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Gary R. Collins of Jacksonville's letter to the editor regarding the HAJC Cherry Creek 100-unit low-income complex shows how the highly paid do-gooders are just interested in their own agendas. Critcizing residents of neighborhoods for being NIMBYs while they make good livings off the so-called low-income and poor.

The single family residential appraisal process is based on the principle of substitution. A large public housing project may not hurt values in a redevelopment area of Southern California, however it would affect market values of the already underwater owner-occupied home in an old established compatible area of east Medford.

Collins should google the FNMA real estate (residential) appraisal report and notice neighborhood description and neighborhood characteristics, but he shouldn't get into the real estate appraisal business. Jittery loan underwriters may not agree with him and our county will need to ask for more money from the feds. — Frank Behnke, Medford

To the Santa Monica, Calif., woman who clandestinely paid for my haircut in Cost Cutters in Medford, I'd like to express my gratitude for an act of unconditional kindness and pleasant conversation from a stranger who gave so much without regard for reciprocity.

She sat down next to me at Cost Cutters Hair Salon on Feb. 17, and struck up the most wonderful conversation. She regaled me with reminiscences of her time in Southern California, and we even ventured into political waters but all remained amiable.

She was called for her haircut and I followed shortly after for mine. Before she left the salon, she walked over and bid me farewell. I said good-bye and thought how lovely a person I just met.

When I went to pay, I was told my cut had already been paid for by my short-lived salon friend. I'm simultaneously shocked, elated and saddened by the deed itself and the fact that I can't properly thank her. So here I am hoping that this finds her, conveying just a modicum of my gratitude and maybe a smile, which she so richly deserves. — Justin Greene, Medford

Fundamental to every American is the protection set forth by our Constitution. Owners of private property need protection, and the taking of property through eminent domain should never be allowed unless a clear public need or benefit can be demonstrated. Unequivocally a private interest or business should not benefit at the expense of a private party.

The construction of pipelines to export liquefied natural gas does not have a public use and would allow energy companies to garner huge profits at the expense of landowners along pipeline routes. This is clearly wrong. Landowners should have the right to negotiate on equal terms without the threat of eminent domain overshadowing them.

Thanks to Rep. Peter DeFazio for putting forth common-sense legislation on our behalf and countless Americans who represent "We the People"and I hope that this bill moves quickly, supported by Congress. Passage of this legislation will set a precedent for future similar "export" projects.

We must draw the line so that landowners can move forward with building or improvement plans and restore a stable future for American families knowing they have a level playing field in negotiations regarding their land. — Marcella and Alan Laudani, Shady Cove

I was horrified to read the story "He is still with us" on Sunday, Feb. 19. While the sentiment of remembering a fallen Marine is touching, sending flaming balloons sailing into local forests is not.

What the article called "lanterns" are very similar to the incendiary devices that set multiple forest fires near Grants Pass just last summer. Describing to the general public exactly how to construct such devices borders on irresponsible journalism. Oregon law mandates stiff penalties for discarding burning material; because it is done to honor a fallen hero makes it no less dangerous.

From what I read, Matthew DeYoung was a noble man in every respect; please, let's not let his legacy include naming a forest fire after him. — Roger White, Grants Pass

We hear so many negative things in our lives, we need some positive ones, so here it goes.

Our granddaughter, who has Down Syndrome, played on the seventh grade Hanby basketball team this year. The coach always made sure she got to play, and she always gave her best, but the last game on Feb. 15 was the most awesome thing I have ever witnessed.

Hanby was playing against Scenic seventh-graders, and the game had a couple of minutes to go. Ariel was sent in to play, and both teams made sure that Ariel received the ball several times. She dribbled it the length of the court every time, and a couple of times shot for a basket.

Both teams, the coaches, refs and the spectators cheered her on. She beamed on the court and gave it everything she had. She was so proud of herself, she couldn't stop talking about it.

We told her how proud we were of her, she gave us her biggest smile, eyes beaming and said, "I did good, huh?" It's a night we will not forget. A lot was taught to everyone that game.

Kudos to the coaches, refs, spectators, but mostly the teams. How awesome they are. — Wylene Rogers, Ashland

I hate saying "I told you so."

A while back I wrote about the problem I had with the system when my daughter-in-law was having parties for minors. Authorities told me that I had to have been there, and that they couldn't do anything on just my daughter's word. I knew it would come to this, a death.

It is time to make the consequences harsher for adults having these parties, and to listen to the parents who call in and report them. I encourage parents to listen to their children and stand up against this issue and to lobby to pass laws that will make adults think before they ever put a child in these types of circumstances.

Parents need to stand up and make the difference, because it's obvious no one else will. — Robin Thayer-Harvey, Medford

We, being new to this area, are finding a welcome with open arms.

From the beginning of our venture, we had heard stories of having to arm-wrestle with the powers that be to obtain our needed permits. We are here to tell you that our experience with the planning department, the building department and the health department were exceptionally pleasant.

All contacts we had in all the departments were helpful and friendly. They welcomed us to the valley and wished us well.

Our thanks go out to the city of Medford, the Mail Tribune for the awesome articles and reviews, and Channel 10 News. We really do feel welcomed to the valley.

Our involvement in local events is just the beginning, and we are so looking forward to being a team player in them. — The McPheeters family, Bricktowne Barrel House, Medford

I thought that common sense had died, but was pleasantly surprised to see that such is not the case. I'm referring to the recent letter from Floyd "Jack" Lamb, in which he espouses a truly remarkable idea!

Each year, we borrow billions of dollars from the Chinese (thereby adding to our already unbelievable national debt) and then we try to buy the friendship of Arab and African nations (and other countries who are supposedly our "allies"), by giving them decadent amounts of money in the guise of "foreign aid."

For the most part, these nations hate us and have no idea of ever repaying this money, even if we'd ask them. Look at what is happening in Egypt. They actually repay us by voting against us most of the time in the U.N. The records are available.

Mr. Lamb feels that these countries should get the money directly from China, thus eliminating the middle man. Perhaps, as Mr. Lamb says, the Chinese are too smart to give money to these countries who will, most likely, never pay it back. Hurrah for comment sense! — Murray LaHue, Phoenix