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As a black woman married to a white man and living in Jacksonville, I'm utterly disgusted by most "opinions" registered on your website in response to the Dr. Laura controversy. And because it matters to you out there reading this ... I have a double B.A. in applied mathematics and statistics ... and I have a graduate degree coming in March 2011.

My point is: How dare you try to speak about the nature of reality for minorities — racist cops, racist juries, racist courts ... where have you been? It is real.

"Dr." Laura's rant is the epitome of viscious, cruel, unrelenting and intractable racism that now seeks a "suitable" media platform for its expression. — Julie Grace Grey, Jacksonville

Jeff Golden, running for Jackson County commissioner, is giving more than lip service to creating new jobs in the Rogue Valley — he has a detailed jobs agenda posted on his website at www.goldenforjacksoncounty.org.

This is a report that focuses on the "low-hanging fruit" — business clusters in the county that include forestry, agriculture, energy conservation, green construction, electric vehicles, Internet retail and business incubation, that are poised to grow in the next five years and create more jobs.

Jeff's belief is that county government is uniquely capable of making this happen using a budget-neutral "lean" approach seen in other local governments in the U.S. and overseas.

As a business owner, I am excited by the focus he brings to creating the infrastructure and environment to help the local economy grow, and I hope he gets elected so that he can follow through with this vision. — Jeff Reade, Ashland

An article in the Sept. 13 Tribune stated that the Idaho prison health costs have risen to $23 million for a year. Sure pays to be a criminal in our so-called "justice system."

I am a native Oregonian and have no insurance. I pay cash for all doctor visits and medications. I have to work for the food I eat, too, unlike prisoners.

A few years ago I applied for our Oregon Health Plan and I was denied. Why? I was not a minority, not an illegal alien and not pregnant. I still have the letter to prove it. This is outrageous!

It sure pays to be a criminal. — M. English, Central Point

In 2009 there were 605 dogs and 2,468 cats euthanized by Jackson County Animal Control. This would average out to approximately two dogs and seven cats per day. The numbers have been consistent for the last several years.

These numbers could be reduced if consumers would stop buying dogs and cats from breeders, particularly backyard breeders. There are simply too many dogs and cats available at shelters that preclude supporting those who exploit these species.

It should be noted that because of the fervent efforts of volunteers organized by Friends of the Animal Shelter, 693 dogs and 492 cats were adopted to new homes in 2009. Please support FOTAS and Jackson County Animal Shelter by licensing your animals. Your licensing fees directly support the shelter. Spaying and neutering your pets can prevent unwanted animals.

Instead of purchasing your pet from a breeder, consider the shelter first. Volunteer through FOTAS to support the animals. You may find the friend you have been looking for by simply walking that dog or caring for that cat as a volunteer. — Lisa A. Frost, Ashland

As a physician I never knew that schizophrenia was a contagious disease, although it has now become a nationwide epidemic!

Unfortunately the "tea party," groups of disaffected people, are proponents of and voting against their own interests by listening to the drivel and deceit of hired guns on "fair and balanced news." Honesty and transparency is not in the vocabulary of the demagogues who are spewing hate, fear, racism and divisiveness on Fox News.

Where would a large portion of our society be without Social Security and Medicare — out on the street begging. Wake up to reality, Murdoch will not be paying your mortgage! — Yale Sacks, Central Point