Thursday, January 21, 2021

Letters to the editor May 14

| May 14, 2020 1:00 AM

“Health board member resigns amid Bukacek controversy” (Inter Lake, May 9). I find it hard to believe that we can’t find someone, willing to serve on the board that is capable of working with others who may have a different opinion on an issue. To resign because you feel you cannot in good conscience serve with someone you disagree with, sounds to me a little like the child who says “if I can’t be pitcher, I’m taking my ball and going home.” If we act like this, what kind of an example are we setting for our children?

Would not a better course of action be to stay on the board, argue your position with facts, stand up for your beliefs and be part of the decision making process?

I hope that the county commissioners, as they seek to fill this vacant position, will appoint someone who isn’t afraid of different ideas and is willing to work for the benefit of the entire county. To have board members who tell the commissioners to remove someone they disagree with is totally unacceptable. I want a board that considers all sides of an issue, and then makes an informed decision with the best interests of everyone in mind. If the commissioners were to remove a board member for having different opinions, then they should consider changing the sign on the door from health board to “Group Think Board.”

—Rod Gillman, Kila

Who’s watching the store? While I may sympathize with Michael Nicosia not wanting to serve with Annie Bukacek, I’m concerned that with his resignation from the Board of Health he has abdicated his position to further abuse by none other than Commissioner Pam Holmquist who is not only on the Board of Health but is a member of the entity that appoints the Health Board members. Which, is how the reckless and politically driven Dr. Bukacek ended up on the board in the first place.

The fact that Bukacek is also associated with Chuck Baldwin, “Freedom Fighter” and fake pastor of Liberty “Church,” whose “church” is nothing more than a guise to further his political agenda, is even more disturbing and adds to the web of conflict of interest.

Add to that the timeline for submitting candidates and opinions regarding a replacement for Nicosia, which was all of six days, is typical of the commissioners charade of inviting “public opinion.” It demonstrates, once again, that the commissioners have already made up their minds and any “public opinion” is nothing more than a formality.

As Shakespeare would say; “Something is rotten in Denmark”...AND in Kalispell, Montana.

—Kathryn Berg, Bigfork

Lately Dr. Annie Bukacek’s appointment to the Flathead County Board of Health has caused concern for some and I would like to have my say.

Both my wife and I go to her and have found her to render very good care. Why did we pick her you might ask? Well, when my wife’s doctor retired, and he was a longtime very respected doctor here in the valley, and could have picked anyone he without hesitation said her. And also the same happened when my doctor retired who had actually been chief of staff at the hospital at one time and had worked with her.

Now why would anyone care about what someone who has a background in education or what a commissioner who was said to have destroyed government property for his own gain thinks is beyond me. We and a whole lot of others value her care when it comes to our health.

One other thing not pertaining to her, but certainly has to do with our health, it’s been published in this paper at least twice that KRH says they are losing $16 million a month because of the virus. One could logically come to the conclusion then that they were making that much money a month before that. Sounds pretty profitable to an old man like me.

—Glen Hook, Kalispell

As a healthcare professional in our area I was shocked at the “crowd behavior” reopening efforts in our valley.

I was happy to attend the Kalispell farmers market last Saturday. Most vendors were exact regarding restrictions to protect the public. Vendors wore masks, areas were marked with 6-foot boundarie, tents regulated the numbers of buyers allowed to enter, and hand cleaning stations were set up. But the general public were seemingly unaware. Of about 100 shoppers or more, I counted perhaps less than 20 wearing masks and with a clear disregard for distancing.

It appeared this crowd event could be an indication of false hopes we are “immune” simply because we are insulated from the horrible reality of the disease - living in Montana and in a rural area. The general lack of community effort was shocking.

After my second visit to the Saturday farmers market, I witnessed fewer vendors with masks and felt an even greater sense of who cares? Again the majority had a disregard for the guidelines meant to keep us safe.

I imagine our county health department made it clear to all businesses they must follow the standards in order to protect us all in order to open their businesses. I now wonder how and who is ultimately responsible to enforce those guidelines. How do we impress on people to remember the potential risks and possibilty our valley is still at risk? Until widespread testing is available, we are at risk.

I understand the complexity a pandemic and a reopening plan can place on every citizen.

We must all be better at doing our part.

—Maureen Cleary, Whitefish

Thank you to Jerry Reckin for his guest opinion “Public Education is Not a Game” (Intar Lake, May 3). Indeed! Games imply competition, and competition implies at least a level playing field. (Can you imagine a basketball game where one basket was lower than the other. Or a soccer game where one goal was bigger than the other? A football field that was wider or sloped down on one end?)

But our students come to us, as Mr. Reckin says, with a “huge range of abilities, backgrounds and home environments.” Some started piano lessons at age 5 and are reading at a pre-school age because their parents worked with them and gave them every advantage. Others have endured abuse (verbal and physical) from birth, and lived in an environment of anger, drugs and alcohol abuse, often without adequate food and clothing. And most are somewhere in between. Our public schools are tasked with working with them all and helping each student achieve the highest level of which he or she is capable, given the “playing field” that was inherited.

One of the strengths of our society is that we treat all of our (young) citizens in an equitable manner according to their gifts and needs. It is our responsibility as (older) citizens to support this effort by providing pubic schools with what they need to do the job. We need to trust that those workers in our schools are doing the job, without setting up some sort of comparison and competition with other countries which may have completely different or selected “playing fields.”

From my experience and observation we have wonderfully dedicated teachers and administrators who are meeting the needs of our students in amazing ways. Let’s all support them!

—Don Beller, Kalispell