Thuggish, offensive, violent behavior by persons of any race or ethnicity should never be tolerated by a civilized community. Shame on the Temples. If found guilty, I hope they are sent away and stay away.

Tolerant, measured responses by young people, particularly in the face of apparently unprovoked assault, should be acknowledged and commended. Kudos to Monsoor and Cooper for their maturity and perspective. When they return to Southern Oregon, I hope they stay. — Ed Roussell, Medford

Your Aug. 17 editorial ("$400,000 here, $400,000 there") really stung. It stung because it was right on the mark.

I apologize to the citizens of Medford for what appeared to be a cavalier response to the decision to accept responsibility for the failed paving project at the North Medford interchange. I regret that we may have created the impression that we shrug off the loss of the taxpayers' money.

I assure all Oregonians that we at ODOT take our public trust seriously — as something we earn by our performance. Try as we might to make perfect decisions every time, people unfortunately make mistakes.

We cannot talk publicly about personnel actions, but you should know that I hold every manager and employee accountable for their actions and decisions. We will correct this failure.

In the meantime, I will ask tough questions about why this happened in the first place and what we need to do to avoid the mistake in the future. I will take whatever additional action is necessary.

I insist we do better and make every dollar count. We have too many transportation needs in Oregon to spend dollars twice on the same project. — Matthew L. Garrett, director, Oregon Department of Transportation, Salem

Bravo! Your recent attention to language issues via Bill Varble and the Aug. 14 editorial both address the necessity of revising an attitude toward other languages.

We must think beyond our own borders to a more global perspective. As North Americans we need to forego the belief that everyone in the world should converse in English.

Yes, English is the language of power in most of the world, but to truly participate in critical international conversations, we need to step up. I fully endorse learning other languages in order to become truly global citizens.

Children learn languages readily, as witnessed by the fact that almost all children in the world already speak a minimum of two languages. Adults are superior language learners, too, when effort and intention are applied.

Each time I stumble with a new language, the appreciation from my conversation partner is warm and generous to allow my errors. This decreases fear for both of us.

It is wonderful to be the one attempting to build a bridge between us! I believe this is one way to help our fine country make genuine friends in the world. — Zuna Johnson, Ashland

I want to thank John and Rhonda Taylor for their outstanding "Peter Pan" production.

My grandchildren and I were amazed and delighted to watch how excellent the children (and the two adults) were. They performed with incredible energy and acting qualities. I strongly recommend "Peter Pan" to everyone, adults and/or children. — Jannie Ledard, Jacksonville

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