Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Letters to the editor Sept. 9

| September 9, 2021 12:00 AM

Red Bridge Park access

Our family is still relatively new to Columbia Falls (settling here four years ago) but we’ve learned a little about past servants who have fought for our right to have access to the Flathead River and all the enjoyment it brings. So it’s very sad to hear that Mark and Inge Cahill are requesting that the city close the Red Bridge Park (formerly known as the Kreck Riverside Park).

Dr. Loren Kreck, whom we never meet, but is well known to our best friends, previously owned this property and in fact he donated an easement to allow the public to better enjoy this unique setting. Though he could have thinned trees to improve his personal view of the river, Loren would rather this beautiful setting remain more natural. Beyond his dentistry practice, Loren was instrumental in helping establish the Jewel Basin hiking area and the Great Bear Wilderness. Loren fully experienced the outdoors through hiking, skiing and floating rivers right up to his death at age 89. Loren loved the river, public access and the City of Columbia Falls.

Our family lives just west of the subject property off Talbot Road and we regularly bike and/or hike to the bridge. Rarely have we experienced misconduct or vandalism, though the regrettable loss of the apartment complex has left the corner less occupied. Ideally, the red bridge should be refurbished as a hiking/biking trail with the county and with increased use the above stated problems should disappear.

I’m not an attorney but what’s a nuisance to me are property owners who knowingly buy land in a highly popular and public areas and then demand their closure to the public. Dr. Kreck was a steward of this land, not an accumulator. I pray the city saves the park and encourages continued public access.

—Patrick Malone, Columbia Falls

Union dues

I would suggest that probably Mr. Mix (This Labor Day, don’t forget the injustice of forced union dues, Sept. 5) has never worked in a place where the employer essentially treated the workers as little more than indentured servants. Yes, required union dues seem onerous, at the same time so are low wages and poor working conditions.

Union dues pay for the sometimes long and difficult hours spent negotiating and protecting the working conditions as well as seeking higher pay.

Mr. Mix fails to mention all the benefits that have come to almost all workers as a result of unions.

—David LeBleu, Kalispell

I am angry

At 74, I am no stranger to death. Personally, I have buried my mother and father, sister, my brother at age 26 and my oldest son of three children at 27. Professionally, as a cardiac surgeon, I have occasionally had to tell family members of the death of a loved one. I have shed tears.

I watched Tucker Carlson last night (which I rarely do now that he has adopted an antivaccine stance, cherry picking “scientists” who support his view) interview the father of one of our 13 warriors murdered by a terrorist in Afghanistan. The father, a large man dressed in an American flag shirt, bravely told of his son while a video of the young lad interacting with a young Afghan child was shown. Only at the very end did the father break down.

As I sat on my sofa crying, Carlson had difficulty continuing as did Britt Hume, the seasoned reporter Carlson was supposed to interview who, as I, had lost a son and deeply felt the father’s pain as did I.

I am angry! Will those who set the stage for this tragedy (13 dead and 20 wounded Americans and hundreds of Afghanis) pay a price? Will anyone be fired? Resign? Did any military leader resign in protest to a plan that involved removing all our soldiers before any civilians and trusting terrorists to provide a safe evacuation? Or were they too busy searching out white supremacy in the ranks? The blood at that airport gate showed no trace of skin color!

Will those same military leaders and politicians appear at Dover to show respect for those 13 flag draped coffins or will Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer take a knee, as they have in the past.

I am angry!

— David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

Hold them accountable

Having just completed 20 years with the U.S. Army, I have personally overseen the dishonorable discharges of five soldiers. These discharges ranged from bar fights to gross incompetence of equipment accountability. My last investigation was of a soldier who carelessly ran over and destroyed his weapon. The cost to the U.S. government was $1,500 for which the soldier was punished and forced to pay for.

In Afghanistan, we witnessed incompetent high level military leaders lose $83 billion in weapons, ammunition,and equipment to the Taliban. Will President Biden hold anyone accountable for losing $83 billion like I did to that young soldier for losing $1,500?

If the buck really stops with President Biden, then he needs to make examples of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, NATO Commander of Afghanistan Austin Miller, and U.S. Central Command Commander Kenneth McKenzie.

The killing of Bin Laden in 2011 was the perfect opportunity to exit Afghanistan. Yet we stayed until Trump came along and forced the Pentagon to wind down the war. Perhaps Biden is afraid to confront the Pentagon and hold them accountable.

—Jason Rifkin, Missoula