Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Letters to the editor June 19

| June 19, 2021 12:00 AM

Support Stone-Manning

Little known fact about Tracy Stone-Manning, the nominee for director of the Bureau of Land Management: In the 1980s through the 1990s, Missoula was known as the noxious weed capital of Montana. The county weed district was withdrawn and discouraged by a lack of public support and budget for weed management.

I was one of the founding directors of a nonprofit called Citizens for a Weed Free Future that incorporated in 1999 to turn that around. Our first project was to develop a mil levy proposal that would triple the county weed management budget and show public support for weed management. Everyone said it could not be done, but we forged forward.

When Tracy heard about it she called me and said to count her in and that she would help in any way she could. Throughout the campaign she provided critical support and advice on how to explain the mil levy to the public and help it pass, which, to everyone’s surprise was passed by voters in June 2000. Today Missoula County has the most comprehensive weed management program in the state. I doubt that we could have passed it without her helpful advice.

So any rancher, logger, farmer, city or rural dweller, and especially politician, who supports weed management should also support Tracy as director of the BLM. A vote against her nomination is a vote against noxious weed control.

—Andy Kulla, Florence

Who’s the real threat?

Representative Rosendale needs to stop smoking his dope. In his recent letter he worried about left-wingers taking over the military.

I guess he spaced out the fact that retired General Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s crooked loyalists, said that a military coup might be a good idea. He ignored the fact that 48 of the 400 identified rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 are active or former military members. These people once pledged to support and defend the Constitution and yet now practice sedition.

Rosendale made the same pledge when he entered Congress. But he and most of his Republican colleagues refused to certify the recent election. When asked to investigate the extremists’ storming of the Capitol, he also refused. So who’s the extremist here? Who’s the real threat to the Constitution? Rosendale or his imaginary, horrible, terrible, frightening, terrifying (and non-existent) leftist goblins?

I stopped believing in ghosts when I was 6. But I guess I still need to check the shadows for the likes of Representative Rosendale and his friends.

— Jim Rougle, Kalispell

Public education

Critical race theory and the 1619 project seem like subjects way too complex to teach kids in elementary school. The controversy on both rages on and the popular consensus among parents and now several states is that it’s harmful and shouldn’t be taught.

In reading Elsie Arntzen’s calm and informative assessment (May 20) of what’s happening in our schools across the nation, and then reading Denise Juneau’s criticism of Arntzen’s piece (May 22), I saw a disturbing difference. Unlike Arntzen’s article with quotes and news from many parts of the country leading her to condemn the 1619 project and the critical race theory, Juneau’s piece reeked of racism and hate for whites and founding fathers.

Arntzen quoted Sen. Tim Scott “A hundred years ago kids were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic — and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior.” The keyword here is “taught.” Who taught them that? Public school did. Whole generations were taught that evolution was a fact and that whites were top of the heap and dark skins were at the bottom and even sub-human. Anyone who grew up in the 20th century was indoctrinated with this “fact.” Now students are again being taught that skin color separates them into opposing groups.

My point is: If schools teach the mythical evolution narrative which is inherently racist, and they do, the racial divide educators seek to eliminate will always be with us. Teach how society was influenced by evolutionary thought for hundreds of years and then Darwin’s book fanned the flames. Racism, eugenics, and genocide became the new worldview. The atrocities of the last centuries should be taught, tempered with teaching the historical underlying influence, not excuse, of this junk science hypothesis with not a single bit of supporting evidence.

—Gary Goers, Kalispell

Bargaining power

The nurses were striking for more reasonable working conditions for themselves and safe conditions for the patients. A significant majority of nurses voted to join SEIU because they had been mistreated by management for a very long time. Nurses have paid the price of management’s financial mistakes through layoffs, understaffing and inadequate pay raises and compensation.

When Craig Lambrecht took over as CEO of KRH after the hospital was mired in a lawsuit, and a $24 million settlement, he said he took the job because he saw “the commitment of the employees.” He went on the say “We want this to be the best place to work...We need to be that employer of choice for the region and we need to be the ultimate community partner...”. He has not lived up to this statement.

Nurses have unionized under his tenure because of poor working conditions and low salary. The nurses have not had a wage increase since 2017. They are asking to be paid a competitive wage, equal to the top five hospitals in the state. They are hoping to settle this without a strike.

Corporations used to take responsibility for their communities. Now it seems that they only value the shareholders. Help give nurses union bargaining power to balance corporate power.

—Susan Cahill and Steve Martinez, Kalispell