Regarding "Residents derail 5 proposed sidewalks," June 13:

Some folks equate protecting private landscaping in the public right-of-way with protecting neighborhood livability.

Sidewalks do a better job of protecting neighborhood livability. Adding more traffic lanes is one solution to traffic congestion. Encouraging walking is another.

Reducing dependence on automobiles protects neighborhoods from having to add lanes of traffic. Let's encourage walking by providing safe sidewalks built on public rights-of-way. Let's encourage biking by providing bike lanes on major streets.

And pedestrian and bike-friendly neighborhoods just seem more livable than multi-lane streets.

That said, the council's decision to withdraw sidewalks from some Medford neighborhoods is not inappropriate. Safe Sidewalks funding is constrained.

Award the limited Safe Sidewalks funds to neighborhoods whose residents want to walk. With the price of gas, those neighbors will be happy to have walkable neighborhoods. — Edgar Hee, Medford

A fund has been established at Washington Mutual Bank to benefit the Jonathan Whyte family of Medford, whose home was recently vandalized twice in racially motivated assaults.

Any WaMu branch will accept checks made payable to the Jonathan Whyte Fund, sponsored by the First Congregational Church in Ashland. — Barbara Fitch, Ashland

Am I the only person who, after reading the story about the struggle with a mortally wounded black bear, feels sympathy for the bear? Bears are not dumb animals. Most want nothing to do with humans. (Can you imagine that?)

You buy a "tag," a powerful rifle (with scope so you don't have to get too close) and look for something to put on the wall. A not-dying bear would have made short work of Wyckoff. So, after absorbing eight shots, the bear — "he didn't even look at me" — ended his fight to live.

Oregon is no longer the "Wild West." Killing for no other reason than fun is quaint. A bear, or, say, a cougar, up against a high-powered rifle is up against very long odds. A trophy — for what? To prove bears are a tough animal and die hard.

To prove you are brave, tough or cunning, track a bear with nothing but a camera. We'll all enjoy the pictures. Assuming you come back.

As Oregon changes, the Mail Tribune insists on reminding readers it can't change with the times. Just look what it deems important by putting it on the front page. — B. Foy, Medford

Shellee Rae's letter is almost laughable and filled with unsubstantiated claims.

I don't know about her, but if I lived in a famine-stricken country and had to choose between genetically engineered food and no food at all, I wouldn't have to think too long and hard to reach a decision. — Richard Cody, Applegate

The kittens and cats, present and future, at Committed Alliance To Strays want to thank everyone who brought food, litter, supplies and money after reading "It's raining cats and cats" in Friday's Mail Tribune. Friday the 13th was a great day for CATS!

On behalf of the cats' household staff, a heartfelt thank you to all of you. — Jan Whetstone, executive director, C.A.T.S.

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