Letters published Nov. 24, 2017

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Electric cars need to pay their share

Regarding the Inter Lake’s Oct. 5 article, “Western governors agree to build charging station network,” my question to Gov. Bullock is, did you really agree to this goofy plan?

Are we the taxpayers going to continue to subsidize the electric car industry? Obviouslv, I object!

Why?

• Roughly 60 percent of U.S. electricity generation occurs by burning fossil fuels, making “electric cars” ultimately powered by coal, gas, etc. — thus, far “dirtier” than modern internal combustion engines.

• Electric cars pay NO road-use taxes, raising the cost of roads for everyone else.

• Electric cars contain massive amounts of hazardous/toxic materials.

• U.S. taxpayers subsidize the industry, raising the cost of regular cars.

• Electric car owners now expect the rest of us to pay the cost of designing, building and installing “charging stations” for their convenience, and you have no plan to bill/charge them? Or to tax them for the use of OUR roads?

Please, Gov. Bullock, tell the citizens of the state of Montana, why do you support such an absurd “plan”? —Richard Jones, Bigfork

Montana’s cost of living

I moved here over 40 years ago. I gave up an $80,000 a year job and traded it all for a single-wide trailer, no TV reception, a four-party phone line and part-time minimum wages and was never happier than any other time in my life. We have scraped and saved to have a place that is paid for except for the lifetime lien on it held by the county for taxes. We gave up all the so-called wonderful things to live in this beautiful place with little to no crime (but that changed with those who moved here and the ways they have brought with them).

Now, I see that the good people, of which I guess I am one, in the Whitefish school district are going to raise my taxes and of course if the sheriff gets a new jail, that will probably mean another increase, and the state wants more money to run the government, and to top it all off, I have been informed that my health plan is no longer going to be offered and anything near it was at least double and no drug plan with it, but will have to by law purchase one. All this and higher prices at the pump thanks to Frank Garner!

None of this would bother me if I could pay for it with taxpayers’ money like Zinke does with his $12,000 charter flight from Vegas to here. What a idiot! I was for voting for him in the first place and for that matter voting straight Republican for a change, but I tell you folks — in my humble opinion the next president of this country will be a Clinton. If Trump could pull it off, so could Chelsea — unless her mother runs again.

Meanwhile our income stays the same in spite of rising costs as those in power reap the benefit off of other people’s backs. —Glen Hook, Kalispell

Find respite at Miracle of America Museum

I wonder if Americans ache as I do. I grieve over Charlottesville, hurricanes, NFL players spitting in the eye of our flag and anthem, the horror in Las Vegas. It feels like respect for our country and for each other has suffered irreversibly.

Then I stopped at the Miracle of America Museum in Polson, and found peace. The “miracle” of America is truly on magnificent display. The first display shows our nation’s path from General Washington at Valley Forge to astronauts that walked the moon, all in less than 250 years.

Gil and Helen Mangels started this historical collection in 1985; somehow it must continue forever. We owe them deep gratitude for a life’s work of believing in the spiritual and constitutional origins that carry our beloved country forward, no matter what.

Displays of the Revolutionary War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam that I saw reflect how we endured. Displays of inventors and entrepreneurs from agriculture to aviation, from Thomas Edison to Area 51, old soda shops, beauty parlors, old motorcycles … Go there, and feel the immensity of this amazing country and its people. Go there and reclaim respect for and amazement of our country. —Elaine Willman, Ronan

Quarter of degree increase in temperatures: Oooh, scary!

I am not a climate denier, I think the climate changes a lot. I think that people have something to do with it. You can’t put more and more people on the same piece of dirt and not have changes. But what are the facts?

To find out, I started out at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration website.

Fact No. 1: NOAA has been keeping track of the weather since 1880 to the present, 137 years. This was before satellites, computers, planes, etc.. How reliable they were to start with is debatable, just think of some old gold miner, in 1880, in the middle of winter, in Alaska, going out to check his thermometer.

Fact No. 2: If you take the average temperature for those 137 years, the earth’s temperature has raised 1.69 degrees higher.

Fact No. 3: 2016 was the hottest year on record. It was 0.07 degrees higher then 2015. That’s right seven-hundredths of one degree!

Fact No. 4: The good old USA spends tens of billions of dollars on climate change.

Fact No. 5: Global warming and climate change mean the same thing.

Fact No. 6: In 2014 the EPA said that the USA was responsible for 15 percent of the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel in the world. Well 15 percent of 1.69, (the rise in temperature) is 0.25. That’s right, the USA raised the temperature a quarter of one degree. —Craig L. Martin, Troy

Judge right to look for answers with drug court

Kudos to the Honorable Judge Ulbricht for acknowledging the drug issue in our county, and dedicating her time to developing solutions that better serve our citizens. We, as a community cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer.

A recent meeting was held to discuss funding for a drug court. What addiction is costing — in welfare, foster care, crimes committed, incarceration, families destroyed, and lives lost — far exceeds the cost of the court.

Others present at the meeting shared factual information about this overwhelming epidemic. A social worker from Kalispell Regional addressed the impact of addiction on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The figures she shared were overwhelming. We need to understand that we are no longer the little Montana town that hasn’t been affected.

My guess is that most people reading this letter have been impacted by addiction or know someone who has. It’s clear that the programs we’ve been using in this valley are not helping. In some cases, they are exasperating the problem. We need to support new ways to stop this epidemic; therefore, I urge my neighbors, friends, family and community to support all initiatives for a drug court in this valley. —Jacqueline Elm, Kalispell

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