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What is the message'

I saw a man at Wal-Mart on May 1; his T-shirt had me concerned for his children's future. It read, Why drink and drive when you can smoke and fly? What is the message to his children? ' Laurie Eaton, Medford

Some want Wal-Mart

This lady from Central Point sure likes to make the decisions for other people, especially for the people of Central Point.

We people that are seniors or disabled, people that live on a fixed income, just maybe we do want a Wal-Mart superstore in Central Point. We need it!

I sure hope the people can speak for themselves, even if you have to use a megaphone to be heard. Not all people are Becca!

Oh well, maybe Naumes can restore it to agricultural land, then sell it to a pig farmer. Seems like it would fit right in. ' S. Bean, Shady Cove

Use the gas we have

Alan Greenspan's latest suggestion April 28 according to The Associated Press: We should buy more natural gas from abroad.

Excuse me, but right now, there's 35 trillion cubic feet of known natural gas reserves on the north slope of Alaska that we are literally pumping back into the ground because we can't get it to the people who need it.

There's a proposal to bring it to the lower 48. This would create an estimated 400,000 jobs, use a huge amount of U.S. steel and ensure that we do not become dependent on imported liquefied natural gas from the Middle East. This would cause very little damage to the sensitive environmental areas and jobs are certainly what we need.

Of course this makes too much sense, our elected officials on both sides enjoy selling us down the river, and our youth are in Iraq to die for what? ' Kai Graff, Medford

Constitution's intent is clear

In response to Dr. Gottlieb's letter on the separation of church and state of April 8: The Constitution's intent is very clear, inasmuch as there is still nothing mentioned about separation of church and state, per se. My paraphrasing in my last letter to the editor did not deviate from the Constitution's intent, as he well knows.

Please re-read the Constitution and learn. His argument does nothing more than support and reinforce my statements. ' Richard L. Watson, Central Point

Editorial arrogance

I read your editorial regarding the commissioner's race with interest.

However the final sentence left me wondering. What editorial writer on your staff has the arrogance to conclude with We leave the choice in their hands?

The last time I checked the Oregon and U.S. constitutions, the choice was always in the hands of the voters and not the editorial writers! For that I can be thankful, even though I am not part of the media elite.

The good folks in Wimer just proved the choice was in their hands, loudly and clearly. ' Alan Ludwick, Medford

Move Doonesbury

I have always felt Doonesbury should not be on the comic page of the Tribune. It is not a young person's cartoon, so I would like to add one more voice to its removal to another page. Thank you. ' Mrs. Robert M. Barrett, Medford

We can all relax

Now that the coalition has decided they will have to have the assistance of the Baathist elite to control the rest of the Iraqis, we can all relax.

The next move will be to negotiate a plea-bargain with Saddam, then democracy and peace will come to Iraq.

This makes as much sense as going there. ' Preston Hobbs, MedfordJudges needed

Here's a good way to demonstrate your support for our schools and young people. And at no extra cost, you're likely to take home some new knowledge!

How do you determine the health of a lake? Do you know what specialized training is now required of firefighters?

What goes into making a home run-hitting baseball bat or a fish-enticing fly rod? How guitars have been transformed through the years is fascinating.

Have a struggling reader at home? There are some practical ways parents can help youngsters learn to read.

These are just a few of the topics our high school seniors will be talking about as the culmination of their senior projects.

We need community members willing to give up one afternoon to show these young people that education is important. No special expertise is required. You will be part of a panel of judges who will listen to a few speeches and fill out an evaluation form on each.

Please consider volunteering the afternoon of Thursday, May 27 or Friday, May 28 (or both!). We need judges at both South and North Medford high schools. Call Jimmy Gomez, 842-3693, at the CBEC office to reserve your space. ' Gayle Mitchell, English teacher, South Medford High School

Desperate times

In a response to a planned TV special aired by ABC's Nightline honoring the fallen troops in the Iraqi War, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group has decided not to let its affiliates air the program. Sinclair General Counsel Barry Faber was quoted as saying that a program honoring the fallen troops is contrary to public interest.

How can honoring our fallen troops be contrary to public interest? The families of these soldiers and the American public have a right to pay tribute to our fallen heroes ' how dare they label this as a political act!

What might be construed as political is the money donated to the Republican Party by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Paying tribute to the dead is a great public service, and I for one encourage other broadcasters to do the same.

I recognize that we are a divided nation, but how sad when we fight about how to memorialize our fallen heroes. I always hoped that the country would pull together in desperate times ' and these are desperate times! Arlene Aron, Applegate

An individual thinker

Mr. Worden, in his letter concerning homosexuality and Christianity, indicated that Jesus came to fulfill the laws of God. The passage he cited, Matthew 5:17-18, does not specify the laws of God. In that context Jesus only refers to the law.

Jesus was talking of the Law of Moses, which he implied he kept flawlessly. (Matt. 5:18-19).

This picture of Jesus is too simplistic to be true. Elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus is bluntly critical of the Law of Moses.

Jesus, for example, spurned the Mosaic ruling which permitted males to divorce their wives at will. He saw it as a man-made legal loophole which allowed for the creation of adulterous sexual unions (compare Deut. 24:1-4 with Mark 10: 2-12).

Jesus also encouraged others to disregard the kosher dietary practices required by Mosaic Judaism. Humans, he reasoned, purify what they eat naturally, through the digestive process. Read Deut. 14:3-20 alongside Mark 7:18-19.

Jesus Christ, the historical figure, was probably not an uncritical Mosaic zealot. Rather, he was, in his day, an outspoken independent thinker who loved what he believed to be the laws of God more than his own life. ' Steve Embry, Medford

Don't miss Beth Baker

I'm so grateful to the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater for their spotlight series. It brings sparkling regional talent to us for an unbelievably low price.

This year they've saved the best for last. Our own Beth Baker, who lives here now after a stellar singing career in New York and San Francisco, will perform Sunday, May 23, at 7 p.m.

Beth's talent is exceeded only by her generosity. You've probably heard her sing at your favorite local charity's benefit event, where she has donated her time.

Attending this concert is a chance to thank Beth for her contribution to our community '- but mostly it's an opportunity to have a rollicking good time and enjoy an extraordinary concert '- all for &

36;15. ' Anne Batzer, White City

Not all are opposed

I was reading the article in the April 27 paper regarding Becca Croft fighting Wal-Mart being built in Central Point. There are lots of other residents in Central Point who are not against the proposed Wal-Mart. I am for the proposed Wal-Mart and many people I know are as well.

I think we should rally the supporters of Wal-Mart together to try to stop Becca Croft. No wonder she is against it ' she doesn't like shopping. Well, some of us do like shopping and love the convenience, prices and variety that Wal-Mart Supercenters have to offer.

I wish we had one here. I often travel to Grants Pass just to shop at their Supercenter. I think those of us who are in support of the proposed Wal-Mart should hold a demonstration in front of the proposed site, letting those that pass by see that there are a lot of residents of Central Point that are for it and not everyone is opposed.

It seems the only voices that are heard in the media are those that are opposed to it. When will our voices be heard? ' Jill Hayes, Central Point

An opportunity missed

I would really like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the group of people who opposed the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Central Point. Hope you are happy now because you may have just taken away many job opportunities that this community is in great need of, taken away the opportunity to purchase low-cost items right here in town, needed by the many families living off of very slim budgets, as well as taken away a large sum of property tax money that Wal-Mart would have paid to the city of Central Point.

I hope you take a good look around; this city is growing fast and needs a store like the Wal-Mart Supercenter to support the growing needs of the area and the population. I liked the way the City Council changed their elected voice when under pressure and decided to say what they thought the people of Central Point wanted.

Hope you all enjoy spending your money and time driving to Medford or Grant Pass to shop at their Wal-Mart stores, as I am sure you all will. Yes, Central Point, you just may have missed a great opportunity for growth in our town. What a shame. ' Paul Skinner, Central Point

Support sex education

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. In Oregon, as well as nationwide, teen pregnancy has dropped. But in 2002 more than 4,400 Oregon girls between the ages of 10 to 19 became teen moms. That number is unacceptably high.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy reports that seven of 10 teen moms will never finish high school and many will be dependent on welfare. Nearly 80 percent remain unwed and receive very little financial support from their babies' fathers. Teen pregnancy costs taxpayers over &

36;7 billion per year nationwide.

Teens are most likely to postpone sexual activity or use birth control regularly if they have had a comprehensive sexuality education course; have adequately discussed sexuality, pregnancy and birth control with their parents; have real life options; and live in a supportive environment that contributes to an individual's esteem.

While parents' preference may be for their children to practice abstinence, teens need to know about contraception, too. Research has shown that having that information does not make teens more likely to have sex.

Rather than urging their children to just say no parents should encourage them to just say know! and support teaching a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum. ' Mary Lou Stevens, Medford

Swamp land for sale

I have been reading Sue Kupillas' re-election ads and hearing them on KCMX and if any of you voters believe them, I have some swamp land in Florida that I would like to discuss with you.

My understanding of urban renewal money was that it was to be used to pull in business and industry to create jobs and then have their buildings on the tax rolls paying property taxes to the county. I don't believe that the library or community center in White City, which are tax-exempt, really accomplish that goal. Nor does Sue Kupillas Boulevard with its fancy streets, sidewalks, trees, etc.

Don't be fooled by the election-year rhetoric of Sue Kupillas. Let's tell her, Sue long, it's been good to know you, goodbye. ' Don Rist, Talent

Same as the old boss

Meet the new boss ' same as the old boss ' The Who

It appears General Saleh will take over military responsibility in Fallujah. General Saleh's previous job was commander to Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard. His personal 1,000-man army will have jurisdiction over checkpoints and sections of Fallujah.

To recap: We tell the world Iraq has WMD. Our allies counsel restraint. We attack Iraq. We destroy cities. We kill and injure 10,000-plus civilians. We catch Saddam and kill his boys. We lose over 740 American soldiers. We have over 3,000 casualties. We spend &

36;180 billion. We lose credibility with the Arab world.

Now, we are reduced to pleading with one of Saddam Hussein' s top henchmen to help us out of the mess we've made in Fallujah. Considering how good Saleh's Republican Guard was at killing Iraqis, I'm sure he'll quickly warm to the job.

Maybe we'll appoint him the Number One Iraqi general and we can hand sovereignty over to him. Maybe he'll find the missing WMD.

I can see the picture now ' Donald Rumsfeld clasping Saleh's hand and smiling. Just like the old days with Saddam.

Meanwhile, where's Osama bin Laden? What does mission accomplished mean? ' Damon Neal, MedfordElection lettersMake a difference

This election let's make a difference for the future of Jackson County. There are seemingly many issues, but for me they all boil down to one ' life.

I'm tired of continually fighting to even be heard on issues crucial to our survival. We need improved, not diminished, air quality. We need to protect what is left of our natural world ' it's what gives us clean air and water. It maintains wildlife and plant populations that contribute to our food and survival ' often in ways we don't understand.

Evidence of the declining health of our environment and people is abundant. We need leaders willing to put aside old hostilities and be forward-thinking. Leaders who will listen and work cooperatively with diverse groups and individuals for solutions that benefit all.

Sue Densmore is such a leader. Please vote to bring a new balance to the Board of Commissioners. ' Teresa Giacomini, the Greensprings, Ashland

A right to the truth

The American people have the right to the truth!

I believe that in issues of sending people to their death (U.S. and Iraqi citizens) in the name of the United States of America, the government needs to be especially transparent in its purpose and activities.

The American people were defrauded into buying into a war that would save them from terrorism. I am personally revolted by the fear tactics the administration is using on the American people to persuade them toward their own objectives (war funds/re-election).

Our great forefathers would be sickened by the abuses of power and people's basic rights that are going on in the name of America on a daily basis. I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

If you feel the same, I urge you to write our representatives in Congress. ' Robert Rogers, Ashland

A quiz for undecideds

If you are undecided, this little quiz may help. Answer these eight questions:

Do you agree:

1. With how President Bush didn't involve the U.N. in his mission to attack Iraq and chose to go it alone?

2. Nobody could foresee the war would become a Mess-o-Potamia and don't blame Bush for what has happened?

3. The record-setting deficit is no problem?

4. The way to improve the economy is to give tax cuts to big business and wealthy individuals?

5. It's OK for the president to take credit for social programs with great fanfare and then quietly cut funding later?

6. The environment has to suffer to improve the economy?

7. The administration should continue trying to make their personal religious beliefs the law of the land?

8. President Bush hasn't made any mistakes while in office?

Mostly Yeses? Vote for Bush. If not, vote for the Democratic nominee. ' Don Michalak, Medford

Buckley will be terrific

Peter Buckley will be a terrific state representative because he is a man of great honor, integrity and vision. And he's smart, which is always a good trait in an elected official.

Peter holds the vision of an Oregon where citizens are involved in their government, tax reform allows us to create rainy day funds, and education is properly funded. He advocates economic development based on support for small businesses and state-level campaign finance reform.

Most Southern Oregonians share Peter's vision of a strong Oregon. With Oregon's economy and budget in crisis, the people of District 5 need to send a problem-solver to Salem who has energy and vision.

Peter Buckley is that problem-solver. Peter's fundamental respect for all viewpoints will serve him well, allowing him to work with people of diverse backgrounds and opinions. I look forward to the day when Peter represents us in Salem. ' Tonya Graham, Ashland

Vote for Buckley

Please join me in voting for Peter Buckley to represent us in Oregon's District 5. Peter has proven how hard he will work for all of us and his charismatic and populist manner are a breath of fresh air in the dull and damp world of politics today. What a relief! Peter's vision calls upon a broad participation of citizens and beholds a system of government that respects workers rights, protects the environment, and stands tall for the important civil rights we have in Oregon and in these United States of America.

Peter's fire in the belly translates to a hard worker who will rally our collective opinions and deliver a voice in Salem for all citizens here in Southern Oregon's House District 5. Ballots have been mailed.

Vote, vote, vote! And remember, a vote for Peter Buckley is a vote for strong vision for our future. ' Wes Brain, Ashland

Vote for Densmore

Who is the candidate that supports more air pollution in the Rogue Valley? Sue Kupillas.

Commissioner Kupillas went against the will of an overwhelming majority of Rogue Valley residents by secretly writing to the Department of Environmental Quality, on county letterhead. She asked them to weaken current air quality standards.

Is Kupillas representing the people or Boise Cascade, who gave her campaign &

36;5,000? You can put someone in the commissioner's chair who works differently.

Sue Densmore will listen to you. She will always be honest and upfront and will not try to make secret deals outside public scrutiny.

Sue Densmore stands for honesty, integrity and accountability. Vote for Sue Densmore for County Commissioner. ' Tom Dimitre, Ashland

Time for a change

When Sue Kupillas ran for her first term I was a strong supporter, but her performance as a county commissioner these past few years has shown me that we desperately need a change.

Kupillas has been dishonest to the citizens of Jackson County on many occasions and has placed her favorite special interest groups before the needs of all citizens. Her voting record on environmental issues, which affect the health and well-being of all of us, is deplorable.

I am very pleased that Sue Densmore, whom I have known even longer than Kupillas, is seeking the Democratic nomination for commissioner. Densmore has the honesty and integrity we need in government. I only wish she were running for president.

Please join me in supporting Sue Densmore. ' Samuel C. Whitford, Ashland

Supporting Kupillas

I served on the Air Quality Advisory Committee. I feel proud of the work that we did for a balanced recommendation. I have a great deal of appreciation for Commissioner Kupillas, who served on the first Air Quality Advisory Committee and helped craft policy that cleaned up our air. Her recommendation, while stricter on growth allowance and safety margin, allows small cities small clean industry. Automobiles are major polluters and this would allow jobs near where people live, thus reducing car pollution.

I was disturbed at the distortions and scare tactics that confused the issue. We must continue the dialogue on this very complex issue without the hostile political agenda. If the regulation remains the same and we don't plan for jobs nearer where people live, we're not solving a significant part of the problem.

I support Sue Kupillas because she has the facts and a plan for clean air. ' Bill Eckart, executive director of the Fruit Growers League of Jackson County, Medford

Support Buckley

Peter Buckley is my candidate for the Oregon House of Representatives. I have heard Peter speak on numerous occasions over the past three years, and have been more impressed each time. He is informed, engaged, passionate, and serious.

Name an issue of public concern in Oregon, from taxes to health care to education to the environment, and Peter has innovative and thoughtful solutions to offer. He will bring tremendous energy, eloquence and commitment to the job of representing us in Salem. In a time of low expectations, when a general weariness seems to be weighing down our state government, Peter is just what we need ' a great communicator and a great motivator.

If you believe, as I do, that great days lie ahead for Oregon, please join me in supporting Peter Buckley for state representative. It's time for a new voice. ' Pepper Trail, Ashland

Supporting Densmore

Sue Densmore's energy, enthusiasm, experience and integrity have earned my respect and support.

Her active role in community organizations throughout the Rogue Valley has given her the valuable perspective necessary for a successful county commissioner. She listens and understands the issues facing our communities. Her service to Gold Hill on issues of planning and obtaining grants has been extraordinary, because she really cares.

Please join me in supporting Sue Densmore for county commissioner. ' Gloria Wood, Central Point