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Thanks for snow help

Through the recent winter storm, we in the Jacksonville hills were hit awfully hard. Upwards of 15 inches of snowfall and power outages left us nearly isolated.

Were it not for the snow plows valiantly keeping our roads cleared (toppled newspaper and mailboxes notwithstanding) things could have been much worse. County and power company crews are to be commended.

However, those who deserve as much credit and appreciation are our Mail Tribune carriers, Jim and Sue, and our postal carrier, Amanda. Not once was either service interrupted and for that we are grateful.

Our neighbor, Rich, with the blade on the front of his truck was a huge help in clearing our drives as well. An intrepid group of folks to be sure. Major kudos and thanks to all. ' Bruce and Jane Wampler, Jacksonville

Thanks for donations

We at Phoenix-Talent Laidlaw Education Services would like to take this opportunity to give a huge, heartfelt thank you to the following local businesses for all their gracious donations! We also want to thank Blake Schowe from the Red Bluff, Calif., Wal-Mart DC for his generosity over the miles.

Once again, our adopted family had a very blessed holiday season, which was only made possible by all of you. The staff and drivers tip our hats to the following companies followed by best wishes for you and yours for the New Year! Roxy Ann Lanes, Stan Mark's Taste of Honey Limo Service, The Picture People, Iron Skillet and Medford Skate-Roller Odyssey. ' Diana Whitmire, Laidlaw Transit, Talent

Parents are the key

The recent Waxman report exposing government-funded abstinence-only programs as misleading, ineffective and irresponsible has generated a flurry of letters and editorials.

National and local surveys consistently show overwhelming parent support for comprehensive sex education in schools. The very definition of a comprehensive approach calls for teaching information and skills that support making thoughtful and healthy decisions about sex throughout one's lifetime ' including the choice to say no or yes.

The importance of family communication about sex is also revealed in research, including a new survey released by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, in which teens say their parents (37 percent) influence their decisions about sex more than friends (33 percent) or the media (5 percent). We need to look beyond classroom programs and improve support to parents as they talk with their children about sexual issues, sharing factual information along with their personal values and beliefs.

Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon has a long tradition of providing resources for parents to assist them in communicating more effectively with their children about important sexual issues. Thanks to generous funding from several foundations, parent information kits are available from Planned Parenthood at no charge by calling a toll-free number, 1-866-kits4us. ' Patricia Jett, MD, board member, Planned Parenthood Health Services of Southwest Oregon

The real reasons

Our noble and highly moral president has often publicly stated that the terrorists hate America because we're a nation of freedom.

Let's have some truth. The two reasons these terrorists hate us are the same reasons they've always hated us:

1. The United States provides billions of dollars and thousands of missiles to Israel every year, which this genocidal regime uses to blow up and massacre Palestinians. Israel illegally and violently stole the Palestinians' land, just as Hitler did to Czechoslovakia in 1938 and the United States did to the so-called redskin savages in the 1800s.

2. The United States is the largest producer and exporter of perverted, sick pornography videos, sexually oriented music videos, sleazy television shows, the National Enquirer and disgusting, perverted radio programs such as the Howard Stern Show. Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists hate this stuff more than we can imagine, and blame America for exporting and broadcasting this filth around the globe.

Our country is not innocent. This proliferation of perversion and degradation is largely caused by money-hungry American corporations. Now you know the real reasons Middle Eastern terrorists hate us. Freedom has nothing to do with it. ' James Snyder, Central Point