Regarding the guest opinion "Justice denied" (Oct. 17):

Please decide what office in Oregon you would like to run for, and I'll vote for you and contribute some funds.

Keep up the good work! — R.S. Butler, Medford

In reference to the letter to the editor by C. Andrew Beck, sarcastically titled "White roofs: Brilliant!" the writer should think about our local climate before poking fun at the idea.

If the goal is to reduce energy costs, the Rogue Valley is a good geographical candidate for light-colored roofs. With limited cloud cover and the sun relatively high in the sky during the late spring, summer and early fall, light-colored roofs would indeed reflect much sunlight and reduce cooling costs. During the winter, the sun is lower in the sky and low clouds are abundant, eliminating the need to transform a light-colored roof to black during the winter.

Because of our local climate, the summer light-colored roof would be more efficient than a winter black roof. In general, a net savings would likely be achieved by having a light-colored roof versus a black roof year-round. — N. Keene, Medford

On Oct. 9, the people of Ashland expressed their community spirit again by donating almost 20,000 pounds of food to the Ashland Food Project. This food was then distributed to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Food Angels, three hot meals programs (Uncle Foods Diner, Congregational Church breakfast, First Presbyterian supper), Migrant Workers Head Start, senior shut-ins, and Ashland at-risk teens.

Please join over 2,000 other community members and participate in the Ashland Food Project. It's fun and easy to do. Just sign up on the website, www.ashlandfoodproject.com, and mark Saturday, Dec. 11, on your calendar, the next AFP collection day. It will make a real difference in the lives of thousands of hungry local residents who rely upon the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

Ashland Food Project, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your ongoing generosity in support of our vital service. — Marty Dennett, AEFB/AFP Food Drive coordinator, Ashland

My father, David Alexander, was diagnosed in June with terminal cancer and I would like to share an exceptional experience that shows that even in the worst times kindness still lives:

My father and his RVMC Hospice volunteer, Denise, planned on dining at Porter's restaurant on Saturday, Sept. 25. I called ahead to speak with the manager, whose name is Shayla, because I was concerned the restaurant would be especially busy and my father and his companion might feel rushed to leave. I told Shayla that my father has cancer and doesn't eat a lot these days but likes their clam chowder very much. I asked if it would be possible to seat them somewhere out of the way so they could have their visit, which usually lasts a few hours.

She assured me it wasn't a problem. When my father came home, he was smiling and asked if I had paid for their dinner. I replied that I hadn't and I called the restaurant. Shayla admitted she "comped" their dinners and commented on how nice the staff thought my father was. This gesture truly warmed my heart and Porter's staff has my sincerest thanks! — Lisa Stanley, Medford

Don't know about you folks ... but the political "give-and-take" has me completely confused ... I don't know which way to jump, so I propose the following simple solution: The first candidate to introduce or propose legislation to make random sales telephone calls a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine gets my vote. — Bob Lewis, Medford

Although I am glad that your paper covered Ashland's Gay Pride celebration, the article in Sunday's paper did not accurately reflect the day's events. There was no mention of the large contingents from at least four local churches and synagogues, the Democratic Party of Jackson County, SOU and several teen and young adult groups. Many of these marchers were straight.

The afternoon event at the band shell was not covered. It included a powerful speech by parade Grand Marshall Bill Rauch and music by local groups, all viewed by a large and joyful audience, including many families.

And I'm at a loss to know why the only photo you chose to print was of a man in an extravagant costume. Certainly there were drag queens and rainbow outfits but there were many more conventionally dressed people making their own statements who could have been photographed.

I'm disappointed that your coverage may have reinforced stereotypes about gays and lesbians and failed to convey the true diversity of the event and of our community. — Mary Pat Power, Ashland

I admire the Chilean president who asked for all the technology help from whomever could provide it, unlike our president during the BP fiasco. — Marilyn Huntsman, Central Point

I think most of us in the Rogue Valley, us with kids anyway, know of the Railroad Park off Table Rock and Berrydale. I wanted to say a much-deserved thank-you to the people involved.

The Railroad Park is what community is about, people young and old and all the ages in between come together to share in the fun of the nostalgic train. Amidst the sound of train whistles, smells of popcorn and hot dogs and the excitement of children are people from all walks of life. A safe place for families to enjoy time together for free — there are few places like that.

The Railroad Park is a gem to be recognized. We should do all we can to support it and make sure the park stays alive for many more years to come. — Briana Vannier, Medford

Regarding the potential exercise tax on new Medford construction, well, what are the board members thinking, or do they think, or instead, do they simply, as a parrot, repeat Nancy Pelosi-like phrases, such as "The schools and our kids are our future"? I suggest that the School Board develop some empathy to its community, rather than endless thoughts on revenue enhancement.

Housing is literally in a depression. Blue-collar construction jobs were probably the best avenue for a man in the Rogue Valley to make a decent living, have a family and support their kids in school. Now that is all fading away and the School Board, in its only act of a physical nature, wishes to hammer the final nail into construction's coffin.

Recently there have been reports of an epidemic of bedbugs in the U.S. I personally consider that to be nothing more than a physical manifestation of what politicians and those in power are doing to the average citizen financially. Local, state and federal governments have their proboscises out and they are suck, suck, sucking the lifeblood out of this nation. Of what matter are pristine schools if our neighborhoods are blighted beyond redemption! — Mike Hilmer, Medford

Our government was designed by smart and talented experts who realized the value of freedom! They gave the federal government a limited task that did not abuse the freedoms of states or citizens. All have their own paths to choose.

Lately, through greed, new laws ignoring the past and persuasion by companies or lobbyists, our country has become divided so the federal politicians now enjoy the freedom of their worth in salaries, vacations, travel, health care and retirement benefits and leave the states and citizens under their control without any freedom, just dependency, obligations and other unaffordable items such as mandatory health care, impossibly high taxes and a large debt future generations must live with!

New laws and controls to limit the federal government are needed! Equal powers plus independent choice to all! That's my opinion. — Milton "Jeff" Meek, Grants Pass

Sen. Harry Reid thinks it is un-American for a citizen to think a congressperson should put the welfare of the country ahead of higher reelection.

In 1998, at a town hall meeting in Sun City Summerlin, Las Vegas, I was the last questioner and asked, "Sen. Reid, can you give me an example of action taken by a congressperson, from either party, that shows they put the welfare of the country ahead of their own re-election?"

His reply, "That question shows you have an attitude that is a poor example for our teenagers. If I had your attitude, I would get out of the country." — Floyd "Jack" Lamb, Medford

With the TARP funds being vilified these days, i.e., the billion-dollar bailout, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit and see exactly how they fared.

The TARP program was officially to close Oct. 3, 2010. Of the $700 billion allocated about $400 billion was spent. Today over $200 billion has been paid back and best estimates are the program will cost us between $30 and $50 billion. It can be argued that this was one of the most successful programs by our government. Without those funds our financial system could have collapsed, lending would have ground to a halt, commerce would have stopped, GM and Chrysler would have closed, 8.5 more million people would have been out of work and we would have had around 16 percent unemployment.

This was a nonpartisan measure passed by Congress, signed into law by President Bush and continued by President Obama. I think it was money well-spent. — Herb Malone, Gold Hill

The resignation of one of the Medford School Board members has created a wonderful opportunity for the school district to have a school board that truly represents all of its citizens. The superintendent should appoint a qualified minority to the open position.

With our minority population in Medford approaching 17 percent, it only makes sense to have minority representation on the board. Then, when election time comes, the citizens of Medford can decide whether this person deserves to continue in this position.

Furthermore, if the district is serious about equality, it should set out to find this person, rather than wait for someone to come knocking on its door. — Kathy A. Kieffer, Medford

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