A Cleveland comeback for Brock?

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No matter how much abuse is heaped on Brock Osweiler by NFL pundits, he will always have friends and fans in the Flathead.

His run as Flathead High School quarterback, ending with his 2009 graduation, was so spectacular that we know he has the talent to thrive in any sports setting.

There was hope he would get a chance to prove himself in Denver, where he started his pro career as backup QB, but when the Peyton Manning era ended, the Broncos decided to go in another direction.

Brock got a chance to start for the Houston Texans last year, but had what was ultimately a disappointing season while playing under intense scrutiny due to his multimillion-dollar contract.

Being traded to Cleveland in the off-season meant that Osweiler had a chance for a fresh start, and so far he has made the most of it, being named starter for Thursday’s pre-season opener.

By all accounts, Brock has a great attitude and is willing to work hard to help his team succeed. We certainly hope he’ll be one of the pleasant surprises of the 2017-18 season for football fans, and we’ll be watching when he gets his chance on Thursday.

Rental rules reasonable

There are new marching orders for Flathead County homeowners who operate vacation rentals. The commissioners this week passed a zoning text amendment that sets performance standards for short-term rental housing and requires an administrative conditional-use permit for operators in zoned portions of the county.

Even though rentals for less than 30 days have been illegal in zoned areas of the county, hundreds of vacation rentals nevertheless have been operating through popular online marketplaces such as VRBO and Airbnb. The new regulations are aimed at policing this growing segment of the rental market while still giving property owners the ability to earn income from their rentals.

In theory the performance standards should protect neighbors by providing a round-the-clock contact person or management company. And there’s a clause in the new text amendment that enables the county to revoke a permit.

How effective these regulations will be remains to be seen. During the public hearings held as the proposal went through the planning process, property owners testified that the vacation rental industry is largely self-policed. But there were also a fair number of people who live next to vacation rentals who told horror stories of guests partying all night and leaving trash on beaches.

The commissioners have taken a step in the right direction. The new rules may need to be tweaked as time goes on, but for now the performance standards and permit requirement seem like a reasonable place to start.

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