I attended the Medford School Board meeting May 12. These individuals are skilled bureaucrats. One has designed a spreadsheet that the state uses to estimate budgets.

But even bureaucrats need to come home now and then and have some supper. I'd fix a savory pork tenderloin, potatoes and a crisp salad. For the salad I'd wash the greens, add a little onion, olive oil, salt and a sprinkle of red wine vinegar. I'd concentrate on the salad because these administrators have forgotten the taste of a fresh salad! Like a salad or a vegetable to a meal, so is music to school.

Some mistakenly liken music to dessert. Baloney!

District and board, come out of the fog of administration! It is thick stuff, full of IEPs and silly rules. We are in a time of turmoil, not crisis. Our shores have not been invaded by fascists. We still have computers and fast food. Now is a time to eat our vegetables and take care of our children.

Try to separate the trappings of life from the substance. This will help you make the cuts where needed and keep music. — Yvette Provosty Mullen, Medford

The stimulus dollars set to fund health-care facilities for low-income patients could not be allocated to a more worthy cause.

I myself am a patient at La Clinica and the Community Health Center and am so thankful for the affordable health and dental care I have received at both locations. As a 23-year-old college student at SOU, I am especially appreciative for these services because I feel I belong to the "forgotten demographic" as far as the need for affordable health care is concerned. Like many of the other hundreds of thousands of Oregonians who can't afford health insurance, I fall into the 18-64-year-old age range that excludes me from receiving the Oregon Health Plan and Medicare/Medicaid benefits.

I am aware that many individuals feel as though their tax dollars are being squandered and people who can't afford health insurance are only poor because they are lazy and irresponsible. However, many of the patients of such facilities are considered the working poor and despite their lifetime of hard work, continue to struggle financially.

I suggest that this allocation of funds is not a waste, but an investment in the citizens of our community. — Sarah Westover, Ashland

I have an idea what to do with the city-owned boarded up house on Orchard Lane.

Take out all the good items, such as doors, cabinets, hardware, etc., and recycle everything usable.

Then let the fire department burn it to the ground for practice. Then let a school for construction equipment use it and prepare the ground for the upcoming street extension.

I would venture to say the neighbors would be very happy to see that eyesore gone. — Jerry Girard, Medford

This month I attended a medical conference in Montreal where one presenter talked about cholesterol. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., had been a neurosurgeon in Russia before moving to England. When she had an autistic child she searched for answers which led to study of nutrition. In England, she established a nutrition-oriented clinic.

In agreement with other scientists who have studied the issue well, she listed dangers in low cholesterol and some benefit for high cholesterol. One scientist claimed she overstated the case to make a point, but this is not overstatement: A person who thinks that lowering cholesterol will lead to better health has been distracted from real causes of heart and artery disease. Harvard researcher Dr. Paul Ridker also cites cholesterol as a distraction.

Among hundreds of sources, go to www.businessweek.com. Click on "magazine" and "past issues" and find the cover story, Jan. 28, 2008. — Ira Edwards, Medford

I had the privilege of sharing the joy of gardening with 5- and 6-year-old girls in the Daisies in Girl Scout Troop 32075 of Central Point. Through the Speakers Bureau of the Jackson County Master Gardeners, a program of Oregon State University Extension Service, I was able to share about The Children's Garden, how to plant seeds, care for plants and transplant seedlings.

The troop graciously presented the Master Gardeners a check for $150 to be used in the Children's Garden for shovels, rakes, hoes and other supplies. This gift, raised through cookie sales, was part of the troop's community service project. Thanks to troop 32075 for this generous gift!

I would also like to thank troop leaders Carrie Reed and Katie Sellers for taking their time and energy to do such a great job of working with the young, motivated girls. — Bill Dietz, Jackson County Master Gardener, Ashland

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