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Congratulations on ruling

My hat's off to the Mail Tribune for helping us stay a free and open society. Congratulations on gaining access to the 9-1-1 tapes.

I have to wonder what the Sheriff's Department is trying to hide. If they had opened the tapes up to the public in the first place it would have been much better for all.

Trust government? You've gotta be kidding. ' Chuck Brook, Medford

Exercise some discipline

In referring to a recent rash of drunk driving accidents involving teens, Medford Police Lt. Mike Moran calls it a disturbing trend. True, but equally disturbing is the apparent lack of discipline and control over these kids on the part of the parents. How in the world does a parent allow a child use of a vehicle when that child has proven time and time again that he isn't responsible enough to handle it?

In the case of Thatcher-Stephens, the state had to step in to do what the parents either couldn't or wouldn't do: Take the kid's license.

In this most recent case, a question for those kids' parents: What are an 18- and 16-year-old doing out at 5 a.m, much less drinking, no matter what time of day it is?

— Parents, these kids are your responsibility! If you don't exercise some discipline, it is a guarantee that at some point it will be left up to a judge or probation officer to do your job. Take charge, parents. The public is counting on you. ' Donna Chambers, Central Point,

Live with it

In the March 6 issue of the Mail Tribune the writer of a letter titled Let's act like it complained that we're getting tired of all the Bush-bashing each day in the paper. It only serves to divide us as a nation.

The millions of people who did not vote for George Bush are not responsible for dividing America ' the president is. He offended many Americans during his first term.

Nothing has changed since his re-election. As long as he continues to offend almost half the population he will continue to be disliked and mistrusted. The bashing will stop when he earns the respect of the rest of the nation.

Since that is not likely to happen, you can expect more letters of complaint about President Bush and his administration, and no amount of chiding will stop them. Live with it. ' P.D. Ross, Medford

Worth the admission price

Derrick Lee Weeden's talent seems boundless. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor played a splendid Othello a few years back. Now he is starring in the title role of a George Bernard Shaw comedy, The Philanderer.

His performance is remarkable. His gestures add to the comedy, his voice is mellifluous, he moves gracefully, his articulation enabled these elderly ears in Row M to hear his every word.

The scene where he rolls around the stage on what appears to be a piano stool is a hoot. The entire cast is excellent, but Weeden alone is worth the price of admission. ' Joann Blair, Ashland

Planned Parenthood's mission

Regarding the letter titled Sugarcoating the facts March 7:

Planned Parenthood's main business is not abortion. It is, as its name states, planned parenthood. This organization is in the business of helping its clients plan when they have children and don't believe that parenthood should be forced on anybody, even minors. How dare she or anybody else, including parents, assume that she has to right to force any woman to have a child?

Just an aside, I had a child out of wedlock, but this was my decision ' nobody forced me to have her and nobody should have the right to force any woman to have a child that she doesn't want ' no matter what her age is. ' M. Stokes, Medford

Black History Month

Sitting at the Ashland High quad and listening to the classic R&B, I wondered why North Medford didn't celebrate Black History Month.

I'm a senior now. My first three years were spent at North. I transferred because it didn't support my education and safety.

It's not just me. I believe all minority students experience a hostile learning environment whether they realize it there. I want to expose the process of institutionalized racism because it can only survive if it's hidden.

This isn't the first time I've brought up race relations. I've always voiced my stance on the issues.

It's up to the current students at North to make sure February is acknowledged as a national holiday. It only celebrates one cultural day: Cinco de Mayo.

That may account for the strong Hispanic population. However, black history needs to be remembered because my ancestors fought for universal humanitarian values.

We live in the year 2005. There are still people here who've never met a person of color. I chose to confront this issue because in three months I'll have graduated.

I left North, but I haven't forgotten my experiences there. Many of my former classmates know I'm outspoken. I haven't changed. ' Karen Beadle, Medford