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Letters to the editor March 8

| March 8, 2021 12:00 AM

Nuclear energy: State of fear

The authors of “Keep the Public Vote on Nuclear Energy” may be correct on one’s right to have a say in Montana public policy, but use of last century nuclear science/engineering and disasters is a regrettable scare tactic.

Modern nuclear reactors are footprint small, can be grouped, and use recyclable water and nuclear fuel. They don’t produce greenhouse gases, waste heat requiring large bodies of water, or kill large numbers of bats and birds. They have a long lifespan, unlike solar panels and wind turbines, which are currently not recyclable.

Small modular reactors can be sited where the greatest needs exist (manufacturing and population centers), not where the sun shines (or doesn’t) or where the wind blows (or doesn’t). Unlike our current grid mess, they can be grouped and guarded against terrorists, anarchists and radicals. They don’t require drilling, fracking, gas “waste” burn-off, or refineries. They aren’t vulnerable to weather swings, like the one that is devastating Texas.

The Three Mile Island incident may well have been the result of sabotage, occurring 12 days after the Jane Fonda nuclear disaster film, “The China Syndrome.” Chernobyl was predictable given Russian disregard for safety, maintenance or the environment. Fukushima was an old design reactor, sited on one of the world’s most seismically active coastlines. Those three highly publicized events pale to insignificance compared to the numerous dam failures which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of total deaths.

Like it or not, nuclear energy is the cleanest option for the large scale electrical needs of a 9 billion population (and growing) world where everyone has access to clean water, food, clothing, shelter, personal security and health care.

HB 273 deserves thoughtful discussion, not scare tactics based on outdated information.

—Dan Diamond, Columbia Falls

Won’t be joining walkout

Students in School District 5 are planning their walkout March 8, at 2:20 p.m., because they are against our schools keeping the mask mandate. Meanwhile, I will stay inside the building, wearing my mask, and getting my education.

I wear my mask for my loved ones with compromised immune systems. I wear my mask for the safety of others who have loved ones with compromised immune systems. I wear my mask for the 518,000+ deaths due to Coronavirus just in the U.S. I wear my mask for the common courtesy of others. I wear my mask, because it is one of the precautions I, a sophomore in high school, am able to take to stop the spread.

Our nation has experienced great loss, and we the people are focused on protesting a cloth mask rather than what truly matters, the unity of our country once again. If you are selfish enough to stand outside a school with signs, your fists in the air, over a face mask, your privilege is showing. Families are mourning over the loss of their loved ones, dead bodies are being tossed around like dolls, but wearing a mask is your topic of choice?

We are blessed to go to school in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and if wearing a mask is what it takes to keep a sense of normal, I will continue to wear it. I want to do the activities I love, spend time with my friends, continue face to face learning, and experience the rest of my high school career. Wear a mask.

—Bella AuClaire, Kalispell

Second thoughts

Perhaps we all might think more carefully before we vote for a candidate we don’t really know, simply because they have an R or a D after their name on the ballot.

20-year-old Braxton Mitchell is the newly elected state representative for House District 3, representing Columbia Falls, the Canyon, and up to Essex. Not long after far-right rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol in January, Mitchell introduced a resolution to designate antifa a domestic terrorist organization.

After Mitchell introduced his resolution Feb. 16, most of the bill’s Republican co-sponsors removed their names from the measure. “He misbehaved. He got a little out of control in committee and I think most of the co-sponsors pulled out then,” Republican Rep. Larry Brewster, was quoted as saying. “I suspect the co-sponsors pulled out as a way to censure him.”

Since the bill requires law enforcement to enforce it, a representative asked Mitchell whether he had consulted with law enforcement on the bill — he had not. Another questioned why Mitchell had claimed in his opening remarks that the bill was bipartisan, when no Democrats had signed onto it

“I was making a joke on the bill,” Mitchell replied. But not even his Republican peers were laughing.

“Representative, we don’t necessarily think that this is a joking matter,” the committee’s Republican chair replied. “This is a House bill being brought before our committee on behalf of the citizens of Montana.”

So far, 32 of those Republican peers have pulled their sponsorship from the bill. Others said they’d consider supporting the bill if it were extended to include other groups. Mitchell appeared adamant that the legislation only address antifa.

“This bill is specific to one group and the intent is to keep it that way,” Mitchell said in committee. The Republican chairman responded: “So what you’re saying is you are not willing to host amendments,”

Mitchell said, “Mr. Chair, if I could...”

“No, you can’t,” said the chairman.

Debo Powers was Mitchell’s opponent in the November elections. If she runs again in 2022, we might want to ignore the R or D after a name, and consider sending a retired distinguished career educator with no ax to grind to replace an inexperienced, disrespectful freshman legislator.

—Gil Jordan, Coram

Re-elect Downen

The Flathead Electric Board of Director elections are important if you are concerned about the future of renewable energy and keeping our electric costs low. We all must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

That is why I am supporting Jay Downen, who is committed to meeting our future energy needs in a responsible manner and deserves to be re-elected to the FEC Board.

—Jan Metzmaker, Whitefish

Support our nurses

The bargaining staffing and salary proposals of frontline nurses at Kalispell Regional Healthcare (Logan Health) are reasonable and critically necessary to seriously support both our community’s essential nurses and the care they provide to us.

The nurses formed a union in order to have a stronger voice in how staffing decisions are made for bedside care, transparency in wages and respect. Prior to KRMC restructuring in 2019, the staffing model was similar to what the nurses are proposing.

As a retired nurse, I know first hand the value of a charge RN who can lend a hand resulting in excellent patient care and staff retention as nurses feel backed up. This improvement increases the likelihood of better discharge planning and teaching for home care. Fall rates and infection rates were less with charge nurses. Safe staffing levels are priceless!

The Logan Health management wage scale offered falls short of what hospitals in Billings, Helena, Bozeman and Missoula offer. If Logan Health is truly invested in nurses and its community, the wages and benefits need to be at least commensurate with similar regional hospitals in Montana.

Nurses also need to have their voices heard in a nurse staffing committee, as a respected part of management. As a community, I encourage all of us to make our voices heard to Logan Health management.

Logan Health must do the right thing by their employees and patients.

—Margie Strainer, Kalispell

Beginning of the end

For over a century the clouds of communism and fascism have been slowly accumulating over America. On Jan. 20, 2021 they all came together and descended on this great country

In the past, tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin and Hitler came to power and maintained it by infiltrating and then monopolizing the news and social media and the education system. Then through lies and deceit they demonize those who do not share their sick ideas, make them dependent on the governing power and destroy their self worth.

The socomm (socialist/communist) masters preach that our countries past was evil and only succeeded by preying on others, that our history must be buried and replaced with the socomm manifesto, the edit and censor our everyday speech and activities must be enforced.

Dissidents will be silenced, jailed, placed in reprogramming gulags or will simply vanish, after they disarm the citizen population.

This new regime has already made it as to what they have planned for us and I truly believe that it may take divine intervention to save the America that we love and cherish..

Unless things change very soon, Jan. 20, 2021 could well be the beginning of the end of the last bastion of freedom in todays world.

God bless America and God save America, our country is in distress

—Martin R. Tetachuk, Lakeside