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Peach Street project appallingWho is responsible for managing the construction on South Peach Street? Are they actually being paid to create such a mess? I am disgusted with their lack of regard for those who live on Peach. The construction schedule has been ridiculously slow and the condition of the road at the end of each "working" day is appalling.

Dozens of families must drive on the road each day, not to mention the number of children who must wait for a school bus or walk to Washington Elementary or South Medford High School.

The road couldn't be much better than a bombed-out road in southern Lebanon.

I've put off writing this rant for months thinking I was being too critical of the construction (I use this term loosely) company, but hazarding the trip down Peach this evening confirmed my opinion that the construction company could not care less about the people who live on Peach Street. I have heard the criticism of Halliburton. Is this company a subsidiary? I cannot help but ask myself if this would ever happen on Medford's east side. &

8212; Jeff Wheeler, Medford

Water calls to childrenThere have been several tragic accidental child drownings in recent years. Several such accidents were also reported in California's news two decades ago, when my child was little. One tragedy involved a 2-year-old who inexplicably wandered out of the family's home after midnight to drown in a wading pool containing — inches of water.

As a protective young mother, I wondered what on earth could've possibly compelled a child to leave the safety of their home for a dark walk to a wading pool. The only adequate conclusion was that, in some way we don't yet understand, water calls to children.

Believing water calls to children is a sure way to elicit adequate precautions necessary to protect children from accidental drowning. No parent or baby-sitter will take a nap near a fountain nor leave a toddler unattended near a pool, knowing that the water calls to the children. &

8212; Patti Morey, Ashland

Stay alertAfter watching the 9/11 mini-series, I was wondering how we as average citizens can become actively involved in the fight against terrorism.

It would be a help if each of us would keep his/her eyes and ears tuned to what is going on around us and then report any abnormal activity to the proper authorities. We need to remember that the police cannot be in every place at all times. We were warned at the close of the mini-series that the terrorists are not through with us yet and it is not if we will be hit again, but when we will be hit. We need to stay alert &

8212; all the time. &

8212; Gordon DeVos, Medford

Foreign leaders attack U.S.Where are our American leaders? Where are our political leaders? It is time for our American political leaders and our legislators to stand up for America.

America may not be perfect, but it is my country and I object very strongly to people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coming to my country and making the statements and expressing venomous ideas that they professed in their speeches at the United Nations. I don't care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, these men have attacked our America. While these two men have criticized President Bush, they have really criticized all Americans.

Stand up, America! How dare these two men come to America, stand on our soil and ridicule our country? Their visas should be revoked immediately.

Americans are guaranteed freedom of speech. Foreigners are not guaranteed freedom of speech. Stand up, America!

Contact your senators and representatives and let them know how you feel about the actions of these men. &

8212; Earlene and Jerome Abraham, Hornbrook, Calif.

Maintain the high groundAs a child I was raised when the bad guys had sideburns and the good guys wore white hats. I was taught to be proud of my country because we always represented the moral high ground. We treated POWs with humanity even though our enemies often didn't. Torture was what the bad guys did, not Americans.

Now we have a president lobbying Congress to permit torture by redefining the 4th Geneva Convention Article 3.1.c., which reads, "Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment."

The world, including America, has understood these words since they were agreed to in 1949 and ratified by America and 191 other countries. These words were understood in Korea, Vietnam, and in the first Iraq War.

Our bellicose president professes that these words are no longer understood and must be interpreted and redefined to interrogate prisoners using methods that if known would compromise America's security. As a Vietnam veteran I recognize the jeopardy our troops would be exposed to if this precedent were established. I for one wish to maintain the moral high ground that so many have died for and not humiliate America by descending into the moral morass of our enemies. &

8212; Tom Smith, Eagle Point

Restless leg therapyI would like to offer this inexpensive and proven method to get rid of restless legs and leg cramps at night.

A bar of soap placed under the bottom sheet at the foot of the bed will take care of this problem. I read about this in Dr. Gott's column in the Klamath paper &

8212; it works. I use Fels Naptha laundry soap (beauty soaps aren't recommended). No one seems to know why it works, but it does. Hope this helps the reader. &

8212; L. Harris, Medford

Chorale was great"Oh, What a Beautiful Concert" was presented by the Rogue Valley Chorale showcasing a terrific medley of 100 years of Broadway tunes. The free, toe-tapping concert was complete with 26 awesome soloists accompanied by The Rogue Valley Chorale and an incredible group of seven instrumentalists.

This concert conducted by Lynn Sjolund helped to celebrate the 10th anniversary season of the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater. A wonderful reception followed the concerts.

The audience left the auditorium feeling like, "There's No Business Like Show Business!" &

8212; Margaret L. Brown, Medford

Watch gas pricesHere's a good question &

8212; why are gas prices coming down just before the election? Here's a better question &

8212; will gas prices go up again after the election if Bush and his oil buddies stay totally in control of our government?

Vote Democratic &

8212; the donkey you save may be your own. &

8212; Robert Binnewies, Ashland

Vote for VoisinI was reading a Dalles Chronicle interview with Carol Voisin, candidate for Congress, 2nd District, on Ms. Voisin's Web site, . In it she said, "There was $21 billion in the 2003 energy bill for research and development. Of that, $20 billion was for oil and natural gas; $1 billion was for renewable energy. That needs to be reversed."

Oregon has the opportunity to become the U.S. leader in bio-fuel production, and research and development funds from the government would help us achieve that goal.

Congressman Walden votes with the administration 94 percent of the time, and the administration, as the 2003 energy bill proves, is interested only in big oil. We need Ms. Voisin to go to Washington, D.C., and fight for Oregon's renewable energy capabilities.

Please join me in voting for Carol Voisin for Congress. &

8212; Marcia J. Simon, Ashland

Protect our daughtersI want to encourage voters to take seriously the protection of our children. I think parents must be notified before teen daughters can have an abortion. Killing a baby is not a decision that a child should be allowed to make without her parents' input.

Any (other) medical procedure on an underage child currently requires written parental authorization &

8212; not just notification. Without such, we all know that a medical malpractice lawsuit would be filed and probably won. It seems that standard doesn't apply to abortion clinics, but I feel they should be held to stricter standards in life-and-death matters than a school nurse tending a playground scrape!

A parent who has been notified about a pending abortion can get involved, discussing with his/her daughter the consequences, risks and other available options.

Please protect all of our teen daughters &

8212; Vote yes on Measure 43. &

8212; Robin Lee, Medford

Elections will decideThe coming elections will decide who we are as a nation. Americans are paying a terrible price for the Republican stranglehold on government. These elections will tell if they have finally realized that this democracy is failing them.

The Bush administration and the Republican Congress that aids and abets it have left a swath of destruction that includes trashing the Constitution, soiling the image of America, raping our freedoms and pillaging our treasury. Their landmark achievements include a disastrous elective war, an abysmal failure to aid the victims of Katrina and legislation that is decidedly un-American.

As the average American struggles against the tide of corporate greed and an increasingly invasive and intolerant government, the Republican Congress debates the fine points of America's right to torture. Take a serious and responsible look at the qualifications of every candidate, but don't overlook the direction the party in power has taken us. &

8212; Doug Snider, Medford

Send the thieves homeTaxation without representation. Does that seem to be going back to the basics for some of you? That is the way I feel about the current political situation.

I am 77 years old and I have never seen my government in the state that it is in now. The "conservatives" are in full power and they have driven this country into the economic ditch.

Greg Walden does not represent me. Greg Walden represents the timber industry. No one represents me in the House of Representatives and I'm not so sure about the Senate.

The last time this country was in this state, the people rose up against the king. If I weren't so damned old, I'd run against this bunch myself.

Send the thieves home. &

8212; Ed Scanlin, Medford

Vote yes for Ashland schoolsA citizens' committee of community members met for a year to assess the capital needs of the Ashland School District. We studied assessments from professionals, visited every school site, toured neighboring schools and listened to community and staff input.

In the end, we reached consensus with the School Board about which top-priority needs must be addressed. The proposed school bond, Measure 15-68, is the result of our work effort.

This bond maintains the same initial tax rate and a similar time period as the 1996 bond. With this bond, we continue rebuilding and renovating our schools. Rebuilding allows the district to look forward with improved educational environments and green, energy-efficient buildings. This bond also addresses essential repairs and educational needs at the remaining schools until they can be rebuilt under a future bond.

Please join me by supporting our schools by renewing the bond with a 'yes' vote. &

8212; Jim Teece, Ashland

Vote for PrewittCraig Prewitt is an intelligent, resourceful problem-solver who is committed to improving our community. He is a man of integrity who will tackle the complex issues facing our county by listening to all viewpoints, researching alternatives and supporting practical solutions.

I have known Craig for many years and he has not only earned my respect, Craig Prewitt has my stamp of approval to serve as a Jackson County commissioner. &

8212; Pamela Murphy, Medford

Follow McCain, PowellYesterday, Gen. Colin Powell and Sen. John McCain, two highly respected statesmen, stood their ground by upholding the Geneva Conventions. Clearly, it is time for a return to leadership through statesmanship.

Webster defines a statesman as: "One who exercises political leadership wisely and without narrow partisanship."

This November, you can vote for four candidates that embody statesmanship for me: Carol Voisin, for congressional District 2 representative; Mike Moran, for District 6 state representative; and Tom Winmill and Dave Gilmour for Jackson County commissioner positions. All four are excellent choices as statesmen, representing the people's issues in Oregon.

I urge you to compare the incumbents' voting records, and the challengers' positions on the issues of health care for all, prudent land use and a fully funded and stable educational system. Following the lead of Gen. Powell and Sen. McCain, you have the power to frame the return to leadership with integrity, through statesmanship. &

8212; Douglas McDonald, Medford