist, are to be commended by our community. ' Bob Robertson, Medford

A growth industry

I read a ghastly Associated Press report recently about the only military mortuary in the United States. It is where our dead from Iraq are processed before being sent home for burial.

The mortuary is at the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. According to its commander, business has been brisk there since the war started and it has only been empty one time, during an inspection, since hostilities commenced. The capture of Saddam has not slowed the flow of American dead into this facility and the staff was planning to work the coming weekend.

According to the report there had been 30 American deaths since Saddam's capture, and 41 had died the previous month. In fact, with the overall American death count nearing 500, more Americans have died since the war began than in the first three years of the Vietnam War. This was based on the study of Pentagon records done by AP.

With the casualty rate running ahead of Vietnam, one wonders what the final tally will be. Meanwhile the people at the mortuary will definitely not lack for work. Their jobs, after all, seem to be in a growth industry. ' Mark Everett, Medford

Local honey is liquid gold

Thank you for publishing a great article about honey. Your readers may want to try some local honey that local beekeepers have produced from local flowers ' it is truly liquid gold and beats the store-bought stuff hands-down! Call me at 512-2364 and I will put you in touch with a member of our Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association. ' Brian Bolstad, Talent