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Which two state legislators from Southern Oregon are the most supportive of Oregon school children?

I asked this question of Morgan Allen of the Oregon School Boards Association in the regional meeting of school board members recently in Medford. Without hesitation he named Rep. Peter Buckley and Sen. Alan Bates. Then he added Rep. Dennis Richardson.

Parents, grandparents, neighbors of our region's children, remember these three names when we next vote for state officeholders. I wonder if any of them would be open to running for the U.S. House of Representatives?

They seem to understand that our nation's budget needs both spending cuts and revenue increases to become solvent and legislators must compromise. Treadworn Rep. Greg Walden has demonstrated, along with the rest of the House Republicans, a stubborn unwillingness to practice this common sense. — Sam Alvord, board member, Pinehurst School District, Lincoln on the Greensprings

Because of the recent community outcry against the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" McPhail home build, I did watch the program to find out for myself what the fuss was about.

The McPhails began the Sparrow Clubs that have helped 100 schools support 100 children in need. Yes, the TV program is largely produced to attract viewers, but the worldwide audience is not only entertained but more importantly is educated by seeing the effect the recipients have made in their communities despite their life challenges.

I was moved to tears after seeing what the schools' Sparrow Clubs have done for the children in need who have been adopted. Learning more about autism, seeing a family's struggle with it firsthand on the show, was eye-opening. The McPhails did not ask, nor expect such an awesome home, but in my view, they deserve it and through the years will share it with others in our community. So, thank you to the woman who wrote, "Do not watch the show." I'm glad I did. — K. Beck, Medford

I would like to encourage all to pause in our choices regarding the watershed. If the new additions to the ski area pose no hazards to our watershed, then waiting is not an issue because the decision to expand with the current plan will remain.

Personally I am disturbed that we are not putting the highest utmost value on making this decision with regard to creating a sustaining community and maintaining the well-being of all now and in the future.

Surely, we are a community that is beyond the mindless/heartless decision-making style of the corporate world. Why is there such an urgency to go forward with the new ski routes without getting a verification with the new scientific instruments that are available to us?

We can expand the ski routes and protect our watershed. It does not need to be an either/or choice. Surely, we all know this. — Esther Hunter, Ashland