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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Since when does one family have the right to override the majority wanting to display a tree designated for helping those less fortunate? Oh yeah, since common sense took a backseat to being politically correct to take care of the overly sensitive.

I hope that this family is never in need of being a recipient of the generosity being shown to others. They would have to be excluded due to their belief system. — V. Hunt, Medford

I commend the state of Oregon for having traffic laws that are, with regard to pedestrians, among the most enlightened in the nation. While the Mail Tribune's Nov. 20 editorial, "We're Number One," points out several ways Southern Oregon promotes pedestrian survival, the prevailing auto-centric culture continues to see transportation alternatives as inconveniences to tolerate, a dangerous attitude that led to my decision years ago to give up bicycling.

Still needing work:

Ashland's redesign of Siskiyou Boulevard several years ago employed the kind of auto-centric, pedestrian-marginalizing street designs the study quoted in the editorial says is the source of "most of the problems." Ashland draws out-of-state motorists who do not know that Oregon law acknowledges pedestrian right of way in crosswalks. Yearly education efforts are needed.

Medford's emphasis on "improving" roads encourages greater traffic density, generating greater pedestrian hazard.

Making implied crosswalks more explicit makes them safer; Medford's decision not to repaint crosswalks at intersections has effectively reduced pedestrian right of way.

Several problem areas exist, such as sidewalks that end abruptly, leaving pedestrians in very hazardous situations.

As a friend once pointed out to me, we are all pedestrians at one time or another. — Scott McKay, Medford

This is the second time I've read someone comparing Glenn Beck to Father Charles Coughlin (Sunday Nov. 29 Opinion) and I find it very entertaining because it's like comparing apples to oranges. It is also a perfect example of progressives not knowing their own history.

While it is true that Father Coughlin was a demagogue, the writers miss the point that he was a progressive demagogue, and the only reason he parted with Roosevelt was because Roosevelt was not progressive enough for him. But that's typical of today's progressives, missing the point, I mean, because they're so busy looking forward and "progressing" that they don't see the mess they leave behind them.

So if you want to compare Glenn Beck to someone, please, try to find someone closer in ideals, maybe Thomas Jefferson! Now there's a demagogue I can get behind! Go G.B., I'm paying attention! — William Clarstrom, Gold Hill

I'd gathered the ingredients for the spaghetti I was making for dinner and staggered up to the checkout with my overflowing basket. I waited patiently while the gentleman in front of me meticulously sorted through his groceries and pulled coupons and gift cards out of his worn, brown leather wallet. He nodded to the little boy with him who asked for bubble gum, and he joked with me while waiting in line.

After he'd paid with gift cards and coupons, he looked at me and held out one of his gift cards. "Why don't you use the rest of this?"

I was shocked. He flashed a grin, thanked the cashier and walked out with the little boy. When I paid for my groceries, the gift card he gave me covered half of my bill!

So, to the man who helped me buy dinner for my family — thank you so much for your generosity. In these times when everyone is looking out for themselves, saving all their money and clipping coupons, I was so surprised a stranger would be so kind to a stranger. Let this be a lesson to us all. Merry Christmas and God bless! — Sarah Leonard, Medford