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Beautify the wall

The endless discussions, pro and con, concerning the proposed new Wal-Mart have become more than a little boring. But they did fill a lot of space in the newspaper.

Also, the flap about the big flat wall that would face the freeway. My, my, my. Instead of the boring wall, think of something to do about it. How about painting it to look like a big ribbon-tied gift package with a big bow on the top!

Other communities in the country have put huge cars, trucks, tractors, cows, chickens, etc., even a big ear of corn atop their buildings and are noted for their happy and inventive ideas. So, why not welcome people with a view of a pretty gift package, that would put a smile instead of a frown on their faces as they travel on our freeway. Think about it! ' Delma L. Hathaway, Central Point

Swimmer raised money

My husband of 57 years (Don House) did a one-man swim-a-thon for his 84th birthday March 19. This is the fourth year that he did a swim for local youth programs in the valley.

The Medford Kiwanis Club was the sponsor, it was approved by the board to take pledges for laps. The money raised is going to the SMART reading program in our local schools. He did the swim at Waterford Health and Fitness Center, their 20-meter pool, and he did 40 laps (one mile). This year &

36;944.50 was pledged.

Pretty good for an old fellow who as a child was a poor reader. In those days they did not know how to help them. But today we have the SMART program. This is a program of volunteers that listen and help young people read.

— Although the two local TV stations came and interviewed him and it was on the local news, our own Mail Tribune, which was notified, did not show up. I guess it was not newsworthy, like a riot or who married who.

If you did not get a chance to pledge, you can send a check to Medford Kiwanis, SMART program, P.O. Box 1494, Medford, OR 97501. ' Paulette House, Medford

Chasing away tax base

All of those people who oppose the new Wal-Marts in Medford and Central Point need to realize that because we have chased away all the lumber mills in order to have cleaner air we also chased away large tax bases for the communities.

You cry over needing more mom and pop stores, but you also voted for a minimum wage increase that mom and pop stores can't afford. This valley needs jobs, period.

You gripe about Portland running this state and poor Southern Oregon never gets a say, but refuse to let companies move here in fear of growth. This town is going to grow, like it or not.

Think about how many mom-and-pop stores it would take to employ what one Supercenter can? It's impossible.

Yes, Wal-Mart has a lot of minimum wage jobs, but didn't we all vote for an increase so we can declare it a livable wage?

They also have department managers, shift managers, a butcher shop and pharmacy that all pay more than our supposed living wage that you are now whining about. Just how much do you think a mom and pop store is going to be able to pay a checker? ' Tammy Dalton, Wal-Mart supporter in Central Point

Army still needs support

In January, the National Salvation Army announced that it had received a gift in excess of &

36;1.5 billion dollars from the estate of Joan Kroc. We are humbled to have been selected by Mrs. Kroc to administer this extraordinary gift to America, which will give thousands of children a solid start in life, provide safe and constructive activities for teenagers, strengthen families, and give an economic lift to many communities across the country.

However, in order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to share some specific information about this gift. According to the terms of Mrs. Kroc's will, funds may be used solely for the construction and partial endowment of Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers. The existing Kroc Center in San Diego, California () will serve as the model for these new facilities. However, no portion of the bequest may be used to support existing Salvation Army programs and services, and they may not be used to cover administrative costs.

Thus, while Mrs. Kroc's gift creates a marvelous opportunity, all of the programs that you have come to expect from the Army in Medford will continue to need your support. ' Major Marv Samuelson, The Salvation Army, Medford

Nothing but good

I see nothing but good by having a super Wal-Mart in the Central Point area. I would assume this would bring some good revenue to Central Point and stop people from running in to the Medford area. It would certainly be much more convenient to me and my wife and several of our friends that live close by and feel the same way. ' Robert E. and Doris Johnson, Central Point

We don't need two

I am writing about Wal-Mart. They say they will create 500 jobs, but what they are not saying is how many of those jobs are part-time, at minimum wage or maybe a little better. You should check in Grants Pass and see what effect Wal-Mart has had there. One Wal-Mart superstore is too many. You don't need two. ' C.E. Allen, Yreka, Calif.

Statistic misleading

I contest the March 23 letter's claim that the facts are that 10,677 acts of sexual abuse were committed by gay/homosexual priests. The fact that both the abusers and their victims were male does not mean that these priests are homosexual; based on current child abuse data, it is much more likely that these molesters are heterosexual.

Conflating homosexuality and pedophilia only leads to deepening prejudices when we should focus on stopping these heinous crimes. ' Mary Kathleen Eagle, Cambridge, Mass., formerly of Applegate

Because they can

Just saw the latest news report on the rise in gas prices and the reasons for same. Isn't there always some entirely reasonable excuse?

I always say it's because of the dog law. Don't know what that is? Ever hear the joke about why the dog licks certain parts of his anatomy? It's because he can. Same for the gas companies. They raise prices because they can. 'Mel Beaty, Medford