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Thanks to the Mail Tribune for keeping the issues surrounding Max's death at the county animal shelter in focus.

If, according to Colleen Macuk, Max had "scars and scratches," they could only be from him being mistreated while being trapped. If he was deemed "unmanageable," perhaps being trapped and caged in an unfamiliar place triggered Max's natural "fight or flight" response. Without any place to run, the "fight" aspect becomes his default self-preservation mechanism.

A defensive cat isn't automatically a wild or feral cat. Professional animal handlers should know this. Shelter staff obviously need additional training in animal behavior and identification. Ms. Macuk has described a cat quite unlike the Max we knew.

Also note that the shelter advised us of Max's death only after we contacted them with his microchip number. This suggests that even after cats are put to death at the shelter they are not routinely scanned for microchips. Finally, Max's cat door was open only to the garage where his litter box was located. It was not for him to "roam outside at will." Yes, we did allow Max "outside time" — as it turns out, a very regrettable and terrible mistake on our part. — David Farrel, Medford

We demand an investigation! Who stole the uniforms for the U of O band? They must be missing if the best sartorial splendor they can display is high school gym sweats and baseball caps.

Why, even the kids from Siloam Springs, Ark., home of John Brown School, had bright spats, hats and plumes and the Pulaski, Wisc., band (not the home of the Pulaski tool) looked like professionals, while our kids from a world-class university looked like they were from the wrong side of the tracks in Burns Junction. Okay, there are no tracks in Burns Junction, but you get the idea. If Nike can design spaceage helmets for the Ducks, perhaps they can spruce up the band! — Tim Johnson, Jacksonville

Let's see "… Lindsay Paulk in the Jan. 3 Mail Tribune says the GOP is the "White People's Party" because he can't find any black people in Iowa. Would anyone get away with saying the DNC is the "Black People's Party" when the vast majority of people they speak to in Detroit and Chicago are black? The papers wouldn't print such a letter and the black "leaders" would be screaming "racism" from every headline and rooftop! — Pat Butler, Medford