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Management, not money

First he created two &

36;100,000 manager positions. Now, for what it would cost to hire a teacher, he has hired a public relations firm to assist the district in communicating with the community. This from a man who doesn't trust the school district with the education of his own children.

The Medford School Board under superintendent Phil Long exemplifies why people believe that schools don't need more money, but need better management. ' Dan Fellman, Ashland

Show some responsibility

How ridiculous for a school district that is short on teachers and supplies to spend &

36;52,000 on a PR firm to communicate with the public. Especially after hiring an unqualified superintendent because he's a great communicator.

Let me communicate my feelings to the school board. I will vote against all school bond measures until you show some fiscal responsibility. ' Ron Unis, Medford

Bad public relations

The hiring of a public relations firm out of Salem in order for the Medford School District to improve communications with the community is absolutely preposterous.

Mr. Long states about the PR firm he is hiring, We want someone who is clear on what we're trying to accomplish. I would hope that was one of the reasons the school board hired him in the first place. Mr. Long's communication skills should be at the top of the heap in fulfilling just part of his superintendent responsibilities anyway.

— Sending district money to a firm in Salem might be better spent on hiring a couple more teachers. It seems to me that the best communication Phil Long can start with is through the kids, teachers and parents. ' Jim Barry, Medford

Support anti-torture language

It is unbelievable that the Senate of the United States of America would need to insert an amendment into the Defense Spending Bill to say that we should not torture prisoners. It is beyond belief that the House would not support this amendment and it is outrageous that the president of the United States (leader of the free world as he prefers to be called!) would threaten to veto this bill if the anti-torture amendment is still in it. I urge all voters to contact Congressman Greg Walden at and urge him to support the Senate's anti-torture amendment. ' Tom Dew, Vietnam veteran, Medford

Feeling like a pumpkin

What is it like to be an American in a Republican government?

It is like being a pumpkin. The Right picks from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the so-called dirt off you. Then they use the power given to them by the government to cut off the top and pillage all the valuables inside.

They remove the seeds of certainty, labor, trust of others, hope for our children's future and compassion for the less fortunate. Later to be baked, eaten or tossed away.

Then carve you a smiling face and shove a candle burning inside you to shine for the entire world to see, calling it God and patriotism. Basking in the warmth of your glow, place you on display as a symbol of their power, now becoming one of their thousand points of light.

You stand powerless, unable to extinguish the searing heat inside of your heart and soul, knowing your children are next for their power-hungry amusement.

When they are done, they toss you away in the Dumpster and do it all over again next year to someone new. ' Jodi Yap, Talent

More on phone books

The letter from Randy Miltier about the glut of phone books is right on target. What I find objectionable, however, is the drop-one-at-every-address method of distribution.

I always try to catch the delivery person of an alternative phone book at my front porch and refuse it. Once, though, I missed them, so I called the distribution manager and asked him if he would come pick up the book, that I considered it littering to leave this cumbersome object on my property without my request. His answer was that they wouldn't be able to do that.

I then asked him if I could have his address and that I would drop the book at his house as they had dropped it at mine. Needless to say, the answer was negative.

That they print these books is fine. Perhaps they should then have pick-up stations where people could have one for free ' if they wanted one. ' Bernie Conrad, Grants Pass