I know the media get excited about milestones like millenniums and decades, but is it too much to ask for all the writers and their editors to hold the "Decade in Review" stories until the actual end of the decade? As a reminder, that would be approximately one year from now. — Robert Soltz, Medford

In a Mail Tribune article Dec. 16, Superintendent Phil Long stated that Madrone Trail Public Charter School "chose not to make reductions in expenses when we did "¦ ." Long fails to mention that Madrone Trail Public Charter School is only partially funded by the state and has to rely on fundraising to supplement the budget. How can you reduce the earnings of teachers and administrators at a charter school where its salaries are considerably less than those of district teachers and administrators?

Presently, teaching as an adjunct at Rogue Community College and having taught for 35-plus years in three different community colleges where I have encountered Waldorf-educated students in my classes, I can attest to their exceptional, high-academic preparedness and their strong sense of commitment to their communities. Much of this can be credited to the teachers, mentors and administrators who are significantly underpaid and can ill afford to have their salaries reduced. I strongly support the ideas expressed in the editorial opinion in the Mail Tribune, "No rent for charter school," and agree that "the charter school is a district-approved school and should not be treated as a second-class citizen." — Ron Danko, Jacksonville

It is understandable why so many people love to shop at Walmart: It's cheap. Especially with this unstable economy, some people might be forced to shop there. But does the American public really understand what Walmarts do to their towns?

The Walmart Corporation has ripped at the very soul of America and is spurting crap down our throats while its employees are paid for wasting their lives away. These employees can barely feed their families and many of them end up on food stamps. They may say they have an average salary of $10 an hour (which sadly is not enough), but wage increases at Walmart are pure peanuts, 25 cents or so and employees have to prove why they deserve it. Maybe because they are human, is that not enough?

What I am saying is that Walmart cares about no one, not even its employees, so if Medford is smart, we won't have another greedy giant in our backyards stripping us of our dignity and decency for life. I go to any store other than Walmart because although the items might cost more, at least I am not supporting Walmart's dehumanization plan. — Sara Hinze, Medford

Christmas has evolved and changed through the centuries, but always it is about the birth of Christ. Many of the symbols and customs of Christmas have been borrowed from other cultures, other countries.

Today, in America, we celebrate two Christmases and often both. We have religious Christmas and consumer Christmas.

If you are Christian, you celebrate Christ's birth, attending church, enjoying family and Christian fellowship, and shop for gifts to give to charity.

If you are not religious or not Christian, you shop for gifts, send cards, attend office parties and family gatherings, perhaps give to charity and enjoy the festivities and goodwill of the season. Oh, where would the retail world be without Christmas?

Of course, if you do not celebrate in either manner and don't approve of anything having to do with Christmas, I suppose you will pout, complain, take offense and do your best to spoil the happiness of the season for others.

My point is that Christmas is an American tradition and that without it, the economy would suffer and what a dull world it would be! — Ellen Trenholm, Medford

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