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Readers express opinions on COVID-19 vaccines, GOP walkouts, the 'old' Republican Party and possible land-use changes.

I'm writing to express my complete agreement with Richard Botteri's Feb. 24 letter to the editor, concerning who should be eligible to receive vaccine.

I am also a senior, over age 70, and I also feel that we elders should have lower priority than younger people with underlying health conditions and front-line workers.

We have had, as Mr. Botteri points out, the opportunity to live our lives — have careers, children/grandchildren, the chance to make a contribution to society and to enjoy life. If there is not sufficient vaccine to give to everyone right now, those young people, who still have a life ahead of them, should be first in line.

The baby boomer generation, of which I am a member, has far too much sense of entitlement. We like to think of ourselves as socially conscious, but it appears we do not, when it comes to giving up our privileges.

Marian Rhys

North Portland

Buchal's column in GOP missed a few key points

One has to only read the March 3 Citizen's View from James Buchal to realize why the Oregon Republican party has lost influence in Oregon and in the nation.

He says our leaders care little for ordinary people and the country's serious problems, but which party has a plan for health insurance, is voting to help ordinary citizens during this COVID-19 crisis, is trying to restrict voting rights, is against raising the minimum wage?

Anyone who has ever worked at a polling place or for an elections board knows Trump's "big lie" of voter fraud had no merit. We all know he used that claim for two months to dupe his followers out of money to line his own pockets.

Mr. Buchal is still pushing election fraud, equates the black lives matter protests with an insurrection that stormed the nation's Capitol by believers who were out to hang Vice President Mike Pence and kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

He even claims that the media is lying that a capitol policeman was killed that day.

The days of legitimate conservative Oregon Republicans is long gone. The party is now in the Trump Cult and Buchal's claims are what helped with its demise.

Donnella Slayton


Another GOP walkout? That doesn't solve anything

On Feb. 25, all 11 members of the Republican state Senate walked out for the third year in a row in protest of Gov. Kate Brown's COVID-19 restrictions on schools which prevent students from attending school full-time and in-person due to the current global pandemic.

Democrats need at least two Republican senators to meet the two-thirds quorum requirement of the Oregon Senate otherwise they cannot conduct business. As a result, the legislative process is severely impeded.

The most effective way for Republican Senate members to advocate for student safety and education is to pass current legislation focused on wildfire and COVID-19 recovery and equitable climate action. Haphazardly demanding a return to normalcy in the midst of co-occurring crises will only worsen the problems Oregon inhabitants struggle with.

We must hold our policymakers accountable for their disregard of student health and people-led democratic processes. Call and write to the absent GOP members and support House Bill 2225, Senate Joint Resolution 3, Senate Joint Resolution 4, Senate Bill 261, and Senate Bill 262 all of which establish penalties to the unexcused absences of lawmakers and asks voters to amend the state Constitution to lower the quorum requirement.

Madelyn Mae Belden

Southeast Portland

Help seniors get the COVID vaccine

In my personal struggle at 73 to get an appointment for the vaccine, I have been trying to assist friends to get vaccines.

The state of Oregon system has not been used by the majority of those I know to get appointments. In counties like Clackamas there are other numbers to call to book appointments and they have been successful. Multnomah County has no second option.

Most people are booking appointments directly with pharmacies, but appointments are only online. This option is not available to those who are not technology capable and have no one to help them.

I worked for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services for 30 years. During my time there we reached out to be sure seniors, especially those isolated, were contacted and assisted if they lived in their own home to obtain help.

The vaccine outreach from Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services for these seniors seems not to have happened. Seniors are waiting for a contact.

The governor and the Oregon Health Authority did not consider senior needs when marching forward with one system for two weeks and then another the week seniors 65 and older were eligible.

Where are the advocates for those without a voice?

Sherry Willmschen

Southeast Portland

We need Democrats who will fight for us

I know that I can count on Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden to vote in favor of the For the People Act. But when not one Republican votes in favor of it, can I count on them to get rid of the filibuster and pressure every "moderate" Democrat to do the same?

We worked so hard to get the Democrats their majority because we're trying to save our democracy. We need to see that the Democrats are willing to fight as hard as the American people are.

If our elected officials don't to the right thing, it will be really hard to keep telling people to vote for them? We need to get rid of the filibuster and fight for our people and our democracy.

Amy Murray

Southeast Portland

Don't legalize prostitution; fight sex trafficking

State Rep. Bob Nosse's bill to legalize prostitution has been pulled — at least temporarily. But no appeals to modern sensibilities can ever justify this allegedly victimless industry.

Nevada has legalized prostitution but only 10% of this business is state registered. The other 90% is not and often uses unwilling women and minors.

Pimps and criminals aren't going to bother with state regulations. They often bring women and children to the U.S. illegally to keep them isolated — a trend that's bound to increase, given President Biden's open invitation for unlimited numbers of unidentified migrants to flood into the U.S.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform will continue to oppose the international sex trafficking that Democrats have ignored as they advocate for the sex industry as a whole.

In the future Rep. Nosse should represent innocent people, not pimps.

Lyneil Vandermolen


We need to improve Oregon's land-use system

As an advocate, I work across the Portland region on green infrastructure and climate policy. I know firsthand what the challenges are.

Oregon has been heralded as a model for responsible land-use planning. But I can tell you from that climate change and equity are mere after thoughts and get short shrift under our present system.

The transportation, development, and industries in and around our cities represent 70% of carbon emissions. We cannot address the challenge of climate change without new and rewritten land use goals for climate change and equity. It hasn't worked to squeeze these considerations into the existing goals.

Our climate is shifting quickly, as the fires of last year attest. Oregon's population is rapidly diversifying. People of color, tenants, the tribes and others have been marginalized by Oregon's land-use system and live on the frontlines of the climate change impacts. We need a new land-use goal and to amend our existing goals to address these changes and rebalance our land use planning.

We can't continue to pat ourselves on our backs for being the paragons of wise land-use planning. Please support House Bill 2488 and House Bill 2814.

Ted Labbe

Northeast Portland

Governor shouldn't give up on safe schools

I am writing regarding the recent mandate for all public schools to open in two weeks.

This rash and reactionary directive is unsupported by science and unsafe for many families. Even with teachers and school staff vaccinated, many children come from homes where no one is vaccinated.

I am fortunate that I am a health care worker and I have been vaccinated. My husband is fortunate that he can work from home.

Yet, we have three children, one of whom has two autoimmune disorders. This means it isn't safe for any of my children to go to school. We are among the families who have been very careful since day one of the pandemic to keep ourselves and others safe. We will need to see which resources my kids' schools can provide to continue distance learning or else keep them out of school.

I am disappointed that after such a long fight, the Oregon governor is giving up, particularly when we are so very close to the end. I ask that you reconsider this recent mandate.

Additionally, all frontline workers — cashiers, bank tellers, bus drivers, restaurant workers etc. — are essential to our community and to our economy. Why haven't they been offered vaccinations yet?

Lisa Marie Morgan


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