Readers letters: State vaccine priorities really stink
I am disappointed (to say the least) in Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority in downgrading the priority of seniors to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the federal recommendations.
And then there is the chaos with the OHA website and the lack of planning that went into the mechanisms for distributing the vaccines in Oregon.
Other states are already vaccinating seniors but Oregon apparently is playing favorite to those pushing for the schools to re-open. That Oregon's seniors are being reduced in status and endangered by the delay seems an awful lot like age discrimination.
Where are the ACLU and AARP on this anyway? Something really stinks in Salem to put the lives of our seniors at risk.
Board of Forestry needs to work for everyone
Forests in Oregon are one of our states most important resources, one that should benefit all Oregonians.
The state Board of Forestry, though not highly visible to the average Oregonian, plays a powerful role in our managing public and private forests in the state. If managed correctly, sustainable forestry can protect streams that supply drinking water to Oregon's citizens, as well as provide habitat for prized salmon runs.
Unfortunately, the Board of Forestry has not fulfilled its mission to implement policies and programs that promote sustainable management of Oregon's public and private forests. Because of Wall Street-driven clear-cutting, ProPublica reports that "in the past two decades, Oregon environmental regulators identified industrial logging as a risk to more than 170 public water systems, listing clear-cutting, road building and pesticide spraying as potential sources of contamination."
The lack of oversight and sustainable forestry practices is hurting Oregonians. The time is now for a Board of Forestry that works for all citizens of Oregon.
I urge state Senate leadership to bring Gov. Kate Brown's board appointees forward for confirmation.
It is critical that our forests are managed with future generations and climate science in mind.
Are the elderly expendable in COVID policy?
Gov. Kate Brown and Patrick Allen (head of the Oregon Health Authority) have done what ethical, religious, government and indigenous leaders over several millennia, and more recently the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and 45 other states, have not. That is to teach an entire generation of children, their parents, teachers, doctors and other medical providers, our business leaders, and our current and future government policy makers, that when push comes to shove, the elderly are expendable — as a matter of government policy.
This is poor leadership, without a moral center, and sets a bad and unwise precedent for us today as well as for future generations looking back on our time for guidance.
In a recent Oregon Public Broadcasting interview, Allen admitted that "some (elderly) will die" as a result of teachers taking priority over elders for COVID-19 vaccination. It's infuriating to hear a government leader make such decisions and statements with impunity.
Who are we as Oregonians when we allow such callous disregard for some of the most vulnerable among us?
Some teachers know it's wrong and have said so, to their credit.
Congress must pass HER Act
As a young woman, I believe that nobody should have the power to control my body. I'm celebrating today because on Thursday, Jan. 28, President Biden rescinded the devastating Global Gag Rule. Health care providers working in vulnerable communities around the world will once again be able to provide their patients with the full range of reproductive health care.
The #Fight4HER campaign, whom I volunteered with during the Georgia runoff elections, resisted this deadly policy for years, and for good reason. The Global Gag Rule has disastrous effects, especially for people of color around the world.
This is a huge win in the fight for reproductive rights, but there is still much to do. Congress must pass the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule and ensure no future president can ever implement the sickening policy again.
Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici is co-sponsoring the Global HER Act. I will forever be grateful for her commitment to women like me.
What's the answer to Portland's sad plight?
On the day we had been married 22 years, my husband says, "Let's take a drive to Tillamook and have lunch."
We get going, as we're driving on Interstate 84 west, we go through Portland. Now, I enjoy sightseeing, especially in Portland. At least I used to.
The feeling of heart break was overwhelming, blinking my eyes to the point of drawing tears as I truly could not believe what I was seeing. The sight instantly reminded me of a living body decaying from the inside out. The remains of waste along the highway, left behind from individuals who obviously do not care about the repercussions of their actions is so horrible.
I love art of all sorts, but the vulgarity graffitied in every inch of the retaining walls and buildings is not art, it's a promotion of hatred.
Who are these people that have so much free time on their hands, and can afford the paint? Paint is not cheap, I know because I have to work to earn enough money to buy it.
I could go on and on, but that's not a resolution to this issue, so my question is what can be done? The mayor obviously doesn't seem to be doing anything constructive about it. I could be wrong.
The police aren't able to get involved. As private citizens what can we do? Can we put on yellow vests, block traffic to clean the graffitied walls, can we put on some personal protective gear and clean up the trash left behind by those who don't care?
If we could, how can it be prevented from happening again? What is the right answer?
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