I was highly disappointed to see that on Thursday the Mail Tribune relegated Gore's all-important "challenge to our nation" to the back page of Section C, HomeLife. HomeLife?!

Hopefully other newspapers and news organizations will not get this all-important message out in the same way but print it and other such articles in places of prominence. You then could be a part of leading this country to righting our economic, environmental and national security crises, in this instance, by ending our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

The title of page 8C partially reads "HEALTH" — this is good at least but kind of an understatement, isn't it?! — Sherry Straus, Medford

I was stunned to read about Sen. Gordon Smith's recent commercial blasting House Speaker Jeff Merkley for helping secure passage of the rainy day fund in the last legislative session.

As a leader with the advocacy group Stand for Children, we consider establishing a rainy day fund to be of landmark significance in protecting vital services such as K-12 funding in the impending recession. Jeff Merkley led a bipartisan coalition, garnering the support of the business community, which realized the importance of putting the corporate kicker aside to prevent the drastic cuts that occurred in the previous decade.

To imply that the fund was an unnecessary tax on Oregon business is unfair and factually incorrect: Some 85 percent of the corporate kicker was destined for multinational corporations based outside of Oregon.

The prudent position would be to advocate for increasing the fund in future sessions, not criticizing its establishment. — Karen Starchvick, Jacksonville

I've been having a run of car trouble lately, and as a result have broken down twice in traffic. We've all been there, right?

But what really burns me up is the way people react. I've been yelled at, sworn at, flipped the finger, and told to get out of the way. Don't you think I would if I could? Do you think I chose to break down in the middle of the road?

While you're driving by me reacting to my misfortune like a complete moron, I'm sweating bullets frantically trying to get my car started before someone rams into me and kills one of my kids.

The next time you see someone sitting in the middle of the street with a dead car, don't be a jerk and add to their misery, stop for a minute and see if you can help! — Noni McCrillis, Talent

And here we go again: All those happy, cuddly stories about 4-H Club kids raising, caring for, washing and combing their animals to show at the fair before shipping them off to the slaughterhouse — they sure looked good just before the butchering.

All that talk of love, of care, of lessons learned, and it all boils down to being told that your cow was the "best tasting steer (one) ever ate." (Little lambies taste good too.)

All this should warm our hearts. But there is reason to suspect that one of the reasons humans can't seem to stop killing each other is because we are so inured to the slaughter of 50 billion animals yearly for our pleasure.

Animals suffer, they cry, they scream, they moan for their babies taken from them. And we ignore the ecological damages that will come back to haunt us as we take mass slaughter in stride.

Apparently, lack of empathy for fellow sentient beings, along with deep ignorance of the processes involved, is the big problem, a very depressing problem for all who pause to think about it. One epitaph on humanity's tombstone will read: "But it tasted so good." — (Ms.) Ragan Cavanaugh, Ashland

We would like to thank Pacific Power for the spirit of volunteerism and support for our community. Special thanks go to the operations group for all their work on the lighting at Harry and David Field.

We know that Pacific Power is always there in time of need after any natural disaster to restore our power, but they are there for the community in many other ways. They give their time and effort to help improve our community and do so willingly.

Our sincere thanks to all whose help makes our community a great place to live, work and play. — Gary Wheeler, mayor; Jim Kuntz, council president; and Bob Strosser, council vice president

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