Letters to the editor May 19

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Nurses bring light in ultimate darkness

My name is Brendan Martin, I am 17 years old, and I was diagnosed with stage 2b cancer in January.

As one could imagine, going from college classes to being in a hospital for days on end and injected with horrendous chemicals was quite a shift in lifestyle. However, when I remember my time in the hospital, it is always of the amazing treatment I received from my nurses.

On my first day in, my oncologist gave me a Nerf gun, telling me that if I were to be stuck where I was, that I might as well have fun with it. This started an adventure that I will cherish forever. I can’t remember a time when my nurses weren’t open to a good laugh, no matter what was happening in the rooms around me. They drank coffee in my room, shared stories and told jokes, all to brighten up my day. It was a light in the ultimate darkness.

For one to say they enjoyed the majority of their cancer treatment is an anomaly to say the least. If it weren’t for the amazing care of my oncology nurses, both on the oncology floor and at The Rock, my memories of treatment would be much, much worse. These nurses displayed a level of unwavering discipline, professionalism, loyalty and kindness that I have never experienced at any other hospital in America.

I am proud to call the oncology nurses of Kalispell Regional Healthcare my caretakers, my urine-pitcher emptiers, and my friends. They will never receive the recognition they deserve, because if they did it would be written in the sky itself. But I hope this letter, read by someone who cares, would be enough for now. So thank you, nurses, for all you have done. I promise we will never forget you.

—Brendan Martin, Kalispell

Republican scorecards

I read with interest the letter from Bob Brown, former Montana senator and secretary of state. He spoke against the Republican scorecard Legistats, bemoaning that they are not “issue-oriented” but are based on crowd mentality.

I looked into Legistats further and found that they grade Republicans based on vote-related loyalty to the Republican Party. For instance, if they vote with the Republican Party platform most of the time, they score an A; if they vote with the Democrat Party platform most of the time, they score an F. Although I am not a great fan of either major party and am a constitutionalist, I can see how a Republican legislator could score a B or C with Legistats and still be a small-government constitutionalist.

However, if a legislator scores an F with Legistats, it simply means they are voting with the big-government Democrats most of the time. Such individuals are not open-minded but are fraudulent — Democrats can count on them to swing partisan votes. These legislators run as Republicans in Republican districts only because they cannot win as what they truly are: Government-growing Democrats.

The list is long of Republicans who got Fs with Legistats: Nine in the Senate and 18 in the House. Fraudulent local legislators include Frank Garner (Kalispell) and Daniel Salomon (Polson).

Bob Brown suggests that Legistats should be curtailed during the legislative session by closing the Legislature’s open electronic voting boards, which would control output of truth. In doing so, Bob Brown proposes a way to increase fraud by curtailing transparency and free speech.

Bob Brown, you have loudly revealed yourself as being a part of the problem: An overt promoter of fraud, increased taxes and government regulation.

—Julie Dockery, Kalispell

Trump Extinction Plan

The Trump administration is finalizing regulations to dramatically weaken the Endangered Species Act, which could bring an end to the law that has kept some of our most iconic species from disappearing. Since President Nixon signed the law in 1973, hundreds of species have been saved from disappearing forever, including our national symbol – the bald eagle, as well as grizzly bears and the gray wolf. The ESA is a law with a 99 percent success record.

But the Trump Extinction Plan weakens endangered species protections by making it harder to protect species listed as threatened, delaying lifesaving action until a species’ population is so small it may be impossible to save. These new rules also exempt climate change from key parts of the law, making it more difficult to protect the species like the wolverine and others that are impacted by the effects of climate change. Finally, the new rules make it easier for companies to build roads, pipelines, mines, and other industrial projects in areas of critical habitat that are essential to imperiled species’ survival.

The Trump Extinction Plan was drafted by the former and current Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt, both of whom are tied to the oil and gas lobby and being investigated for ethics violations.

Please contact Senators Tester and Daines and urge them to overturn the Trump Endangered Species rules. We owe it to future generations of Montanans to protect fish, plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction, and the special places they call home.

—Maureen Edwards, Polson

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