Your "Tribute to Fathers" story brought tears to my eyes, reading what some of your readers wrote about their fathers.

In 1938, my family was destroyed, I was the only survivor. I was in a coma for three months. When I came out of the coma, the nuns told me how lucky I was. But they had no further information other than I was the only survivor.

Today reminds me just how much I had lost 69 years ago. Thank you for printing this story. — Glenn Smith, Medford

I cannot believe we are giving consideration to fluoridating our waters. Please, go to www.fluoridealert.org and see why 98 percent of Western Europe has said "no" to fluoridation. Also, learn how fluoride was used in World War II on our enemies. What's the good of keeping your teeth if you lose your mind? Why are we considering it? And, who is behind it? — Linda Garble, Medford

In response to the letter to the editor, "Dress code violated," I was appalled that Hubert Smith's seemingly only focus while participating on the senior boards was disruption and distraction based on his emphasis on the "plunging necklines."

His focus should have been on the tremendous projects these students work so hard to put together and the pressure they undergo to present them to the judges. The emphasis should be pride in what these young men and women are accomplishing and contributing, rather than "attentiveness of the parents, teachers and administrators responsible for guiding these children through the difficult passages of emerging sexuality and maturity."

I have participated on the senior boards for several years and each time I walk away with amazement, admiration and respect for these young men and women, knowing that the majority of them will go far. — Kris Blackhurst, Medford

Thank you ever so much for your "Lincoln Collection." It was a pleasant and informative experience reading that reminded me of how blessed our nation was to have had him as our president, perhaps the best president this nation ever had if not the very best. The two Roosevelts also come to mind as possible runners-up — in sharp contrast to our current occupant of the White House. I especially enjoyed the "Lincolns" neatly written in a child's handwritten "sum" book.

What a shame that our current president couldn't have shared a few of his leadership gifts and self-effacing humor.

I do hope someone like Louise Taper will write another Lincoln book or at least republish the book that Louise read. — Bill and Althea Chesney, Jacksonville

The Medford School District needs to slow down a bit and think clearly about the future of Roosevelt and Jackson schools.

We have now seen two major changes in bond priorities since passage without a great deal of public input on either. The responsible thing to do would be to hold community meetings and formulate a plan after input, not before.

We must keep in mind the engineers determined the buildings would likely fail during the maximum possible earthquake. The actual chances of such an earthquake is not the engineer's determination or within his expertise. The USGS earthquake hazard maps and expert opinions of both geologists and risk managers should be used to determine what the real possibilities are.

In truth, the risks are not as great as most believe. The peril we assume every day we put our children on a school bus is much higher.

Public policy should be formulated in a rational manner with all facts included. A complete risk analysis is the only way for a good decision to be made if it hasn't been made already. — Steven Plunk, Medford

This letter is in regard to Peter Buckley's guest opinion column of Monday, June 18. I agree, the adults of Jackson County do need to step up, and get rid of socialist Peter Buckley.

Let me ask the adults of Jackson County "what if." What if we had a representative that listened to the people instead of lecturing them on what they should do?

If we follow Peter's tax-and-spend plans we would have a library in every precinct. Sixty percent of the people twice told them no to the libraries and Peter wants to ignore this.

Peter never saw a tax he didn't like and I think he fails to understand that the average salary in Jackson County is only about $27,500 and can't possibly fund all of Peter's grandiose ideas. What if we got rid of this guy and got someone with some common sense? Let's do it. — Don Rist, Talent

Rep. Peter Buckley's guest opinion (June 18) is right on target. The citizens of Jackson County must start taking responsibility for the quality of services and life here.

It's time to stop complaining and pointing fingers. Let's have community forums in each town, learn the facts about how the county budget works and come up with some creative ideas to fund a thriving county.

I do believe that we want good roads, public safety, health and transportation systems. I do believe that we want libraries, the historical society and recreational programs. Let's help the county commissioners make wise decisions. The Blue Ribbon Task Force is not coming up with any new ideas; it's time for the citizens to step up. — Jan Waitt, Ashland

The sudden closing of two Medford elementary schools was surprising. I commend the dedicated teachers who used unpaid time and energy to pack up teaching materials accumulated over many years and often bought with their own money.

Few teachers have sufficient storage space in their homes. Where will all these vital supplies be stored, and will they be easily accessible for future use?

The newly condemned buildings were reportedly inspected and reinforced a decade ago. How much money was spent on that work and why were repairs not longer-lasting? Following the Los Angeles 6.8 magnitude earthquake in 1994, massive repairs were done to the school building where I taught, along with hundreds of other public buildings. They are now considered safe.

Many school districts nationwide have long had elementary schools for grades K-8, then high schools for grades 9-12. In Beverly Hills, four K-8 elementaries feed into Beverly Hills High. Curriculum and activities are appropriate to grade levels: Primary, upper elementary and middle school. Many fine private schools include grades K-8 or grades 7-12. There are distinct advantages to schools having a wide range of grade levels and learning programs properly suited to them. Benefits to students abound. — Betty R. Kazmin, Medford

A lot of people don't know that ex-FHA borrowers are entitled to refunds which arise from their mortgage insurance paid during the term of their loans. This is for people who have paid off the loan or refinanced. FHA/HUD is trying to get in touch with these ex-borrowers to pay them their refunds. There is a Web site, www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/comp/refunds/, also a toll-free telephone number, 1-800-697-6967, by which they can apply for the refund and get the ball rolling.

There is $4 million owed in Oregon alone, and GSA wants to get these off the books. Ex-FHA borrowers, pay attention, tell your buddies! — Grant Willey, Medford

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