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Letters to the editor Nov. 28

| November 28, 2023 12:00 AM

Unruly behavior

On the corner of 18th Street and Airport Road every weekend for months these same 20 to 25 kids are doing doughnuts, four-wheeling through drainage ditches, spinning tires, throwing trash on the ground, putting dead tires in the ditches, backing their trucks over the curd and spinning their tires to dig ruts in the grass, and even trying to have a bonfire in the parking lot. 

We’ve contacted law enforcement (as have other neighbors) and most Friday and Saturdays the officers make an attempt to move them along, however they usually return not long after. 

The officer that responded last night literally sat in the parking lot joking and laughing with them for a good 20 to 30 minutes. I’m was informed that it’s an ongoing problem and they get lots of complaints about it, but that they only have four officers on duty so there isn’t much they can do about it. 

So we have now contacted the City Council, the mayor’s office, the chief of police so maybe some parents will help make this stop. 

Mayor, Police Chief Jordan Venezio and City Council members, please do your job.

— Delbert Quint, Kalispell

Blame game

William Fry’s letter to the editor earlier this month suggests a theory worth testing. In response to Monica Tranel’s fact-based critique of the Montana Public Service Commission’s approval of a 28% rate hike for NorthWestern Energy, he said Democrats are responsible, President Joe Biden specifically.

What does Fry offer as evidence? First, he said the 28% rate increase “is exactly what the inflation rate is from 2.5 years ago when the Democrats took control of our country.” But inflation has increased less than 16% in the two-and-a-half years since January 2021: 4.7% in 2021; 7.8% in 2022; 3.2% so far in 2023, the lowest in two years. Sixteen percent is not great, but it’s not 28%. With inflation flattening and gas prices down 40 cents a gallon since this time last year, Bidenomics appears to be working.

Second, Fry blames “Biden’s war on fossil fuel” for NorthWestern’s $100 million rate increase. However, America’s oil production hit an all-time high of 13.2 million barrels per day last month, passing the previous record set in 2020 by 100,000 barrels. Again, not a good thing when it comes to slowing climate change, but contrary to Republican talking points about the Biden administration.

Then there’s this local energy-related news. Flathead Rural Electric Coop announced this year its first rate hike in four years, barely 1%. If we follow Fry’s argument, FREC should have instituted a 28% rate hike, or minimally a 16% increase.    

So how can we test Fry’s theory that the Republican-packed PSC is not responsible for the rate hike? 

Let’s elect five Democrats to the commission and see what becomes of future NorthWestern’s rate requests, if indeed there are any. Using his logic, if rates continue to spike with an all-Democrat commission, we can blame Republicans.

— Roger Hopkins, Columbia Falls