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Why is bin Laden still free'

In his column defending the practice of torture, Jonah Goldberg asserts that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed produced a bounty of information about al-Qaida.

He fails to mention that this breakthrough occurred early in 2003. If the information was indeed so useful and not, as some suspected at the time, riddled with misinformation, why are we no closer almost three years later to countering the havoc of terrorism or capturing bin Laden? ' Molly Tinsley, Ashland

Parents have rights, too

Does Planned Parenthood really believe that access to complete, unbiased information on sexuality is a basic human right while also maintaining the view that a parent has no right to know if their minor child is going to have an abortion? ' Larry Martin, Central Point

'Three Rs' are now 'Three Ss'

After the recent discourse on curriculum requirements in the government schools, it occurred to us that the traditional 3Rs of learning (readin', writin' and 'rithmetic) have progressed to the next letter of the alphabet, S, which stands for sex, socialism, and secularism, the new standards of excellence in learning. Merry Christmas. ' Tom and Carol Moeller, Jacksonville

We don't have time to smoke

The article regarding speed traps was merely another in a series reporting partial truths about Gold Hill. Is there a payoff for making Gold Hill look bad? Even Commissioner Gilmour said everyone in Gold Hill smokes pot. What about the good news?

Well, people need to know that Gold Hill is a delightful town. Over 16 percent of the households and businesses are members of the Gold Hill Community Development Organization (Can-DO). Can-DO members, caring citizens and many friends of Gold Hill are responsible for welcome signs, banners, beautiful flower beds, sidewalk benches, American flags and Christmas decorations on our main street.

— We provide snacks for kids on Walk to School Day, hold an annual Can-DO Fest at Del Rio Vineyard, produce the Gold Dust Music & Art Festival, hold the annual Raging River Rock Paint Out and contest, have in place an architectural plan for our sports park, have refurbished the tennis courts and are researching plans for a city historical design. Many local businesses have been painting and remodeling. We produce our own local quarterly newsletter which is mailed to over 500 addresses.

Because of all the above, most of us don't have time to smoke pot. ' Judi Holdeman, Gold Hill

Sex-ed changes welcome

I strongly support the proposed changes to the health curriculum for the Medford School District. As the mother of a child in the district (Jacksonville second-grader), I welcome the thoughtful, research-based approach to making these changes.

The world has changed since the current programs were adopted in 1991, and I believe parents and schools should work together to adapt to these changes. I have worked over 10 years in public health and have seen the impact of increases in STD and HIV rates, as well as the impact of unplanned pregnancies.

So many times, people were misinformed of their risk, or in many cases never received any information to make the right choices. It is all too true that children get information from a variety of sources, and that information is often too little, too late.

Just as schools have increased curriculums on drug use/abuse and nutrition and exercise, the school is the perfect partner with parents to increase accurate information on issues of sexuality. I applaud the effort of the school district and support them in their move to reach all students' needs. ' Belle S. Shepherd, Jacksonville

Thanks for work

I want to thank some wonderful Oregonians who have shown me what a great place I've chosen to live in my retirement. Three days after moving to Oregon I was notified my son, a police officer, had been critically injured in the line of duty. I rushed back to California where, unfortunately, my son died the next day.

A series of people were poised to start work on my house the next day. I called my Realtors and, rather than calling people off, they worked to get the improvements done. I returned to a beautifully refurbished home.

I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to Chuck and Sharon Rearrick of John L. Scott Real Estate, R.C. and Evelyn Anderson of R.C. Anderson Painting, Chris and Jane of Crystal Clear Satellite Television, the people at Lowe's carpet/flooring department and Larry the installer, and Ron and the office staff of Lehi Pump Service. ' Chuck Lamoree, Jacksonville