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What brand of freedom'

In G. Simpson's recent letter, he says Iraqi militants could be called freedom fighters versus terrorists depending which side you are on. Does his brand of freedom fighter mean the freedom to oppress women? How about the freedom to stone homosexuals? How about killing Iraqis lined up to volunteer to be in the police force? What about the freedom to target women and children for murder or place bombs in tourist hotels?

The freedom to ban all non-Muslim religious beliefs with conversion or death being the only freedom of choice? The freedom to eliminate free speech and free press? The freedom to behead innocent civilians while chanting verses extolling their God as the only God?

Then, yes, if you have the intellectual acuity and morals that support these kinds of freedoms, I suppose you could call them freedom fighters. But ask yourself, would you ever invite one of these freedom fighters into your home, or would you sleep well knowing that one was in your town? ' S. Shulster, Ashland

A great idea

What a wonderful idea to have a labyrinth in Bear Creek Park. Many of our young people do not have a place to go to grieve and to honor their friends that have died. And what a perfect place to have the labyrinth ' right near the skate park, a place where our youth gather.

I hope this comes about. Our children and teens need a place to honor their friends and know it is OK to pay tribute to their lives. ' Cheryl Robertson, Medford

Open Bear Camp Road

The BLM plans to spend &

36;1.1 million to improve a detour route to Gold Beach instead of spending &

36;475,000 to open the main Bear Camp Road.

— My clothes washer broke. I need a soils expert, chiropractor, and a DEQ specialist to write an EIS to remove it from my house to my truck over sensitive soils to take it to town for repairs. Soil compaction, strained back muscles, it was too much to comprehend. Instead, I remodeled the laundry room, bought new crystal glasses, curled my hair, graveled the driveway and went to Hawaii on vacation for anxiety. (The kids were angry they had no clean clothes.)

My clothes washer is still broken. I drive 42 miles round-trip into town to the laundromat, burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, because I can't get my clothes washer into town. What can I do?

Build a new multi-million dollar BLM facility in Grants Pass, 8 percent cost of living raise to all administrators, remodel BLM Rand facility, expand the Grave Creek boat landing, buy new 2005 SUVs to drive around in and wonder ' where will we get the money to open Bear Camp Road?

Boondoggle? You decide. ' Sharon Prow, Merlin

Hoping for unemployment

As part of my work at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, I take photographs of the adoptable cats and dogs for newspaper advertisements. So far this year I have had the opportunity to photograph over 6,000 homeless cats and dogs, and the year isn't finished yet.

I am writing this public appeal in the hope that you can help me put down my camera and never have to take another close-up of a scared, confused, or desperate homeless pet. Each time I focus my lens deep into those eyes, I am also looking forward to the day when I am called into my boss' office and told that there are not enough stray and abandoned animals to warrant my employment.

To make it easy to do the right thing, the good people at Spay Neuter Your Pet (SNYP) offer discount spay/neuter certificates to anyone in Jackson County who needs help. If you have an unaltered pet or know someone who does, please call SNYP at 858-3325. From family pets to feral cats, SNYP serves one and all. ' Robert Casserly, Ashland

Swimmer says thanks

I want to thank all those who supported my Aug. 13 charity swim of Lost Creek Lake. Many small contributions contributed to the &

36;600-plus check turned over to the Medford School Board on Sept. 7. The money will be divided between the automotive and culinary arts programs at North and South high schools.

I'm a little shame-faced because my plan for the swim was devised and rushed into action at the last minute. The water temperature had begun dropping nightly, and fearing cramps, I just jumped in before dawn on that Friday and began swimming. Thus, when informed of the finished swim, a surprised Medford Schools Foundation board chairman Sam Baldoni said, The board doesn't know anything about it, but it sounds like a great idea. I owe him and the board an apology for 'lapping without booking.'

Thanks again to all who contributed! ' Rex Ashcraft, Central Point