Kathleen Parker's rendition of the "ho" culture among black high school students was a brilliant flash of understanding (May 15).

Is it any wonder that black people are over-represented in the prison system? For fear of trampling their "rights," it has been accepted that they grow up nurtured in this "culture."

When they finally leave the shelter of home and school to enter the big world, they find themselves unable to understand or adapt to society's expectations. Not only is their culture depriving these youngsters of an education, but we require teachers to put up with this behavior, and blame them if the students don't learn.

Parents! Administrators! Do something! Surely the ACLU will allow us to prevent even more generations of misguided youth! — Carol SeCoy, Ashland

Among the many reasons given for voting against the library tax levy is "they should have known."

Foreseeing the loss of funding would not change the fact that we need to find a way to pay for the libraries. I too would have liked to have had foresight when I purchased a home in Medford last year, as I now regret investing in a community that refuses to fund their libraries.

I realize some voters automatically reject any tax increase on principle. This is a mindless act if they fail to consider the long-term consequences of living in a community without libraries. If they are property owners, they will likely experience a reduction of their property values.

Beyond that, the losses to the community are incalculable, but not insignificant. I hope that the elected representatives and residents can work together to remedy this dire situation. — Catherine Scholz, Medford

The resounding defeat of the library levy, for the second time, should finally serve as a wake-up call to county commissioners. Will that body be convinced that they need to find alternate forms for financing libraries, or will the all-or-nothing mentality continue to abound?

Voters did not vote against libraries, and those that believe that are simply being disingenuous. Rather, the vote was a referendum on how the county Board of Commissioners conducts, or fails to conduct, its business. For the second time, county residents once again said no to additional property taxes.

How the commissioners handle their failure will define that body for years to come. Innovative ideas plus an acknowledgement that the current library system is out of control is what will eventually lead to the solution. Those commissioners that are unable to, or worse unwilling to find alternate solutions, must be replaced at the earliest opportunity. — Jim Langhoff, Medford

All the Phoenix Lions Club members wish to thank everyone who attended the annual Mother's Day breakfast, as well as the contributors, helpers and cooks, and for the use of the Grange Hall and donations of materials and food.

Thank you Phoenix Ray's Market and special thanks also to our firemen and to those who provided door prizes, took tickets and above all did so much in order-taking and saw to it that everyone was served. Lion Chuck McGilvray put it all together and cooked and made all the arrangements. It helped a lot to have the Mail Tribune publicity.

We believe that everyone enjoyed the Mother's Day breakfast. We hope everyone had a wonderful time and thank you all for supporting this activity. — Louis Lichtenstein, Phoenix

Trucking our trash and garbage to a landfill is totally unnecessary. Many cities back east have found a use for everything thrown away.

Trash and garbage are put on a conveyor belt and run under a live flame to burn open the plastic bags. Magnets pick up the metal, which is then run through a crusher and dumped in a boxcar. The rest of the trash and garbage is sent through a tumbler where the garbage is separated from the trash.

The garbage ends up in a high pile that will be used to make methane gas and what is left will be put back on the ground to grow crops again. The rest of the trash is now run through a crusher, then a chipper. The crusher breaks the glass as fine as sand and the sand falls through smaller holes in the process and can be reused or sent to be mixed with the garbage.

What's left of the trash (plastic and wood pieces) is placed in a heater to be melted and formed into bales for shipment or made into railroad ties or lumber for construction. Nothing is wasted. — Gordon DeVos, Medford

What a truly awesome job! The results of this year's Letter Carriers "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive are in.

On Saturday, May 12, our local letter carriers in Medford, Central Point, White City and Ashland worked tirelessly collecting over 76,950 pounds (36 tons) of food generously donated by the community to help hungry individuals and families throughout Jackson County.

Many thanks to all who donated food and to the letter carriers for spending long hours delivering, collecting and carrying the bags filled with groceries back to their postal sites. And to food drive coordinator Donna Sanderson, who did such an incredible job keeping all the pieces together that accompany organizing the largest single food drive of the year. Thanks also to Southern Oregon Sales, Dane Collins, Central Equipment, Big Time Trucking, Batzer Inc., Boy Scouts and Rogue Federal Credit Union for donating equipment and volunteering their time. — Philip Yates, ACCESS Nutrition Programs manager

The North American Free Trade Agreement and the North American Union are two internationalist intents of the global elite to gradually merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into one major Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP.

Though benign-sounding, it isn't! This mega-corporate, socialist conglomerate is subversive to our constitutional republic, sovereignty and economic manufacturing base! With each passing year America becomes less free. Why?

The question is: Will the American public wean itself from the meth-type addiction to football, sports, TV, cell phones, drugs, alcohol, computers and the dishonest two-party political cartels? Americans must become pro-active in reclaiming our once free nation!

How? By becoming informed on the issues the establishment news media chooses to ignore, suppress and conceal. Subscribing to The New American, the bi-weekly periodical of The John Birch Society (www.jbs.org) is a start (see www.thenewamerican.com).

The www.stopthenau.org Web site is also informative. And finally, Americans should rightly be angered at both houses of Congress and the "Republicrats." Democrats and Republicans perpetrated this sellout, deceit and political/economic betrayal! The Constitution Party at www.constitutionpartyoregon.com is an honest third-party alternative. — James A. Farmer, Ashland

"If you don't like President Bush's proposal, come up with one of your own that can get support in the Congress to control immigration — which is in chaos," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.

The reason it's in chaos is because the laws already in place were not enforced!

Here's my plan. Enforce the law against hiring illegal aliens.

We recently tracked the migration of one individual sick calf through several owners to its ultimate demise to see if we had anything to worry about from mad cow disease. The technology is in place to tell employers if a job applicant is here legally or not. If they are not here legally and unable to gain employment, they will self-deport.

Employers can be encouraged to use this plan by not allowing them to deduct the wages of employees as expenses. The problem is, it's too simple and not politically supportable to get seriously considered. Does that tell you anything about D.C.? That's sad and scary to me.

We don't need no stinking "amnesty bill." — Dale Herrmann, Eagle Point

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