Adding sixth-graders to the middle schools might make sense under normal circumstances. Advantages include smaller student bodies and opportunities for more advanced coursework. However, this is not a perfect world, and we must make some very careful choices for our students at this time.

By giving this "extra" to one grade level, we'd be choosing not to rebuild two schools that serve hundreds of elementary students and their families. I taught at Roosevelt for 11 years and participated in several of the initial informational meetings and get-out-the-vote efforts for this bond measure.

These walking schools are the foundations of their neighborhoods. There is an incredible feeling of family and community. Had I thought that closing my school would be the unintended result of the bond measure instead of bringing it into line with modern facilities, I would not have worked for its passage.

The loss of these smaller, personal schools will be devastating. This loss far outweighs the benefits gained for the sixth-graders.

In keeping with the spirit of the bond measure, I urge the school board to guarantee benefits to all students in Medford. Please rebuild Roosevelt and Jackson instead of outfitting a third middle school. — Barbara Galbraith, Medford

Regarding your editorial "Foot-dragging on climate change" on Friday, Dec. 14, the statement "... may not have catastrophic consequences in the near future" is so wrong.

Most reputable climatologists consider the Arctic to be "the canary in the coal mines" for the environment. Summer sea ice is rapidly diminishing. As a result, polar bears are now literally starving to death and resorting to cannibalism. No sea ice. No seals. No food.

When there is little or no summer sea ice, polar bears will be functionally extinct, surviving in isolated pockets, and will not be able to sustain themselves without human intervention.

That means that in the next few years we will have made extinct one of God's most wondrous creatures. What have we done? — Chris Thompson, Ashland

With the steam gone, the letter suggesting banning cell towers reduces to an example of the "precautionary principle" which, with its steam gone, reduces to, "If anyone, anywhere even suspects something is dangerous, ban it."

The writer cites a "link" in an unidentified study — not quite the same as evidence of cause. Wide application of this principle would have effectively banned all progress. Who wants that? — Lee Morris, Medford

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