The 60-plus students in the Clothing Arts Classes at Eagle Point High School wish to thank Alma Gates and the American Sewing Guild for over 80 hours of volunteer time and hundreds of yards of fabric.

When the class list arrived, we were thrilled with the renewed interest in sewing and the support of EPHS. The ASG headed by Alma stepped in to help create 60 packets for each of the 13 student projects during the month of August. The Rogue Valley is very lucky to have such a group willing to offer their time and huge talents to all. — Carroll Newcomb, Eagle Point High School

The concept of back-in diagonal parking for cities is a good one. True, it is more effort initially to back into a space than to drive in front-first, and for many the technique will take some getting used to, but the safety gained by that initial effort is worth it. And back-in diagonal parking is easier than parallel parking where too many frustrated drivers give up and move on to easier spaces.

Back-in diagonal parking was once common, as seen in old pictures in cities such as North Bend. Seattle maintained it in some neighborhoods such as Madison Park, but generally the idea was supplanted by the lazier head-in parking.

In areas such as downtown Medford and in Ashland on B Street near the Co-op, the idea is worth following through on. The spaces gained over those available from parallel parking are worth the adjustment. — Brent Thompson, Ashland

I trust that the standard methods of verification used by experts in the field will determine the authenticity of this "papyrus scrap." If it is found to be authentic, then we must accept that some early Christians who lived two centuries after Jesus' death believed he had been married. It does not change the fact that the oldest writings — those of the New Testament books, all of which were written within 100 years of Jesus' life and death — do not indicate that Jesus ever married.

Still, as a Christian who believes in the divinity and the humanity of Jesus Christ, I do not find the possibility of Jesus being married threatening to my faith at all. If anything, discovering conclusively that Jesus had indeed been married while he lived on this earth would make his words as recorded in Matthew's Gospel (written around 50-60 A.D.) all the more powerful: "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh?' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (Matthew 19:4-6, ESV) — Lori Olson Boehning, Medford

I read Gerald Holmquist's guest opinion article, "In support of genetically engineered crops," on Friday, Sept. 21. It is worth noting that on Sept. 20 in the Mail Tribune you published an article regarding: "Rats fed genetically altered corn die sooner."

Other articles report a lack of food value in genetically engineered food crops. It is time to resolve the conflict between genetically engineered crops and what the effects are on human longevity. — Georgene Van Orsow, Jacksonville

Why does Leonard Pitts Jr. continue to appear on the opinion page? On Sept. 17, his editorial entitled "Childish Behavior, Deadly Consequences" blames the movie "Innocence of Muslims" for the raging, violent, terroristic behavior of Arabic Middle East males, destroying an American embassy and murdering guests of their country, and refers to the level of quality of the film in terms of a porn video.

He titles his opinion "Childish Behavior...," blames a movie for the outbreak of murder and mayhem and then compares the quality of the movie to a porn video, which indicates he is a blamer, shames his father when he tacks on Jr. to his name and frequents porn flicks.

In his most recent opinion (Sept. 24), Leonard Pitts Jr. takes the word of a stranger regarding a bumper sticker that she claims read "2012 Don't Re-Nig" and titles his column "Again, the same old hate" without so much as a flicker of conscience — dividing the country into color categories, perhaps while watching another porn video. — Cassie Giorgi Ryker, Jacksonville

What are the residents of the Rogue Valley living outside of Ashland doing to make their voices heard in regard to the decision that Ashland Community Hospital has presumably made to merge into a Roman Catholic California hospital system? We, too, are impacted by the mission and goals of all hospitals in the valley, and need to support hospitals that give the entire population access to care, regardless of religion or politics.

If Dignity takes over Ashland Community Hospital, those who moved to our area and our state in order to take advantage of the right to die law, or who want an abortion for reasons other than that the woman's life is endangered by the pregnancy, will probably be denied the services they need or want. Is this the best we can do for the public, for whom hospitals are presumably caring? I don't think so! — Dee Evers, RN, MS, retired, Jacksonville

All those who are questioning the merger between Ashland Community Hospital and Catholic-backed Dignity Health should obtain a copy of Dignity Health's Statement of Common Values from the hospital to fully understand the ramifications of this merger.

The new organization will promote its religious agenda, including fighting against a woman's right to choose and Oregon's Death With Dignity law. The Catholic Church worked vigorously and poured huge amounts of money into fighting the Oregon legislation. No reason to believe they'll stop now, especially with this being this group's first venture into Oregon health care.

Don't sell your soul, ACH — but then we all know money rules. — Judith Stevens, Jacksonville

The kids are in college, doing well. It's been five years since you left. I wasn't the best husband, but after 20 years, I seemed to be getting better at it. I know you keep tabs on the kids, but so many things didn't get finished when you left.

When we met, if I had known then what I do now, you might still be here ... but I didn't and you aren't. So, as I have done for five years now, I am telling all who read this, if you love each other and 20 years isn't near enough time to enjoy your partner, get your annual check-up. Fellas, just love on her and be her best friend. Insist on it because when she's gone, she's gone, and you have no idea the grief and guilt of not participating in her wellness.

At 6:10 p.m. Sept. 24, 2007, things changed. I don't get a mulligan for Teri Jo. I would do it all different, and maybe, just maybe she would be here. I wish you all peace and love. Go get that check up. — Rick Boyd, Medford

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