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I saw it happen in Magnolia, Iowa. In the '30s, food was organic and milk was raw, fat and healthful. Health care was cheap and seldom needed.

Later the school and doctor were gone. Many of the nearby houses, barns and animals are gone, replaced by massive corn fields.

Unity, Ore., where in 1968-69 I taught the science courses in grades 7-12, now has only 34 students in grades K-12, which means that Unity has lost most of its population.

Governments at all levels, along with industry, academia and media, force farmers to "get big or get out."

The claim is that modern agriculture can produce better, more abundant food at a lower price. That is one-third true.

It is cheaper because we have an abundance of cheap energy. Machines do the work much cheaper, not counting the cost of farm subsidies and supporting unemployed workers.

Is mineral-deficient, toxin-carrying sugared food better? Why are we sick?

Well-planned and tended acres can produce more food than a much larger industrial farm. Modern agriculture destroys natural productive soil, becoming dependent on chemicals. Worldwide, productive land is becoming desert.

Do you see why we should support organic farms in Jackson County? — Ira Edwards, Medford

I don't know where I'd be without our public library. I'm a writer, and I read many books from the library to research my topics. I use the Internet there. Sometimes I've brought my laptop in to use Wi-Fi.

The librarians have been a tremendous help to me — all the way from helping me navigate the cyberworld to recommending books to answering reference questions.

The public library is a community hub of lectures, films and music offerings. It's a warm haven for homeless people who have no other place to sit, especially important in winter.

How many of us have found out life-changing information at our library? Please vote yes on the library funding measure this May, so that Ashland doesn't lose this priceless treasure. — Ambuja Rosen, Ashland

Your arms, neck, chest and all other body parts will someday become old and wrinkled, so your carefully chosen colors will merge and become a blob.

Your hands and arms will be covered with large brown spots which will crack, bleed and scab over as your skin becomes paper-thin.

The tattoos on your neck will hang down as your "turkey wattle" develops and will be a big mess of color. Take a look at your grandparents' arms or neck. You'll look like that someday, too.

If you have earrings to create those huge holes, someday you won't like that.

When you remove them it will look as if you have snippets of umbilical cord hanging from each ear.

When I was a young woman we had fads too. We wore our cardigan sweaters backwards, rolled our bobby-socks down into rings around our ankles and had bangs that covered our eyes.

But when that fad was replaced we turned our sweaters around and moved on. What's your plan?

A rewarding occupation for your future might be tattoo removal. I understand each removal is quite expensive. (Not to mention painful.) — B.N. Hamilton, Medford

What a thrill to see the front page of the Saturday Mail Tribune this morning. Everyone looks so happy, teachers and administrators, school board members all smiling; as if this was such a wonderful process we have just been through.

But I remind everyone of one thing that we saw on the picket lines and read about in the paper, over and over again these past few weeks. It's all about the kids ... right? So consider the following five questions:

Will the kids of our community get a better education because of the Medford teachers' agreement? No.

Will our deplorable graduation rates improve because of the Medford teachers' agreement? No.

Will the Medford teachers make more in salary and benefits because of the Medford teachers' agreement? Most definitely.

Will the taxpayers who pay the teacher salaries see an improvement in our wages and benefits over the next two to three years? Not many.

Will we be doing this all over again in two to three years? More than likely.

So I remind you (teachers especially) again. It's all about the kids... right? Yeah, just keep telling yourselves that! — Phil Cardin, Medford

In the United States and most other nations it has been a traditional right of individuals (and corporations are now so defined) to dump their waste products into the air and water no matter how toxic the waste, or what its effects on other life may be.

That our nation now has over 300 million people and is heavily industrialized should not affect this right.

So let us salute with both hands the tea party and other selfish conservatives and ignoramuses who fight to preserve our freedom to pollute our air and water and to reject the possibility of human-caused global climate change.

For the world will not end in fire or ice, but humanity will face the Judgment Day after fatally poisoning itself and the air and water that sustains life. — Robert Mumby, Phoenix

The guest opinion by teacher Mary Noble (Mail Tribune, Feb. 19), an essay that passionately supports the strikers' stance, inadvertently reveals its selfish ends.

In the short work, she employs the words "I", "me" and "my" in excess of 40 times; it's not good composition, while shining a bright light on the author's true motivation. — Chris Sinclair, Medford