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Letters to the editor April 24

| April 24, 2021 12:00 AM

New nurse program

This letter is in a clarification of my letter to the editor published March 7, entitled “Hospital Mismanagement Continues.”

Some people have suggested that my comments were against new grad nurses. I want to state emphatically that nothing could be further from the truth. I have consistently found that the nurses in, and coming out of, the new grad program come from the top of their class, are well-educated, well-trained, dedicated, capable, compassionate and are the future of health care. They are an essential part of the hospital team.

My letter was addressing the continued policies of the hospital administration that have resulted in extremely high levels of turnover resulting in the loss of many of our more experienced staff. One of the best ways to advocate for newer nurses is to make sure that they have plenty of role models and mentors available to provide the support they need as they gain experience.

My hope is that the administration can embrace policies that will work to retain all of our nurses, old and new, and that the culture we promote at the hospital is one where we care for one another as well as for the patients.

—Carol Mitch, Kalispell

Responsibility to get vaccinated

As faith leaders in Montana, we encourage you to receive the COVID vaccination if you are able. We believe we have a personal responsibility to get vaccinated as good stewards of God’s creation — our bodies. We believe we should get vaccinated out of love for our neighbors who may be physically vulnerable and not able to withstand the side effects of COVID-19. We believe we have a responsibility to get vaccinated to actively collaborate with our community to preserve life. We invite people of faith to join us as we express our care for ourselves and one another.

— Rev. Deborah Christine, Montana East District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church, Billings; Bishop Laurie Jungling, Montana Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Great Falls; Rt. Rev. Stebbins, Episcopal Bishop of Montana, Helena; Rev. Dr. Marc Ian Stewart, Conference Minister United Church of Christ, Billings; Student Rabbi Uriarte, Union for Reform Judaism, Billings

Eating crow

Fried, boiled, baked, fricasseed, or slow cooked, no matter how you cook it is still crow, and I have been eating my share of it because of a serious error in my article on voting restrictions called “Rainy Night in Georgia.”

In that article I stated that people who did not have a picture ID to prove their identity when voting would have to get an official Montana ID card as proof before they could vote. Because that card costs $16.48 I likened it to having to pay a poll tax. I completely ignored the fact that supplying the last four digits of a Social Security number would also be accepted as proof of identification. Since a Social Security card costs nothing to obtain, my argument about a poll tax falls flat on my pile of discarded crow bones and feathers.

I did not mention the Social Security card because my research was sloppy and I was not aware of it. It was not done in malice, and I apologize to the citizens of Montana and especially to Montana’s stalwart election administrators for saying something that was not true.

—Jim Elliott, Trout Creek

Open letter to Tester

President Biden is working on destroying the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution. The health crisis and national security crisis is totally out of hand at the southern border of the United States. Kamala Harris refuses to even acknowledge the crisis at the border and even ignores requests from the governor of Texas and the attorney general of Arizona for her to “come to the border and observe in person what is going on.”

The Biden Administration is in the process of spending the citizens of the U.S. into poverty and imposing tax increases that will not ever cover the increases in the national Debt in our grandchildren’s lifetime. We, as citizens of Montana, are experiencing increases in taxes and increases in cost of living such as 50% rise in the cost of gas, hidden costs such as costs of utilities, decreased protection from law enforcement, increases in crime rates, and increased serious issues of drug related offenses.

It is past time for you to make demands to your colleagues for effective resolutions to all of these issues. It is imperative that you launch a program that will get our government back on track. A personal response would be greatly appreciated.

—James Malone, Kalispell