Letters published on Oct. 27, 2017

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‘Conservative think’ and water plant proposal

Lew Weaver’s push for his water bottling plant presents an opportunity for self-reflection.

It is documented that liberals’ and conservatives’ brains are wired differently. This should be more apparent now than perhaps any time in history.

Were Mr. Weaver to be proposing building his plant in, say, North Dakota, I’m guessing that few of the tens of thousands of local water plant objectors would care because: corporations deserve to make profits. The fact is that when, not if, oil spills from breaks in the pipe it will be thousands of miles away from our homes. What if Mr. Weaver instead wanted to run an oil pipeline right next to your home, church or synagogue? How would you feel?

Mr. Weaver presents a perfect example of conservative think to the extreme: He is incapable of hearing what any of his thousands of conservative neighbors are saying.

For Mr. Weaver, only his desire for money matters.

Liberals feel others’ pain, especially those ‘“snowflakes” who feel great empathy for others, compelling some to travel North Dakota to protest with native tribes. I’m guessing few, if any, of the water plant protesters amongst the great majority of self-described conservatives in the Flathead Valley give a hoot about those tribes. Corporate profits always come first.

No one wants their water affected, or the noise, dust, and traffic from hundreds of semi-trucks.

In closing, why are there still oil trains running next to the Flathead River? Surely they can be re-routed to safer tracks. If corporate profits are put second. Anyone who has lived here for years has seen what happens when, a corn car derails. Even one oil car emptying into the river will cause more financial and health-related hardships for everyone than all other derailments combined.

For years. —Rachel Rubin, Kalispell

Osorio-Khor will bring new energy to council

During my time working with Karlene Osorio- Khor on the Kalispell Impact Fee Committee, I found her hard working, well prepared, and willing to listen to the discussions. When Karlene was nominated to be president of the Impact Fee Committee she put in place the formal use of “Roberts Rule of Orders.”

This allowed all members of the committee to voice their opinions and vote in an orderly manner. While I was on the committee, Karlene and I would review all documents prior to the meetings. We took the time to read everything and develop questions for the meeting.

Karlene will bring her preparedness, willingness to listen and her energy to be engaged in the issues at hand.

Please support Karlene for the new energy she would bring to the Kalispell City Council. —Sharon DeMeester, Kalispell

Judge candidate explains why he is seeking job

Since 1977, it has been my pleasure to practice law in Whitefish. My wife, Susan Lacosta, and I have built our careers here; and our twin daughters, Hayley and Holly, have grown up in Whitefish and attended public schools.

I am now running for Whitefish Municipal Court judge. My legal practice has included prosecution and criminal defense, commercial law, contracts, family law, personal injury, banking, and real estate matters. I’ve tried civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts and represented clients in appeals before the Montana Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Our office acted as the city prosecutors for Whitefish for more than 25 years. I was always involved in what was going on and served as a backup whenever needed. Last year I was sworn in as substitute judge in Columbia Falls, and have also spent countless hours in the Whitefish Municipal Court and the courts in Kalispell. I believe the diversity of my legal knowledge and experience would help me to be a better judge. I will bring enthusiasm and the perspective of an attorney who has practiced in Whitefish for my entire career.

This is a good time in my professional life to make a change. I have enjoyed working as judge and found it to be invigorating to do something a bit different. I want to give back to the community that has been so good to my family and me.

The position of municipal judge is non-partisan, meaning no party affiliation. I do not have a political agenda. My support is very broad-based — it includes the entire political spectrum. That’s the way it should be in a judicial election. I have an open mind and am even-tempered. I will be fair, but firm, and follow the law.

I believe in the value of testimony, and that victims should be heard. But consequences are essential. The court has to do what it can to make things right. It is about justice.

In closing, Whitefish is my home and it would be an honor to serve as your judge. I can promise that I would roll up my sleeves and get to work. I pledge my full-time commitment to be the best judge possible. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” And that is what I intend to do as Whitefish municipal judge! Thank you. —William Hileman Jr., Whitefish

Thanks for supporting Fire Prevention Week

The Whitefish Fire Department would like to say thank you to all who made Fire Prevention Week 2017 a great success. This year’s theme was “Every second counts; plan two ways out.” Between trips to schools and firehouse tours, our firefighters were able to teach over a thousand students about fire safety. Thank you to the schools and teachers for their cooperation.

The week was completed with our annual Whitefish Emergency Services Building open house. Hundreds came to visit that day and we would like extend a special thank you to the agencies who participated including the Whitefish Police Department, ALERT Air Ambulance, Two Bear Air Rescue, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Kalispell Police Department, US Customs and Border Protection, Columbia Falls Fire Department, Montana DNRC, Flathead Fire Safe Council, U.S. Forest Service, Flathead 911 Center, Firewise Montana, Flathead County Search and Rescue, Montana Operation Lifesaver, Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol, North Valley Hospital, Sinopah Face Painting and Sweet Peaks Ice Cream.

Thank you to all of the above and to this wonderful community for all of your support. —Joe Page, Whitefish fire chief

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