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Not feeling sympathetic

Wish I could feel sorry for those Cedar Links folks who've had to cut the price of their half-million dollar homes by a few thousand bucks. If they've been in that house more than a year or two they've already hit the equity jackpot.

Sorry, my sympathy goes out a lot more to the first-time buyers with little or no equity trying to buy a &

36;200,000 fixer-upper in a bad neighborhood , who can't afford a &

36;1,200 monthly mortgage on Rogue Valley wages. ' Brian Wood, Central Point

English is an asset

The controversy over whether we should become a multilingual country ' specifically, English and Spanish ' has raged for some time now and the divisiveness it has created is the best argument for not doing it.

We say vive la difference, but the reality is, differences scare us, and when we get scared, we tend to get violent. The examples are too numerous to mention and have occurred throughout human history ' differences of skin color, race, religions, language, nationality, etc. The insurgency in Iraq probably has more to do with the perceived insolence of Christian nations sticking their collective nose into a Muslim affair than anything else.

During the late '60s, Boeing imported engineers, mostly Europeans, to work on the 747 program. More than once I heard the remark that they were amazed at being able to travel anywhere in a country this large but still be understood in just one tongue. And, of course, since then English has become the international language.

For whatever reasons, or lack thereof, English is now the language of the United States and that is a definite asset, and one we shouldn't mess with. ' Hartley Anderson, Medford

Letter unenlightened

Richard Cody's letter Organic isn't better on July 30 is laughable, absurd and unenlightened.

Evidently, he feels that eating produce that is sprayed with pesticides, grown in nutrient-depleted soil, dyed for appearance and soon to be genetically modified is nutritious. He also must believe that eating meat and dairy containing hormones and antibiotics is also healthy. Not to mention the environmental and animal welfare issues.

The higher cost of organic food is nothing compared to the high cost of medical care for the health issues resulting from eating inorganic food. Views like Cody's are why the government is currently gaining ground in regulating supplements and health food choices and pushing through their agenda to benefit big business and special interest groups.

If you support natural alternatives, be sure your voice is being heard, or you may have no choice but to consume the same unhealthy food that Cody prefers. ' J. Ellicott, Jacksonville

Still reeling

I'm still reeling from the report of the astronomical growth of budget and staff for Jackson County Planning. I'm incredulous that &

36;90,000 is now to be spent to determine what's wrong with the department.

The fundamental issue still is the behavior of county planning officials and employees. They are consistently arbitrary, discriminatory and capricious in their dealings with property owners.

A recommendation has been made several times to Larry Korbulic and Jack Walker and more recently to C.W. Smith to create an advisory committee for the Planning Department similar to the Roads Committee. There's been no action on this recommendation other than to say perhaps a good idea.

The Jackson County Planning Department's employees are public employees and they must be held accountable to the public. An advisory committee is an effective mechanism for input from the Jackson County public. Certainly more effective than an outside consultant to the tune of &

36;90,000. ' Lew Keller, Jacksonville

Research unsuccessful

The problem with most of the letters and media articles concerning stem-cell research is that they don't mention that stem- cell research has been going on for some time. Embryonic research, to date, has had no successes, where the other research has had 58 known cures and/or successful human therapies. The objection by the president and others of us is that embryonic research requires the killing of the embryo.

I would limit research results to the umbilical cord tests. The federal government is preparing to open a national cord blood bank in hope of providing an adequate match for every patient who needs this kind of stem-cell transplant. Cord blood is rich in stem cells, the same that come from bone marrow and are better able to tolerate the mismatch that occurs with embryonic cells.

Why should we put millions of dollars into research that has had no success? Korean doctors have stated that using cloning would not bring results for decades.

The money would be better spent on the present research. Check Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics, Cord Blood Registry Marrow Donor Program and others. ' Lorraine Mussack, Talent