Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Letters to the editor Oct. 11

| October 11, 2021 12:00 AM

Just say no

Whitefish does not have to become a gaudy, grandiose tourist town like Bend, Banff, Vail, Jackson Hole, and so many others. It could still be a gracious, friendly community where real people live, know their neighbors and support their local events and institutions. The City Council does not have to grant permission, variants, rezonings, etc. to every real estate tycoon who wants to develop the Whitefish tourist industry.

A large hotel downtown is so inappropriate for a small town that is already congested and bursting with visitors in summer and winter. Residents currently avoid going into town because of heavy traffic, long lines at restaurants and crowded sidewalks. This will only get worse. Changes that will further expand Baker and Spokane avenues are inevitable. After all the work to enhance Depot Park as a relaxed, safe, family-friendly open space, allowing a four-story glitzy mall/hotel to intrude nearby makes no sense.

The mega development proposed for Big Mountain and Lakeshore Drive is beyond comprehension. This will place a huge burden on the water quality of Whitefish Lake. It will paralyze traffic flow along Wisconsin Avenue and its tributaries, which will in turn change quiet residential streets of north Whitefish into busy thoroughfares like Baker Avenue - this process is already beginning. It will also add tremendously to the congestion of downtown Whitefish. Rezoning parts of this area to commercial status will invite unwelcome development in a currently residential community — more gas stations, anyone?

All this proposed building, and none of it is for low-income housing that will allow young families and workers to live in Whitefish.

It may be difficult to say no to the pressures of big real estate, but it is possible. Do we want a healthy community, or a healthy tourist mall?

—Lynne Metcalfe, Whitefish

Professional bias

The letter on Oct. 7 from Paul Bradford (Alliance seems more interested in obstruction than collaboration) glaringly shows professional bias after his 36 years working with the Forest Service.

His completely uninformed comments about the Alliance for the Wild Rockies making money from EAJA awards for successful lawsuits is so off the mark as to make me think he must know better but chose to lie, and that undermines his credibility on the rest of his comments. EAJA awards go to the lawyers, not the plaintiffs.

Winning a lawsuit against the Forest Service in federal court means the Forest Service broke the law and the lawsuit was not frivolous..

Protecting endangered species, water quality and old growth forests is not “fly-specking” to anyone truly caring about forests rather than cranking out timber sales, as Mr. Bradford did on the extremely over-logged Kootenai Forest.

Yes, Alliance for the Wild Rockies needs to raise money to protect our national forests, while for Mr. Bradford it all paid the same when he went to work hacking at them at taxpayer expense.

—Larry Campbell, Darby

Dahlman for Ward 3

My name is Rene Johnson, charge nurse of Logan Health, for the last 11 years. I am also a friend of Jessica Dahlman, an RN who is running for Kalispell City Council member in Ward 3.

I have had the honor of being a fellow nurse, friend and equivalent to Jessica since 2017. I am humbled to be able to write this letter in support of Jessica as she ventures into bringing new visions and hope to our beautiful city of Kalispell.

Jessica has always presented herself whether at work or professionally with an honest, open, straight forward compassionate caring frame of mind. We have worked together in many nursing situations that she has shown level headedness and prepared experience. She puts her heart and soul into her job as a nurse being flexible and professional. Jessica is admired by her fellow nurses for her consistency and “right thing at all times” attitude. These quotes are from her coworkers: “Greets each and every person that she comes into contact with eye contact and a smile.” “I respect her immensely; most consistent, hardworking nurse we have; works to mesh the department so it will work together smoothly.”

Jessica has been a huge driving force behind the union movement of our hospital. I admire her following words and ideas with action. She has spent time in her community going door to door reaching out to as many neighbors as she can. Jessica hopes to “not sit still in this position and has a vision to bring people together”. I believe that her personal values and political values are in sync with how she presents herself. Please take this opportunity to get to know Jessica and vote Jessica Dahlman for City Council member Ward 3.

—Rene Johnson, Columbia Falls