In response to the editorial of July 25, I offer this perspective.

First, from previous information in the Mail Tribune regarding the issue of Oregon Advanced Imaging, it appears that the administrators of Providence have made more of a "good faith" effort at cooperation than this editorial implies.

Second, regarding the apparent duplication of specialty services, comparing the cardiovascular program at Providence to the rehab unit at Rogue is misleading. A review of the region's demographics will show that the need for cardiovascular services is on the rise; there is enough to support two quality programs. A similar assessment for rehabilitation care does not support the same conclusion.

Finally, I disagree with the editorial's conclusion that Providence has reason to be embarrassed. I do agree that our residents will benefit from strong partnerships and cooperation among all the health-care professionals in the valley. The nurses in the region do it, I hope others follow suit. — Elaine Ritchey, RN, Medford

I'm writing regarding the 2-year-old burned by her neighbor's fireworks in Medford on July Fourth. Fireworks are illegal in the city of Medford. Cite the lawbreakers who destroyed this child's chance at a happy innocent childhood.

I, too, was burned by fireworks as a child, not as badly, but the experience left deeper scars than burned skin. I pray for this child and her parents.

I say it is time Oregon outlawed all fireworks except for legally authorized shows handled by professionals. Let's take down all discount firework stands in White City — the only legal area in this vicinity. We all know they sell to anyone with the money to buy.

Fireworks are insane for many reasons. In Oregon we are at high risk for deadly fires; fireworks injure someone somewhere every year; fireworks intrude on the peace and quiet of people who have to listen to them (legal and illegal M-60s and above) for several nights. Furthermore, fireworks encourage the users to party hearty which usually includes (at least) heavy drinking leading to more errors which increases the potential for harm in every way. — Brenda Luba, White City

After having a new manufactured home put on our property two years ago, I will never again deal with our county Planning Department. These people are the most misinformed government individuals that I have ever encountered.

When you are told something one day, after fully and exactly explaining what you are doing, then being quoted a price for permits and procedures, only to find out after you have started the project that permits are double what you were first told and that extra procedures need to be done (more costs) before the project can be completed, hints either along the lines of ignorance or, worse yet, fraud.

Recently, neighbors of ours were starting a greenhouse business. Yet again our beloved Planning Department keeps changing the rules on a day-to-day basis. And I mean that quite literally. Each day that they contact this department, something else is added or costs for that permit are higher than what they were told the day before.

I wonder if it's time for new, informed people to be placed in that department? — Fred A. Hilkey, Jacksonville

At the Medford airport, as required by Homeland Security, the loudspeaker warns: "The security threat has been raised to orange," then the usual warning to watch luggage and not accept packages, as if we haven't always been warned to do so. Mr. Chertoff recently announced he had a gut feeling we might have an attack this summer.

A news report warned that neighbors said newly arrested men planning violence seemed like regular citizens, so "there may be people living next door to us who are terrorists." As if Timothy McVeigh, serial killers and other mentally ill citizens never existed here.

Such general warnings promote fear, and that, noted Machiavelli in the 1500s, is how to make the populace docile and keep them distracted from wrongdoing — like doling out tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals, censoring scientists, lying to justify war, and torture.

Curious, isn't it, that we don't have a war on murder or on disease? Both cause a lot more U.S. deaths than terrorists do. — Diana Morley, Talent

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