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Embarrassing for SOUI am ashamed that Sen. Alan Bates, whom I voted for, requested that a recommendation made by a duly constituted search committee for the new president at Southern Oregon University be overturned and/or reconsidered because the community input (or at least those he is aware of) preferred Earl Potter.

Input means input, it does not mean that the community selects the university president. Educational leaders must also be able to lead within the university and answer to more than the external community. That's why there is a process and a committee, whose members have the background and have put in time to review a myriad of material before selecting the successful candidate.

How embarrassing for SOU and for Ashland that the new president's appointment has been called into question by one of our elected leaders, who apparently is either not conversant with or doesn't care about "process." Shame on you, Mr. Bates.

-- Teaching not missionary workRegarding your editorial, "Unions come to grips with reality," patting the teachers on the head for taking a benefit and pay cut seemed patronizing.

What business rewards its middle management with pay cuts and then expects them to produce 100 percent and not look around for a better deal? Teaching is not a missionary job for nun-like women anymore. Standing in a classroom packed with TV kids with limited teaching supplies is not for the ordinary; it takes an extraordinary, energetic creative and, yes, well-educated, powerhouse of a personality to stand there year after year.

Teachers have to continually pay for more education to keep up with trends and new information in their field. As district budgets dwindle each year, teachers spend at least 5 percent of their paychecks for extra paper, copies, bulletin board supplies not provided by the district.

Your editorial should have shouted at these teachers to stand up to the "no more taxes" clowns who want to destroy public education and deprive their grandkids and the people responsible for their education a living wage. Billions for bombs, but not one new dime for our children's futures? &

8212; Ralph Bowman, Central Point

Remember them with loveReading the online Mail Tribune while visiting my parents in San Diego, I was stunned by the tragic loss of three wonderful "beings" on June 20.

Please, I ask, let there be no gossip among us, instead let us reflect on our own and our children's lives and remember it could have been any one of us.

Let's remember these three young men with love. Let's keep their families in our minds and hearts. May God be blessed by these three young souls.

-- Sophia Hall, Medford

Use flag etiquetteWith all of the bickering about our flag outside of Premier West Bank I was not going to mention anything about it since there have been some generally good points made. However, while driving over the hill I noticed that there was no light shining on Old Glory. Intentional or not, this bank is showing more concern for corporate advertising than flag etiquette.

If you really have that much honor for our country, do us all a favor. Respect and use some flag etiquette when displaying her! There are two common options here: One is to take the flag down at dusk, fold it up properly, and place away in a safe place. The second is to get proper lighting on it. &

8212; Kenneth Landay, Ashland

Cat-killing speedersWelcome to South Holly Street, Medford. Please be aware that even though it is a residential street between two schools, it also has a mortality rate of one or more cats killed each week by speeding vehicles.

You know who you are, in a hurry, cell phone glued to your ear, trying to get across town five minutes faster, so you use my residential street as your freeway. Oh, and that slight bump? That was another cat squished under your wheel because you were in such a hurry.

We are sorry we have cats that you have to look out for. After all, you need that five minutes more time. So what if a few cats &

8212; some loved for years, part of a family, are just not fast enough to get out of your busy way. Next time be sure you have a plastic bag and box so you can remove the body. It's the least you can do.

And think about how it would feel if it were a child.

-- Jo Ann Sears, Medford

St. Mary's helps kidsThis letter is to say thank you to the 30 students and their teachers from St. Mary's who, as part of their Spring Day, did an amazing job of painting murals and landscaping at KIDS Imagination Discovery Space. The students worked hard, were courteous and professional, and represented their school with aplomb!

What a credit to St. Mary's, to their students and staff, and to the spirit of volunteerism!

Thank you!

-- Molly E. Wolfe, education outreach coordinator, Kids Imagination Discovery Space, Medford.

Handful receive profitsSelling timber for an elite few is a poor choice. It's truly unfortunate that only a handful of people will profit from the timber coming from the south Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. In times when trails and bountiful fishing beds are used predominately for tourism, it's tragic that local guides will be overlooked as timber is harvested in areas that boast some of the most rare and pristine lands in the world.

The federal government makes a mockery of healthy forestry. The Kulongoski administration deserves accolades for making appeals.

-- Tom Bouton, Ashland

Judges must interpretIn Larry Huss' column of June 18 he states that the American judiciary should not be making 'policy' because that goes beyond what is written in the Constitution. This is akin to the beliefs of those who take the Bible literally, and I do not believe Mr. Huss wants us to begin collecting rocks so we can stone to death those who practice adultery, or usury.

Judges must interpret the spirit of the Constitution in ways that are appropriate to the changing circumstances we all find ourselves in today. The framers of the Constitution were wise men, but not omniscient. They set up a system which could adapt to changing times. We need an activist judiciary, now more than ever.

-- Kevin Carr, Ashland

'Victims' thank rescuersRecently, we had the opportunity to work with the Jackson County Search and Rescue Team. We were "staged victims" for training purposes. We were injured and lost in the wilderness of Jackson County. Although this was an exercise, very few (five people) were aware that it was a mock rescue.

The team of volunteers who were dispatched to find us did so expeditiously and proceeded to coordinate the effort to remove us from the side of a mountain that posed a very dangerous situation to all. The volunteers demonstrated teamwork and concern for our welfare in a caring and professional manner.

The primary reason for bringing this to the attention of the community is thank all of these men and women (volunteers) who give of their time to serve. We are grateful to those who are willing to take their time to secure the welfare of their neighbors and fellow man.

Thank you, Jackson County Search & Rescue, we salute you! &

8212; Linda Lincoln and Judy Gauderman, edford

A Flag Day saluteA belated thank you to all who participated at the Flag Day ceremony. Thanks to Medford Chamber of Commerce, City Council, Rogue Valley Mall staff, VFW folks and the young Marine color guard. A prayer for our troops was offered by the VFW, the "Star Spangled Banner" was beautifully done by a young woman who also sang "A Song of Freedom."

Once again we were reminded we are still free and need to thank God and our troops who are serving the word over.

For any who I've missed, who participated &

8212; thank you.

-- Virginia Cohoon, Central Point