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With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas when we recall and celebrate Christ's birthday some 2,000 years ago.

See St. Luke Chapter 2, verses 1-14. Have a good one! — Bob Higgins, Medford

A fact of life in this country is that anyone can sue anyone. Many suits are dismissed or are unsuccessful, but when a featured news story names a male teacher accused in a suit of molesting young girls, irreparable damage has already been done. His reputation will never recover, no matter what the outcome and regardless of previous detailed investigations by three independent institutions exonerating him.

Hair-trigger issues make news, and while you wouldn't typically report on rulings that showed no wrongdoing, you were quick to showcase the attorney's allegations without evaluating the evidence. The evidence has, in fact, already been thoroughly analyzed, and it soundly contradicts the allegations.

Sadly, the probable outcomes are that the school district will likely settle for an undisclosed amount to avoid further publicity and legal expense, the teacher will forever be considered guilty despite all the evidence to the contrary, Mr. Peterson will smugly walk away with half of the settlement and no accountability for the harm his successful strategy has caused, and the girls will be permanently damaged, not by anything done to them by the teacher, but by having learned the soul-deadening lesson that the truth does not matter. — Sandy Wand, Ashland

We spent our first night in a shelter on Wednesday, Dec. 5. It was raining and the temperature outside was chilly, making the warm, dry floors a welcome change to all there except the two of us. We were acting as "hosts" that night, and our queen-size bed with the down comforter was at our Ashland home.

We welcomed seven tired, cold and hungry adults to Trinity Episcopal's Wednesday night "no-frills" shelter. Trinity has followed the lead of First Presbyterian Church in Ashland, and is offering a dry, warm and safe refuge for the winter on Wednesday nights. The Presbyterian space is open Monday nights, something they have been offering for several years.

A dedicated group of community volunteers is attempting to give a bit of dignity and a place to sleep during these cold winter months. This group is seeking more spaces (churches, larger gathering halls) and more volunteers to host these spaces. You need not be associated with a faith-based community to help.

We left Trinity glad we had pushed our comfort level, and feeling blessed to be so fortunate!

Questions or willing to help? Call Heidi Parker at 541-482-1520 or email parkershame@gmail.com. — Bruce and Trudy Duncan, Ashland

Should anyone question the vast damage done by Fox News, one has only to read Dan Pietila's letter in the Dec. 10 Mail Tribune. I am not acquainted with Mr. Pietila, so I don't know his news-gathering habits; but when he describes President Barack Obama as one "who doesn't even like his own country, and who seeks to turn our nation into a centralized government run socialist/fascist state," one can only assume that Fox News is his chief, if not his only, source of information. — Grant Shepard, Medford