The Central Point City Council acted impulsively when it dropped the size limitation on "big boxes" in its ordinances.

The desire for economic development during hard times made it ignore the reason that the original ordinance was adopted: that Pine Street, Hamrick and the nearby interchange were incapable of handling the surge in traffic that could follow. Expo concerts, Pilot trucks and Central Point residential traffic already use the nearby interchange to near capacity. — Dave Gilmour, Central Point

You have to be kidding me. Water parks now! The city is responsible for police, trash, water, schools and, yes, parks. But who said they should be in the business of building an amusement park?

Raising citizens' taxes to pay for a water park is a dereliction of their responsibilities. Check with your council person and see where they stand, stop this boondoggle. — Brad Martinkovich, Medford

Leonard Pitts and Kathleen Parker (Jan. 9) perform a great service in defending the American literary masterpiece "Huckleberry Finn" as a vehicle for teaching young readers to discern (and value) nuance and to think deeply.

Strikingly, their columns affirming the power of the right word appeared in the same issue as the report of the question allegedly asked by Jared Loughner: "What's government if words don't have meaning?" In his tragic confusion, he too was raising the connection between the choice of words and our ability to understand our world in all its contradictory complexity.

There is a sad irony in the likely scenario of school districts purchasing the sanitized edition of "Huck Finn" to teach alongside the classroom classics "Brave New World" and "Fahrenheit 451," which warn against just such mind-numbing Bowdlerization.

As a retired high school English teacher of 40 years who spent 20 years as department head, I am very familiar with the pressures for political correctness on school boards and administrators, but for our children's sake, they must be resisted.

Parker has it right: "A teacher above all others should be ashamed." — Susan A. Stitham, Ashland

Although Garfield Street between Peach and Columbus is going to be fixed, I have been wondering why so many people who have complained about having to drive down it continue to do so and at such speeds that the teenagers from South Medford High almost have to walk in the ditches to keep from being hit.

Some of you out there just don't seem to care how you drive and who you may hurt. If you hate the street so much, why not try a different route? I do, and I live on the holey, pothole street and it doesn't faze me to go around. Also it is against the law to drive up on people's yards just to avoid the potholes.

Shame on you. — Nan Freitas, Medford

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