Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Vaccine stance disappoints

I was surprised and disappointed to read Knute Buehler’s comments during the Oct. 9, 2018, Oregon governor’s debate.

When inquired about his stance on vaccine-related legislation, he publicly supported parental choice to opt out for “personal beliefs, religious beliefs or even if they have strong alternative medical beliefs.”

As pediatricians, we are dedicated to providing sound, evidence-based health information to our patients and their families.

In the era of social media and search engine-based “medical research,” we regularly guide our patients’ families to utilize reliable sources for health topics. I would urge Dr. Buehler to be a reliable and evidence-based resource. Simply put, vaccines are safe, vaccines are effective and vaccines save lives.

Public health vaccine laws protect our patients, as well as our most vulnerable community members such as young infants and immunocompromised children who cannot be vaccinated. Research has demonstrated that 95 percent of the community needs to be vaccinated in order to reach community immunity.

The statement made by Dr. Buehler does not reflect the strong recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and goes against troves of well-validated medical data.

The AAP specifically recommends that state laws permitting nonmedical immunization exemptions to school entry should be eliminated.

As Dr. Buehler seeks higher office, I hope that he will take this opportunity to provide evidence-based leadership in addressing such critical public health issues.

Dr. John Peoples

Bend

Walden against health care

Shame on The Bend Bulletin for failing to perform due diligence before endorsing Greg Walden (or perhaps just ignoring the truth about his record on health care).

The Bulletin makes excuses (as does Walden himself) for his attempted decimation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Walden has voted in favor of repeal or defunding of the ACA over 50 times.

If he had succeeded, besides booting over 134,000 Oregonians in his own district off the insured ranks, his votes to fully repeal would have eliminated all protections for pre-existing conditions.

He claims this would never happen, that pre-existing conditions will somehow continue to be covered. What he doesn’t tell you is that they would be covered in the same way they used to be covered before the ACA.

Insurance companies would be able to charge crippling premiums to anyone guilty of having (among scores of common ailments) high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cancer and, oh, yes, getting pregnant.

Greg Walden won’t stop trying to turn back the clock on our health care. His tenure of 20 years is enough.

I’m voting for change this November by choosing Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Geri Servi

Bend

Vote for Lowes, wildlife

I supported Commissioner Tony DeBone when he ran in 2010 because I hoped for improvement in the County Commission’s protection of wildlife habitat. That didn’t happen. My wife and I carefully followed county codes when we built our home within the Tumalo Winter Deer Range, including side-yard and maximum setbacks to protect the wildlife habitat.

The other couple in our cluster development ignored these and the deed restrictions, and when we approached the county, were told they had never recorded the map and couldn’t enforce the regulations. It took four years, just to get the map recorded. When Commissioner DeBone visited, he saw the eight floodlights that had been on 24/7 for two years in a wildlife area and the numerous cameras on the offending property owners’ structure pointed at our home. DeBone’s comment was to ask what kind of gun we owned.

There have been numerous instances where DeBone has backed land use developers fully aware of the restrictions in a wildlife area overlay zone (designed to keep human activity limited). Two specific examples are allowing churches and water ski lakes. DeBone doesn’t seem to understand the basic purpose of the WA overlay zone.

I will be voting for Amy Lowes for Position 1 on the County Commission. She is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and The Bulletin, and will be a strong advocate for protecting our wildlife and natural resources.

William Kuhn

Tumalo

21515895