Saturday, May 21, 2022

Letters to the editor May 2

| May 2, 2022 12:00 AM

Learning opportunity

My West Valley School District 1 ballot has arrived, and I have received a post card explaining the need for passing the bond.

The card is difficult read since most of the card is printed in about 6-point font. There was a nice picture on the front, and the labels fall off the bottom of the eye chart. I think it is a picture of a hill. Little green trees at the bottom and a red area that must be above the tree line. Probably symbolizes the uphill battle of getting a bond passed.

Then my eye wandered over to the bright blue lettering “DON’T FORGET TO VOTE BY MAY 31,” which was in a bit larger font. Just when I was thinking I had over a month to get my ballot in, my wife informed me the ballots are due by May 3. Closer inspection revealed the “31” was really “3!”.

Hope this publishing failure on the part of the school district can be used as a “21st-century learning opportunity.”

— David Mosby, Kalispell

Ballot delivery

We have received a total of four different ballots to vote for candidates for the school board.

We never had children in any Montana schools, we do not know anything about the candidates, however, we are asked to vote by mail-in ballot using our postage stamps. Why do they expect people to have the expensive first-class postage stamps available to mail in the votes?

If they want votes returned, then the ballots should have included postage-paid envelopes. No wonder ballots are not sent in. Most people do not have postage stamps on hand any longer.

— Ann Egerter, Bigfork

Honoring public servants

Public Service Recognition Week, May 1-7, is a time to honor and celebrate past and present public servants across the local, state and federal levels.

Recently, public servants have dedicated themselves to keeping our country running while simultaneously dealing with the challenges of a global pandemic. Many, including teachers, nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers, public transport workers, and more, risked their health to serve the American people.

Beyond the pandemic, we depend on public servants to protect lives and liberty, such as civilian defense employees to support our military; meteorologists to alert us to treacherous weather conditions; scientists to develop and assess the safety of new cures for cancers and diseases; federal law enforcement and intelligence officers to protect us from foreign and domestic threats to our physical security; prosecutors and judges to uphold the laws; postal workers to keep our communities connected; revenue agents to ensure we have the funds to carry out these missions; and much more.

We are very proud of the more than 25,000 Active and Retired Federal and Postal Employees currently living in Montana.

Throughout the year, but especially during Public Service Recognition Week, Americans should express our thanks for these hard-working public servants.

Thank you again for your service,

— Leland “Wally” Walbruch, of Kalispell, is president of Montana Federation of National Active and Retired Federal Employee Association.

Big Sky Rail Authority opposition

Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority Chair Dave Strohmaier and colleagues opined recently that expanding rail service will create greater connectivity in Montana (Hiawatha rail route will better connect rural Montana, April 10). They presented a good history of Montana rail.

My house was built on the old Tarkio Post Office/Community Center that was accessible by trolly car to Missoula, Mineral and possibly Sanders county residents.

Automobiles, airplanes and recreational vehicles have been and still are Amtrak’s major competitors in Montana and nationally. They are the reasons why the Hiawatha line was dropped and the Hi-Line has continuous operating losses. With our $30 trillion national debt, it’s simply wrong the federal government has been subsidizing a losing operation.

Proponents say Mineral County needs a chunk of the $12 billion bipartisan infrastructure law that requires upgrades and enhancements to Amtrak’s existing national long-distance lines.

Proponents of the New Green Deal need long distance and intercity connections in preparation of removing automobiles and airplanes as choice methods of travel. Two examples are Billings to Denver, and Salt Lake City to Helena.

BSPRA would be wiser promoting the old Bitterroot rail line into Missoula as a starting point to introducing passenger rail profitably benefiting Missoula County.

Freedom! BSPRA and the New Green Deal need to take away your cars and airplanes to bring back the use of trains and trolleys. Just say no!

— Kevin Valerio, Superior