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Letters, March 9

Thanks to Golden

Sen. Jeff Golden displayed courage and integrity in raising thought-provoking questions about HB 3063. He heard our deep concerns about being forced by the government to put something (vaccines) into our body.

To withhold an education from a child is a travesty, and to threaten banishment and ignorance to little ones whose parents choose not to participate in vaccines not only mistreats the child and bullies the parents into a slave-like position of not having control over their own bodies and those of their children, but also harms society. The vitality and future of a democratic society depend on the education of its citizens, so in addition to being willing to segregate some kids to a potential life of ignorance and poverty, this bill would endanger our very existence as a democratic people.

Thank you, Senator Golden, for your courageous action on behalf of your constituents. Thank you for standing for laws that uphold the dignity and respect of all people. Thank you for standing for education for all children and for the freedom over our own bodies.

We are grateful.

Nichele Harp, eighth-grade language arts and social studies teacher

Medford

Soylent Greening America

The three tranches of government should outgrow incompetent yet phony political correctness and cease hand-wringing about fraught issues.

Postmodernism has not repealed Malthus or supply and demand. Land remains finite, even before environmental protections, infilling, baby booms, the suburbanization of farmland, and (until recent increases in suicides and overdoses) longer lifespans. Add pressure from porous or purchasable borders, and from intramural equity migrants who double-down here from hockey-sticking money-giant hot spots. The Malthusian market result is posthuman postconsumers squatting in tents in Portland, and New Zealanders camping in cars and portable cabins (Eleanor Ainge Roy, Guardian).

At least Kiwis elected a national leader (PM Jacinda Ardern of Labour) who promised to solve the housing crisis but has not and cannot. Unlike the U.S., Oregon elected a government, albeit bribe-taking, mincing, and tardy by half a decade (Oregon has the 11th most corrupt state government in the country, according to cheatsheet.com).

Meanwhile, out-of-the-money Americans worry about what country the Praetorian Guard will bomb next, where Bryce Harper will bank the third of a billion dollars he siphons from stadium-naming rights and owners’ tax waivers, and how to skimp on insulin.

Hunter Greer

Ashland

Start really listening, MSD

MSD is having a “listening session” about their new superintendent search. While they may be hearing, they haven’t been listening.

  • When a board member and members of the community loudly cautioned against last year’s bond.
  • When Oak Grove parents didn’t want their sixth-graders going to McLoughlin. According to recent study and MT article, it leads to more discipline problems and lower test scores. Shockingly, parents don’t want that.
  • When Kids Unlimited came to a recent board meeting, they wouldn’t allow founder Tom Cole two minutes to speak, and when the KUA crowd balked, the board invited them to leave. Even Obama came here to meet Cole.
  • When they used a new, easier diploma without proper public input to get higher graduation numbers.

This self-righteous, we-know-better attitude seemed to have come from the current superintendent to his board. The first thing the district should listen to is a community that doesn’t want that from their next leader. Medford wants a board that really listens, a superintendent who doesn’t alienate his community, and a bright future for their kids. MSD, you need to actually start listening or we need a new board in May elections.

Joey Franklin

Medford

Measles vaccine is safe

As someone who has traveled to India to participate in Rotary’s campaign — along with WHO, UNICEF, the CDC and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the global effort to eradicate the crippling disease of polio from the face of the earth, I am deeply disappointed to see our elected officials walk away from their responsibilities for the health of our public.

Measles was a disease we thought we had in hand, but sadly not. Since September, 63,000 people in Madagascar have been infected with measles, and 600 have died. In European countries, nearly 83,000 people contracted measles in 2018, the largest number in a decade. Before immunization became common, measles resulted in 2.6 million deaths per year. This is not an innocuous disease.

The combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella, MMR, has been given safely to millions of children each year for over half a century, and large peer-reviewed studies have shown only extremely rare significant adverse reactions and no link to autism.

While I respect the right of individuals to make personal decisions regarding their own health, I believe it is the responsibility of our representatives to institutionalize public health protocols that protect the population.

Carol Fellows, MD

Ashland

My vaccine testimony

My testimony last week against HB 3063, which would dramatically increase mandates for a list of childhood vaccinations, drew a flood of thank-yous and angry criticism. Some people were clearer than others on what I said. If you’d like a copy of my actual comments, email the address below with SEND TESTIMONY in the subject line. We can also send you a video link of the entire hearing.

Two back-to-back, critical emails caught my eye. One said I was obviously pandering to voters just to get re-elected, and the other said I’d never be re-elected because my opinion offends most voters.

I don’t know which is closer to the truth, and I don’t know how the hundreds of decisions I’ll be called on to make in the next three and a half years will affect political support. That’s actually a good thing. Those calculations distract from the central responsibility here: carefully considering all aspects of tough issues, finding out what your constituents think, and bringing your best judgment and strength to doing the right thing as you see it.

I’ll keep striving for that. If I decide to run again in 2022 and a majority of people mostly like my judgment, I’ll likely win. If they don’t, someone else will replace me, and should. It’s a good system that way.

Thanks to those who weighed in on this issue. Contact me any time at the email below.

Sen. Jeff Golden, District 3

sen.jeffgolden@oregonlegislature.gov

Ashland

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