Employers, it has been my experience that age discrimination is alive and well in Medford. It truly saddens me to know that I have worked my life away collecting valuable experience and trusted work ethics that no longer have any value in our community.

Although it's against the law, age discrimination is practiced daily, falling under some other verbiage like "we are looking for the right fit."

What happened to "looking for the right skills"? It is such a shame that committment, accountability, trust, respect, means so little to the prospective employers anymore. What is important is that: your top is too tight, your pants too long and low, that you text while at work, surf the Net, and call in sick Monday and Friday. Leave important work undone, and your desk in disarray, and that is what constitutes "the right fit."

Those of us with a little gray hair and more experience than the office manager want and need to work. We are valuable, committed, compassionate, experienced. We take care of ourselves, present well, and work well with others.

Where, then, is the problem with the "fit"? — Janine Watts, Medford

I want to say that your front-page article about the good Samartian on Friday, March 16 is a sad commentary. Instead of a photo of the good Samaritan, you went straight to the culprits. I would have appreciated a photo of the good Samaritan much more. Obviously, the Tribune missed a great opportunity to better honor good citizenship. — Sarah L. Cornett-Hagen, Ashland

After reading Bill Varble's article on fuel costs on Sunday, I felt a sense of relief that someone actually explained who is making the money. Reading some of the responses of the general public when asked how they feel about high prices for gasoline, it is clear that most of us really had no idea of the speculation involved.

Let's spread the word please and ask our legislators to do something about it. They know who is responsible and have ignored taking action against these powerful interests even though they know it is hurting all of us. — Joan Dean, Talent

Bill Varble covered every gas problem except Secretary Chu of the Department of Energy, who forgot the main idea when being questioned. The DOE was formed during a gas crisis in the '70s with a directive to relieve this country from Mideast oil. After 40 years, the situation is worse. The new DOE budget will increase to $29 billion with no clue about their assignment.

DOE has cost us almost a trillion dollars in 40 years. We are now looking at a $15 trillion debt due to this kind of wisdom, another main idea being ignored.

The contraceptive problem of course is vastly more important. — Lynn Berntson, Jacksonville

It would seem Cheers should have been included in the March 15 editorial for the Phoenix High School boys basketball team for reaching the finals in the 4A playoffs for the second year in a row, and for finishing second in the state after winning the championship one year ago. I think the editorial board receives a "Jeer" for the omission. — Suzan and Jerry Darby, Medford

It's sad that J.T. Harkness (Letters, March 9) considers pregnancy a disease that birth control pills must prevent. A second look might reveal something immensely more compelling: a recognition of pregnancy as a marvelous, miraculous event meant to imprint a human face on the enduring love of husband and wife.

Ms. Harkness could also do some research on the use of contraceptive pills. She may be shocked to discover a link between the pills and cancer and other women's health issues.

There's more. A husband, habituated to a contraceptive marital sexuality, may eventually develop an image of his wife as no longer a person to be loved. He begins to see her as an instrument to be used to satisfy his own insatiable sexual appetite. In effect, the pill reduces the wife to a sex object, destroys conjugal love and birth control becomes, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, "no birth and no control."

These and many more considerations prompted writers Michael B. Dougherty and Pascual-Emmanuel Gobry of The Business insider to declare, "Time to admit it: The Church has always been right on birth control." — Terry Duran, Medford

Recently passed legislation in Salem puts in motion major changes to the system that provides health care to those 20 percent of Oregonians who account for 80 percent of health cares costs. We should all be grateful our elected leaders approved these reforms. Oregon leads the way.

At the national level, the landscape is complicated and controversial. The Affordable Care Act, which is midway to implementation, gets mixed reviews depending mostly on your party affiliations. The recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll for March 2012 surveyed 1,208 adults nationwide and produced a 13-page report covering the act.

The survey itemized 12 elements and showed how many parts are favored by Democrats, Independents and Republicans alike. But when you get to items like the employer mandate for large companies and an increase in the payroll tax on upper incomes, Republican support drops off markedly. The individual mandate, which will be decided soon by the Supreme Court, is the big fly in the ointment for all parties.

Still, 47 percent of respondents want to expand or keep the act while 41 percent want to repeal or replace it. Get the facts and make up your own mind. — Steve Haskell, Ashland

It is not surprising to me that the accused staff sergeant committed the horrific murders in Afghanistan. He served three deployments in Iraq, where, in his last deployment he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

For the most part the military refuses to recognize an injury that does not bleed, break or get blown off. When a person is close to an explosion, the shock hurtles him some distance causing his brain to smash back and forth against his skull. This causes injuries that can in turn cause hallucinations, the reliving of horrible events and even extreme violence.

These men are more often than not accused of malingering, faking a serious injury. This particular soldier, after incurring this terrible traumatic brain injury, was then sent to Kandahar, Afghanistan, the heart of the violent conflict. Obviously he snapped. What he imagined justified these acts, we will probably never know. What I do know is that he belongs in a psychiatric hospital and we should get the hell out of there. — Mari Morsell, Medford

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