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Letters to the editor July 17

| July 17, 2021 12:00 AM

Trophy state

I would like to thank Kathryn Berg for her commentary in Sunday’s paper. She eloquently expressed what so many of us who have called Montana “home” for years, are feeling.

Montana has become the new “trophy address” (remember “trophy wives”?). We are now just a status symbol and our invasive species bring with them their bad habits — habits that have created the toxic places they have fled.

—Priscilla Life, Bigfork

Preaching to the choir?

Enormous thanks to Kathryn Berg for her letter in Sunday’s paper (Montana is different, and we like it that way).

I’ve been ruminating on how to put together my feelings into words for a letter about events taking place locally. Kathryn could not have said it better. So much thanks to her.

My conundrum is, who are the people reading this? Is Kathryn singing to the choir? Are those offenders even taking the time to read about “us”?

Sadly, I think not. Let’s continue taking the high road is all I can think of.

—Vera Smith, Kalispell

This is Montana

To all who have moved here from far and wide:

First, we Montanans are nothing like the people where you come from. We are good stewards of our people, of our communities, good stewards of our neighbors, of our land, of our environment, of our wildlife, of the people we serve, and those that serve us.

We use words like “yes, sir,” “yes, ma’am,” “please” and thank you. We are not impatient or pushy or rude; we are not into instant gratification or 24-hour food delivery. We are not loud. This is a peaceful quiet place.

We don’t throw trash from our car windows or cigarette butts on the ground. You pack it in, you pack it out. You don’t leave your trash in the woods or throw it in the river. You do things that will harm us and our environment, you don’t have respect for the things we have fought for to make Montana what it is. If you don’t want to be a steward of this land and our people and our environment, then please go back to the place where it’s OK to trash it.

This our home; a place where there’s more cows than people. To me that says it all. That’s who we are. We are humbled by the vast beauty of this place and grateful to be a part of it. You should aspire to be these things. It’s the right thing to do. If you want acceptance here you must earn it by being a part of something bigger than yourself. That’s Montana.

—Marilyn Choice, Polson

Public part of public health

The purpose of Dr. Bukacek’s letter of June 14 criticizing the CDC’s vaccine side-effect reporting system (VAERS) seems unclear. If to once again proclaim her distrust of vaccination, one need only go to her website to find her tortuous video on the topic. She claims many of her patients had “miserable side effects” which aren’t listed in VAERS without providing percentages or defining miserable.

I agree with her urging patients to report side effects after vaccination to their health care provider. However, if, as a member of the board of health, she had come inside one of their COVID vaccination clinics, as I did as a volunteer monitor for five months (rather than stand outside intimidating parents not to get their 16-18 year old children vaccinated), she would know that all vaccinees are provided information on a specific COVID-19 CDC reporting program called V-safe which provides both a QR code for a smartphone sign-up and a web address so patients can report their own symptoms. The system even provides text messages requesting such reports. Even so, the first month of vaccination nationally only saw a 10% participation rate.

While I don’t believe Bukacek should be on a board of health, should she wish to remain, she should educate herself on the public part of public health. Her emphasis to her patients of the dangers of vaccination as their physician is her choice and right. But as the face of public health in Flathead County, she ignores the overwhelming benefits of vaccination to the great detriment of the public’s health which she was entrusted to protect, especially in a pandemic.

Her presence on the board is like having a bureaucrat who has never taken care of a patient and who funded Gain of Function research lead the pandemic response. Whoops!

—David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls