Letters to the ediitor April 29

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Thankful for our firefighters

We here at the Blue and White Motel would like to thank all the firefighters who came to our rescue when we had a fire on March 3. We are very grateful for all the hard work that they have done to help put out the fire. We appreciate the timely manner that they came to help us. We are very grateful for the kindness that they showed our guest in their time of need.

We also like to thank the guests who had to be evacuated from the rooms. They were most corporative and helpful. Though greatly inconvenienced. We would like to thank Ron, one of our guests, and a special firefighter who cared for a very fragile and sick guest. The firefighter made sure that this guest who did not want to be evacuated from his room had everything he needed to make him comfortable, from special lighting to heat in his room. As always, Flathead firefighters displayed professionalism, calm and a firm expertise. To all the great men and women, we thank you. You are in our prayers and will always be in our thoughts. God bless you all.

—Blue and White Motel management

Support West Valley School levy

As longtime teachers at West Valley School we’re asking for your support of the general fund levy being voted on by our West Valley community.

When we started our West Valley School careers back in 1987 our school had one and a half classes per grade and approximately 175 kids. We now have at least three classes per grade and next year kindergarten through third grade will have four classes each. Our student population is currently 663 and 700 is just around the corner.

Even with this growth the school has managed to maintain good classroom sizes, evolved our curriculum, maintained our building, and provided a facility for our community. This has been done with careful budgeting and by living within our means.

But now we need to ask for help from our community. Growth and inflation have outpaced the funding we receive and additional revenue is needed. The proposed levy is key to our ability to continue to provide an excellent education for our kids.

This levy will allow $40,000 of yearly technology funding. We will be able to provide more computers for kids, refresh existing computers, update classroom projectors and displays plus have a reliable budget for responsible long-term planning.

Technology is just one area of need that the levy would enrich. Continued curriculum growth, teacher training, and school equipment (desk, chairs, etc.) are other educational services that will be supported.

We’re very proud to be a part of the West Valley community and deeply appreciate all the support the our community has provided over the years to enrich the lives of our kids. It’s our hope that our citizens will continue this legacy of support by voting yes on the levy request. It will be money well spent.

—Mark and Renell Wilson, Kalispell

Millennial working remotely from Montana

As a millennial, my career path hasn’t followed a traditional model. I currently have two jobs, I work from home doing court transcripts, and I also work remotely for a public relations company. These jobs depend on reliable, high-speed broadband internet access.

I am not alone in being a telecommuter in Montana. In late 2015, the employment website Flexjobs.com found that Montana ranks No. 1 among all states in the percentage of workers who telecommute.

Telecommuters are an incredibly positive influence on Montana’s communities. Workers earning wages from outside the region or state create a ripple effect on local economies as they spend their incomes at local stores, restaurants and services. Every day, workers like me and our communities benefit from these new outposts on the information superhighway.

Unfortunately, only 44.6% of Montanans are served by hard-wired internet connections that are considered broadband speeds. We must do better.

That is why I urge Governor Bullock to sign SB 239 into law. This legislation will provide incentives to companies to build more fiber broadband infrastructure in Montana.

— Aly Russell, Livingston

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