Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Letters to the editor Sept. 17

| September 17, 2023 12:00 AM

Laws are laws

I visited the new Parkline Trail three times last week.

The first visit, I diverted from my route because I encountered a man standing near the trail wearing only an open bath robe with no pants.

The second visit, I encountered a man riding a motorcycle in circles inside the gated portion of the Depot Park parking lot, muttering to himself and me, as I passed. I diverted from the trail to walk back to my car via Depot Park and the man proceeded to ride his motorcycle onto the sidewalks through the park. I had to step aside to let him pass on the sidewalk.

The third visit was in the evening. I counted eight people setting up camp against the back walls of downtown businesses.

Indecent exposure, riding a motor vehicle on sidewalks and loitering/trespassing are illegal activities.

Some believe these behaviors should continue to be tolerated, that the people committing them should be given a free pass simply because they are unhoused.

Does the public continue to tolerate these types of behaviors to be able to enjoy our downtown? Are the homeless being given special permissions to disobey laws that would land a housed person in jail or at the very least, a ticket?

Do not twist this letter into an assault on the homeless population, or the police department. The majority of residents in our valley have the utmost sympathy for many of those who find themselves unhoused, and they also have respect for our police force.

Housed or not, laws are laws, and they apply to everyone equally.

There are elected officials coming up for re-election. Make your voice heard by electing those who will put some muscle behind their mouth and take some action in our town.

— Angie McCrorie, Kalispell

Praise for Zinke

I write this letter to thank Congressman Ryan Zinke in his efforts to help local law enforcement in the continued fight against fentanyl and other dangerous narcotics flooding our communities.

He recently came to Mineral County to meet with my team and I directly to see what we deal with on the front lines in the war on drugs.

Congressman Zinke also has taken a great interest in in our community mental health crisis and is working hard to help develop solutions to tackle this issue that are both compassionate and effective.

Thank you, Congressman Zinke, for all that you do to help keep Montana safe.

— Mineral County Sheriff Ryan Funke

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