Letters published Dec. 5, 2017

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Jefferson Davis’s own words condemn him

Regarding right wing claims that removing Confederate statues is nothing more than feel-good political correctness, consider the following words from despicable rebel president Jefferson Davis:

“We recognize the negro as God, God’s Book, and God’s Laws, in nature, tell us to recognize him. Our inferior, fitted expressly for servitude ... You cannot transform the negro into anything one-tenth as useful or as good as what slavery enables them to be.”

And, after promoting a war that killed and maimed countless humans, Davis spewed the following:

“’Tis been said that I should apply to the United States for a pardon. But repentance must precede the right of pardon, and I have not repented ... If it were all to do over again, I would again do just as I did in 1861.”

Right, a real honorable man. —Steve Barrett, Kalispell

Credit-card users have a lot in common with smokers

Most of us have never thought about similarities between cigarette addiction and credit card debt, but you’ll find that cigarette and credit card companies have quite a lot in common.

Both try, to gain control of your life through their products. Unfortunately, their products can cause sleepless nights, depression, divorce, and sickness.

Cigarette companies spend millions of enticing us to start smoking, and credit card companies just as much to initiate credit card debt.

Both are looking for long-term customers, cigarette companies through a lifetime of addiction to smoking and credit card companies through a life of debt. Once hooked, their customers don’t necessarily become loyal, but they are obedient. Credit card debtors pay the monthly minimum at tremendously high-interest rates, and smokers pay the exorbitant prices for cigarettes.

Both smoker and credit card debtors can easily get hooked for life. Starting is easy, and stopping is very challenging, but not insurmountable if you set your mind to it. —Glen Watson, Bigfork

You don’t have to be 102 to see the limited usefulness of roundabouts

Some thoughts on Flathead highways, byways and bureaucratic headaches:

Dern-Stillwater Road intersection with U.S. 2: My 102-year-old mother went on a drive with my sister and observed the Dern-Stillwater intersection close to where she grew up. Mom reads the Daily Inter Lake and follows the news every day. She has lived here her entire life in West Valley. She said about the proposed roundabout at that location, that makes no sense.

Of course not. The two roads at the intersection, Dern and Stillwater, are very short local connectors providing very little cross-traffic at the U.S. 2 West junction, so turn lanes may be considered with the little off and on traffic. The traffic light needed thereby would primarily serve, in green-light mode for through U.S. 2 traffic. (Warning signals as well to approaching traffic). The state Highway Department is well-advised to talk to local folk before embarking down a rabbit trail. Said roundabout solution is a non-starter and stupid.

U.S. 93 unfinished bypass: Roundabouts are the headache to truckers everywhere the sprout up. The U.S. 93 bypass is not a 70-mile-an-hour freeway and should not have received an award, as it is unfinished. It won’t be used by trucks, now using Main Street, until roundabouts are ditched.

U.S. 93 is Main Street: State DOT has almost completed Somers to Whitefish four-lane over a 20-year period. In that period, the city of Kalispell has never addressed the issue of relocating U.S. 93 away from Kalispell — just a bypass for trucks and not designed to re-route 93. The 93 Bypass was not designed to effect a full-blown four-lane around Kalispell as it terminates at Reserve, whereas Kalispell city limits extend to Church Drive. Therefore, absent relocating U.S. 93 to a route that is designed to U.S. highway four-lane standards, Main Street will continue serving the projected traffic into the far future.

The city of Kalispell’s idea of left turns in the core makes no sense at all. (We navigate Kalispell quite nicely without them.) Three lanes on Main Street will not, in the future, support the four lanes of traffic projected by the state. The city of Kalispell may be right that traffic will become a problem but lack of planning created it.)

The city of Kalispell is effectively saying the projected traffic on Main Street is untenable in the long-run — agreed, but their solution is? In the meantime, a symmetrical four-way around the courthouse is required absent a re-routed U.S. 93 built to U.S. highway standards. City of Kalispell’s imagination is wonderful; however dreaming doesn’t make the projected traffic disappear. I am sure the city of Kalispell is not going to stop promoting tourism.

U.S. 93 relocation solution — Go from Four Corners north in a beeline hooking up with U.S. 2 at Perkins, continuing as an already complete four-lane through to the Blue-Moon and thence west on Montana 40 to Whitefish. (There is precedence for this — Montana 206 was once designated as U.S. 2.) City of Kalispell: Your solution is?

Can the planners please get back to reality! —Mike Horn, Whitefish

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