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Thanks to Open Imaging

Our teens, young adults and babies in Community Works' Transitional Living and Independent Living Programs wish to thank Shelle Franceschini and the entire staff at Medford Open Imaging.

On Dec. 21, a party was given in honor of our youth through the combined efforts of the MOI staff and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. Gifts were tailored to the individual needs of each youth.

Teddy bears were waiting for each baby, and Santa heard the Christmas wishes of our little ones. Additional gifts were donated to the StreetWise drop-in center at Community Works' Medford office for distribution to homeless and runaway youth.

Special thanks to Ginette Keith, MOI and to Sheriff Mike Winters for collecting the gifts in support of our teen programs. We will all cherish the memory of this wonderful gathering ' and especially those youth who were served. ' Angel Garcia, Independent Living coordinator, and Sherry Jones, Transitional Living case manager, Community Works, Medford

Less than pleased

I have to say I am less than pleased with the Tribune's coverage of the Internet CDS debacle.

I understand the initial article lacking real information as it was pretty much regurgitated from the notification e-mails sent by CDS. The second article, however, was one that I personally initiated only to be given practically no mention in the end product.

— But that's not even the disheartening part. The sad part is the bulk of the article was dedicated to the ramblings of an ex-business owner whose spiteful view of the industry has more to say about his business practices than it does about the state of our industry. InfoStructure is larger and more stable today than ever before in our 10-year history.

Instead, the Tribune echoed Internet CDS sentiment that Qwest is the best choice for their customers when there are numerous local ISPs that are more than capable of accommodating CDS customers and willing to do so with genuine customer service, not window dressing and multi-million dollar advertising campaigns.

Isn't it ironic that a live person couldn't be found at either of the two Qwest service numbers provided on the Internet CDS Web site? ' Jeff Rhoden, co-owner, InfoStructure, Medford

Where's the logic?

The FAA prohibits anyone taking Prozac or other antidepressants from piloting a plane. Yet this same person can walk into a Wal-Mart and purchase a firearm to commit suicide or murder. Logic? ' Gwin DeMateo, Phoenix

Hypocrisy

Can you believe that U.S. congressmen, led by right-wing radical Dana Rohrabacher, are visiting in Ukraine to help insure a fair election?

Is this hypocritical or what?

Would not their time and the taxpayers' money be better spent in Ohio or Washington or in trying to prove to many that voting machines cannot be rigged? ' Jim Caldwell, Yreka, Calif.

No persecution

There are people who strive daily to follow the teachings and emulate the deeds of Jesus. They're called Christians.

There are other people, fewer in number but louder, calling themselves Christians, who complain that their right to worship openly is being denied in this country. This is because their idea of worship happens to include making their singular belief into official state policy and dominant in every aspect of our lives.

Those who created this great nation did so in large part specifically to avoid the certain catastrophe of any religious group having that kind of power. And the one who gave the world what we know today as Christianity warned his followers against building earthly kingdoms in his name.

Most of us know these truths, but it would be well, especially at this time of year, if all of us did. ' John Wilkinson, Jacksonville

Not enough cardiologists

I don't know much about cardiology and even less about cardiologists except that I am treated by one. What I do know is that when it takes seven weeks to get an appointment with your cardiologist there aren't enough of them in this valley. ' Douglas M. McLean, Jacksonville

Thanks to parents

The Salvation Army has the highest percentage of contributions going to help people in need than any other charitable organization. This single distinction is why so many corporations, malls and businesses allow the red collection kettles during the holiday season.

While ringing the bell at collection pots with Rotary over the last 17 years, my holiday spirit grew seeing so many parents giving change to their children to place in the collection kettle. I would hope this lesson has taught their children to help people in need.

The Salvation Army carries the true meaning of Christmas year-round. A special thank you to all the parents helping their children understand the importance of caring.

To Target Corp., your red bull's-eye is looking more like a black eye on the face of charity. ' John Yaple, Medford

We've faced worse

I hesitate to enter again into the fray over the election of George Bush as our president. Mindsets cool only with the passage of time.

If Kerry had been elected, I'm sure the right would be writing letters predicting the doom of our country. With the passing of time, some of the hate and doubt will abate.

What we must all remember is that the United Sates has faced worse disasters in its long history and will weather this one. If you doubt this, remember the Revolutionary War, the burning of the White House in 1815, our Civil War, the flu pandemic during the First World War, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, and on and on.

If what you perceive is the disaster you predict, you should be working within the American system to make it the least damaging possible. Remember, there will be another election in less than four years, and if the outcome of the 2004 election is a disaster, the liberal candidate of 2008 will be a shoo-in! ' Gene Rushing, Medford

Angered by cartoon

As the wife of a Marine, I am angered by the Dec. 24 political cartoon of Rumsfeld which states, You go to war with the mess hall tents you have ?

After a terrible American loss in Iraq caused by a homicide-terrorist who infiltrated the camp, it is ultra-insensitive that the Mail Tribune would publish a cartoon that uses this tragedy in humor.

Neither the American families who lost their loved ones, nor the Americans who support their troops are amused. In addition, it was not even an accurate parallel argument. May an equal amount of Christmas cheer come your way, Mail Tribune. ' Ann Manes, Jacksonville

Change is hard

Despite the Tribune editorial a few months back reminding Ashland that they can't have it both ways, they tried to last week at the Planning Commission meeting on the Fordyce Street cohousing project.

The opposition fell all over themselves espousing support for affordable housing and the concept of cohousing, but their actions spoke louder. They said good idea, but somewhere else. They proposed an untenable smaller version.

Some neighbors loudly asserted not in my back yard (by and large invoking complaints common to any development). The majority of the commission also responded with their own version of this rejoinder ' not on my watch.

There was a disturbingly evident lack of understanding of the specifics of the project. The members/designers of this project are willing to walk the city's talk on issues of green building, affordability and development of infill property.

This project offers the city a gift and opportunity with this project. Thus far, they have not chosen to utilize the creativity, flexibility, and dedication that birthed this project.

City employees and neighbors would do well on this occasion to transcend their fears and self-interest to make a responsible, reasoned, merit-based decision in favor of the project. Change is hard. ' Doug Huston, Medford

Politically correct holidays

Politically correct holidays means loss of revenue for local stores!

I did not shop anywhere that did not mention the word Christmas.

I do not care if they advertise for Hanukkah, Christmas and non-Christians. If you do not acknowledge Christmas, I did not shop at your store.

I found I purchased a lot of items on the Internet because they guaranteed Christmas delivery and mentioned the word Christmas!

The day after Thanksgiving was always the first official date for Christmas shopping. We were supposed to be a tolerant country of all religious preference. If you did not like Christmas, and are not tolerant of others who do recognize Christmas, move! ' Griselda Marney, White City

Peterson murder not abortion

Recent letters tried to equate legal abortions with the actions of condemned killer Scott Peterson. In both cases, the authors fail to consider that Laci Peterson probably did not consent to having her fetus killed.

It is the difference between the author giving me a &

36;20 bill or me taking it from him/her, without consent, in an act of violence. The fact that these authors can't see the difference is mind-boggling. That they try to equate a legal medical procedure with pre-meditated murder is shameful.' M. Conens, Medford

Loose lips

We have freedom of thought and freedom of speech. There is more than one way to lose that.

I remember the phrase from the '40s, Loose lips sink ships. Voluntary restraint of speech was a matter of life and death. It still is.

One question: Is there anything that Islamic terrorists could ask the American media to do for them that is not granted? ' Ira M. Edwards, Medford

The company he keeps

The question begged ' why can't we all get behind our president and stop all the hate, and disrespect and get on with our lives?

I have gotten on with mine, it isn't behind Bush, and I still pity and disrespect him. Michael Moore had it right last term, a fictitious presidency by a fictitious president ...

He did not win the 2000 election! If Cheney hadn't purchased Scalia's influence, Bush would not have been declared president. Let us not forget he was not 'elected' in 2000. More people voted for Gore.

If King George had not been declared the winner in 2000, who knows who the president would be now. He hornswoggled 57 million of you this time, but he did not 55 million of the rest of us.

Let's face it, Bush was picked to be the TIME magazine person of the year because he changed politics to fit his wants and needs. Being the TIME person of the year puts him right on the front cover along with the likes of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. We'd all be wise to think about the company Bush keeps. ' Wil Scarrow, Gold Hill

Happy holidays

What a shame some people think it would be more Christian to say Merry Christmas rather than happy holidays. The wonders of the winter solstice, the candles of Hanukkah, the family values of Kwanzaa and the gifts of Boxing Day are all seasonal gifts from God and are worthy of our gratitude and expressions of joy.

It says in — Corinthians 12:5, There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. Happy holidays! ' S. Roberts, Eagle Point