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Great Healthy Aging columnIn case you missed it and are over 50, go get the Aug. — issue of the MT and read the "Healthy Aging" column by Sharon Johnson. You will find more important and usable health information in those few paragraphs than in many health books you have read. And the last paragraph is the real eye opener. Great column. &

8212; Tom Brussat, Jacksonville

Utility fee OKOK, even though I'm a former "No New Taxes" Republican who's been a registered independent since the days of Tricky Dick, I'll go along with the utility fee boost for police, fire, parks and public works. I'll consider it like a modest Homeowners Association fee for the opportunity to live in a fine city like Medford. Just don't let it go down the rat hole of wasteful and frivolous spending. &

8212; John H. Newell, Medford

Seeking slow growth

Response to Howard Johnson's "No growth" commentary: The debate over the UGB expansion proposal has sharply divided Jacksonville: A small handful of city officials and developers are set against the clear majority of residents.

Throughout the debate, Jacksonville residents have not pushed for a "no-growth" policy, as Mr. Johnson suggests. Instead, they have supported "slow growth," which can only be accomplished by limiting available buildable lands.

Jacksonville is, after the City Council's approval on July 18, requesting a 20-year compound annual growth rate (cagr) of 1.25 percent, which allows for a 28 percent population increase (774 persons) and a 36 percent dwelling increase (390 new dwellings) to be built within Jacksonville's current boundaries and on 192 acres of adjacent farmland. Mr. Johnson supported a 2.28 percent cagr, which would have required a 57 percent population increase (1,511 persons) and a 73 percent dwelling increase (789 new dwellings) to be built within town and beyond Jacksonville's current UGB on 218 rural residential acres and 212 prime farmland acres. This letter is to correct Mr. Johnson's accusation that residents of Jacksonville have been seeking a no-growth policy. They are seeking a "common sense approach to growth." &

8212; Linda Meyers, Jacksonville

Donations bring smilesWe are Great Shape Inc!, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health and education in Jamaica. We are proud to live in the Rogue Valley and to have such incredible support for the biggest humanitarian dental project in the world &

8212; 1000 Smiles!

On July 8, nearly 200 people gathered at Eden Farm in Ashland. They dined on fare created by Dan/Deli Down, bid on auction items and danced to "One Love." The board members are grateful for the volunteers, financial donations and in-kind services. Our volunteer auctioneer, Ron Burgess, pro-bono band and the scenery of Eden Farm all provided the perfect environment to raise more than $20,000 for "1000 Smiles."

In the fall, volunteers will provide free dental care and a literacy program for 8,000-plus people in Jamaica. Join us. For more information, see . Thank you, Rogue Valley! &

8212; Georgene Crowe and Gretchen Lee, board members

Skiing toward disasterEvery aspect of the Mount Ashland expansion plan increases global warming.

More heavy equipment, concrete and steel manufactured and transported to the mountain. More cars and trucks emitting CO2 at the high mountain feet elevation. Fewer trees cleaning the air.

Many skiers, Ashlanders and City Council members claim to be environmentalists. It's time to walk your talk. I call upon Ashland City Council members with courage to stop this from happening. I call upon Mount Ashland Association members to reject spending money for this expansion. I call upon the citizens of Ashland to petition against this threat to their water and everyone's atmosphere.

We all have a stake in this. Stop the Mount Ashland expansion. &

8212; Jay Almarode, Ashland