LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I do not know at what stage persons are cleared for classified intelligence for president, but it is before they begin campaigning.

I worked as a nurse but also worked for the federal government for many years in another job. Had four children to raise alone. Held a Secret, Top Secret and an Atomic clearance. One's papers are filled out to account for every hour where one has lived, and no lapses are allowed. It is stupid for people to bring up this president's birth certificate. And to joke with Trump is to show stupidity! — Penny Beck, Ashland

Finally a story that puts the state of the world in perspective.

I am referring to Monday's article about Steven Pinkers' book "The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined." Despite all the problems of today we have it so much better than the past generations did.

The author states the truth: Life expectency is way up, the crime rate is lower, there is less discrimination and the basics of life are better.

I know that this is not what the media, the tea party and the occupy people want to hear; however, anyone who protests much should read this story and try to put life in perspective. Overall, life is better. — John Horning, Grants Pass

I wish to publicly thank the good folks living in the Rogue Valley (and elsewhere) who visited our Railroad Park this year during our April through October operating season.

This being our 30th year of operation, we set a new record for carrying passengers aboard our miniature trains. This year we carried a record total of 30,431 passengers during our 14 regular run days. Best of all, as we've done for the 29 previous years, our train rides are free. It's truly a great honor to watch families enjoy an afternoon of railroad activities and not have to spend a dime.

It was also a record year for us, hosting a total of 120 special parties for birthdays, school groups, Down syndrome kids, church picnics and so on. We look forward to serving all of you again for many more years. — Tony Johnson, president, Southern Oregon Live Steamers

I'm not trying to be insensitive to those who have lost loved ones; however, I don't get the memorialization alongside the highway when someone passes because of an auto accident.

If I die somewhere, that is probably going to be my least favorite place on this Earth. Please, if you want to put up a memory site for me, do it where I met my wife or where my children were born. Maybe at a football game. Somewhere where I was happy, not the worst place I was ever at.

Again, I feel sorrow for their loss, but can't help to think of those souls who passed and what they must think of the location. — Troy Hutchens, Medford

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