LETTERS, published Feb. 14, 2017

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Thanks to angels who have plow!

Angels come in all shapes and sizes. Mine came today in the shape of a large white diesel truck with a plow blade attached to the front. I am 65 and work full-time. I didn’t have time to clear my driveway after the snowstorms, rain and subsequent freezing. There was a two-foot ice-boulder berm that I was chopping away at for six hours when this young couple pulled up and asked if I needed help.

After a few passes with his blade, my driveway was clearer than I ever could have gotten it. I didn’t get their names or number (dumb move). I just hope they see this and know how grateful and thankful I am that they took the time to help me. To my angels, thank you so very much! —Renee Hall, Kalispell

Confused judges or confused legislators?

Wow, the Montana Senate has given initial approval to a bill to prevent state judges from applying foreign laws in their courtrooms.

Why, you may ask? According to Republican Sen. Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls, the bill is important because “sometimes judges don’t know the laws very well” and get confused.

Really? Isn’t knowing the law or at least having access to information on the law so it can be applied properly a prerequisite for being a judge? Perhaps we should have “extreme vetting” for our judges; then we wouldn’t have to worry about them getting confused and the Legislature could spend their limited time on important issues. —Marcia Peck. Bigfork

This ‘mob’ is ‘we the people’

In response to the letter submitted recently by James Lester congratulating the county commissioners on their “moral courage” for protecting an individual against a “mob,” I take offense.

This “mob” Mr. Lester spoke of consists of justifiably concerned folks who are interested in the processes involved in the proposed water factory targeted for the rural Creston area.

This “mob” had been invited to the DNRC hearing and the two oddly delayed hearings with the commissioners.

I attended all of these proceedings and saw ZERO “moral courage” displayed, only irresponsible, uninformed, audacious remarks and a speedy hand-washing and passing of the proverbial buck.

At the hearings, Ms. Holmquist brought down the gavel and silenced anyone who dared to mention the bottling factory. We were told that the issue at hand was solely the request to expand the Egan Slough District, and that no connection between that and the bottling plant should be drawn. So we obliged, and kept Lew Weaver, SOLE opponent to the expansion request, (who in 2002 was a willing proponent of the zoning plan), SEPARATE from his company and its ongoing issues. The Montana Artesian Water Company, going through a permitting process in Helena, should NOT make Lew Weaver, resident of Egan Slough Zoning District, exempt, untouchable, and basically bubble-wrapped and coddled by the county commissioners.

The real question is WHY, then, did the commissioners, in “defending” their negative votes, COMPLETELY ditch their own rule and expound endlessly about the Montana Artesian Water Company and the proposed factory?

Had they simply focused on the issue on the table, the legal request for expansion, listened to and read the submission by the overwhelming majority of the Egan Slough residents, the DEMOCRATIC decision would have been to pass the initiative.

Mr. Lester may need to check his definition of democracy to see that a democratic government is actually “for the people,” (not an individual), and “by the people” (not an individual or corporation).

This “mob” will continue to press the commissioners as to why they seem so comfortable protecting a Goliath steamroller willing to adversely affect a swath of its neighbors nearly 14 miles wide (latest count includes over 3,000 wells).

And, Mr. Lester, this “mob” shall continue to exercise its constitutional right to assemble and question “authority.” —Jean Rachubka, Kalispell

Who pays for the wall?

Who is going to pay for Trump’s wall? The answer is we the consumers. Trump has proposed a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports. That number and the numbers used below for additional wholesaler and retailer charges may change but the answer remains the same: we do.

Suppose a wholesaler imports $100,000 of Mexican goods. A 20 percent tax means that it costs the wholesaler $120,000. The wholesaler must account for, report, and submit the $20,000 to the government. Let’s say that the wholesaler’s additional costs and profits come to 10 percent. That makes the cost to retailers $22,000 more than it otherwise would be.

When a group of retailers buy the goods, they too have expenses and need to make a profit when selling the goods to the consumers. Again, let’s say that adds another 10 percent. So 10 percent of $22,000 added to what the retailer paid makes the additional cost of the goods $24,400. The consumers end up paying $24,200 more than they would without the tax on the Mexican imports. The government collected $20,000 in taxes. But wait, the government has expenses in collecting the tax and allocating it to the wall project, so the amount that goes to help pay for the wall is less than the $20,000.

Trump has asked Congress for $50 million for the wall. That will not even pay for the surveying and engineering costs, much less the expenses necessary to force the private citizens to surrender their land to the government. The portion of the wall that has been built already has cost about $7 billion. The cost to finish the wall will certainly exceed that. Bend over everyone; here it comes again. —Len Moyer, Kalispell

A suggestion for those who can’t fathom Trump

I have a suggestion for the letter writer who believes President Trump is a “new low for our nation.”

She thinks Montana and Flathead Valley are a bastion for Republicanism, including our conservative newspaper editor. I didn’t hear much “love lives here.” In fact, much of this guest opinion sounded like a lot of “hate speech,” but since liberals can’t spew hate (only conservatives can) I guess I am wrong.

She should pick up her marbles and move to San Francisco, California, and live with her “idols” Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein and all newspaper editors who agree with her and supported their god Hillary 100 percent.—Dexter Hamilton, Kalispell

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