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Battle of the Bones was a great event complete with well-prepared barbecue and lots of great microbrews. However, I was appalled and bewildered to see the State Farm Insurance tents handing out the beer glasses to event-goers.

With multiple prepaid beers for vendors, and on a very hot day Saturday, there was a substantial opportunity for a person to become tipsy. The Good Neighbor Company is supposedly anti-drinking and driving, but that must have been for some past life. I believe State Farm could be sued handily, in the event a person leaving the event got a DUII or if someone was hurt or killed in an accident; there is case precedent. This just appears to be just someone's abysmal judgment, in order to advertise. — Joseph Bloom, Grants Pass

After the spectacle of the conservative "March on Washington" Sept. 12, I am no longer convinced that the American public deserves health-care reform, or any other kind of reform.

If they don't want a president who is genuinely trying to help them, then they should not have one. If they really want someone like Glenn Beck for president, then they should see what it gets them. — Gregory Avery, Medford

It seems your reporter misunderstood the details of the technology Leo DeMarinis worked on. In the photo caption (Sept. 13) and in the story, it was stated that the jets he developed were used to maneuver the lander while on the moon. However, while it was on the moon, it did not move. No maneuvering necessary. Perhaps he meant maneuvering during descent? Or on the ascent of the upper stage of the lander on the return mission? Either way, it did not move while on the moon. And it is still there, in the same spot it touched down 40 years ago.

Another inaccuracy, the lander was not "carried in the mother ship." It was technically inside the launch vehicle, but while in earth orbit before the trip to the moon, it was attached to the front of the command module. — Scott Wright, Medford

I began reading "Off The Beaten Path" (Sept. 13) not sure what exactly what it was for. Was it an opinion piece or some bizarre whimsy on homelessness? Either way it came off as sarcastically offensive.

In a time when we have families living on the street, you choose to publish something that basically says "I'd suck at being homeless ... glad I'm not"? What is the point in that, to humiliate someone who is already homeless, or warn others off being homeless if they want to try it as a lifestyle?

This made no sense, was offensive to people who are already in a dire situation, and again made light of alcoholism and economic hardship. I really have to wonder who around the Mail Tribune bothers to read, look and otherwise check the things you print. One cannot begin to fathom the seriously warped person who thought that this article was a good idea. As someone who is helping out a homeless family I find it particularly disgusting; it basically says, ah, yes, I'm a property owner, I have so many things and while so many don't, boy I'm glad I'm not one of the poor folk. That is just sick and wrong. You failed on this one. — Elizabeth Corteze, Medford

Since the Exit 27 ramp opened, the traffic on Center Drive and Highway 99 has exponentially increased. Trying to get into and out of Fred Meyer's lot, I have waited several minutes for the traffic to clear. I cannot recall seeing such dense traffic there before the new ramp access opened.

I am concerned that, if Walmart gets approval without a traffic study to make the obvious improvements, we citizens will be paying the bill. Traffic is already heavy on Center Drive and we will be facing gridlock such as has never been experienced in the Rogue Valley. I urge the powers that be to reconsider or even stop it altogether.

I will not shop at Fred Meyer or Harry and David; it will take too long and too much gasoline just to get into the parking areas, let alone find a parking place. I do not shop at Walmart, so they will not miss my business at all. — Joan Parker, Medford

On Sunday, Aug. 30, our car broke down at Table Rock and Biddle roads. We tried to call for help, but the cell phone went dead. We left without water and it was very hot.

We walked toward the intersection and as soon as we crossed the street a car stopped and a woman held out a phone and said, "Do you need this?" and we said yes. They parked, and Stacy Plankenhorn called a tow truck for us and got us cold water.

Dick's tow truck took our car to Medford Radiator and then took us to Red Lobster. Mitch, in Cottage Grove, called one of his employees to rescue us. Josh and John came and pushed our packed car inside the fence.

Medford has some of the nicest folks on earth. Though we can't repay, we will pass it on. — Bob and Nancy Garrett, Casa Grande, Ariz.

I support the public option. Do I trust government to run health care? Yes, of course. They already run the post office, police and military. Medicare is a very successful program for many.

I trust elected officials more than I trust non-elected corporate officials who now make over 400 times the salary of the average worker, 25 percent of whom make less than $12 hourly. I remember the recent string of corporate crimes that devastated our economy.

It's time to enforce America's anti-trust laws and to stop subsidizing corporations. Let them pay their own bills, just like the working class.

Health "insurance," where corporations dictate coverage, exclusions and price has failed utterly. Health "care" run by a centrally managed system that contains costs will serve the interests of the majority. — Don Jacobson, Medford

The idea to build a water park similar to "Water World" in Medford is a great idea for numerous and obvious reasons mentioned in the MT's article. Yes, it would generate jobs, revenue, visitors, and more. However, most importantly, it would provide a way for families to interact in a positive way creating bonding time and building lasting positive memories.

This modern water park would certainly help to put Medford on the map and most likely generate more travel at our international airport and business for surrounding businesses. This is simply a "win-win" in our book. — Timothy J. Martinez, White City

Our government is batting 1,000. U.S. Postal Service, Social Security, Fannie Mae, Freddy Mac, Medicare, Medicaid and Amtrak all bankrupt. Now they want to control our health care.

They don't care if the majority of citizens do not want this. They know what's good for us now. Whatever happened to representing your constituents? I have never heard a politician asking how we felt on an issue. Once elected they do whatever they want to. This goes for all political parties. The Founding Fathers are probably spinning in their graves. — John Setzer, Gold Hill

I love the idea of a water park at Bear Creek. As a dog owner who has visited the dog park for years, I have seen it go steadily downhill as far as cleanliness and care to keep out-of-control dogs out.

Although our wonderful parks workers tried to keep up with cleaning up messes, supplying doggie pickup bags, etc., it was a losing battle. I hope when a new one is built there will be an area for smaller dogs — say up to 35 pounds— and larger dogs ... separate but equal in space to run. — Margo Freer, Medford

Health care reform without a true public option is the insurance industry's dream. A strong public option available on day one is the only way to keep the insurance industry's greed in check. My family has not had health care in 25 years because it was never affordable.

Our member of Congress needs to keep the pledge to vote against bills without a strong public option both in the original House bill and in the conference bill merged with the Senate. — Toni Wallick, Central Point

I congratulate Oregon's congressional leaders for introducing legislation to further protect the Rogue River basin.

These protections benefit more than just those living, working and playing in the Lower Rogue Canyon. This legislation also protects the reputation of the Rogue River, a positive reputation that affects tourism in all of Southern Oregon.

A world-wide reputation for jaw-dropping scenery, trophy-class fishing, fist-pumping whitewater, cool summer swimming and big-smiles boating attracts visitors to the entire 200-mile length of the Rogue. That reputation means jobs. Pie bakers in Prospect; raft rental centers in Shady Cove; fishing guides in TouVelle; whitewater outfitters in Gold Hill, Ashland and Merlin; jet boat drivers in Grants Pass; lodge employees in Galice. Food service, lodging, guiding, boat builders, BLM/USFS staffs, shuttle drivers, mechanics, marketing, advertising, retail — the list goes on: when you look at all the direct and ancillary industries counting on visitors to the Rogue River, the impact on our economy amounts to millions of dollars.

Southern Oregon needs that money and those jobs. We need a Rogue River with a good reputation to attract those visitors. This legislation will protect that reputation. — P. Richard Wilkinson, owner, Rogue Klamath River Adventures