Letters published on April 15, 2018

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Commissioners didn’t listen to the people

As a follow-up to the odd Daily Inter Lake editorial regarding the ruling from Judge Allison, let me just say, as an ACTUAL PERSON who attended that commissioners’ “hearing,” they turned a DEAF EAR to the overflowing room of concerned citizens. Judge Allison’s decision was likely EASILY reached by merely listening to or reading a transcript of said “hearing.”

First, let us NOT forget that the commissioners dragged their feet and continually postponed this public “hearing” until AFTER Pam Holmquist was re-elected. The stage was then set. As constituents filled the hallways and lined up to voice their concerns, (including the fact that Lew Weaver used this EXACT procedure to his own gain years earlier and was at that time granted permission to zone his neighborhood to his advantage) the commissioners sat at their desks and simply timed the length of comments, quick to cut people off at three minutes. They rolled their eyes, they acted bored and unaffected.

Holmquist demanded that no one mention the water bottling factory in their statements. She pounded her gavel whenever she didn’t like what was being said. So, as a group, we made it a point to stick to reasons (including aforementioned precedent) as to why disallowing the request to expand the agricultural community and allowing a huge, industrial endeavor in the middle of a neighborhood and on the banks of the Flathead River would be a bad idea for the county.

Immediately following the final comment, Holmquist stated she was not comfortable interfering with an issue that had made its way to the DNRC (again, TIMING). Krueger followed with “Agriculture is Industry,” and Mitchell took a sip from his plastic bottle of water and added, “Yeah, what THEY said.” As the entire room began to voice their shock and bewilderment at being completely ignored, the gavel came down hard and repeatedly as Holmquist shouted she would “have the room cleared!” This was all indeed an abuse of discretionary power, as Judge Allison ruled. Please let your voice be heard at the ballot box this June 5, and vote FOR The Egan Slough initiative!

Also, the commissioners told the volunteer group Water for Flathead’s Future to collect around 12,000 signatures to get this initiative on the ballot. We did as we were told in the allotted 90 day period. Although they must have thought we would not achieve this, WE DID! Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike were all on board! Let us overturn the commissioners’ abusive decision to ignore their constituents. Let our voices and concerns finally be heard ... Vote YES on the only initiative on the ballot, 17-01. Expand the Egan Slough ag district! —Jean Racubka, Kalispell

Tester’s land plan is wise one

Over the course of my career, I’ve been deeply involved with our public lands and the economic benefits these lands bring to our communities. I’ve also spent countless days outside on the trail experiencing the personal benefits that come from spending time in exceptional places like Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

I am well aware that public land management solutions are not easy and in many cases it might take several years to reach solutions. However, as our social and environmental challenges become increasingly complex, we must work together to solve them.

For this reason, I support Sen. Tester’s Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act, which recently received a hearing in the Senate. This is a Montana-made bill that has been over a decade in the making. Instead of a top down decision-making process, the Blackfoot –Clearwater Act is the result of a truly collaborative process. The bill adds nearly 80,000-acres of Wilderness protection onto the Bob Marshall and includes areas for snowmobilers and mountain bikers and supports the local timber industry. This bill supports our outdoor economy that is built on our public lands.

Now that Montanans have done the hard work, both Sen. Daines and Rep. Gianforte need to support this legislation and do their part to carry the wishes of Montanans forward in Washington, D.C. —Jan Metzmaker, Whitefish

Abortion is the key to violence

Everyone is asking why did the murder of 17 high school students happen in Florida on Feb. 14. Now we talk endlessly where the violence in America is coming from.

It is so obvious when for over 40 years it has been legal for mothers to kill their own babies in the womb. These babies are siblings, daughters and sons. And they have fathers. They are human beings, not frogs or small animals.

We now have a new abortion mill in Whitefish, All Families Health Care, with a website that spells out in bold letters ABORTION. To me, that means mothers murdering their own babies. We need to talk about abortion and the effects it has on mothers, dads, siblings, grandparents and our culture in America. —Chris Moritz, Columbia Falls

Garner puts needs of the community first

This June I’ll be voting for Frank Garner for House District 7 and I’m excited that he’s willing to continue to serve. As someone who grew up in Kalispell and raised my family here, I’ve known Frank Garner for many years and I’m grateful for his work and service.

Throughout the years we’ve hunted together, played softball, worked together and had a few laughs along the way. With his work with Rotary, the Lions Clubs, Big Brothers, youth sports policing and the Legislature, I’ve always known Frank to put the needs of our community first. As a veteran I’ve been thankful for his work on veteran’s issues and I appreciate his service in Afghanistan and his commitment to those that serve. I am proud to call Frank my friend.

I hope you’ll join me in sending Frank back to represent us. I want him to know that I appreciate his character and I respect his continued service and support of our community. —Rick Parker, Kalispell

Maybe we should all just sell ‘our’ water

Water. The new cottage industry. Even with the conservation easement on my paltry 36 acres, I could extract 80 gallons a minute. Doesn’t matter about the easement — I can work the acre around my house.

Think I will sell all that water to those who want to fill up tankers. Never mind our neighbors; we have a private road off the county road. I am up the tap — great ground water at the base of Desert Mountain ... umm, need a label. Montana Dew or another silly name.

Never mind the aquifer — who cares there will be that much less water flowing into the river — the Flathead River, which feeds the lake and all of the rest of the downstream flow? But so what?

I will make my dime, as will Mr. Weaver. All for one and one for the rest of us, who have water to sell. Flathead County commissioners, you could have stopped this by accepting all those signatures on the petition to stop this plan and by accepting the local plan. —Kimberly Pinter, Coram

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