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Letters to the editor: May 21, 2021

Hands to yourself

Do not touch me without my consent. Basic respect for my personal space should not be a big ask. “Born huggers” do not have the right to touch other people’s bodies because they think they are “making this a better world for the rest of us.” When you touch me on the shoulder, hug me, or whisper in my ear, you take away my right to decide what happens to my body. Frankly, born huggers are a major reason that women feel unsafe nearly anywhere men are present.

Non-consensual touch, even if it is disguised as an assignment from the Good Lord, is sexual harassment. Women deserve the right to feel safe wherever they are. Born Hugger, if you see this Linfield Class of ’20 grad at any alumni events, back off.

Madison Brunkhart

Portland

 

No to vaccination

When citizens are reluctant to inject into their bodies a non-approved potentially gene-altering serum allowed only on an emergency basis, it is wrong to push for a 70% vaccination rate.

When Google, Facebook and YouTube attempt to silence the warnings of experienced health professionals, including experts in virology and immunity, it is unwise to push for a 70% vaccination rate.

When the governor gives counties millions of dollars to reward citizens willing to roll up their sleeves for a vaccine never before injected into humans, one that invades the body’s cells and temporarily hijacks the body’s immune system, it is unconscionable to push for a 70% vaccination rate.

When many women report disrupted menstrual cycles and unusually heavy bleeding after receiving the COVID shot, it is deplorable to push for a 70% vaccination rate.

When COVID has a 99.7% survival rate, and there are drugs available for successful treatment, it is pure stupidity to allow the vaccine to be the only legally recognized alternative.

If we learn in a year or two that the COVID vaccine forever damages our immune system, or has other serious and currently unforeseen negative effects, we will have irreparably tainted our emergency blood supply. We will be desperate for blood from unvaccinated people, so it would be prudent to make sure more than 30% of the population can answer that call.

When the governor has to resort to oppressive, threatening and manipulative tactics to try to force the citizens of her state to ignore their conscience, hijacking their constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is criminal to push for a 70% vaccination rate.

Elizabeth Hall

McMinnville

 

Getting along fine

There was a guest commentary by Bridget Barton published earlier this year, and it piqued my interest. I don’t know who she is, but take exception to many things she wrote.

She claimed seniors were sinking on the Titantic as teachers rowed away, based on the governor prioritizing teachers for COVID vaccination. She said the public was “rightfully disgusted” as a result.

Well, she didn’t check with me. I’m a senior and I wasn’t disgusted. I was happy to wait my turn.

Barton went on to say of seniors, “Their days, already numbered, are spent in miserable loneliness.”

I’m well aware that my days are numbered, along with those of every other human on the face of the earth. But I haven’t been trapped in my home all this time. I’ve been free to take walks in my neighborhood, work in my yard, visit with neighbors over the fence, have my kids visit outside in good weather and Facetime with anyone who’s willing.

She also asserted, “Oregon’s seniors suffer serious effects from isolation, including depression … from lack of social stimulation and declining health and fitness.”

I’m more worried about the stalled development of school-age children. We seniors have many years of experience to help us handle the situation, but children don’t. I think they are the most vulnerable to the psychological impact.

Peggy Rouse

McMinnville

 

Best for all

I would like to address Steve Caldwell’s letter concerning library fees and basic responsibility.

As a library board member, I, too, had concerns regarding the ending of late fees for overdue books. But the library director, Jenny Berg, explained to us that late fees do not act as a stick in deterring lateness, and disproportionately affect those least able to pay.

The library cares about the material being returned, and patrons care about being able to access that material. If library patrons fail to return material, they are not able to check out anything else — and must pay to replace any lost material.

That is the real stick. The library and all its resources are the carrot.

Erin Butler

McMinnville

 

We can do this

Look, I know many of us are angry at the president, governor and Centers for Disease Control right now. But hear me out please.

The relaxation of mask requirements doesn’t come out of the blue. This is something they’ve long been planning, once voluntary vaccination waned.

The three entities I just mentioned have all been in contact in preparation for this day to occur. The Band-Aid needed to be ripped off now to encourage vaccination among the holdouts.

This is the intermediate step, given the size of the population that is refusing to be vaccinated. This announcement of relaxed mask regulations for those who are fully vaccinated will force the issue with a fairly good chunk of the rest of the country, which makes it step two in the scope of things.

Yes, there will be those who lie about being fully vaccinated.

I know the frustration. I feel it too. But this wasn’t one of the knee-jerk decisions we’ve all been used to over the last few years.

We got through this last year, and the suckage has been huge, no lie. I think this step will totally suck, too, but it will be much shorter.

Today was inevitable. It’s here. We can do this!

Lisa McCracken

McMinnville

 

Sad world

But really.

What a shame that a Linfield graduate can write an anonymous letter of complaint and have Daniel Pollack-Pelzner use it to try to publicly cast a shadow on a respected, long-time citizen of McMinnville — one who has contributed many years of community service on many civic and church projects.

Yes, credentials don’t open the door to liberties or inappropriate behavior. But really.

When has it become a sin for a man or woman to try to put a group of young people at ease, or give a congratulatory hug in an appropriate setting? What a sad world ours has become.

P.S. to anonymous Linfield graduate: Please have the integrity to sign your name.

Pat Farnham Kizer

McMinnville

 

Unnecessary barrier

I see Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer is proposing a rule requiring parental approval for those 17 and under to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

I am opposed to such a proposal. Our state health authorities already have regulations that mandate parental consent for medical and dental care to those under the age of 15.

Berschauer’s proposal is inappropriate. It is also inconsistent with public health standards.

Susan Chambers

McMcMinnville

 

It takes a village

There seems to be an increase in our homeless population, given COVID and the resulting loss of jobs.

Police are seen repeatedly asking them to change their locations and issuing tickets. If there is ever hope to escape homelessness, payment of fines will further impede progress.

Resources have been limited because of COVID. Basic needs such as access to water, food and showers have been restricted.

Many feel the homeless are mostly drug addicts and alcoholics. I have to ask who would not turn to these escapes, given the turn of events in their lives and their daily living conditions? The hopelessness and despair would drive most to these vices.

Who would not have mental health issues when they lack sleep, good nutrition, adequate hydration and often prescribed medications? I feel the numbers are only going to increase and no amount of police work is going to remove the sight or the plight from neighborhoods.

Given the money in this county, I feel we should follow the examples of Medford, Eugene and Portland and have land donated for a tiny-home village that would be self-governed. The residents could come together and build a future to be proud of.

Over the last several months, I have had the pleasure of engaging with many of the homeless. And they have had much to share.

They are part of our community. Many of them are willing to do what it takes to get the kind of fresh start this tiny-home village could offer.

These times call for our best humanity, for the least-served to be held up and supported, as we would want to be if we were in their circumstances. My gratitude.

Deborah Schwartzkopff

McMinnville

 

Undermining democracy

The new voting restrictions bill just passed by the Texas Legislature seems downright un-American! Voting rights groups say poor and minority voters will bear the brunt of these restrictions.

In Georgia, new voting restrictions have also been signed into law, and they are under consideration in other states. The new limits appear to target mail-in voting, which disproportionately affects the elderly, handicapped, ill and other such groups.

Every eligible citizen should have equal opportunity and access to voting. If not, we cannot have a democratic election.

Janet De With

Yamhill

 

Comments

montag

Madison Brunkhart is apparently convinced that touching her on the shoulder, hugging her, or whispering in her ear takes away her right to decide what happens to her body. While it is quite true that many of us also dislike unsolicited hugs and unwanted touching, few of us feel that our freedoms as Americans are jeopardized when such incidents occur.

Therefore, may I offer a surefire way to deter any would be "huggers" from infringing on your personal space? Don't bathe for a week or two. No one will come anywhere near you - guaranteed.

Don Dix

Does Madison Brunkhart really believe 'born huggers are a major reason that women feel unsafe nearly anywhere men are present'? Where would one find the proof to verify that statement?

Huggers are not born -- they are made -- by families that place love and affection far above suspicion and fear -- and millions have successfully employed that attitude.

One has the right to 'go your own way', but constantly being on edge will never produce a happy, content, and peaceful life. Such choices will definitely matter down the road, also 'guaranteed'.

Rumpelstilzchen

Personal space is important. However, it does appear Ms. Brunkhart overinterprets and overrates the offensive intent and effect of cultural practices to a certain extent.

Some cultures hug a lot. In others, people of all genders constantly exchange vigorous handshakes. Then there are the cultures where even old men kiss each other on each cheek for greeting. Eeeek!

That’s humanity for your. I don’t like that stuff either. But whispering in your ear seems a reasonable alternative to yelling something out loud that it might not be prudent for others to hear.

Now of course, in times of Covid, all bets are off. This is your chance to fight back. When ambushed by a hug, a swift knee to the groin (for men) or stomp on the toes (for ladies) should be sufficient to stop the assault in its tracks. After all, it’s just self-defense against reckless potential spreaders ;)

Fletch

If 15 year old child is responsible for insurance premiums and co-pays, by all means, their choice.
Family is important for both support and education, without family support and education, wolves in sheep's clothing await.
I feel our youth are being exposed to sway political agendas.

Don Dix

Peggy Rouse seems to miss the point about the govs vaccination scheduling. It isn't just the fact that Brown placed the teachers ahead of those most at risk -- it's why she did it. And that'why' is money -- campaign money -- and lots of it!

Most of Browns decision-making has roots with PERS members, and in this case, the idea to put teachers first in line came from the OEA. Not only was the schedule tweak a shady move as well as anti-science (which Brown has used as an excuse for many restrictions), teachers (the OEA) balked at returning to classrooms. Teachers were allowed to receive vaccinations in Jan -- and didn't return to the schools until mid April. What was the rush to vaccinate if schools weren't allowed to open (partially) until 3 months later?

For clarity, two questions need attention --
1. What percentage of teachers actually received the vaccination?
2. How many deaths of those 'most at risk' have occurred since the gov pushed them back in line?

RichardJ

When the first three assertions in Elizabeth Hall's letter are false (1. The three vaccination types have been approved after extensive testing; 2. There is no way they can alter your genes; 3. They are not serums!), then what are we to make of the rest of her claims? To me it sounds like she believes anything she reads on Facebook, except for verified factual information.

randt

In response to Elizabeth Hall's letter. The mRNA vaccine was developed in 1993. It is almost through a full phase 3 test if it showed any long term affect it would have been stopped.
Her letter was so full of miss-information the only proper response is. You are entitled to your own beliefs but not your own facts.

SNIPER US ARMY

I agree with the opposing views. Her comment is rooted in sexism, pure and simple. In this case, it’s safe to assume she’s talking about men and men alone. It’s sad that with all the people dying of COVID-19, spreading the sickness should be your real concern for not wanting normal human contact. Not some negative and gutter-minded insinuation about inherently good people of the majority. Not everything is about sex, and in the spirit of good taste, she might consider apologizing to the women who actually endured sexual harassment or actual inappropriate contact. An index finger touching your shoulder isn’t rape. Larry Nasser didn’t put her index finger on someone’s shoulder. It’s kinda not gonna do it for -anyone- else either. That said, nobody has sexual innuendo on the mind, or thinks with their head in the gutter. Your kind of all alone with that thought process. Everyone else is concerned with the graduation going on…