From the election mailbag

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Protect liberty; vote no on Egan Slough initiative

Ever heard of the phrase “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”? Seems a lot of folks in the Flathead (and maybe even more who don’t live here) have jumped on an ideological bandwagon to ban a water-bottling plant near Creston. The main problem with their approach is that they don’t want to live by the same rules they want to impose on the Weavers.

Objectors to the water rights claim that the state used a flawed process to analyze potential impacts from the project. Every water right issued in this valley was issued under the same or lesser analysis. Will the objectors subject themselves to the same analytical scrutiny they are proposing? I doubt it. Now, objectors are trying to impose a zoning restriction on the Weavers’ property, but I find it laughable that not one of the objectors can meet the basic lot-size requirement included in the restrictions they want to impose on somebody else. The motives of the bandwagon are transparently hypocriticall and run counter to the values we hold dear in the Flathead.

We all love this valley, most of us moved here from somewhere else, we want to see our resources used wisely, and we want to preserve what we love the most about this special place. We also respect private property rights and individual liberty, and we expect everyone to play by the rules, to be honest, and to treat others as we expect to be treated. There’s only one thing that doesn’t fit in Creston. It’s the idea that one person’s rights are less important than somebody else’s just because we don’t like the business they’re in. Vote NO on the zoning initiative and tell the ideologues to work things out like good Flathead neighbors. —Ellie Allen, Somers

For ‘Jay’ Scott

I feel the need to write a letter of support for Gerald “Jay” Scott for county commissioner.

Jay and his family have been friends of ours for over 30 years.

Jay is a Montana boy, and has lived in Flathead County for over 40 years. He has seen and been a part of lots of changes and growth here.

Jay and his wife Christine have raised three daughters — showing by example of how to be respectful and good citizens. Mission accomplished! He is a good family man.

We always enjoyed going to the Northwest Montana Fair when Jay was fairgrounds manager. He always put his full effort into his job.

I think Jay would be a perfect man for county commissioner. He knows how to evaluate and give good ideas for all the different problems in the county.

Jay will definitely get my vote in the primary in June and then in November. He is the man for the residents in Flathead County. —Judith Adkins, Columbia Falls

Why I will not support Sheriff Bell

Being sheriff in Lake County means you will enforce the laws, all the laws. Three years ago, I met with Sheriff Bell in St. Ignatius and showed him where drugs were being sold in plain view and on a daily basis. I had previously witnessed vehicles from Idaho and Washington coming in to sell meth, heroin and prescription drugs. I offered the Sheriff’s Office a place to observe and record these drug transactions. Did Sheriff Bell ever take advantage of this? NO! There was never any explanation or follow-up to my concerns. When drugs are sold in broad daylight, it is because dealers know there is no enforcement. I know when Sheriff Bell was a tribal officer he knew how bad the drug problem is here. If he doesn’t know it now, it’s because he either doesn’t care or his priorities are in the wrong place.

I have read how Sheriff Bell has trained officers to patrol the lake this summer, which must be more important than the drug issue. Then again I read where Sheriff Bell wants to stop suicides in Lake County. Well, Sheriff Bell, isn’t the drug problem the cause for many of the suicides? I have worked my share of drugs in my years in law enforcement (including as a former patrol sergeant in Lake County); drug enforcement here is now a joke and Lake County is a haven for this activity. Let the fire professionals take care of rescues on the lake. Let the Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol the lake for safety if need be.

I have met with David Coffman who is running for sheriff; he has more experience than most of the deputies combined, including Sheriff Bell. David Coffman will make drug crimes a priority. He has studied the jail issues and will address them. He will bring his training and experience to the office to make it more efficient and productive. He will protect your children from dealers who want to poison your children. He has my family’s support. I ask that you give him yours. —Ken Scott, St. Ignatius

Misinformation has been spread about water-bottling plant

As election time draws near, I feel it is time to give my two cents’ worth on the water-bottling plant and possibly a new zoning ballot initiative.

In most of the letters to the editor I am seeing the same negative letters that are made up of half truths and misinformation.

The letter from Jane Corwin is the most recent letter that has my dander up. As most letters they instill fear into the people who may be new to the area or aren’t paying attention to this issue.

First the EPA will not allow any one or industry to intentionally pollute our waterways; there will be controls to prevent this. The fish and aquatic life will still live happy lives. The warehouse-size bottling plant will be no bigger than some shop buildings in our Lower Valley, and the amount of water pulled from the ground aquifer will not drain your well. Mrs. Corwin’s well that she said dropped 100 feet is because she is probably living on a large hill which is why she had to drill 1,000 feet and she is probably not even in the same aquifer as the bottling plant if she lives near Somers.

So I would also suspect that preserving our pristine valleys and Glacier Park would not be affected either because it is being built on a backcountry road that most of the people in this valley could not find without a GPS to navigate by. A burnt forest will affect our views more than this plant.

Mr. Weaver also has water rights, so I won’t need to go there, and agriculture should not be affected because it’s mostly farmland anyway.

So let’s discuss property values that you all keep repeating. Your property values will not go down because of this plant! They will go down due to the economy but never what gets built next door. Take the West Valley “big and nasty” gravel pit that took up so much concern a few years back and all the naysayers talked about losing property values, but it never happened! People are still building new homes in this area and property values are holding up just fine. Just try to buy a piece of property in West Valley!

Let’s talk about stealing property rights, as I am seeing it. You want to take Mr. Weaver’s right away because he was going to be approved by the normal correct jurisdiction so you want to change the rules because you lost! This will snowball into something that will be used every time someone doesn’t get their way on zoning. You or someone you know will be screwed because if anyone wants to make a business of any kind, they could have it jeopardized by another sneaky zoning change after the fact.

So think very wisely about voting for this initiative. Don’t always believe what you read.

If any of this can be proven that I am wrong, please come back with real facts. —Jim Thramer, Kalispell

Yes to the Egan Slough initiative

The Egan Slough Community continues to fight to make sure mining water from a major Flathead Valley aquifer and removing it from the site is a prohibited practice. By expanding their zoning district, a water-bottling plant would be prohibited in an agricultural zone.

Vote for Initiative 17-01 to:

—Protect the most endangered fresh water source in the Flathead Valley.

—Ensure fresh clean water continues to be available for Flathead Valley families, farmers, and ranchers.

—Prevent industrial pollution of our water ways; including wet lands, streams, and lakes of the Flathead Valley.

—Protect the habitats of our native animals and plants in the Flathead Valley.

—Continue enjoying and protecting the beautiful Flathead Valley we call home.

Support the Egan Slough community as they continue to strive to protect our most valuable Flathead Valley resource — fresh, clean, mountain-fed water. The Egan Slough community is fighting to protect water sources for the whole Flathead Valley. All our FOR votes on ballots for the Egan Slough Initiative 17-01 are needed to assure we will continue to have fresh clean water available for all families, plants and animals that call Flathead Valley home.

Vote, June 5, for the Egan Slough initiative. —Philip and Ruby Dynneson, Kalispell

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