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Young trees grow old

In response to A global embarrassment, Feb. 11:

The masses don't like abortion and gay marriages. She is so right. We will always believe that a human baby is more important and worth fighting for than an old tree. All those young trees will grow old in time, but an aborted baby won't. ' H. Rogers, Talent

Poorly trained owner

I recently took my standard schnauzer to the park on Barnett Road. An owner came in with his large dog, which proceeded to harass mine.

This owner sat at the bench with coffee and paper ' his back to the park, ignoring his animal. The dog defecated and he did not pick it up. I watched my dog and the other one closely. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself flat on my back ' the dog had knocked me off my feet.

An elderly gentleman helped me up. Although shaken, I continued watching my dog being chased by the larger one. Once again I was flat on my back ' the same dog knocked me over! I was quite shaken up and again helped up by the same man.

I then put my dog on his leash ' twice was enough. The elderly gentleman asked the owner if he knew what had just occurred. He had no idea but sheepishly leashed his dog and walked out of the park ' no apology!

— The experience has upset me and I'll take my dog back. A big thank you to the gentleman who helped me up. ' Muriel Muenzel, Central Point

Accusation is false

The accusation that Israel is an apartheid state is simply false.

Within Israel, Jews are a majority, but the Arab minority are full citizens with voting rights and representation in the government. Under apartheid, black South Africans couldn't vote and weren't citizens of the country in which they are the overwhelming majority of the population. In Israel, there are no anti-miscegenation laws or other policies of racial segregation.

The situation of Palestinians in the territories, won by Israel in a defensive war forced upon it by its neighbors, is different. The security requirements of the nation and a violent, terrorist insurrection in the territories have forced Israel to impose restrictions on Arab residents of the West Bank and Gaza that aren't necessary inside Israel's pre-1967 borders. The Palestinians in the territories typically dispute Israel's right to exist, whereas blacks didn't seek the destruction of South Africa, only the apartheid regime.

If Israel were to give Palestinians in the territories full citizenship, it would mean the territories had been annexed. No Israeli government has been prepared to take that step.

As for the Palestinians, they have moved far beyond apartheid in planning a racially-ethnically pure Arab state. ' Carol Sunahara, Ashland

Discuss the curriculum

I have read lately of the great need our public schools have for money. In my opinion, the public schools need much more than money.

How about bringing the curriculum up for public discussion? Also, make public the cultural forces that debilitate our young people.

Let us talk about movies, music, Internet pornography, television, clothes, fashions, art. These are the contributing culprits for the lack of student accomplishment. They act as forceful stimuli on our young people. We glorify the body and neglect the mind.

Politics enter too deeply into education. The real improvement is not going to begin in Salem.

Every teacher should have a curriculum guide in his or her possession and consult it often.

Let us never forget about the necessity of academic standards in every classroom and the accountability that goes along with them for both teachers and students. ' Ralph J. Denman, Jacksonville

County needs jobs

Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey refuses to endorse the timber fund extension. This is great news. It is time to get those forests producing logs again. This county does not need a federal welfare check. it needs jobs. ' Rocky Warren, Gold Hill