LETTERS, published March 17, 2017

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Support death with dignity

I would like to thank Hazel Rudolph for expressing her opposition to HB 536. Many of us seniors share her views but are unable to voice our support for the “right to die with dignity” legislation.

I am 87 years old, with Parkinson’s, living in a care facility. I’ve seen people with dementia, which is a horrible way to die.

Many of us have expressed our decision for Death with Dignity when we were sound of mind, capable to make this decision.

I resent people who try to take away my rights and enforce their beliefs upon me. —Marilyn Milton, Kalispell

Sportsmen’s meeting set for Kalispell

Hello, fellow hunters, anglers, and or fur harvesters. I and the leaders of Big Game Forever are hosting a meeting of sportsmen in Northwest Montana at 3 p.m. Saturday at Snappy Sport Senter in Kalispell.

The meeting hopes to accomplish two things:

—First, to provide you with information and to answer questions about some extremely important sportsmen legislation trying to move forward in Helena that immediately needs YOUR help:

An amendment to the Montana Constitution giving us the RIGHT to hunt, fish, trap, and harvest fish and wildlife (SB236). Opposition to this is amazing.

A request to Montana’s congressional members to de-list the grizzly bear in Montana from the Endangered Species Act (HJ15).

A bill allowing funds in the “wolf management account” to be used for other purposes instead of the intended wolf collaring and damage control (SB110).

A statewide ban on citizen supplemental feeding of wild turkeys (SB111).

—Second, to introduce Big Game Forever as an organization that, on national and state levels, fights threats to wildlife, sportsmen’s rights, and our way of life. They are involved in:

Fighting against the recent anti-trapping ballot initiative I-177.

Working toward responsible wolf and predator management to stop the decline of elk, moose and deer.

Working against new BLM sage-grouse management plans likely to reduce mule deer populations, hunter access, and undermine state management,

Actively working against animal-rights groups that try to undermine state’s abilities to promote abundant fish and game as well as the right of sportsmen to hunt, fish, trap and harvest fish and wildlife.

Please try to join us sportsmen to talk about the issues that are affecting what we like to do and to learn how YOU can help protect our hunting, fishing, and trapping rights.

United we will stand, divided we will fall. —Paul C. Fielder, Thompson Falls

For medical, not recreational, marijuana

I am writing today in regards to Senate Bill 333.

First and foremost, Montana has a long history of NOT taxing medicine. SB333 is not only intended to do just that but to tax Montana’s most vulnerable 1 percent and then funnel that money back to the state coffers. Is that really what we have come to in this state? (Hey look at that guy, he’s struggling to stay alive; LET’S TAX HIM!) That is the image that this bill portrays. This is not what we the voters of Montana voted for at 57 percent.

Further, this bill attempts to change the language of I-182 from a medical marijuana program with plant count limits to a recreational marijuana program with a “canopy” of grow model as used in the state of Washington, which has NO medical use laws. This is a deliberate co-op put forth by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which has not only turned its back on the very patients in the medical program that have funded the group, but are now actively engaged in an attempt to port I-182 into a full recreational program that the association can engage in as the organization in charge.

This again is NOT what 57 percent of Montana voters passed in the last election. We the medical patients in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program do not support the direction of Montana Cannabis Industry Association in porting our program. If the association’s members wish to work on a full recreational program, it is well within their right, as long as they fund it with moneys received for that purpose and NOT connected to I-182 in any way shape or form. —Marv Birkinbine, Kalispell

Helmet law for the benefit of all

I am responding to “Helmet law is an attack on liberty.” Some years ago I developed a motorcycle safety program. In the process of development we conducted research on motorcycles with the conclusion that 80 percent of deaths occur when the rider is not wearing a helmet. The motorcycle safety program received national recognition and was instrumental in helping the “helmet” law pass in California.

I remember a recent flight into Kalispell and sitting next to a grieving mother who was coming, not to visit, but to accompany her son home. He had come to Montana to ride his motorcycle, without a helmet. Are we really so desperate for tourists that we need to maintain not having a helmet law?

HB 503 will protect the majority of riders from the outcome of the inconceivable accident causing medical expenses and possibly death.

Don’t mistake freedom and liberty, in the use of our highways, with responsibility. To maintain freedom and liberty it is essential that we have laws to define what is best for all persons. We stop at lights, maintain speed limits, and wear seat belts because these laws are in my and your best interests and they increase our safety as we travel our roads and highways.

Deaths for motorcycle riders are on the increase. A helmet law in Montana will make our highways safer. Join me in supporting HB 503 and save lives. —Clell Hoffman, Kila

Bygren, Crooks for trustee jobs

The election for the Flathead Electric Board of Trustees is coming up soon and as always members of all nine districts will have opportunity to vote for candidates from all districts. Two new candidates in this election are Terry Crooks from Libby and Jerry Bygren from Bigfork who have distinguish themselves as community servants. Currently they are serving their districts as representatives through Roundup for Safety. Join me in supporting them by marking and mailing your Flathead Electric ballot. Thank you. —Gayle Paden, Libby

Bygren for trustee

I encourage one and all to vote for Jerry Bygren to fill the District 8 seat on the Flathead Electric Coop Board. Jerry is a long-term resident of Bigfork, and served as president of the Flathead Bank for several years. I have worked with Jerry on several projects benefiting not only Bigfork but also other projects serving all of Flathead County. He knows the county and FEC co-op well, as he has served on the Roundup for Safety program for the last five years.

Please vote for Jerry Bygren as he will well serve FEC and its members. —Paul Mutascio, Bigfork

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