Letters published Aug. 30, 2017

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Will the commissioners take the blame?

It is the duty of any elected or appointed official, be it county commissioners, municipal judges or city planners, to consider the input on the community at large before rendering any final opinion or approval of the matter at hand. When one person or a small group of people propose a zoning expansion, or commercial development that will adversely affect and disrupt an entire community, the burden of the final decision of the arbitration is entirely on the elected or appointed officials.

The people of Whitefish do NOT wish to see U.S. 93 south of their city to be turned into a commercial nightmare. Yes, it will bring jobs in one sector while at the same time add to the destruction of Whitefish as a tourist community. The ambience of “Stump Town” is long gone; this commercialization will be the final blow.

Likewise, the recent signature-gathering campaign for the expansion of the Egan Slough zoning area generated over 12,600 Flathead County registered voter signatures. Add to that list the over 6,000 Lake County residents who will be adversely affected if the Flathead County commissioners further ignore the input of their constituents. The Creston area, Bigfork and the entire Highway 35 corridor to Polson will be affected if the Flathead County commissioners, by their actions, allow the Egan Slough area to be commercialized. Over 18,000 local residents said NO to a bottling plant in Creston. As many or more say NO to further commercialization of the Whitefish U.S. 93 corridor.

If you took Glacier National Park out of the picture, what would attract the tourist to the area when it becomes no more than a traffic-burdened, commercial nightmare? —Bill McGunagle, Kalispell

Climate change is ‘real and now’

Contrary to Tom Harris’s guest opinion that “Gore’s climate assumptions must be challenged,” they have already been challenged by the most intensive and extensive worldwide inquiries ever made on any subject.

While the full consequences of carbon dioxide emissions and the time frame of those consequences are being refined over time, it is already abundantly clear to the scientific community that the consequences are real and they are now.

What are probably the most challenging areas of climate-change prediction are the effects of positive feedback loops in nature. For example, as summers become longer, dryer, and hotter, more forest fires release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from the burning trees. Dead trees do not absorb carbon dioxide as living trees do, so carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise even higher and global temperatures increase. Another positive feedback loop is the melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean. Sea ice reflects sunlight back into space, but open sea absorbs sunlight and is warmed, thereby causing even more melting of adjacent sea ice. The Arctic has already warmed several degrees in the past few decades. These and other positive feedback loops could cause runaway climate change at some point in time.

The carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere today will be there for millennia, influencing climate and ecosystems. At present there is no large-scale method for scrubbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We can ill afford to take a “wait and see” approach. Once the warming process gets rolling there will be no rolling it back. The investment in lower carbon-dioxide emissions today is minuscule compared to the disaster relief from floods, drought, fires, famine, and war that is the future of a hotter planet. —Jim Stelson, Roseburg, Oregon

Government should protect our monuments

The Bible says the enemy has come to kill and to destroy — so what do we have every time we turn the news on?

Those monuments that are such an eyesore to a very small group in our nation were built to remind us that our freedoms have come to us at a great price and that has included many years, many broken homes and lives. The nation has, under God, developed into the greatest nation ever seen on this world.

I suggest our president declare all the monuments as national property that will be protected by National Guard, equipped with tear gas and live ammo if that should be needed. Any mass trouble may be treated as fomenting riots and treated accordingly.

I believe any spoiled child will do everything he can get away with. Maybe a lot of this noise we hear is basically from grown-up kids that were never taught that others also have rights that should be protected. —Joe Kaufman, Kalispell

Ads attacking Zinke have missed the mark

There are a lot of inane political statements out in cyber land but the phrase “public lands are for everyone” put out by the Back Country Hunters and Anglers Association in their anti-Zinke ad campaign takes the cake. After all what does “public” mean otherwise.

This group, funded by the copious war chest of the far left is spending tens of millions to castigate Ryan Zinke for even looking at shrinking the oversized monument designations left by Clinton and Obama. Their statement is ironic in that federal monuments, wilderness or public lands are anything but for everybody.

All of our governmental entities, city, county, state and federal have public lands. For the first three, public lands mean just that — they are open to everyone to use freely. But the same isn’t true with federal lands. As soon as the feds get ahold of any land, they immediately eliminate or restrict access to it as much as possible. They shut down any economic uses inside of its boundaries and they put numerous restrictions on anyone going inside of it. Once accomplished, these lands become the playground of only a few privileged groups: hunters, the young and healthy (who can still hike) and the rich who can afford the $5,000 to $20,000 guides charge to take them in (with their steaks, champagne and caviar). Of course, government people who are paid to “observe the land” have open access as well. The rest of us? Well, we just get to stand outside and look in.

And how convenient for this small select group who want as much land as they can for themselves. They take money from the rich elite from the East and other big cities to promote policies which promote their agenda with ads to convince the local populace how good it is for them. Of course they could care less for our ordinary working person as any good natural-resource jobs which so many here in the West are praying for are eliminated. Fortunately, none of our truly Montana associations have come out in support of this association’s goals and motives.

Ryan Zinke is doing a good job, at least so far. He appears to be extremely fair and forward looking and, thank the Lord, he isn’t just another shill for the deep environmental political juggernaut which has, for so long under Obama, forced its will on our Western states. Fortunately, most around here are intelligent enough to see through this sham as they know our state manages our public lands far better than anything the feds can come up with. My advice to Ryan? Keep management of public lands under control of the individual states so everyone can enjoy them, not just the privileged few. —Mark Agather, Kalispell

Speak up, voters

The letter to the editor by Mindy Breckenridge printed Aug. 2 inspired me. More of us need to be outspoken in our praise and other support for honest, above-board legislators like Matt and Keith Regier who want to trim government and expand personal liberty. Just as important, we need to expose and remove from office those like Frank Garner of Kalispell and Rob Cook of Conrad. Ms. Breckenridge called these liberty-destroying, government enlarging legislators “hoodlums,” and that is a great description of their crafty behind-the-scenes betrayal of the voters. —Frances Young, Lakeside

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