I am asking others who agree that extreme can be too extreme — the makeover (excuse me, mega-mansion) built for the McPhail family — to show the producers of this show that they finally went too far.

Let them know, by writing, turning out and spreading the word that they should have done two or three modest homes on their "short list" instead of this nontransparent boondoggle. Check the Jackson County assessor's website re: ownership — of what, with whom, etc.

This small family of five was given a brand-new home with almost 1,000 square feet per person. This is beyond absurd! Not only that, $50,000 has been raised for "expenses." Since the mortgage on their three-home, 50-acre property was paid off, I cannot imagine what "expenses" this could be.

I will agree the Sparrow Club is a good organization; however, the McPhail's neither created it, nor are they the only people active in it. I worry more for the families (working and mostly poor) who have such severely handicapped children or a war-wounded parent that they work 24/7 caregiving, praying only for the strength to make it through and get it right — isolated and too busy to even apply. — Brenda White, White City

The 2011 Siskiyou Challenge in Ashland was a smashing success on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Hundreds of people participated in a multi-sport relay (with road and mountain bikes, kayaks, and running) for serious competitors, those out for a lark having fun in silly costumes with zany team names, and whole families with darling little kids doing the Fun Run together. Fabulous food was donated by great companies such as Standing Stone Brewing Co., the Ashland Food Co-op and others nourished everyone. Foot-stomping music by Hamfist kept the day lively and fun, along with jugglers and door prizes galore.

There was a big kick-off barbecue the evening before to firm details and enjoy each other before the big race day. Volumes of volunteers made this event happen so seamlessly it all just seemed like one big party. Wait, it was one big party!

Get involved next year. I promise you'll be glad you did. I am, and wouldn't miss it for anything. Check out the website — just Google it. See you in 2012! — Patti Iverson, Medford

We want to thank Applebee's manager Dave Patridge and staff for their wonderful contribution to our community through their Saturday pancake breakfrast held Sept. 24.

Our Soroptimist International club of North Valley was able to raise money to help children and women in the Central Point area, and we couldn't have done it without Applebee's participation. Thank you for being such a great supporter of the Jackson County nonprofit orginizations. — Kathy Hollenbach, Soroptimist International of North Valley, Eagle Point

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