Saturday, January 28, 2023

Letters to the editor Nov. 27

| November 27, 2022 12:00 AM

ImagineIf board

I read with interest Doug Adams’ Nov. 20 reply to my letter of Nov. 13. Mr. Adams made a good point that I think is worth clarifying further.

I do not think the ImagineIf Libraries board of trustees is intentionally trying to chase away director Cummins in the same manner they did with other library leadership. I can see how my words may suggest otherwise, placing her name in the same sentence as Sean Anderson and his recent board-influenced departure.

For the lack of clarity in writing I apologize; I do not wish to be disingenuous.

That director Cummins is considering other options is merely symptomatic of the toxicity around the board, and as Mr. Adams points out, the community response has been a part of that. To be clear, while I condemn the trustees for their process, actions and choice in the hiring process (and ongoing changes to the library), I have no special grudge against the director and wish for her great success in spite of the obstacles before us. In my observations so far she has attempted to walk the narrow path between a board of trustees run amok on one side, and a community outraged on the other, with grace and restraint.

None of this changes the larger point to my earlier letter: The frontline staff of our libraries are frustrated, scared and angry. This is more than mere difference of opinion, as Mr. Adams suggests. And the pile of resignations grows.

— Jared Sibbitt, Bigfork

Ban trapping

He always changes the channel. He is a hunter but even he can’t stand to watch. I don’t mind because the images are deeply disturbing to me, they play over and over in my mind and it breaks my heart. You know the commercial. You’ve probably done it too. But this time I watched it all the way through and I can’t stay silent anymore.

Trapping is an atrocity. It is a stain on our humanity. A testament to our failure to evolve. It is unnecessary and serves no purpose other than to massage an ego that delights in dominating what they see as an inferior species. To take a life. A power trip, that is what it amounts to.

We don’t have to wear animal skins anymore, not like that. Hunt to provide meat for your family? Fine, I get that. I come from a hunting family. My grandfather was a government trapper. Back then, living on $17 a month people did what they could to survive. There are systems in place now to help with that that didn’t exist then.

We need to manage wolves, they say. Because otherwise they will eat all the big game then what will we hunt? Here is the thing: the wolves take the weakest while humans strive for the strongest. Who is helping the gene pool here?

Fine, manage the wolves. Hunt them fair and square. Most don’t because the wolves are smarter and they can’t win unless they use underhand tactics like trapping. So animals die horrible deaths, pets get murdered and maimed and we get to see it on TV because there are people out there that want this to stop. I am one of them. It is time to evolve.

Ban traps and snares now.

— Gail McLean, Columbia Falls

Special treatment

Jay Thompson’s letter (Social Security Tax, Nov. 22) suggests that because of the current surplus, eliminating the taxation of Social Security benefits should be reconsidered. He states that one of the reasons mentioned in the past for continuing taxation was the need for revenue.

If the need in the past for additional revenue was significant why were Railroad Retirement Benefits, paid for in lieu of Social Security taxes by rail workers and employers, exempt? Why do they continue to be exempt?

Part 1 of Rule 42-15-222 regarding taxability of railroad retirement benefits and Social Security benefits states Railroad Retirement Benefits are not taxable. Part 2 describes the taxability of Social Security benefits.

Whether Social Security remains taxable or not, why do thousands of railroad workers get special treatment?

— William Etter, Kalispell

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