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The Mail Tribune's front-page stories the day before Thanksgiving displayed an appalling lack of sensitivity to its readers' emotions. Its fear-mongering headlines blared: "Autopsy: victim nearly decapitated" and "Murder-suicide leaves community in shock."

Is it useful news that the young man murdered in Ashland was nearly decapitated? Who benefits when the family tragedy of a murder-suicide is so crassly publicized? The side headline, "Gratitude found to Improve attitude" seemed inadvertently ironic by comparison. — Brenda Rosch, Phoenix

I am writing this letter to express my deepest gratitude to all of the friendly and helpful people of the Phoenix Grange who worked to cook and serve a very delicious no-charge holiday meal on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. to anyone who showed up. It was truly a wonderful experience.

I wanted to let the people of the Phoenix Grange know their efforts were appreciated because much to our surprise, not many locals took advantage of their kindness to our community. So maybe with some show of gratefulness, the Grange will muster the industriousness to do it all again next year! — Mark H. Matson, Medford

Thirty-three percent of those ACCESS helps to feed are children, so it is especially encouraging to see the youth at North Medford High School taking part in feeding our community. We would like to thank these students for their hard work and maturity in raising food and funds to feed the hungry.

November has been busy for different North Medford High groups, including the student council, Torch Honor Society, English department and entire student body. During the month, they raised 471 pounds of food and $255 cash in the "Hustle-A-Thon," raised 752 pounds of food from "Trick or Treat for Cans," and are in the middle of a monthlong food drive.

Additionally, the school recently held a bachelor auction where students pledged 12,000 cans of food by mid-June. Also, in December, North students will visit ACCESS to help sort food in our warehouse.

Thank you, North Medford High School! — Glory Cooper, ACCESS nutrition programs coordinator, Medford

Two days before Thanksgiving, you publish a sophomoric essay satirizing the pardoning of two turkeys whose only alleged crime is that of being delicious. The satire is cruel and vicious. It stands condemned along with the barbaric custom of slaughtering sentient beings — like turkeys — to satisfy selfish human appetites.

"Man up! (he writes). Admit your food once had a face, hopes, dreams, and turkey ambitions. And then dig in." The lesson is: "Overcome your empathy and compassion! Think only of yourself!"

The timing of this essay is exquisite. The Thanksgiving holiday in this sorry time in history when nothing is more needed than empathy and compassion.

Happy Slaughtering Days. — Ragan Cavanaugh, Ashland