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Growth will happen

I am not surprised that most of the letters to the editor decrying growth in the valley are written by people who have lived here less than 20 years. These hypocrites now want to stop others from doing exactly what they did just a few years earlier, move here and enjoy the lifestyle.

Growth will happen, how we deal with growth is the issue before us. ' Steven Plunk, Medford

They've made enough money

I'm sure every responsible parent who works hard to earn a living for their children was as disgusted and angered by the affluent beggars as I was.

I'd like to thank the Mail Tribune for the article and education to all those that may have been guilted into giving money to this couple. They already receive the Oregon Trail card, I don't think they deserve any more money from people who live in the real world. ' Kyra Cavalli, Central Point

Plan for growth

I moved my family to Grants Pass five months ago from Santa Rosa, Calif. The arguments and concerns that people have about growth in Medford are identical to the area we just left ' but nowhere near as severe.

I watched my small hometown transform into an unrecognizable mass of congestion. The main factors for moving were traffic and crime. Sound familiar?

— The advantage Medford has is they acknowledge these potential problems and are brainstorming ideas to ease the burden of growth ' and grow it will. It just needs to grow intelligently.

Santa Rosa never planned for the huge influx of people and when it reached crisis level, it was too late. Now traffic jams, substandard, low-income housing and street gangs are commonplace, and that's no place I want to raise my kids.

Plan big. Shortcuts and quick fixes will only cost much more in the future.

This area is desirable, but the issues Medford faces are also why we chose Grants Pass. We didn't want to deal with the same problems we left behind.

It's tough for a town facing inevitable growth to retain its small-town charm, but Medford realizes this and seems ready to tackle the problem early. ' Allen J. Smith, Grants Pass

Isn't kindness Christian?

I am puzzled by the apparent self-contradiction of the campaign to keep Christ in Christmas. It seems to me that greeting someone with a cheery Happy Holidays, when you don't know their religious affiliation or lack thereof, is an act of kindness and charity.

I thought kindness and charity were the essence of Christ's teachings. Are they no longer Christian virtues?

Instead, professed Christians like Bill O'Reilly and Pat Robertson are again making enemies and increasing divisiveness ' not charitable or loving in my book. While they campaign to save Christmas, there is tremendous want, misery and deprivation in the world.

I do not hear those same professed Christians leading national campaigns to promote fairness, justice and the satisfaction of basic needs worldwide. Would the latter not be the more charitable and loving course to pursue? ' Robert John Scheelen, Medford

We're lucky to have Gilmour

Questions about Dave Gilmour's record as a county commissioner flabbergast me. We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Gilmour's intellect, commitment, initiative and integrity serving as our county commissioner.

As co-founder of the Southern Oregon Suicide Prevention Coalition, I am well aware of the numerous hours Dr. Gilmour gives to suicide prevention in our area. He attends meetings of our coalition, conducts research and writes articles locally to elevate public awareness and, most recently, spearheaded an effort to designate Sept. 4-10 as Suicide Prevention Week in Jackson County.

In addition, he instigates public initiatives to benefit our region and diligently works to move ideas forward. He suggested the realignment of Highway 140 through Central Point to ameliorate notorious traffic snarls on that highway. He proposed the redevelopment of the Tolo region as an industrial center for our valley, bringing jobs and economic development to Jackson County. Thanks to his contacts, the Port of Portland is expressing interest in investing in our region.

It takes someone of his intellect, commitment and initiative to foster needed public change. We are lucky to have Dr. Gilmour.

Let's look at his achievements, not the number of meetings he missed. ' Susan Roudebush, Ashland