Recently I was watching "The Sopranos," where three guys had a citizen in a corner and were extorting money from him. After beating up the citizen they turned to leave with looks of satisfaction. It was then that I recognized the leader from his ODOT shirt logo and realized the others were local land developers. I turned to recognize the citizen as a fellow Phoenix resident.

Using much the same tactics as the Sopranos, ODOT and its land developer followers used their "thug" techniques in beating the Phoenix City Council to an acceptance of the Phoenix I-5 interchange. After seven years they threw a water pipe bill for another million dollars to the city and then expected them to make a decision in one week. Never mind the citizens advisory group that had reservations or council that had to wonder how to pay for this recent revelation, it appears that their time and importance really was nothing more than just an act of concern by ODOT.

I totally disagree with the tactics that this group of thugs used against the city and it just shows another example of the power of the state. — Gary Reed, Phoenix

In regard to the man who died in a Portland hospital parking lot, my husband was having a heart attack in the doctor's office and the doctor said he wasn't waiting for an ambulance for transport to the hospital approximately 100 yards away. He put my husband in a wheelchair and pushed him to the hospital and into the cardiac unit for immediate attention.

This was a case of common sense and possibly not abiding by some rule. Rules are guidelines, but common sense should prevail. My husband had a quadruple bypass and is recovering nicely.

That family in Portland could have been my family. I pray for them and for the doctor who saved mine from a similar fate. — Mary Koontz, Medford

First it was Angela Merkel, then David Cameron, and now Nicolas Sarkozy all publicly coming to the realization that multiculturalism has been a failure in Europe. This should not surprise anyone; multiculturalism has failed every place it's been tried.

In America, it's been a constant source of angst, but we're stuck with it. Recent attempts to continue dysfunctional immigration policies, however, have made the situation a whole lot worse.

Just as Europe experienced belligerent hordes of immigrants from Islamic countries who wish not to accept the domestic values of their country of destination, America has witnessed an invasion of hostile immigrants from Latin America.

America needs to assess what is happening, as European leaders have done, and take action before it's too late. Some corrective measures are being proposed in Arizona now, and forward-thinking officials there could use the help of the rest of the country.

America needs to seal the borders, put an end to birthright citizenship and force illegal immigrants out. Then we can tighten up legal immigration so people coming here would be those who have something to contribute to this country. With that done, we must concentrate on assimilating the population we have. — Robert Bennett, Grants Pass

I'm not quite sure how to word all I want to say. I heard on the radio that the Ashland School District is short of money for the schools and might need to lay off some teachers.

Maybe some of the higher-ups should be laid off instead. Now it seems to me that in all school districts our children are getting shortchanged!

Maybe the higher-ups in all the governments should start worrying about our children's education instead of some of the idiotic things they come up with on which to spend our taxes.

All of them, and the administrators of the school, were given a lot better education than our children are getting. I have grandsons and great-nieces in school in this valley and feel they are not getting the education all of the so-called leaders received. Maybe the answer is not laying off teachers, but some of the administrators. I know life is not fair, but this goes beyond "not fair"! — Judy Westcott, Talent

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