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The Associated Press claimed "negro" was first used in the census in 1900. Not true! According to the 1830 census: 3,777 free negro citizens in the United States owned slaves. Also, the 1860 census counted the negro slaves held by many Indian tribes. The Cherokees held 917 negro slaves.

Why does The Associated Press state untruths concerning race? The Associated Press just makes up a racial story and papers like the Mail Tribune print the fiction. "Negro" is not offensive; the other N-word is very offensive.

The Associated Press tied "negro" to the Jim Crow era and tied its usage to segregation. Not true! "Negro" correctly tied slaves to their African roots long before the Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation in some states.

In the late '40s and before taking a trip into the big city, I remember being instructed not to point out a black man as being black because they liked being called a "negro." My parents didn't want me to embarrass them. I assumed being called black was being called dirty.

In 1966 I enjoyed working side by side with negroes on a peach farm during the summer and teaching their children during school time. — Bill Hartley, Medford

Both sides of the GMO debate have many flags to fly high, as the issues around GMOs are extensive and complex. The flag I find most intriguing is one that flies identically on both sides. To paraphrase, it looks like this: "All farmers should have the right to grow what they wish and how they wish."

For GMO farmers in Jackson County, this regards local regulation that would ban GMO crops. For those farmers, a GMO ban would require many costly changes. "Let me grow GMOs, and I'll let you grow whatever you want," they say.

For non-GMO farmers in the Rogue Valley, this regards contamination from air, animals, insects and farming practices that compromises the entirety of their operation. For those farmers, GMO trespass would require many costly changes. "I want to grow non-GMO, but I can't if my neighbor's pollen trespasses."

So, who wins with this identical message? Organic and conventional farming does not threaten GMO crop production. On the contrary, GMO crops are a huge threat to organic and conventional farming. As far as I'm concerned, it's my job to fence my cattle in, not for my neighbors to fence them out. Vote yes on Measure 15-119! — Brandon Schilling, Ashland

I felt sorry for the lady whose neighbor built a 200-square-foot plywood treehouse near her fence about 20 feet high (March 7 local section). My first thought when I saw the picture was, "Well, that won't be great for resale value."

Ms. Powell voiced her concerns to Mr. Ford about the size and location and requested that a window not face her yard. Her concerns grew about the size and location. When she talked to city officials, he then installed the window, saying it was for added light and that it was high for privacy. He insisted it was not for spite — right — the window size would provide little light, and a stool would negate any privacy.

The neighbor seemed to have an "in-your-face" attitude. He said, "I did it from the heart for my son." He misses the point; what he is showing his son is to put himself first and how to be a bully.

Homeowners are being held hostage by inconsiderate neighbors and inadequate city laws regarding what a homeowner builds. Ten feet high is 10 feet from the ground, not some made-up starting point. — L. Decker, Central Point