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On the night of Feb. 10, my husband and I flew into our new multi-million dollar airport and had to make a phone call to a friend to be picked up, as we were three hours late. Guess what? No phones.

An employee walking through using a cell phone told us to check with our airline. Guess what? They must have been napping as all desks were empty.

Someone said maybe they feel they don't need phones as many people use cell phones. Here's two old people that don't.

Hope they correct that problem. — Ernie and Muriel Gallo, Medford

Regarding the recent barrage of negative letters about the small schools programs: I am a product of the original small school.

First-through seventh-grade I attended a very small parent-teacher cooperative, where there were no grades, no compulsory homework, and an abundance of hands-on learning. Upon moving to public school in the eighth grade, I had such an advantage that I often did errands for my math teacher while he explained the lesson to the rest of the class. I place the credit for my success squarely on the shoulders of enthusiastic, caring teachers, and firm, supportive parents.

Small schools work, but they can't be expected to "fix" a complex problem that has many causes. School districts should offer incentive and even instruction for parents on how to encourage and motivate their children.

Ignorance begets ignorance. How can we expect children to want to learn if no importance is placed on education in the home? Small schools are simply a piece of the education puzzle, but please don't tell me they don't work when we haven't even given them a chance. — Seaira Safady, Talent

Floyd Barton claims a fetus isn't a human being. Pro-aborts pretend the unborn aren't human to justify slaughtering them.

The science is clear. The unborn (fetuses and embryos), even at conception, are full-fledged human beings. In 1981, during U.S. Senate hearings, scientist after scientist explained the beginning of human life. Dr. Jerome Lejeune said, "The fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is ... plain experimental evidence."

There's no scientific dispute about when individual human life begins. The answer: conception.

Scientists group living things into categories called species. Like all living beings, the unborn are members of a species. If they aren't human beings, what are they? Cucumbers? Frogs? Butterflies? No. Procreation between two human beings results only in another human being.

Though their appearances may differ drastically, living beings don't change species as they mature. Caterpillars don't become different creatures when they become butterflies. The butterfly and caterpillar is the same creature at different stages of development. Likewise, a human being at 30 was human at 13, at birth, and at conception.

Google "fetus picture" to see for yourself. When someone says the unborn aren't human, he's either lying or grossly ignorant. — Kathy Watson, Medford

I am thrilled, proud and humbled to have been part of the "Boundless Gift of Love" event at Roxy Ann Winery on Feb. 7.

The Hoover Elementary School PTO was able to raise $7,200 to put toward the Hoover Community Playground, a Boundless playground for all people. It is my pleasure to thank all of the businesses and individuals in this community who so generously donated their goods and services to the event.

To date we have raised over $51,000 by fundraisers and donations alone and plan to continue moving forward to complete this universally accessible playground before the start of school, in the fall of 2009.

On behalf of the Hoover PTO and the children of Southern Oregon, thank you! — Pam Philips, Medford

Do you want to drastically reduce property and violent crime in our state and nation?

Do you want to stop spending more on prisons than on higher education?

Do you want to stop a major source of funding for terrorists around the globe?

Then let's end the failed "war on drugs."

Read your history: Prohibition does not work. Tax and strict regulation along with treatment programs are the only sane approach to illicit drug use. The colossal waste of human and financial resources spent on eradication and incarceration is astronomical. Tax revenues could add tens of billions of revenue to our strained government budgets.

Education efforts should focus on facts and the real consequences of drug use, not slogans and fear tactics. Empower our children (and adults) with accurate information to make informed and wise choices. I believe this is the only rational and moral response to a problem that has huge repercussions throughout our society.

Read what top law enforcement officials have to say at LEAP.cc. Our government should be in control of drugs, not criminals. Let us go beyond our fear and choose to make our world a safer, healthier place to live. — D. Landry, Medford

In these times of budget crises and economic difficulties, it was heartwarming and inspiring to see the great effort that Abraham Lincoln Elementary went to in order to celebrate our 16th president's 200th birthday on Feb. 12.

Through fundraising, donations, volunteers and lots of staff working above and beyond the call of duty, they were able to put together a special and successful celebration for the entire school.

It was very well organized. The food was delicious, the kids' work on the walls was beautiful, and the entertainment was superb!

Thank you, superintendent Phil Long (aka Abe Lincoln), principal Patti Frazier, teachers, support staff and volunteers for giving of your time and effort so generously to make such a fantastic event take place. We are blessed to have a school like Abraham Lincoln Elementary in our community. — The Scull family, Medford

Unfortunately the employees at Genesis did not find out about Genesis' closure until an e-mail was sent from RVMC. I would like to know how RVMC can make the mission statement that their hospital treats the whole patient?

Mental health issues are, in a lot of cases, self-treated with alcohol/drugs which soothes various addictive behaviors. The patient's addiction has to be treated before their mental health issues can be addressed.

If you are a person threatening suicide due to being under the influence of alcohol/drugs, you are admitted to 2 North at RVMC. In time, you are discharged with no relapse prevention tools learned, finding yourself in a situation where relapse is a very real threat.

Had RVMC been more willing to advertise their jewel of a treatment center, Genesis could have had the visibility to stay in business. Perhaps, had Genesis been able to oversee their own center's advertisement on a regular basis, the name "Genesis" would have become commonplace.

I am curious to see if the "right thing" will be done by RVMC on behalf of the entire staff at Genesis. — Sybille Jones, Medford

I find it hard to suppress a yawn when it's reported that congressional Republicans have generally taken a staunch stand against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. After eight long and painful years of Republican mismanagement of the nation's domestic and international interests, I would be much more concerned if Republicans supported the legislation. — Paul Falletta, Grants Pass

What most folks fail to realize is that the stimulus will affect relatively few people.

If you are affected, you are deeper in debt than you should be, or you're one of the non-white minorities that will benefit from the infrastructure projects. If you've lost retirement then you were probably gambling on it anyway with risky investments/portfolios.

We, each and every one of us, needs to take personal responsibility for our actions, and the inevitable results thereof. Don't wait for your "bailout/stimulus." It may not be coming.

We also need to work to insure that those in power do not erode the Bill of Rights any further than the Bush administration did. The current president is taking aim at the Bill of Rights by his picks for his cabinet posts. All of our rights are at risk.

Write to your local newspaper, your federal representatives or even your local politicians to let them know how you feel about what they are doing. I've heard that each handwritten letter is weighed more heavily than phone calls or e-mails. Write! — Wil Scarrow, Gold Hill