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Please don't ignore this important obligation.

Donate for parking

For hundreds of seniors, the Medford Senior Center is a lifeline. There, some get the only substantial hot meal of their day. All can receive free legal advice and help with taxes, health screening, support and information about senior issues, classes and activities, and precious social contact during what can be life's loneliest years.

Many members walk and breathe with difficulty or are confined to wheelchairs. They remain dependent on parking spots close to the Senior Center entrance.

With far too few parking spaces available for those who need them, plans have been drawn for extending the parking lot to make more parking spaces near the center's entrance. But the project is dependent on donations.

Please help us show our seniors love and appreciation by considering a tax-deductible gift to help this wonderful older generation receive the services they so desperately need. Donations may be delivered to the Medford Senior Center at 510 East Main St. or made at any Umpqua Bank. Make checks out to the Medford Senior Center, Parking Lot Extension Fund. Thank you, Southern Oregon, for your compassion and caring. ' Anita Grimm, Ashland

More things to worry about

I agree that the street signs in Ashland are The largest, ugliest signs imaginable to denote street names.

The signs are so big that many airplanes mistake them for runways, and proceed to crash into them, causing much disturbance to our neighborhood charm. We should also change the color of the pavement on our roads because that particular shade of gray clashes with the color of my BMW. (Note the sarcasm)

There are more important things to worry about in this world than a few large signs and some artistically painted buildings. ' Matthew Oswald, Ashland

Forest is regenerating

I live on the Illinois River and my place was in the Biscuit Fire. After the fire, my land and the hills along the river were gray and most of the trees looked dead with an occasional green spot. Since spring of this year, I have been amazed at how many dead trees with blackened bark have lush green canopies.

A couple of weeks ago, visitors who walked the trail to Pine Flat commented they were expecting devastation and were surprised at how green it looked. They were talking about the trees ' apart from the tall shoots coming up from roots of burned trees.

I think it is time to take another photograph of the burned area ' in color. The rush to cut the marketable timber may be premature. The devastation is the area that has already been cut to remove hazard trees. ' Ronnie Chittim, Selma

How quickly we forget

When I awoke on Saturday morning Sept. 11, 2004, I thought to myself how quickly we forget about the tragedy, horror, and chaos that the American people awoke to on Sept. 11, 2001.

Not once on any of the news channels did I see the planes hit the WTC towers, footage of the Pentagon on fire, or the crater in the ground in Pennsylvania. Have the news media and the American people forgotten what the hell we are up against? They should have shown those planes and the awful tragedy of 2001 to remind the American people that we need to stay vigilant in the war against terror.

Terrorists do not care about themselves, they want to kill as many Americans as possible. Women, men, or children, Republican or Democrat. ' A Jacobsen, Medford

Register and vote

Many say voting is a privilege, but now it as an obligation.

It is an obligation to the many men and women serving overseas in our military.

It is an obligation to the over 1,000 casualties coming home to grieving families and to the almost 7,000 wounded that will face a lifetime of recuperation.

We have an obligation to register to vote, a right many women died for only 84 years ago.

Hopefully, young people will be especially enthusiastic to vote in this general election. Elected officials have a big impact on their future.

It is incorrect that registering to vote increases your chances of being selected for jury duty. Jury pools are also selected from DMV records. So if you drive in Oregon, you can be selected for jury duty.

It is very easy to register to vote in Oregon. You don't even have to choose which party you are affiliated with.

Voter registration forms can be downloaded from the Internet at .

Many candidates running for public office knocking on your doors can supply the forms.

Oct. 12 is the last day to register to vote for the Nov. 2 elections.

' Vikki Nuss, Brookings

Election lettersThanks, no thanks

My military career started eight months before Pearl Harbor. I was on active duty for 31 years which included World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Being in the regular Army, I could have been recalled to active duty at any time, and I would have gladly served.

For the first time in my life, a nice young man who works at the Chevron station on Barnett Road, noticed the Department of Defense sticker on my windshield, stuck out his hand and thanked me for my service to the country. What an unexpected thrill! Thank you, young man!

This was so unlike the rebuke of the military by my former minister, so unlike the booing that I received at Berkeley, and so very much unlike the defamatory comments of an unworthy individual who covets the presidency.

No thanks, Mr. Kerry! ' Doug Gardiner, Medford

Vote for Smith

I urge you to cast your vote for C.W. Smith in the November election.

As a 30-year veteran of public service and private business, he brings a wealth of related experience to the position of Jackson County commissioner.

Smith has a high level of enthusiasm and will bring a new focused energy to the county commissioners' office. Over the years he has been a great steward of our valley because he has a genuine concern for the proper development of our region and the quality of life for citizens.

As county commissioner, we can depend on C.W. Smith to keep the well-being of the community at the forefront of government and special interests out of the equation. He also has the ability to assimilate with a broad range of people and truly represent constituents as a whole. ' Jim Palazzolo, Medford

Vote no on 37

Oregon is a great place to live. We have a good quality of life because our farms, forests, and neighborhoods are protected.

I value Oregon's ranchers, farmers, and foresters. I value our family-friendly neighborhoods. If you share these values, vote no on Measure 37.

Your land is already protected by the U.S. and Oregon constitutions from government decisions which take away its value. Measure 37 is not needed.

Measure 37 will cause a huge increase in bureaucracy just to handle the piles of paperwork required to find out if a claim is justified.

Increasing bureaucracy and work will increase the costs of government.

There is no money raised by Measure 37 for these increased costs. The choice will be to further reduce spending on existing programs, to increase your taxes or to drop any relevant zoning requirements.

More red tape, more costs. Vote no on Measure 37. ' Mary-Kay Michelsen, Ashland

Reject Measure 35

Did you know it is easier to check the background on a contractor remodeling your kitchen than it is to find out if your surgeon has a history of negligence? Well, it's true.

It is almost impossible to find out if your doctor has a history of reckless or negligent behavior. If we want to improve patient safety we should crack down on negligent doctors.

Measure 35 won't do anything to improve patient safety and it will hurt Oregonians. Before we amend the Constitution we should try something less drastic. Voters should reject Measure 35. ' Phyllis Smith, Grants Pass

Raise the level

Let it be known that the Jackson County Republican Party does not condone or in any way support the theft or defacement of the political lawn signs of any party. We consider the freedom to display a political sign, on one's own property, to be an essential part of the free expression of ideas protected by the First Amendment.

The perpetrators of these crimes accomplish the opposite of what they presumably intend ' inciting the anger and resentment of those of opposing political viewpoints ' rather than engaging in productive political discourse. We call on all citizens to stand up for the rights of all who choose to display political signs ' regardless of political affiliation ' and in so doing raise the level of dialogue and debate. ' Bryan Platt, chairman, Jackson County Republican Party

Fair and balanced response

Jim Fritz needs to check his figures. George Soros gave MoveOn.org &

36;5 million of their &

36;15.5 million anti-Bush war chest. How does that compare to Bob Perry's &

36;200,000? Who has big-money special-interest backing? Hmmm?

President Bush's call for eliminating 527s is a fair and balanced response to John Kerry's call to him to respond to the Swift Boat ads.

Both sides claim that they are not responsible for the 527s' content. I am willing to believe both sides, if Kerry would agree. ' Larry Schatz, White City

Probably not adults

I find it laughable that adults are writing letters accusing other adults (Republicans) of stealing their Vote for Kerry signs. The truth is it is probably a few young fellows (or ladies) who could care less who is president and chances are they are not even old enough to vote!

It just goes to show you how far hatred has gone in this country that grown people would stoop to just ridiculous rhetoric in a public forum. ' Debbie Whipple, Medford

Lord save us

If the facts don't add up in Dubya's favor, the right-wingers like Bill Hartley want to change the subject and bash the media. Hartley (Aug. 24) dithers about government statistical methods that show the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. You can bet that if Dubya could've bent the numbers to his favor, he would've arranged it.

Hartley is correct on one point, President Bush is liberating millions. He's liberated millions from getting overtime pay. He's liberated millions of seniors from getting affordable drugs. He's liberated millions from good jobs for the first net job loss since Herbert Hoover and sent millions of good jobs overseas. He's liberated the financial future of our children by wasting a &

36;400 billion surplus and piling up a &

36;500 billion mountain of debt by waging an unnecessary grudge war on a credit card.

Lord save us from any more of Shrub's liberations. ' Don Stone, Ashland

Appalled at disrespect

As a Vietnam veteran, I'm appalled at the callous disrespect displayed by Republicans wearing Purple Heart Band-Aids at the Republican National Convention with the tacit approval of President Bush.

If it's patriotic to fight for your country then it's super-patriotic to receive a Purple Heart in combat. That makes the mocking delegates at the RNC nothing short of unpatriotic and un-American. I sent many letters home to distraught families who lost loved ones (and my friends) in Vietnam as part of my duties as a company clerk.

Where was President Bush while John Kerry and thousands of American heroes were fighting in Vietnam? AWOL?

Now Bush's misleadership into the Iraq War is producing a new generation of dead and damaged veterans who can't get treatment they were promised. And he doesn't even think we can win this war? Fine. Replace him with someone who can. John Kerry, a true American hero. ' Carl and Cindy Darnell, Eagle Point

For Kerry and hope

Fear and anger were the dominant messages of the Republican National Convention, but this nation was founded by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Hamilton on a different message ' hope.

When the Republican delegates mock veterans by distributing Purple Heart Band-Aids; when statistics show there is a rising level of poverty in the nation; when this administration presents a case for war based on disappearing weapons of mass destruction; and when basic human rights are cynically thrown away in a place called Abu Ghraib ' then we've strayed too far from the spirit of the men and women who started this country.

I will vote for John Kerry and hope. ' Kevin Cooney, Ashland

Vote for Densmore

Jackson County citizens resoundingly denounced the unhealthy and false perception that maintaining air quality has a negative influence on economic development. We overwhelmed DEQ with a historic 5,000 comments opposing their dirty air proposal. And Sue Densmore, candidate for county Commissioner, who has consistently taken a strong stand for maintaining our air quality rules, overwhelmed her primary opponent that supported increased pollution.

Unfortunately her current opponent, C.W. Smith, still can't comprehend that Jackson County citizens expect quality jobs and clean air to breathe. He campaigns to roll back our air quality rules even after our outstanding victory for quality of life in our valley!

County commissioners make many decisions that directly affect our lives. Please vote for Sue Densmore, an intelligent, progressive business owner with fresh new ideas, years of public service experience and dedication to make Jackson County a desirable place to live, work and raise our children. ' J. Hurley, Medford

Truman accountable too

The Sept. — letter, A war on life, by Will Wilkinson, got my attention. He points out that thousands of children, women, young soldiers and innocent bystanders have been killed and blames the current U.S. government (Bush). I can only assume that he would hold Harry Truman accountable for the tens of thousands of Japanese civilians killed when he authorized the use of the two atom bombs dropped on Japan.

He goes on to point out that Bush, when governor of Texas, authorized a record number of executions (of murderers). Hey, even Malcolm X said, Murderers should be murdered.

And, by the way, Bill Clinton as governor of Arkansas authorized the execution of a young, retarded African-American.

He asked if Jesus would approve? Of course Jesus wouldn't approve, nor does he approve of the murder of unborn babies. Yes, the killing of unborn babies is a sin. ' Barney Oglesby, Medford

Display of slime

The Republican Party is showing no concrete evidence of their ability to advance America. Instead they're relying on rhetoric that plays on fear, smears John Kerry, and distorts their record over the last four years.

At the convention, the Republicans repeatedly said one thing, but their policies and their platform say another. While putting up moderates to talk about inclusion, they adopted a platform that seeks to write discrimination into the Constitution and make permanent tax cuts proven to disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

Rather than talking about their record and strengths, the Republicans turned nasty and negative, going after Kerry with baseless attacks on his character, and intentionally distorting his record.

It was the most childish, slanderous, untrue display of slime I have ever witnessed. I couldn't believe this was done in America. They must be desperate because they can't get votes on their achievements from the last four years. ' Barbara Keen, Ashland

How to vote

Ask not who to vote for, but whom to vote against. You don't have to like a candidate to vote against their adversary. Ask yourself if you like the way the United States is going. ' Gabrielle Wright, Medford

Strange priorities

Throughout the GOP convention, I found it astonishing that with a stagnant economy, millions of Americans without jobs or health insurance and two tragically misguided wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush & Co. assure us they are going to fight ' to protect marriage from gays and lesbians?

What happened to George's year 2000 promise to be a uniter, not a divider? Where is his compassionate conservatism now?

He shames his country by employing hate and fear instead of strength and intelligence.

If this is the best George Bush can do, let's show him the door this November and let John Kerry, a true champion of the American people, get us all back on track! ' Gaia Carney, Ashland

Have they no shame?

I thought Osama bin Laden was the number one world criminal on America's most wanted list. According to the Republican Convention, however, John Kerry is a far greater threat.

Dominated by mudslinging and inflammatory rhetoric, the convention's keynote speaker was a Democrat-turned-right-wing-extremist with a history of keynoting a convention that nominated Bill Clinton... and the Republicans accuse John Kerry of flip-flopping? Likewise, Bush and Cheney posture and brag that the economy is positive and growing. Meanwhile, millions have no health insurance and the middle class is plunging into poverty? and these guys assail John Kerry as being out of touch with reality?

What is out of touch is any post-convention claim to decency. Personal attacks that egregiously distort the truth show total contempt for democracy. And Purple Heart attack Band-Aids degrade our troops and veterans... and contemptuously spit on the graves of all who died for this country.

Have they no shame? ' Olivia Taylor-Young, Grants Pass

Kipling's couplet apropos

A century ago there was no greater patriot in England than Rudyard Kipling. Many know him only as the author of The Jungle Book, but in his day he was the equivalent of talk radio today. Wrapping himself in the flag of England, then the greatest power in the world, he was the Rush Limbaugh of his day for those who championed taking English values of commerce and Christianity to the less-civilized people of the world through the barrel of a gun.

It was after his son was killed in World War I that he came to see the folly of blindly following men who had never put themselves at risk. Written in the voice of his dead son, a couplet by Kipling is even more appropriate today:

If any question why we died

Tell them because our fathers lied. ' Edward Beutner, Ashland