Letters to the editor Feb. 7

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Federal rental assistance

During this winterís frigid temperatures, many help the homeless via hands-on activities or donating to charities. But we have broader reaching and more farsighted options of forestalling homelessness by improving access to housing for low income citizens as well as those living below the poverty line.

In fact, the housing crisis in our state and others didnít just arrive with the cold weather. The 2016 single-night census found that 1,418 Montanans, including 165 veterans and 574 people in families with children, were homeless or living in shelters. In the U.S there are only 35 affordable rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. A worker earning minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America.

Only one in four eligible low-income households receives federal housing assistance. Congress should pass legislation to increase access to affordable housing. In addition to the other problems of poverty, families sometimes face discrimination simply because they receive assistance.

As Congress negotiates budget bills, please urge Sens. Jon Tester, Steve Daines, and Rep. Greg Gianforte to support a boost in federal rental assistance and to support bipartisan efforts to ban housing discrimination based on income source.

≠óKaren Cunningham, Coram

TSA appreciation

On behalf of TSA employees statewide, I want to express my appreciation to people in communities across Montana who showed incredible generosity and concern during the recent partial government shutdown. Your kind words supplemented by donations motivated our workforce and allowed us to stay focused on our mission to keep the traveling public safe and secure during this uncertain time.

I cannot overstate the impact of the communityís donations. You delivered food and refreshments directly to the breakrooms, provided gift cards to help defray the cost of day-to-day needs and worked with the airport community in Kalispell to ensure that our employees were well taken care of. Perhaps most importantly, through your words and actions, you recognized the critical role TSA plays in securing our nationís transportation system.

Looking ahead, we will always remember the encouragement and support we received from you. Thank you for coming together to support the Montana TSA team in Kalispell.

óDan Fevold is federal security director for Montana Transportation Security Administration

Suggestions for our Legislature

The headlines blare out Montanaís suicide rates are the highest in the nation and a subsequent article by Attorney General Tim Fox goes over the huge problem we have with drugs and addiction. Both then extol the need for more money without regard to the lack of money our state government will have particularly if we extend Medicaid expansion. Further, no programs seem to want to address the core issues relating to suicide/drug addiction: itís a problem with the heart and souls of our younger generation.

I suggest there is a very definite correlation between the establishment of the world view of secular humanism and the rise in both suicide and drug addiction in our populace. Secular humanism has replaced Christianity as our prevalent world philosophy. It reduces human life from being sacred to nothing more than a higher form of animal kingdom. We have no real past, no real future, nothing really to live for but temporary pleasure and excitement. If you canít have that there is nothing left except more hopelessness and loss of feeling of purpose. To keep this world going requires legislation for the use of more drugs (marijuana) and encourages feel-good pills such as Adderall and or Lexapro so people can feel good all the time. I donít think it is just coincidence our problems with suicide and drugs have increased dramatically since we, as a society, have turned our backs to the wonderful message, hope and esteem Christianity provides to all of us, particularly our children. Our Legislature needs to fund a study that investigates how profound this correlation is.

Secondly, it appears as if advocates of government programs have no concept we canít afford everything we want. No matter what anyone tells you, Medicaid expansion will cost us a lot of money and even more when (not if) the federal government stops paying for 90 percent of the cost. Add to that more money for schools (a given), public employees, pension funds and a little bit for some absolutely necessary infrastructure repair and that will be all there is.

Itís time for our leaders to require on honest look into the problems created because our society has replaced Christianity with the religion (world view) of secular humanism. It is also high time for people to realize we canít have everything we want ó only what we can afford.

óMark Agather, Kalispell

Hard to understand all the sniveling

So a lot of government workers were laid off, well welcome to the real world folks. If you just take building construction workers, their jobs donít last forever and at the end of the job they go down the road hoping that there is a new job starting somewhere. My point being they had to plan on how to survive and provide for their families before that lay off came ó nobody was going to make their payments and feed them until the next job was available.

I lived that way for over 50 years and never lost a home, never took welfare or tried to get food stamps, and my kids never went hungry. Now I have driven over a thousand miles for a job just to keep the wolf from the door, but my wife and I both did what it took to survive and not be a burden on the system and never lived beyond our means. I never had a paid holiday or a paid vacation during those 50 years. For those who claim they were in dire straights, I just wonder how many lived beyond their means? Of course that does not apply to all, there are always things and problems we canít control such as major illness, but from someone who never got paid for an hour he did not work and still made it through his working years, I find it hard to understand all the sniveling.

óGlen Hook, Kalispell

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