I am responding to the Nov. 18 guest opinion by Timothy Dolan, who describes issues, as he perceives them, currently facing Southern Oregon University. He also refers to Rogue Community College in the process.

Although I am a member of the faculty at RCC, I am writing this simply as an interested member of the public and not as a representative of my school.

Mr. Dolan brings up some intriguing questions, but the tone and essence of his column miss the mark in important ways. I think my colleagues at both institutions would agree that the relationship we share is a positive and productive one. In fact, I find that we achieve a synergy in our shared effort with students, which produces wonderful results.

I can point to many students who have successfully graduated from both schools (RCC and SOU). In some cases they do go on to graduate programs at other universities, but these are often programs (such as Ph.D. programs) that are not offered locally.

Personally, I am very grateful for our link with SOU, and I appreciate my colleagues on the SOU faculty very much. — Greg Marton, Medford

Five months ago, Mt. Ashland began its "Keep it Strong" campaign to raise $350,000 before the area opens for the coming ski season. The funds were to make up for a shortfall from a disappointing 2011-12 ski season, and to put the area of a solid financial footing for this year.

Mt. Ashland is an integral part of the Southern Oregon community, with numerous programs benefiting youth, serving residents and infusing the economy with spending on recreation and tourism. In addition, Mt. Ashland is a responsible steward of the environment with longstanding programs such as the Youth Summer Service and Winter Science programs, Adopt a Highway Program, and investing in renewable energy to offset 100 percent of its electrical use for the past seven years.

With support of local businesses and community members, the 501(c)3 nonprofit ski area has raised $245,000. We are asking for your help to get us to our goal of $350,000. To make your tax-deductible contribution, visit www.mtashland.com/Contribute.asp.

Please join me in supporting Mt. Ashland's "Keep it Strong" campaign. It is not only the right thing to do, but is critical to the overall health and welfare of the region. — Chris Cook, Ashland

We in this country are all wealthy on a global basis — food, shelter, education, health care, etc., with a surfeit of the super-wealthy.

The Wall Street Journal celebrates them in a regular supplement called "Mansion." On Nov. 16 it discussed: kitchens ranging from 1,500 to 5,000 square feet, homes from $5.2 to $54 million, a one-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home plus guest cottages, and a $125,000 home pizza oven that takes three days to heat!!

I cannot for the life of me understand why the super wealthy cannot continue to enjoy their very extravagant lifestyles and also pay more in taxes than they are now. They have been able to do so in past strong economies.

Too few voters grasp the idea that even our own modest tax money plays a significant part in creating a legal and economic environment where great wealth can be accrued. Our taxes also pay the salaries of our legislators, yet many of them now disrespect us mightily by lying about a supposed relationship between tax rates and productivity.

Let's realize that we average Joes and Janes are doing our part, and support restoring tax rates on the super-wealthy that have worked before, and can again. — Kathleen Heritage, Rogue River

I adopted a puppy at the animal shelter, and right before his contract expired to have him licensed, he ran away.

Having him licensed (which required a rabies shot) would be impossible as he was not in my possession.

The shelter called and told me it had my dog and in order to have him released it would be $183. When I got to the shelter, I explained the situation to the staff. What I got was a very loud and repetitive lecture in front of everyone that made it seem as though I was at a jailhouse paying fines for a criminal. It was also inferred that I was a violator of the law.

What I had asked for was a little bit of understanding and kindness in a distressing situation. The stress that I felt took away the happiness that I should have had at discovering that my dog was OK, and it pretty much ruined my day.

I always wonder how or why everything is so much more stressful in the world today. And in a small and big way, now I know. — Katie Yasui, Medford

What a shame Santa Monica lost its traditional Nativity. I wonder how many children and families went each year as a part of their holiday celebrations.

Last year at Bigham Knoll, four local churches joined us in presenting a living Nativity on our campus. We estimate 3,500 people attended the free event, which was performed by volunteers for three nights.

This year, we anticipate a minimum of 5,000 people will brave the cold and walk through the 30-minute presentation and join carolers in our ballroom. Christmas after all is a federal holiday, and its story is an important lesson in American history. Bring the kids. www.bighamknoll.com. — Mel and Brooke Ashland, Jacksonville

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