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Save our Applegate Valley Environment won three hearings for saving the Applegate from river mining. Behind closed doors, the county overturned one judgment. But once again SAVE proved truth prevails.

The truth is there are laws to be obeyed and that scientific data has showed the danger for coho salmon, blue heron and citizens in the Applegate Valley if river mining is continued. Thousands of dollars, thousands of hours and 750 people all have joined together to voice "Stop river mining in the Applegate." We are in a critical time in history when we have to stop our old habits and protect the earth for the next seven generations.

Congratulations to SAVE. May we all pray that the aggregate operators will find another source which is safe for the environment and out of the Applegate. — Louise Rouse, Grants Pass

I recently took my grandmother in for her annual eye exam.

Her regular ophthalmologist wanted her to stay with him for her age-related macular degeneration treatments (for which her retinal specialist in Medford has been treating her for the past two years). She felt he was upset with her when she declined.

I discovered via the Internet and calling other doctors in the area that there is a difference between a regular ophthalmologist and a retinal specialist and that the former is trained to work on the front of the eye: cornea problems, glaucoma and cataracts. A retinal specialist has two extra years of schooling and training in retinal surgery and diabetic treatment.

I don't know about you but I want to have the right doctor for my grandmother's treatments. It's sad that doctors are misleading the community with claims of cures and being a specialist without the proper training.

Patients beware; don't get fooled. Vision is important, trust in the right doctor. — B. McRae, Medford

I was forced into retirement because of health issues before I was prepared.

I was left with medical bills and other expenses I had to place on credit cards until I recovered. At the time the interest was under 10 percent. Now it is over 23 percent and the minimums are outragous. I am no longer able to work and I am left in a situation with no way out. What do I do?

The banking industry has made bad investments, taken federal bailout money and put it in their own pockets, and now are trying to recover their losses by raising their rates on credit cards. I believe deregulating banking was one of the worst things that could have been done. Corporate greed is killing America. It is time to place controls back on the banking and insurance industries. — James Cufaude, Central Point

I believe most Americans understand that our present health-care system is profit driven and that it is in no way cost-effective.

Too many of our health-care dollars wind up on Wall Street, welfare contributions to corporate entities. We do not leave our police and fire protection to the tender mercies of the free market. Does it make sense to offer up our lives to the great free-market god? Risk bankruptcy and/or half our paychecks to that deity?

What is Sen. Baucus (chair of the Committee on Health Care Reform) afraid of? Why shouldn't the single-payer voice be at the table? What is his fantasy? That perhaps the logic and power of that voice might overpower mighty corporate America? Why shouldn't the voices of so large a percentage of Americans be heard? — Elizabeth Hallett, Ashland

We need to make President Obama investigate the use of torture and the "controlled demolition" of the buildings in New York that was used to terrify our country into using torture. — James Coyle, Medford