Regarding the "Street smarts" article in Friday's paper, I would hope everyone with a bicycle would read that article. My biggest gripe is meeting them on the wrong side of the road. It is not all young ones on the bikes. It is people old enough to know better. I just drove downtown to Main Street and it wasn't a bike but a skateboard that shot through a stop sign right in front of me. If I hadn't been driving below the speed limit instead of a little above it he would probably be in the emergency room right now. — William C. Carlson, Central Point

We strongly oppose the proposal of Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden regarding the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act.

We understand there are no easy answers concerning watershed health and county economics. To ramp up clearcutting in our backyards does not seem well thought out. At the very least, it undermines the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.

Added to this, current timber prices are at record lows, with the main demand for timber coming from China.

We would like to see the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management embrace both forest health and fire safety by focusing timber management on thinning small-diameter stands near homes and communities where it will do the most good for the greatest number. — Gwen and Tom Oaks, Ashland

According to the U.S. Pain Foundation, September 2013 is recognized as Pain Awareness Month.

For approximately 100 million Americans like myself who battle pain every day, this is a giant step of progress for this often invisible, disabling disease.

I live with an incurable pain known as central pain syndrome, CPS, a complex, poorly understood pain condition secondary to damage of my central nervous system. My entire left side is numb, yet is also affected with constant burning, throbbing, stabbing and searing pain that even the strongest painkillers cannot relieve. Treatment is essentially limited to anticonvulsants, antidepressants and antispasmodics. My experience with these medications has remained unsuccessful in providing relief.

CPS makes walking painful, affecting my mobility, requiring the use of a cane and mobility scooter. I've observed my progressive decline since developing CPS and often fear how much the pain and symptoms will progress as I age, as well as the unknowns of constant pain to my body.

Pain affects not only the pain sufferer, but their loved ones as well. Awareness is the beginning of my hope. Pain awareness will lead to increased research and eventually a cure. — Patti Gilstrap, White City

If the Rogue River "Chieftans" must remove their name because of its reference to American Indians, should the chief of police and the fire chief also change their names as well? — Sharon Fagone, Medford

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