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Library means a lotThe library means a lot to me. It has been a place for me to research and study.

As a young preschooler, I remember story time. When I was old enough to study, I would go to the library and use the computer and check out books.

I have always been curious. I would ask my mom about Antarctica or butterflies, etc., then she would take me to the library and taught me how to research. In the third grade, my teacher had us do speeches and took us to the library to learn about our subjects.

So, throughout the years, the library has become very important to me. &

8212; Heather Thompson, Shady Cove Schools need competitionParents' requests for transfers show dissatisfaction with schools assigned and a desire to put kids in better ones.

Phoenix-Talent School District sees this as a threat to funding dependent on pupil numbers and would limit transfers, acknowledging net movement toward other schools viewed as better. Lamely, they add that they're doing this to protect equality of education. Right.

Can you imagine a competitive businesses reacting this way? Instead they'd be aggressively marketing better, more effective, cheaper products to attract customers and keep those they have. Happens every day with cars, furniture, food, telephones. Only in public education do you see the preservation of bureaucracy as the knee-jerk response to competition.

Government-provided education started because proponents believed an educated populace would ensure democracy and prosperity. Their big mistake was in assuming that it wouldn't have been provided without government intervention &

8212; leading to the ineptly managed, and teachers' union- and bureaucracy-dominated mess we have today.

But, through the use of vouchers, school choice is making progress in Arizona, Utah, Florida, Ohio, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. Parents love it.

But Oregon hasn't hit central-planning bottom yet, so don't get hopeful about any real choice or competitive education here soon. &

8212; Lee Morris, Medford

Make Carnegie a museumI just read an article in the newspaper concerning the future of the old abandoned library downtown. A good idea would be to allocate funds to reopen the building as an art museum that would complement local and state talent throughout the community.

I have just arrived from Redding, Calif., and notice that they, too, have an art museum downtown to showcase local and state arts and crafts and culture.

Good luck on whatever decision is made, because the building is too authentic and well-built to be torn down. Bring the past to the present by preserving the downtown city of Medford. &

8212; Gary Viola, Medford

What must we become?Ellinor Gottesman (Jan. 9) asks, "What is terror? What is dignity? Who is the judge?" Terror(ism) is the use of force or threats to demoralize, intimidate and subjugate another. Dignity is the quality of being worthy of esteem or honor; worthiness. Our progeny will be our judges.

It is they who will determine if we today have dignity. It is they who will determine if our willingness to accept terrorism, to accept demoralization, intimidation and subjugation to Allah was honorable and worthy of their esteem.

We are traveling down the road to hell on earth unless we regain our dignity, our will to survive, our will to remain free and our will to match the brutality of the enemy who prefers death to life. When you are in a battle with a predator who will devour you, your choices are few, kill or be killed.

We are in a religious war; put PC aside, that is what it is. An enemy that feels that death is their reward cannot be negotiated with, cannot be appeased, cannot be tolerated. When the enemy says to you, submit, die or become enslaved, what will be your answer? &

8212; Doug and Tecky LaFeve, Medford