South of our border, where I am from, is a state of disaster. California's politicians have destroyed a beautiful land.

It is bankrupt with the highest sales and income taxes. One reason is lavish entitlements. Re-elected Gov. Brown approved collective bargaining to state employees during his first reign.

California, based on federal test scores, has the nation's near-worst public schools. It has the highest population of illegal aliens.

The private sector has been so over-regulated that its manufacturing base is shrinking. The environmental movement of extreme has helped to restrict commerce.

We only need to look at our neighbor to see what is happening to Oregon. — Dick Dunbar, Medford

I would like to extend a big thank you to the generous members of our community that have taken the time to make and donate hats and blankets for the babies in the Rogue Valley Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These not only keep the babies warm but also put a smile on parents' faces in a time of crisis.

We truly appreciate the time you take to make these beautiful gifts that are much appreciated. — Joni Farrington, (NICU RN), Central Point

I would like to thank Teresa Kalla for bringing attention to the fact that the Making Work Pay Credit ($400 to individuals making less than $20,000 and $800 to couples making less than $40,000) has been eliminated.

It is appalling to me that the working poor are being forgotten. No, let me correct myself, being thrown to the wolves!

I would like to hear our representatives speaking up for the interests of these people. Instead, silence.

What is a relatively small contribution to the government is a huge sacrifice for this group of honest, hardworking Americans. Who is looking out for them? — Phyllis Barlow, Rogue River

I encourage Medford citizens to register for the Citizen's Academy offered by the Medford Police Department that starts Jan. 5, 2011. I attended last year's academy, which is a 30-hour course of instruction spread over an 11-week duration. It was very interesting, informative, and valuable. It gave me a refreshing insight into how the police department works and how it protects Medford residents.

Registration information can be obtained on the city's website, www.ci.medford.or.us. — Bruce Spence, Medford

Acting lesson 1: If a scene calls for the actor to cry, the actor does not. The actor learns to let the audience do the crying. If the actor turns on the waterworks and loses control the actor is seen as over-acting or hamming it up.

The audience, instead of feeling sorrow, guffaws (loud, unrestrained laughter) and often does. Hence the term, "laughed off the stage"... or off the TV in today's world. Get the hint, Mr. Boehner? — Marlyn Mason, Medford

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