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Jackson County Library System and our communities lost several talented library professionals upon closing the library, people who contributed subtly but notably to the rich quality of our region.

John Sexton epitomizes this loss. As a teen librarian, he fostered and facilitated a love of reading in literally thousands of young local readers. John's national recognition for this expertise allowed him to easily find work elsewhere.

Most parents I know recollect the important role John played in their child's reading development. I will always remember with great appreciation how John identified the perfect book, the book that enticed my son to overcome hurdles and read. Reading that book turned the corner on my son's literacy and opened the enthralling world of information and discovery for my child.

Deep, deep thanks, John. I am very sorry we are losing you. May we learn from this. — Susan Roudebush, Ashland

Just a word concerning OHV use in the Jacksonville area.

Most of the 13 Off Highway Vehicle sites proposed by the BLM suffer the same dilemma — a checkerboard pattern of public and private ownership. The 100,000 acres of BLM land are intermingled with an additional 100,000 acres of privately owned land, including thousands of private homes.

The intermingling of public OHV activity with private homes does not work. It will be a challenge for the BLM to convince the residents of these areas to sacrifice the security and serenity of their private homes for the recreational fun of loud, free-wheeling dirt bikers. Imagine the frustration of having the BLM designate the area adjacent to or surrounding your home as an OHV site!

Suffering from noise, trespassing and property damage, 1,665 residents of John's Peak/Timber Mountain have signed a petition opposing the OHV designation and perpetuated in the WOPR.

It seems the BLM isn't listening and the conflicts are growing.

Cannot the BLM, somewhere in its 800,000 acres, find a place for OHV riders that doesn't infringe on private homes? Maybe your neighborhood? — Steve Carlson, Jacksonville

So just what is acceptable for freedom of speech? Does it take into consideration the words my 7-year-old reads, as I drive her to school, on window stickers in big bold letters that read "F—- Bush" or "Ain't no b—— got s—- on me"? Do police stop to cite these folks?

We are so concerned about panhandlers, yet have this is in our own backyards. Then we put bike lanes to impede traffic and don't require bicyclists to be tested or have a valid license to prove they know the traffic laws. Since most of them cut across traffic or take the most convenient route anyway, do we really think the white line is going to keep them off the sidewalks and in the middle of 35-mph traffic doing 15? Trying to promote a healthier lifestyle it says, not too many moms loading their kids' gear on bicycles made for four to drop them and pick them up at school.

Thanks for listening. — Barry Kessler, Medford

The morning of Nov. 2, I was stopped at the signal at Delta Waters and Highway 62. I noticed a large American flag lying in the middle of the intersection. Several cars had run over it. As the signal changed a man ran out of his car, halted traffic and gathered the flag up in his arms and hugged it and took it to his car.

Thank you, sir, whoever you are. You were about 50-60 years old.

I honked and waved a thank you to him. I felt so proud at that moment that the man had enough respect for the symbol of our wonderful country to put himself in harm's way to rescue the flag that so many people spit on, burn or disrespect today.

My husband, who is a Vietnam vet, also was very touched.

God bless you, sir, and thank you so very much. — Sharon Rader, Medford