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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I think we should all start shopping at the new exotic French store "Fr Myr."

Sorry Fred Meyer, I just couldn't resist. You do have quite a few burned-out fluorescent letters. You might want to get someone on that.

Playfully yours — Deborah Bigham, Medford

I drove down the new North Ross Lane. Wow, what a beauty, but the prettiest sight was when you cross over Main Street to Lozier Lane. No sidewalks, not even a path big enough for the poor fella in a wheelchair. He had to go up on a lawn, as there was no room and a lot of traffic. And the little lady with a baby stroller half on and half off the pavement, pulling it back onto the street.

An official called me to say property was too expensive to do any road work. I was wondering why a sidewalk couldn't be put in on the east edge right of way. It has storm drains, and no property to buy. Lozier Lane residents put up with a lot to walk their road. Most must have nine lives. — Richard Goldphenee, Medford

A recent article about crowded prison conditions in the state of Oregon and the death of family advocate Arnie Green reminded me of my dream.

I dream of a time where children, from birth to 3 years of age, are at home with a parent. During these three important years, children could have their physical and emotionally needs met, an important milestone in their development. They could learn they belong, were safe, secure, learn to trust appropriately, respect themselves, feel worthy, feel confident and special. From this foundation, they would learn to love themselves, an important factor in creating healthy, productive adults.

How can this be accomplished? We need to spend money on families and not prisons. We should spend money on more supportive services for families. Whether its family planning, parent education, home visits or support groups, family dynamics could be greatly improved.

And, of course, we need to provide financial support to the parent who stays home. Rich or poor, a parent must be present during the first three years of their child's life.

It really does take a village to raise a child. And when we, as a nation, fully embrace this dream, our prisons will not be needed. — Ann Marie Hutson, Ashland

I read with sadness about the passing of Bill "Sky Billy" Warren.

I grew up watching Bill and the Daring Damsels at air shows in Medford and at the Reno Air Races. My sister Susan and I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of flying as wing walkers with Bill. We flew the 1992 air show season with him.

People did, and still do, ask if we were crazy. I always tell them that you don't get on the wing with just any pilot.

As far as I was concerned, Bill was a giant in the industry. I trusted him completely. He has slipped the surly bonds of earth and is undoubtedly flying acrobatics with the greats who have passed before him. — Jane Parker-Moffitt, Salem

America's current situation is a result of choices.

We chose to send our best and brightest to the battlefield rather than to the factory floor. We chose to leave the border open rather than protect the American worker.

We chose to allow corporations to run off and exploit cheaper foreign labor after being built on American sweat. We chose to allow the tax-breaks and loopholes for the rich and their pet corporations.

We chose to spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined spends on theirs. And probably worst of all, we chose to believe our "representatives" would represent us and not their wealthy campaign donors. We chose very unwisely.

The result of these choices is an economic disaster no longer waiting to happen. It includes the loss of jobs, an ever-widening gap of wealth distribution, crushing debt and an economic malaise that appears to have no end.

We must close the border, stop the wars, tax the rich, trim the fat, reduce the military and educate our people so that we can survive in the future. But until we force our representatives to focus on our needs instead of their wealthy campaign contributors, nothing will change. — Darryl Edington, Medford

The Medford School District's decision to eliminate parent-teacher conferences was penny wise and pound foolish.

The parents interviewed for the article stated they would meet with their child's teacher on a regular basis in order to stay informed of the child's progress or delays. I also feel well-informed of my own child's progress as I work in the classroom weekly and have a relationship with my daughter's teachers, but that isn't the case with all students.

Single-parent families or dual-income earners have more difficulty volunteering at school and making that connection. Teacher friends of mine tell me in these cases, they rarely see the parent before the mandatory conference. Important information on a child's development can fall through the cracks, especially during those first critical years of learning in the primary grades.

While I agree that days of instruction are too few and cannot be cut, I also feel other non-instructional days could have been eliminated in order to keep parent-teacher conferences. — Karen Starchvick, Jacksonville

Thank you to Ed Cobb from the Central Point Public Works Department and to Don Dunn from Central Point Parks and Recreation Deptartment for their help in getting an Orth Drive street sign put up across from Miller Estates on Highway 99.

The one street sign was not visible from either direction on Highway 99. Thank you, guys! — Terry Smith, Central Point