I wrote this letter three months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, with instructions to my personal representative (named in my will) to forward it to you upon my death.

I enrolled under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act in order to have assisted suicide as an option in the event that my situation warrants it. I am (mostly) asymptomatic, in good spirits, active and enjoying each day to the fullest. I am not depressed, confused or afraid of dying.

While I have made peace with death, there are end-of-life possibilities related to my condition that would be, to me, unimaginable horrors that I want to avoid at all costs. Even though I may not end up exercising the option of assisted suicide, knowing that it is an option is supremely comforting.

I am thankful that I have a way to arrange a peaceful, painless, dignified exit at the time of my own choosing, if the need arises, with the absolute option to opt out.

Whether I chose to implement the act or not, I applaud the voters of Oregon for having the wisdom to support this unique law. You recognized that we can be trusted to make these final decisions clearly, freely and in concert with our loved ones and our medical providers. Thank you for that priceless gift. — Rich Cole, Talent

editor's note: Mr. Cole used the Death with Dignity Act and died on Nov. 18.

My name is Sherry McGee, and James Kinler was my little brother. My family and I are devastated by his loss, and only hearing about his past from you guys hasn't helped.

James was a great man. He was a son, a brother, a father and fought hard every day to stay sober. He'd been clean and doing good for some time now, you know.

He was off parole for the first time since he was 14. He was working and taking care of his family.

Sure, James had a criminal history, but so what. — Sherry McGee, Medford

FDR labeled Dec. 7, 1941 the "date that would live in infamy." The journalistic equivalent of that would have to be Nov. 23, 2008, the date the MT published Atkinson and Just's "Open letter of thanks" to George W. Bush.

The first indication that a hoax is being perpetrated is when it becomes obvious that there is not a word of truth anywhere in the piece.

Immediately after I eliminated April Fool's day as being somehow involved, I began my hunt to find out why the most absurd and laughable piece of all time would receive so much space in a reputable publication "¦ a lost election bet, a practical joke, authors with a wry, if awkward, sense of humor?

All unfounded guesswork. As is always the case, the guilty person(s) and motivation will eventually surface, but until then ... — Floyd Barton, Medford

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