Letters published on Oct. 6, 2017

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Vote no on Somers-Lakeside school bond

Somers and Lakeside school district has a school bond election this month — by “mail-in-ballot-only” — in the amount of $15.8 million.

This is in addition to the bond issue we passed last year for an annual assessment of $185,000 per year for the Lakeside school. We have been told by the school district that it will cost taxpayers $160 per year for a house valued at $200,000. For most home owners this will be an increase of $350 to $400 per year. For me it will be $700 to $800 per year. I am 68 and on Social Security. I have not had an increase in Social Security in three years, and the increases I did receive the prior two years were very small.

I am supportive of education and believe in our responsibility to educate the children, but $15,800,000 seems excessive. Like a number of people I’ve talked with, I will probably have to sell my home or go back to work. The information I’ve received regarding what the $15.8 million will be spent on, is so vague it is suspicious. If I am going to be assessed this amount of money, I want to see a comprehensive list of needs to justify the expense.

I am asking Somers and Lakeside residents to investigate the bond issue and how the money will be spent. If you reach the same conclusion I did, you will vote NO to $15,800,000 —Dave Doney, Lakeside

Can’t stand for flag? Then pick a better country

Your “Editor’s 2 Cents” column in the Daily Inter Lake for Sunday, Oct.1, on standing up for the flag was excellent. It’s about time someone in Montana said what you said. Per your invitation, here is my letter on this topic.

Ken Hamblin, a former talk show host who called himself, “The Black Avenger,” wrote a book: “Pick a Better Country.” I would challenge those kneeling football players and their sympathizers to do just that. Then, if they find one and have the guts to go there, I would advise them to buy a round trip ticket. After a short visit, they will want to come back here had tell us how bad it is there—especially if they have any contact with the local police departments.

It is very disturbing to see this disrespect for the flag spreading. The entire cast of “Star Trek Discovery” knelt in protest. Maybe they have just caused this new series to be shortened to one season. —Dale Ferguson, Polson

The power of diversity and the failure of Zinke

Secretary of the Interior Zinke believes that 30 percent of his employees are not loyal to him and President Trump. If that assessment is true, which it is not, he should be thrilled. That would mean 70 percent are loyal, which is more than twice that of the general public.

However, his estimate of employee loyalty is a wild, wild and inaccurate guess and the question arises, what does he mean by loyalty?

I have little doubt but that he means blind, unquestioned devotion to the infallible Trump and his administration. Don’t ask questions, don’t offer different suggestions, just praise Allah and play dumb. We can’t have any of this bipartisan nonsense. That is precisely why we have a dysfunctional Congress.

I retired from an upper management level position in the U.S. Department of the Interior and the great majority of employees are dedicated, intelligent and good people. I’m hearing it loud and clear: They are indignant about Mr. Zinke’s lack of trust and respect toward them. Throughout their 30 or more years of service they have worked with several Democratic or Republican administrations without getting involved in the political aspects of their surroundings. They may vote differently but faithfully continue to do their job, never considering themselves to be disloyal. And they are not!

Secretary Zinke is turning out to be as inept a leader as Donald Trump. A couple of days ago I heard a REAL leader. Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, commander of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. There had been an incident of racial hatred at the Academy. Gen. Silveria was clearly upset and in firm, no uncertain terms told the full assembly of cadets, “If you can’t respect people of a different color, GET OUT. If you can’t respect people of a different gender, GET OUT.” He went on to extol the benefits our country has received from our diversity. The power of diversity.

I would add, if you can’t respect people of a different religion, GET OUT. In fact, if you can’t respect all living things, GET OUT!

Mr. Zinke, if you and Mr. Trump display this type of inspired leadership you will not need to worry about loyalty and approval ratings. —Phil Iversen, Kalispell

The coffee cup has a hole in it

Our Bigfork scientist Ed Berry, who argued strenuously against human-caused global warming in a recent letter to the editor, used the analogy of a filled coffee cup with 5 percent cream (the 5 percent representing the amount of human-caused carbon going into the atmosphere). It doesn’t seem like much. I am aware scientists have a problem translating their studies into terms the rest of us can understand. He wanted to debate. I debate. His cup seems to have a hole in it.

There’s a full cup of coffee prior to human carbon emissions. Essentially what leaks out is balanced by the inflow. Add 1 percent additional human-caused cream into formula and the cup looks like it might overflow. Five percent and it does. Like a teeter-totter with a hundred pounds on each side, in balance. Add five pounds (5 percent) to one side and it totters out of balance. —James How, Kalispell

Phil Mitchell needs to do the right thing and resign

County Commissioner Phil Mitchell, you are making a mockery of our justice system.

Take your deserved medicine, Mr. Commissioner. You broke the law. The LAW! The laws that make us a civilized society.

What on earth makes you think or feel that YOU are above that? Stop this ridiculous show of superiority! Enough already! Resign now and perhaps you may save whatever remaining integrity that you have. —Ann Lee, Whitefish

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