I see that Lois Schmidt of Mountain View Estates is complaining about the asphalt plant next door. I am wondering, did she look before she bought there? The plant has been there for years.

Before I bought my home, I drove through the area at different times of day and looked to see who my neighbors were and how much junk was piled up at their homes. — Jonathan Woods, Medford

Creationism is a religious belief. Evolution is a process of observation over many biological generations. Maybe a god set the big bang in motion. Maybe she/he did start us out as dirt. The Bible is an important book that some very old souls wrote a couple thousand years ago; maybe it should be read.

We can depend on someone who shows rational steps to logical conclusions. If we teach our young the process of rational thought, they will be able to decipher the best road to follow. If you abandon logic, you will always win a useless argument. Beliefs are dangerous in the wrong hands. So, teach our children how to think, not what to think in public schools. — Richard Swartz, Medford

The vocabulary in Gary R. Collins' letter of Feb. 21 indicates that he is a very intelligent man. His letter also indicates that he has failed to do his due diligence to carefully examine the evidence regarding his stand on evolution.

Lack of evidence is really the issue. That pesky fossil record has refused to cough up the transitional fossils. Darwin himself said that the lack of transitional fossils is "the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory."

By now we should have truckloads of fossil remains of things such as a giraffe with a mid-size neck. Although there are several fossils that are claimed to be transitional, they are hardly conclusive. They are questionable at best. I am confident that if Mr. Collins were involved in some court battle that he would insist on much more solid evidence. And the issue is about new species, not adaptations.

One is welcome to believe whatever they want. Then there are those who would insist on solid evidence. — Bob Calhoun, Eagle Point

Thank you to Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley for reintroducing legislation to protect the Rogue River. This special part of Oregon is more than just a scenic spot for outdoor enthusiasts to visit. It's also a vital part of Southern Oregon's economy.

The Rogue River attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually who run the river's rapids, hike the neighboring hills and spend money in our local stores, hotels and restaurants, so it's important to keep the area in the best shape possible.

Fortunately, wilderness designation will do just that, forever protecting this place as the wild one we know and love. As an avid river runner and the owner of a local rafting company, the protection of the Rogue River is of utmost importance to me and my business. I know there is widespread support for this legislation from business owners and guides to sport fishermen and conservationists. This is why our senators have continued to back protection for the Rogue. It is unfinished business from the past two Congresses and it's time to get it done! So once again, thank you, Senators Wyden and Merkley. — Will Volpert, Ashland

The Feb. 21 Dana Milbank commentary "A 'grand bargain' on life support" noted that Boehner "(Condemned) the president's campaign-style event criticizing his own sequester." And again that "The statement went on to mention 'his sequester' and 'The presidents sequester' three times."

There's a significant problem with these claims from Republican Boehner. The Congress had passed a bill that stated it had assigned funds for specific federally funded groups, and the president's job was to appropriate funds for these groups. Groups such as Social Security, Medicare, defense and so on.

How can he appropriate funds for something that already has an incredibly high deficit? Cut spending? That's what the sequester is for. Raise revenue? That's what taxes are for. Boehner need look no farther than his own party for these immediate sequesters. After all, they were the ones who set them up to happen. — Lyra Elyssa Sophia Sinclaire, Medford

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