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Union attitude typical

Be thankful you're not mentally ill or developmentally disadvantaged in Josephine County. Not only would the union members not care whether you lived or died while they were on strike, they don't want anyone else to step in and help you either.

Shows where their hearts are, doesn't it? It's a typical public be damned union attitude, just like that in New York City recently. ' Jim Andrews, Medford

Where are the parents?

As the mother of a teacher and the grandmother of elementary school kids, I listen closely to the public discourse on school failures, poor test scores and children left behind. I'm painfully aware of the inordinate responsibility laid at the teacher's doorstep. Where are the parents?

I watch teachers work long hours, from before dawn until after dark, planning lessons appropriate to individual and group needs, responding moment to moment to events in families and neighborhoods, eagerly greeting parents at the classroom door and inviting any involvement or understanding a parent may offer.

Still I hear over and over again that the schools' failures are the teachers' fault. I never hear, in any of these thoughtful, chin-scratching, deep soundings, any mention of the parents' responsibility in promoting their kids' attendance and performance . Why not? ' Loretta Adams, Medford

Biased press hurts Democrats

Just like the 2004 election, it will be the Republicans vs. the mainstream press and the Democrats. Do you remember election night 2004? Rather, Jennings and Brokaw desperately tried not to declare President Bush the winner in Ohio.

— When the outcome of the 2004 election was obvious, Dan was giving every excuse in the world to justify not making the call. When confronted by a Republican, Peter put on a superior intellectual face and gave a flimsy excuse. Tom declared President Bush the winner, and then changed his mind. President Bush not only defeated John Kerry, he defeated the mainstream press.

I think the unfair and unbalanced press hurts the Democrats. By being manipulated by a biased press, the Democrats are taking stances unattractive to the independent thinkers and fail to develop leaders of their own.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) liked the Harriet Miers nomination. By supporting Miers, the Democrats would have demonstrated some leadership. President Bush's conservative base would have had a fit if Miers had become a Supreme Court justice.

President Bush put his Iraq plan in writing for those lacking listening skills. The disorganized Democrats responded by failing to present a unified counter-proposal. No leadership! ' Bill Hartley, Medford

Handicapped rule dismaying

We feel dismayed and yes, even angry over a ruling by Oregon state legislators that penalizes handicapped citizens.

Recently, during extremely severe weather, my handicapped wife drove to Wal-Mart to get my medical prescription filled (I am also handicapped). In her rush, she neglected to put the handicapped placard on the car's dash. She received a ticket.

Upon returning home, we called the court to explain the circumstances. We were told that although we do have handicapped status, there would still be a &

36;20 penalty.

The handicapped are not allowed to keep the placards in view unless parking. Ironically, the majority of handicapped people are senior citizens, with a tendency to be more forgetful. We are already physically challenged and sometimes we just plain forget simple details, such as putting a placard on the dash.

We feel first-time offenders should receive a warning, not a fine. In our case, we have had handicapped status four years without a citation. The state of Oregon should not balance the budget on the backs of handicapped citizens. ' Lou and Claude Burnham, Shady Cove.