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Letters to the Editor 12/3/20 

Poem for the homeless, how much should vaccines cost and push to extend eviction moratorium

Editor's note:

This past week, as my family and I sat down for our Thanksgiving dinner, the biggest topic of conversation, no matter what side of the political aisle people stood on, was whether people in the state would elect to call the cops on neighbors who appeared to be violating the edict to keep groups to six people or fewer. Some were appalled that they could be cited for such a thing. Some were just tired of it all. In the end, it appears that the fears of neighbors turning against neighbors in droves was not the reality. You can read about what happened in the local area in this week's News section.

The Holidays at the Capitol program is... wait for it... going VIRTUAL this year! Surprising, we know. The 2020 program in Salem kicked off with a virtual tree lighting Dec. 1, with a stream of choral performances from 2019 available from Dec. 2 to 23. Access the stream at the Oregon State Capitol's Facebook page at facebook.com/oregoncapitol. - OREGON LEGISLATURE
  • Oregon Legislature
  • The Holidays at the Capitol program is... wait for it... going VIRTUAL this year! Surprising, we know. The 2020 program in Salem kicked off with a virtual tree lighting Dec. 1, with a stream of choral performances from 2019 available from Dec. 2 to 23. Access the stream at the Oregon State Capitol's Facebook page at facebook.com/oregoncapitol.

Meanwhile, there's a rule in my house (while not having the serious implications that larger gatherings could have in relation to COVID-19) that I try to enforce with as much vigor: No Christmas music until after turkey day. I assure you, that was one rule around which people were definitely out of compliance. Unauthorized gatherings of "Silent Night" and "O Christmas Tree" were met with copious warning signs and fervent educating of the offending parties—but no fines were issued.

But now that it's officially "holiday season," we hope you enjoy Part One of our two-part Gift Guide; this one, focused on the wonderful notion of Comfort—something we're all looking for this year.

Poem for the Homeless

Jack be NIMBY
Jack be quick,
The way you treat the
homeless makes me sick

What is Savory?

High Desert Mountains
is where we live
Emergency meetings about
winter WTF gives?

One thing we know by now...
Fall and Winter months
can be frigid.
This is no hunch


That impetus

Is that what it takes
to keep our disenfranchised
friends safe?

Stacey, Tara, Morgan, Jody,
Colleen and Gwen.

This is their responsibility
Since why, how and when?

A small group of dedicated humans.
Burnout is real.

They have shoulders
it is true.

But you,
this is where you come in...

Help is given
through clothes, food,
volunteer hours and funds


Guess what is rude NIMBY
Acronym sudo-ridiculous


You refuse the physical space
life for you, linen and lace.

Goddess forbid my children
see poor people in my

They may teach my child
empathy, or that consumerism
isn't the key.

—Cherie Swenson

How Much Should Vaccines Cost?

We've heard a lot of good news about coronavirus vaccines lately.  From Moderna vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine to the Oxford vaccine, science is working, and help is on the way.

Since the start of the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. government has funneled more than  $10 billion in taxpayer dollars to pharmaceutical companies for a vaccine. The Moderna vaccine was 100% taxpayer funded; Moderna spent zero of its own dollars on it. Of the $2.5 billion it received, $1 billion initially funded the research and development and $1.5 billion was granted to secure doses in advance, with no guarantee that vaccines will be affordable.

Typically, taxpayers pay for about 80% of drug research. Almost every new drug begins with NIH-funded labs. The three main funding sources for pharmaceutical research are: National Institute for Health (NIH), University labs (often funded by taxpayers), and non-profit organizations like the Gates Foundation.

Often the private drug firms enter the picture only after the public has paid for the development and clinical trials of new treatments.

No corporation owns the vaccines, yet. We need governments and multilateral organizations working together to direct as many companies and institutions as possible to produce and distribute the vaccines.

Every one of the vaccines are the people's vaccine, funded with tax dollars. The coronavirus vaccines should be free for all Americans, regardless of their ability to pay. 

—Jan Phillips

RE: Push to Extend Eviction Moratorium, News, 11/26

Funny how there is no mention of interest-free property tax deferral for landlords. The state gets theirs, while landlords no longer have legal authority to collect rent, of which around 75% goes to pay for property taxes, property maintenance and management. If the 9+ months of rent moratorium does not constitute unlawful government seizure of property (rental income = property) under the 4th Amendment of the U.S. constitution, I don't know what ever would.

—Stephen Demergasso, via bendsource.com

As a single father of a 2nd grader I'm unable to work unless it's remote. I have to be a teacher And CANNOT get a job. Not my fault. Without the ability to take my child to school I can't work.

Please pass this law and let my landlord get paid. It's not their fault either.

Thanks Gov. Brown.

—Matthew Blank, A scared father who loves his daughter, via bendsource.com

Letter of the Week:

Matthew: I'm very sorry to hear about the situation you're in. This is a difficult time for so many. It's far from the amount of support families like yours need right now, but please let us offer you a literal cup of good cheer. Come on by for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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