Well-compensated County Administrator Danny Jordan is the smartest guy in the room, when the room contains C.W. Smith, Dave Gilmour, Jack Walker and Don Skundrick. — Tucker Whitson, Ashland

He's worth every penny!

Seeing the picture of Danny Jordan on the front page of the Sunday paper ("Here's The Deal" Sept. 18) I was expecting to see a story about how Mr. Jordan's leadership has been one of the major reasons the county is in such good financial order. Instead it was a story that might be "newsworthy" to some; however, in today's competitive national job market, is fairly commonplace.

Regardless of private or public sector, at his level you have to pay to get outstanding talent. I for one am happy to pay my taxes to fund exceptional individuals, who during this difficult time guide the county through the storm. — David French, Phoenix

My wife and I took our two children to Medford's Railroad Park for the first time last Sunday. What a great partnership between the city and a group of enthusiastic volunteers. The turnout amazed us. We left saying, "We should spend more time in Medford."

Thanks to all involved for a great experience. — Nathan Broom, Jacksonville

When the McPhails settled in our valley there was no Sparrow Club. They had a vision of bringing the Sparrow Club to our community and set about building a needed program.

Unknown to them, they were actually building an organization that would include helping their own children. That is no coincidence, and is definitely the calling of a higher power. I suggest doubters research the Sparrow Club and find out what it's about.

"Extreme Makeover" looks for people making a huge difference and giving so much to the community with no thought of their own needs. Making their homes safe enables these families to be free to continue their incredible work in the community.

The McPhails I'm sure are grateful and overwhelmed. But I know they will never take this home for granted, and will give even more of themselves back to this community.

I think Sharyn Arthur (Letters, Sept. 16) has a great idea for a homeless shelter for teens. Take that vision and move forward and make it happen. Maybe you could enlist the help of the other one with doubts. This area has what it takes to make it happen.

Mcphails, you have a beautiful family! Rejoice! — The Schamanek family, Central Point

I am writing to express my deep concern for our state's continued allowance of clearcutting.

There is no shortage of scientific rationale for ending clearcutting. The timber industry (with its numerous tax breaks) is still allowed to drastically increase fire risk while taxpayers pay fire suppression costs. Just as embarrassing, the industry may currently degrade salmon habitat, while taxpayers foot the bill for restoration.

It's time for Governor Kitzhaber to create a true environmental legacy and reform the Byzantine Oregon Forest Practices Act. — Spencer Lennard, Williams

Looked over the article titled "Ethan's Field" and was left wondering why a raised, clenched fist was painted on the baseball dugout wall.

This was and is a symbol of Black Power, and of the radical Black Panther group. Is such a symbol that is nationally recognized for its hate and violence really appropriate for a community softball field? If the purpose is to express defiance against cancer, surely a more appropriate symbol could easily be found. — Richard Corbin, Phoenix

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