Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Letters to the editor Jan. 1

| January 1, 2022 12:00 AM

Bears and recycling

I am concerned about the latest proposal for bear-resistant trash and recycling containers for all Whitefish households, which will almost double our current trash fees per household. Why should those of us who respect the trash rules by keeping our bins secured in the garage be penalized because of those who do not? For single households that don’t have a garage, they should be supplied a bear-proof container by the city.

The city of Whitefish could also be more proactive in response to trash bin complaints before taking the extreme step of universal bear-proof trash and recycling bins. Moreover, the city and local newspapers/magazines should actively and consistently focus on educating newcomers and tourists about safe trash practices in bear country.

Granted, the large round, dumpster-style bins in alleyways throughout downtown and surrounding residential alleyways should absolutely be replaced with bear-proof bins as they are so flimsy that bears can and do knock them over regularly. The city should also consider bear-proof trash bins to replace the smaller, decorative open trash cans downtown.

However, I strongly disagree with replacing all residential containers because of those who cannot take personal responsibility.

As far as recycling is concerned, forcing every resident to foot the bill for recycling containers is a poor option.

I would think that with the huge influx of newcomers and tourists into our city, and the tax revenue that follows, our city should be able to orchestrate a workable solution that won’t financially burden our year-round residents unduly. We aren’t all made of money. Many of us work hard to support our families.

— Carolanne Wright, Whitefish

Racicot’s legacy

Before recent homage to Libby stalwart and former Governor Marc Racicot gets out of hand, Montanans might wish to recall that although during his first term Montana turned a $200 million deficit into a $23 million surplus and reduced taxes, his second term featured the energy sector deregulation debacle of 1997.

Freed from public oversight, Montana Power quickly sold its generating facilities to Pennsylvania Power and its lines to Northwestern Energy of South Dakota. Subsequent Montana electricity rates, previously among the lowest in the nation, skyrocketed.

Montana Power then promptly used the sales proceeds to become fiber optic telecommunication Touch America Holdings, only to declare bankruptcy in 2003. Thousands of Montanans facing crushing electric bills now saw pension income vanish overnight and retirement nest eggs gutted as share value plummeted from $65 to 25 cents. Few were surprised by the depression, alcoholism, spouse abuse and suicides.

Following his second term in 2001, Racicot left Montana to lobby for insurance companies.

— Andy Palchak, Kalispell

Kim Potter trial

I have to submit a letter for the injustice that has occurred to Kim Potter in her recent trial.

If Mr. Wright wouldn’t have tried to escape, none of this would have happened. Potter made a grave mistake, she had no intention of killing this person that was trying to escape.

A bunch of idiots setting on a jury found her guilty. Where is the justice in this. If police are gong to arrest you, they have a reason. If you are not that smart and in hand cuffs to try to escape after trying to evade them and expect them to make split second decision between life and death, they are human. Could you make that decision in a split second?

— Craig Paul, Kalispell