Saturday, June 22, 2024

Letters to the editor March 30

| March 30, 2023 12:00 AM

Homeless counts

Since the provocative letter from the Flathead County Commissioners, these pages have seen much heat but little light.

The liberals quote Matthew: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

And the conservatives quote “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, they will come.”

The January 2022 HUD homeless count for Flathead County was 319, population estimated at 107,043, rate 0.29%. Missoula County was 325, population 120,000, rate 0.27%. Lewis and Clark County was 143, population 70,340, rate 0.20%. Yellowstone County was 281, population 168,083, rate 0.16%. Gallatin County was 184, population 116,725, rate 0.15%.

The Flathead rate led the state. Who knows why? And who is right?

— Andy Palchak, Kalispell

Short-term rentals

There was much pro and con discussion about short-term rentals back in 2016. Nobody could have foreseen the devastating impact the approval of short-term rentals in residential zoning would have. Short-term rentals have totally destabilized not only our workforce but also our neighborhoods.

One concern that I have not yet seen addressed, is sexual predators. They can now check into neighborhoods, rather than motels! Therefore, we no longer know who lives next door, whether for a day or for a week.

Surely this issue should also be taken into consideration?

— Elsa Putzier, Bigfork

Speak up

There is a lot of bad stuff coming out of the Montana Legislature right now. Unfortunately, they’re not working on the things that are affecting our lives like affordable housing, health care, childcare, free quality public education, maintaining public lands, public land access and protecting resident hunting rights.

Instead, the “super majority” is trying to dismantle our Montana Constitution, (which they incidentally pledged to uphold), attacking women’s rights to privacy and personal health care decisions, trying to politicize and take over the judicial branch of government, ignoring environmental urgencies like climate change, decreasing funding for public education, criminalizing teachers, persecuting LGBTQ people, privatizing our wildlife, and decreasing public land ownership opportunities and access, to name a “few”.

This is a big deal. Please get involved. Write or better yet call your legislators and Gov. Greg Gianforte. Tell them what issues you want addressed and what things you want left alone. Your voice does matter. Tell them what you value about our democracy and your Montana way of life.

Whether you’re new to Montana or an old timer, remember that the quality of life we all enjoy or that you came here for is because of our state constitutions. Tell you them to leave our constitution alone.

Even if you don’t think you like politics, it likes you. If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Silence is concession. If you don’t disagree, then you agree. Do something, speak up.

— Andy Kulla, Big Arm