If Howard Wand had attended any Rogue River School Board meetings, he would have known all of this:

Inexperienced officials? Trayce Jensen has been on the board for 12 award-winning years. Niki Coulter is a Rogue Community College professor. Rob Hileman is administrator of a multimillion dollar company. Vince Ceriello is a retired management consultant. Rich Pardy is retired from the Navy.

A professional appraisal determined the value of Evans Valley Elementary School at $250,000.

The school was given to Evans Valley Community Association, a nonprofit 501(c)3. It will become an education and community center for everyone to use, including the school district. The board unanimously approved the transfer.

EVCA has not taken any kids from the district; it is not a school.

The board analyzed "what that building would bring" for 16 months. The only way not to affect the district's future budget is to not be responsible for it. The district cannot afford $25,000 annually for a vacant building (due to the votes of Howard, Vince and Rich to close it) nor the $1 million-plus to destroy the buildings under EPA regulations. The board had to relieve the district of the debacle of a previous board's majority vote. — Julie Niles-Fry, Rogue River

You missed it. While you were busy reporting on Hurricane Sandy, President Obama (who no longer needs a Congress) quietly signed his most daring executive order so far. he ordered Homeland Security to be merged with the private sector and local governments by creating the Homeland Security Partnership Council.

Does this enhance his wish (2008) to have a civilian army larger than the military?

I would hope that some local Democrats, as well as independents and Republicans, don't want police and volunteers helping federal agents enforce Obamatopia in our streets and homes.

Here is where secessionists can have their way, in part. Our local and state governments can declare that they are not subjects of Homeland Security, and we will be selective about what federal issues our police and sheriffs can assist. We will enforce our own laws, not theirs.

Will we do this, or will we dreamily submit to ever-expanding federal dominance? — Ira M. Edwards, Medford

Thanks to the Good Samaritan for saving me and my home from the fire on Jackson Street.

Without your caring and selfless actions, I would have lost my life.

I also wish to thank the firefighters for their extraordinary work. They responded quickly and stopped the raging fire which had gotten within 28 inches of my home. And thanks to my friends, Laurie and Marilyn, for supporting me through all of this. — Pam Ashton, Medford

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