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Let's work together

Many people in our society think of education as public vs. private vs. homeschool. In reality the education of our children is a partnership of our community.

As a parent, it is my job to ensure the educational experiences necessary for my children to succeed in preparation for adulthood. I am my children's number one advocate for their success.

As a staff member of the Medford School District, I am committed to doing all I can to see my students flourish and blossom. My husband has been a public educator for 14 years, we have homeschooled our three children for six years (they are all currently in the public school system), and I have been on staff with the public school district for 1&

189; years.

Phil Long is committed to making sure all of our children receive the training and education needed for them to be valuable participants in our community (mentally, emotionally, and physically) regardless of where their parents have deemed best to educate them.

Enough controversy ' let's work together for our children's sakes. ' Jureen Gardner, Central Point

Numb, defeated and tired

I feel numb, defeated, tired, incredulous, angry, disappointed.

— I put major personal effort into the 2004 election, having faith in Americans to vote Bush out. How shocking that the majority chose him and his administration.

It will be more of the same, and worse, for the next four years. How will our country, dare I say the world, survive it?

I may put myself into a news blackout and turn my efforts inward, working to improve my home, health and business.

Evidently, positive change is an impossible goal. There is no good, daily news and I actively try to find some shred of it.

We Americans have become apathetic, fat, lazy, selfish consumers concerned only with ourselves and what can make our individual lives more comfortable, at the expense of the environment and our neighbors. The world doesn't value Mother Nature, open spaces, endangered species or those less fortunate and needy.

Our compassion is gone and our goals are world domination and infliction of our narrow beliefs on differing cultures. I am sad for our humanity and our planet. Someday, historians will look back upon this time and wonder what we were thinking. Their answer will be that we weren't! ' G. Putnam, Medford

Prison is the answer

Regarding the letter from Sharon Robinson of Rogue River: Her answer to the meth, coke and drug of choice is not the answer to the drug problem in the valley. The answer is long-term incarceration in prison ' a long enough term to make an impression on the perpetrator, and sometimes that doesn't even stop them.

Long prison terms will keep them off the streets, out of our neighborhoods, away from our children for some time. A second offense, a longer prison term, and life for a third conviction. Maybe that would make them think about it.

Our judges and law enforcement must get tough about their punishment ' a slap on the wrist and a fine is not enough. They make that much money on one sale after their release.

A loss of their freedom, a long-term incarceration in our prison system among career criminals would be a scary thing for most violators. Maybe the punishment would hit home. Just maybe! ' Jon Rene?, Phoenix

Compassionate had to pay

Our conservative Dutch father saved for his retirement. At age 50, World War II over, his savings and life insurance were gone. Most of his generation were stripped.

Savings are not immune to war, or downsizing, etc. Government should not take care of personal needs, but it did then. It cared, or maybe the Communist Party was growing and the Russians were too near.

Dad saved, again, and retired at 70 in some measure of comfort. This administration, devoutly conservative, seeks to teach personal responsibility and saving.

Company incentives (by matching for pension funds) gave some security, but the Enrons ended that. Millions of households spend all on daily needs. Many spend the spare extra dollar on latte and the mall.

Those who can save are now encouraged to have pride of ownership of mutual funds selected as safe by Uncle Sam, fund managers and CEOs standing by. Sooner or later John Q. will have to bail out the elderly who have less than sustenance.

I remember the Savings and Loan fiasco. The compassionate had to pay for the creed, or greed, of the self-professed conservatives. ' Hans H. Stroo, Medford