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Letters this week include thoughts on legalized prostitution, healthcare and more.

Legalizing prostitution would be bad for innocent people

State Rep. Rob 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 Joe 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, Tualatin

Why isn't the Tigard Public Library open?

I was extremely frustrated, disappointed and confused when I submitted a question to Why Wednesday on the City of Tigard Facebook page and received an answer that there is no plan to reopen the library building. This is not acceptable and there is no data to justify the continued closure of the library building.

Currently, Washington County is in the moderate risk level, and per Oregon Health Authority guidelines, everything is able to open, at least in some capacity. Other Washington County library buildings are open. There are plenty of examples in our county, our state and beyond, on how to reopen a library building and prevent the spread of COVID. There are guidelines already in place from OSHA and OHA for indoor businesses for library staff and guests to follow.

To quote a column from the New York Times last month entitled, COVID absolutism: "In a public health emergency, absolutism is a very tempting response: People should cease all behavior that creates additional risk…These days, there is a new absolutist health fad: the discouragement — or even prohibition — of any behavior that seems to increase the risk of coronavirus infection, even minutely…So why not take every possible precaution at all times? The short answer is: because we are human. Human beings are social creatures who crave connection and pleasure and who cannot minimize danger at all times."

Virtually every other industry has opened and the library should be no different. The library is a valuable resource. Patrons look forward coming back into the building, with their families, as soon as possible. We will gladly do so with facial coverings, socially distanced, limited browsing time and using sanitary stations.

Laura Small, Tigard

COVID-19, people's worries and state legislation

As a Washington County resident, I'm glad to see the area move to "moderate risk." I'm still extremely cautious when going to work or to the store, and even as I see a bit of light in the tunnel with vaccines and the ability to loosen restrictions, I know that this feeling will stay around for a while. It's likely that many feel the same as I do, and know that this feeling will linger well after things go "back to normal."

In such a time of anxiety and worry, any sense of security is welcomed, and that's why I feel it's important that people know about some key legislation that could help our recovery and strengthen an overall feeling of safety.

Both HB 2010 and HB 3267 tackle healthcare issues, a key area that needs addressing as we balance reopening with safety measures. HB 2010's introduction of a public option and HB 3267's setting of upper payment limits of prescription drugs would make it so medical security is available to more people.

When people are already worried about a pandemic, they shouldn't have to worry about their everyday medical needs. Making care and prescriptions more affordable is key to supporting and encouraging people as places reopen and restrictions ease.

We still need to be vigilant, but being able to focus our worry on COVID-19 and not general healthcare would make this time less stressful for many. Our representatives need to see that in order to get back to a semblance of normalcy, more issues than just COVID-19 itself need to be tackled, and these bills are the groundwork for just a couple of the essential ones.

Ashley Hilfer, Hillsboro

Move young people to front of vaccine line

I'm writing to express my complete agreement with Richard Botteri's Jan. 28, 2021, 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 frontline workers.

Read Richard Botteri's Jan. 28, 2021, letter about vaccinations.

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, Portland


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