Letters published on April 11, 2018

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Mail-in ballot participation said to be higher

Mark Agather’s letter printed on April 10 about an unidentified school bond is fair enough, though I hope he also shared his displeasure with the school district in question so they have a chance to improve their process.

As a point of information, a mail-in ballot does not “usually ensure very low voter participation.” Mail-in ballots usually ensure the highest possible participation, because no one has to go to a specific place at a specific time to cast a ballot, nor do they have to disrupt any routines to vote. For virtually all registered voters, interaction with the Postal Service is part of a semi-normal routine. —Latimer Hoke, Eureka

Thank you for helping woman

This letter is to say thank you to Gordon Goss, who stepped up like a real man to help out a woman allegedly being physcally abused by a “disrepective boy” (not man) while she was driving.

It was so refreshing to wake up and read about what happened while driving home from his birthday lunch. Your wife and granddaughter must be so proud of you!

There is so much domestic abuse that goes on in the valley, but you don’t often hear about a stranger who pulls over and stops it. As the article states, “people were on their phones calling it in, but nobody stopped” as this woman apparently was being punched and elbowed in the face by a grown male passenger. How sad!

Good job, Mr. Goss! We need more men like you around here to put punks in their place. I’m sorry that you were hurt in the process and hopefully he’ll be hurting more after he sees the judge!

Thank you again and God bless you! —Rosie Higham, Kalispell

Don’t trust Hecla

So Rep. Steve Gunderson and 49 other Montana legislators think the Hecla Mining Company and its president Phil Baker shouldn’t be considered in violation of the Montana Metal Mine Regulation Act’s “bad actor” provision?

By chance, these wouldn’t be some of the same 50 Montana legislators that felt it was OK for the state Health and Human Services Department budget to be axed to the tune of $54 million?

That $54 million went to serve some of Montana’s neediest residents for things like home heating plans (long winter, isn’t it?) healthy Montana kids, Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, substance abuse, suicide prevention, aging services, foster care and adoptions, Montanans with disabilities, WIC, food safety licensing, the Montana Veterans Home and a host of other services too numerous to mention.

Why do these legislators — who have sworn to uphold the Montana Constitution, its laws and regulations — feel that it’s OK to support an out-of-state mining company over the interests and well being of their constituents? Why is the law the law except when it strikes at the heart of the privileged or corporations?

Maybe Hecla bought a pig in the poke when it hired its president Phil Baker; who having served as Pegasus Mines chief financial officer and then president, has only cost the state of Montana $32 million in taxpayer dollars to date to service the three gold mines (Zortman Landusky, Basin Creek and Beal Mountain) they abandoned in the early 1990s. These three mines cost Montana taxpayers $4 million dollars a year in primarily groundwater pollution remediation, and will continue to do so in PERPETUITY until the problem no longer exists. In five and a half years that total will amount to $54 million. Around the same amount cut from the Health and Human Services budget.

There’s no guilt by association involved here. If Hecla is such a reputable good actor in the mining industry, then why did they pay the U.S. government $268 million to settle their pollution lawsuit in Idaho’s Silver Valley? For that matter, if Hecla under Phil Baker is such a reputable mining company, why have they refused to settle the 378-day strike by miners at their Lucky Friday mine in Mullan, Idaho?

Hecla and Phil Baker may talk like they have the interests of our communities and our people, and they may be able to buy the allegiance of certain spokespeople for their cause, but at heart they are all about the bottom line — a bottom line that lets them walk off with all the profits and leaves society to bear all the costs.—Cesar Hernandez, Polson

Vote for Welzel

Robert Welzel is running for House District 7. I know Bob personally, and my family and I will be voting for him. Bob understands natural law and will uphold the values that founded this great country and state.

I have been to Helena with Bob on multiple occasions and heard him testify against Medicaid expansion, for gun rights, and for the sanctity of life. His testimonies were intelligent, clear and compelling. Bob is dedicated to truth, and he will uphold his oath to the Montana Constitution. Bob is a family man, has shown himself to be politically active, is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, owns his own business here in the Flathead Valley, and is a pilot for Fed Ex. I believe that his life experiences will help him make decisions as our representative.

Please try to get to know Bob. Message him on Facebook with your questions. Then spread the word to your friends and family, and vote for Bob Welzel.

Bob’s opponent, current House Rep. Frank Garner, needs to go. He has been in office too long already and has caused much damage to our liberties. Frank runs as a Republican, but a simple glance at his voting record shows that he does not vote for the values that the Montana Republican platform represents. Frank was for Medicaid expansion in 2015 and for the gas tax that was implemented the 2017 legislative session. (Compare his votes on those two issues to the Montana Republican Party platform ... he is completely opposite!) Frank Garner runs as a Republican, but he isn’t one!

We need to come together as conservatives and vote Bob Welzel into House District 7. He will represent the will of the people bravely. —Julie Dockery, Kalispell

Abortion critics ‘mean-spirited’

Having read the mean-spirited and judgmental letters to the editor directed at All Families Healthcare I feel compelled to remind these letter writers of a few tenets that are paramount in Christian teachings. One: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Two: “Judge not, lest thou be judged.” Three: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone…” Four: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the beam in your own eye?”

Sadly, none of these Christian principles were displayed in the offensive letters aimed at Susan Cahill and All Families Clinic. If what I read is acceptable as Christian values, I am bitterly disappointed.

I support one’s right to express their opinion, but the vitriolic way in which these opinions were expressed was offensive.

Instead of “throwing stones” at All Families Healthcare, it would show real Christian compassion if these individuals take in some of the hundreds of homeless teens in our valley or become foster parents for some of the 4,000 kids now in foster care — there is a real need for foster families to keep up with the demand. These actions would demonstrate true Christian values. But, I shall not hold my breath waiting for this to happen because it’s so much easier to point self-righteous fingers at others.

I appreciate what All Families Healthcare does to educate and provide affordable birth control, thereby preventing the need for many abortions. I send best wishes to all of you at All Families Healthcare. —Barbara Palmer, Whitefish

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