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Maintenance malaiseIn reply to the April 16 letter by Lori Koljord Johnson requesting support for Medford school repairs or replacement. It is a downright travesty that for lack of maintenance of our county/city schools that they are so in need of repair that replacement is considered.

My husband's great-grandparents' home, built in 1888, and his grandparents' home, built in 1885, both in Central Point, are in excellent condition.

Shame on our School Board for allowing this to happen to our school buildings. Who is in charge of maintenance? Who were the clowns in charge of maintenance? Will new buildings be allowed to operate with such a lack of maintenance? &

8212; Georgina Gipe, Medford

Fiscal sleight of hand

A recent column by David Broder contained disturbing news and figures pertaining to our federal government. As one who hoped for some glimmer of fiscal responsibility, especially by a Republican-controlled government, the submitted figures and the methods whereby they evolved were frightening.

The government is using tactics comparable to those employed by improvident individuals, charging for purchases and not registering the charge on budget. As a result, the recorded budget deficit of $319 billion is actually $760 billion. That amounts to a $156,000 debt for every man, woman, and child in the USA.

We welcome our children and grandchildren to penurious times. &

8212; Hank Fennell, Ashland

Bible is not historyI agree with Larry Huss' assumption that Christianity is in trouble in this country. Its hold on nominal believers must be insecure if it merits an essay like his, which tries to defend a sometimes bully from attack, satire, criticism or even scrutiny.

Or if its defense rests on ignorance: "A transcript from some writer created centuries after the death of Jesus and after the recording of the Gospels of those who actually knew Jesus and witnessed the events of his life" &

8212; his remark reflects important factual errors. All of the Gospel writers wrote many decades after Jesus' death; not one was a contemporary and, like Paul, not one knew him.

The differences in the accounts offered by the Synoptic Gospels reflect different versions of events obscured by time and recast by early followers to serve their different doctrinal, sectarian and ecclesiastical interests. It is entirely appropriate to believe in the Gospels as a matter of faith but not as a historical vindication of that faith.

Precisely because ignorant people confuse the two, Christian believers tremble with every intimation that their faith-foundational texts are not history books. &

8212; Michael L. Hays, Ashland

Dogs not OK everywhereWhy have so many people decided it's OK to take their dogs everywhere they go? I understand taking them to the pet stores. I do that from time to time. It's good for the dogs to socialize with new people and just fun to have your dog with you outside of the house.

But the other day I was at the Central Point Albertsons and a lady walked by me carrying a dog. This was in no way a service dog. This was at a grocery store! I honestly didn't even think to talk to the manager on duty at the time or I would have.

This is so unsanitary. Don't get me wrong, I love animals and have several at my home, but they aren't allowed in my kitchen. How do people think it's okay to take their pets to the grocery store where people are there buying their food? And why are the stores allowing it? This lady I saw wasn't hiding the dog and it wasn't one of those tiny, fit-in-your-pocket breeds. I just don't understand it. &

8212; Marcia Holland, Central Point