Letters, published June 25, 2017

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Hospital exec reflects on deck collapse, thanks all for work to assist patients

On the afternoon of June 17, local hospital staff responded to a mass casualty event that occurred south of Lakeside. More than 50 people were injured and transported to nearby hospitals. Of those patients, 37 were treated at Flathead County hospitals — nine at North Valley Hospital and 28 at Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

This was the largest mass casualty event in memory for many staff, yet our teams were prepared and operated like clockwork. Within 20 minutes after the first notification, there were three operating rooms prepared to accept surgical patients. The ALERT air ambulance team flew multiple trips transporting the injured. The flight medic stayed on the scene to assist in transporting others by ground. Surgeons evaluated every patient, and radiologists stayed close by to read images. Operating room staff worked well into the night and Sunday morning. Special areas were established for patients’ families to gather, and staff brought in food and drinks for them. Many employees, including those from nursing, clinical areas, nutrition services, housekeeping, spiritual care, social work, patient registration, lab, security, the communications center and more dropped what they were doing to help or came in on their days off to lend a hand.

As a member of this community, I’m very thankful for the amazing level of medical care available here. As an administrator at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, I’m immensely proud to be associated with such a remarkable team of employees and medical staff. There are too many names to list individually, but we are thankful for each one of the first responders, the clinical staff who cared for the injured and all the hospital personnel and volunteers who provided support in a variety of ways. But most of all, we are grateful that all the patients affected by this tragedy are on the road to recovery. —Curtis Lund, Kalispell, Kalispell Regional Healthcare Interim CEO

Spicer needs to engage brain before talking

I once thought that Nancy Pelosi was the dumbest person in Washington when she said we must pass Obamacare to read what’s in it.

Now we even have someone who is dumber than a box of rocks — Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who said that Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons during World War II. What did he use on the Jews?

Bashar al-Assad and Sean Spicer should both be taken out of office. One for using chemical weapons and one for using his mouth without engaging his brain — both deadly weapons. —Phillip Gregoire, Whitefish

Candidate for judge lays out his platform

I am running for Whitefish Municipal Court judge for one reason: to make the court and our community the best it can be.

My initial goal is to reduce your taxes. I will make the judge position part-time, with a corresponding reduction in salary, to save your tax bill. I want to increase efficiency.

I will use video arraignments to free county deputies for patrol rather than transporting prisoners. This will also make scarce jail space available for more serious offenders.

I will improve case resolution by implementing simple business practices, such as telephone conferences, so citizens will not miss work to resolve a parking ticket and visitors will not have to make multiple return visits for a traffic violation.

I will punish domestic violence. On average, a woman is beaten 25 times before she makes a police report. Women are killed by abusers at twice the rate of our troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of those deaths 50-75 percent of them are when she leaves her abuser. I will issue restraining orders when a victim makes the courageous decision to seek help, and will strongly punish domestic abusers.

I will protect our community from drunk drivers and those without insurance or licenses. These are not victimless crimes. I will impose maximum penalties, including treatment and interlock devices, to protect each of your families and our community.

I will do more with less of your tax dollars. You are being taxed for a new high school and the Haskill Basin conservation easement. Soon you will be asked to pay for a new middle school and a new county jail. As I said, I will reduce the court’s budget, beginning with the judge’s salary.

I will bring experience to the job. I am the only candidate who has served as Brad Johnson’s sub-judge. As Brad’s sub-judge, I handled all cases when he was absent, had a conflict of interest or did not want to handle the case.

I am the only candidate who has committed to Montana’s Commission of Political Practices Code of Fair Campaign Practices agreeing to adhere to the basic principles of decency, honesty and fair play.

I have long been a public servant. I have lived and practiced law in Whitefish for 26 years. I have been Planning Board chairman, Flathead County’s Employer of Choice and the Whitefish Chamber’s Citizen of the Year.

For more information on my background, experience and goals, go to my website at www.tornowforwhitefish.com or call me at 862-7450.

With all these things in mind, I respectfully ask for your vote in November so that together, we can make the court and our community the best it can be. —Tom Tornow, Whitefish

Investigate the real voting scandals

I find it quite interesting that liberal Democrats have their knickers in a twist over possible Russian interference in the last presidential election, but are fighting to the death to prevent an investigation into voter fraud. The Russian so-called interference in the election, for the most part, involved the release of emails proving how the DNC and various members of the party used dirty tactics to disadvantage Sen. Bernie Sanders and favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton — information that the public deserved to know if this were an honest world.

Our government has done much more to influence foreign elections ... just look at Obama’s election team trying to unseat Prime Minister Netanyahu in his last election in Israel in revenge over his opposition to the pathetically flawed Iran nuclear giveaway.

On the other hand, there are many prosecutions of voter fraud in states where the attorney generals actually care about the integrity of our elections. Illegal aliens and dead people are known to populate voting roles. I doubt the president’s claim that 3 million aliens voted in the last election, but I firmly believe that the number is certainly higher than zero. Why don’t the liberal Democrats care about the impact of voter fraud on our elections?

The simple answer is that they are intimately involved in this fraud, especially since illegal aliens are part of their constituency. Instead of protecting the legitimacy of our elections, liberals continually degrade the process by fighting voter ID laws and those seeking to clean up outdated and inaccurate voter registration roles, all of which promote such shenanigans. Add a dash of a Democrat Attorney General Eric Holder failing to investigate or prosecute voter intimidation by Black Panther thugs at polling places in 2008, and we have a system rife with domestically generated fraud ... we don’t need to worry that much about the Russians.

The Democrats have found a way to protect the swamp and prevent real reform in D.C. As long as they and their accomplices in the media keep screaming “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming,” and ignore how tough the current administration has been on Russian transgressions, they hope to derail any real changes in Washington. Hopefully, elitist liberals have miscalculated the intelligence of We the People. Hopefully Jonathan Gruber, a proud liberal MIT professor involved in the passage of Obamacare was dead wrong when he proudly declared that the passage of Obamacare depended on the “stupidity of the American voter” to forward their agenda. One can only hope. —P. David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

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