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The world watches

On Jan. 20,1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, being sworn in while our nation was at war, chose to forego inaugural festivities. Roosevelt termed them unseemly while the nation was stretched, financially and emotionally, by war.

On Jan. 20, 2005, George W. Bush, while our nation is at war, has chosen not to forgo any of the unseemly festivities. His inaugural festivities will be among the most expensive of their kind ' &

36;40 million excluding the expenses of massive security. Much of which will serve to keep the American people from participating in their government by the people, for the people's celebration.

Our Constitution requires a simple oath of 35 words ' the rest is presidential discretion. With so much suffering and loss at home and abroad, think of what &

36;40-plus million would provide:

Would the Medford School District improve their overcrowded conditions with &

36;40 million?

How many more soldiers' lives in Iraq would be saved by &

36;40 million of armor for 690 more Humvees?

As the tsunami death count rises to 162,000 and malaria threatens to claim as many lives, how many people could be saved with &

36;40 million in additional medical aid?

— Leaders lead by example and the world watches. ' Laura Catapano, Jacksonville

A question of determination

The gavel seems to have pounded for the final time regarding proclaimed atheist Michael Newdow's case against the president's inaugural invocation. While this scenario played itself out my attention seemed to become more focused and riveted not as much on the concern of whether Mr. Newdow's efforts would succeed, but rather my gaze has been focused on his passionate, fast-track pursuit. It has been a eye-opener to say the least.

I do not know if I am the only one who has noticed this; probably not, but as a pastor I see an indictment placed at the feet of the church. The indictment is this: Are we, the church, willing to do our mission with passion which is the truth with the same determination that Mr. Newdow most definitely has put forth for a lie? ' Pastor Tom Fletcher, Valley of the Rogue Chapel Church of the Nazarene, Rogue River

A dangerous development

Progress Drive is a very busy commercial-residential area connecting Biddle Road and Poplar Drive. Starting at Biddle Road onto Poplar Drive, there is an entrance/exit to Marie Callender's, an entrance/exit to Subway and other shops, an entrance/exit to Castle Super Store, an exit/entrance to DMV , Red Cross and numerous other businesses, and an entrance/exit to Wildwood Condominiums, an owner occupied residential area of 16 units. Amongst all of this in the first half of the street are two bus stops for RVTD.

The other half of the street toward Poplar Drive is occupied by apartments with their driveways and parking along the curb making visibility dangerous. There is also an extreme amount of pedestrian use of this street.

Now it is proposed to build 6-7 residential units behind Wildwood Condominiums, which would result in 12-plus more cars in and out of this driveway. Also, directly across the street, there is a For Lease sign for office space to be built between Marie Callender's and the DMV .This would surely greatly increase the use of this dangerous street.

Why would the city of Medford allow this increase in traffic in an already dangerous situation? ' Jean Johnson, Medford

What a waste

Approximately1,400 coffins have come home from Iraq. What a time to be spending &

36;40 million for the inauguration plus &

36;142 million for protection for the president.

When Roosevelt was president and we were at war he didn't have any parties and just served chicken salad and pound cake at his inauguration.

This is no time to be having a gala celebration when so many people are dying all over the world. The terrible loss of over 160,000 in South East Asia plus all our service men are dying daily. Do you wonder why the world thinks so little of us?

Now the president is contemplating war with Iran, when will it ever end? I'm afraid it won't end. ' Lori Jacobsen, Central Point