The Mail Trombone is out of tune on the issue of SOU and JPR. In these fiscally challenging times, the last thing a donation-supported organization needs is an unnecessary financial burden. The reasoning behind restoring the Holly Theatre is to provide a performance venue to accommodate larger audiences. The Jefferson Square project, designed to house JPR and a radio museum, will enhance the downtown area, according to the Tribune's recent editorial.

Several critical elements are swinging in the breeze. Money for the Holly Theatre project is very slow, if not stopped altogether, in payments due contractors. Money for performances at two similar downtown venues will be split. Money for Jefferson Square will have to come from already stressed SOU budgets, or donations from discretionary funds in a down economy. Do we have a recurring theme here?

For once, in the life of a publicly funded organization, we have leaders insisting they not spend funds they do not have, or commit to a debt they cannot reasonably secure. This is not, as the editorial characterizes, "deplorable street fighting," but simply telling the pickpocket to get his greasy hands off my wallet. That's music to my ears. — Garth Harrington, Medford

Sunday's opinion pages (June 10) had an article by Ron Bjork, president of the Jackson County Farm Bureau, in which he assured us that genetically modified crops pose no threat to human health or organic farming. A partial quote: "In addition to the World Health Organization "… the National Academies of Science, the American Dietetic Association, the American Medical Association and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have all concluded that foods with biotech-derived ingredients pose no more risk to people than any other foods." Yet an Internet scan of European acceptance suggests that the jury is still out there.

To my mind Mr. Bjork's opinion is tainted by financial interests. Though he may not be compensated for his function, those he represents definitely have a financial interest in public acceptance of their product (GM crops were developed to improve yields, not for improved human health).

So we, the public, really need to hear from reputable but financially unrelated groups, such as Consumers Union (Consumer Reports' parent organization), the New England Journal of Medicine and The New York Times.

Sorry, Mr. Bjork, but your assurances won't do for a good reason — the greed factor. — Hartley Anderson, Medford

Joel R. Marks recently implicitly criticized President Obama for not remembering D-Day. Unfortunately, Mr. Marks is wrong; there was a posting on the White House website on June 6 commemorating that event. It might be noted that George W. Bush officially commemorated D-Day only twice during his eight-year tenure as President.

If Mr. Marks would like to know the president's thoughts on the sacrifices made at Normandy, I suggest that he review Mr. Obama's remarks spoken at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Normandy, France, on June 5, 2009, commemorating the 65th Anniversary of D-Day: www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-D-Day-65th-Anniversary-Ceremony/ Then, after doing so, I'm sure he will follow his letter of June 19 with an apology for confusing partisan ideological sniping with patriotism. — John Severance, Medford

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