Letters to the editor Dec. 20

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Big Mountain expansion

So where is the outrage? Where are the lawsuits?

The Big Mountain wants to expand its operations onto our public lands? They want to “privatize” our precious public lands with more ski slopes without regard to what they must do to the environment or to all the animals, insects and plants that inhabit these natural spaces? They must not be allowed to accomplish this self-serving, profit orientated goal no matter what excuse they use such as job creation, entertainment or the good it could do for the tourist industry. Good heavens, they most certainly would have to cut down some old growth trees which is sacrilege.

If this request from the Forest Service isn’t met with the same sort of vehemence that accompanies any other rational request for the use of our public lands, then the words of editorials, like the one from the far left Western Values Project and the rich elitists from the Firehole Ranch expressing their desire to “protect” our public lands at all costs, will sound hypocritical. The environmental community must stand as one to make certain this outrageous goal is never achieved leaving our public land “untrammeled by the evil footsteps of mankind.” Lawsuits must be initiated and environmental impact studies must be undertaken with due diligence to initially delay and then to defeat such an onerous request; and like other requests of use of public lands it should take years and years of inquiry and investigation with a cost hopefully in the millions of dollars.

If this scenario doesn’t happen, if there aren’t lawsuits, if there aren’t challenges to any and every EIS study and if this request isn’t ultimately defeated, then it may be time to re-evaluate why other requests for use of our public lands should be treated differently. It’s going to be interesting to see this story unfold.

—Mark Agather, Kalispell

Hey Alexa

Amazon’s Alexa will be the greatest Trojan horse in history.

Parents are carrying it right through the front door. It already functions like a Fascist censor indoctrinating their children. Now it will also track your kids through facial recognition. It will follow them around the house video-recording them. Oh, for home movies? Not quite. Amazon will receive the information and sell it to the highest bidders.

Gee, guess who would like to watch your children in the ‘privacy’ of their home? American parents are truly the “useful idiots” of today.

— Roger Dwyer, Punta Gorda

Money isn’t the issue

In reference to the article in which Assistant Superintendent Callie Langohr says: “What we have done as a school district this year is we have said it’s been awhile since we’ve put our energies behind math.” (Or, our energies behind education)? She says nearly half of the students are not proficient in math. I think the school district has been expending their energies on passing levy requests, and not on education. PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) says the average score on math, science and reading for 15-year-olds in the U.S. in 2016 ranked us at No. 31 in the world. Remember Viet Nam, the country we were going to bomb back to the stone age until we found out they were already in the stone age? Their students ranked nine countries ahead of us at number 22 in the world, and it sounds like we are getting worse. I wish the 70 percent or so of the property taxpayers who are too lazy to vote on mill levy requests would vote. (The other 30 percent or so are probably mostly teachers and administrators).

More money is obviously NOT making our kids smarter.

— Colin Johnson, Kalispell

Thank you for asking for clarification

This is in response to William Ball’s letter regarding the Glacier High School’s marching band new-to-them uniforms. The tone of his letter insinuates the hard-working, talented children of Glacier High’s band received leftovers and the uniforms do indeed look like hand-me-downs.

To clarify, Mr. Barr, the dedicated music teacher at Glacier High searched far and wide for handsome uniforms at the best price possible. A dedicated group of parents provided free labor to alter and mend the uniforms as needed. To clarify, Glacier High did not “[dig] down to the bottom of the poke to buy used hand-me-down” uniforms. Mr. Barr, and the school administration were fiscally responsible with the public’s tax dollars to continue to do what Glacier High does best: support our children’s gifts and talents. Thank you for asking for clarification.

—Gretchen Brown, Kalispell

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