Letters published on Nov. 1, 2017

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Stoplight needed at Happy Valley intersection

I am bewildered that our county commissioners chose not to require a stoplight at the intersection of Hodgson Road and U.S. 93 in Happy Valley when they approved the new casino at that intersection. The casino is now completed and will soon open for business, making a dangerous intersection life threatening; it’s an accident waiting to happen. I turn onto Hodgson Road frequently en-route to work and I fear for my life in negotiating that turn. I fear too for the children in the Forest Acres park who frequently cross nearby for a quart of milk, or can of pop, from the Midway Convenience store.

As I remember it, the commissioners deferred to the Montana Department of Transportation “experts,” who advised that traffic at the intersection didn’t warrant a stop light — or any traffic control whatsoever. Apparently, the experts at MDOT base their calculations on the body count at dangerous intersections. I thought six fatalities might be an adequate threshold but having counted six white crosses at the intersection of Montana 40 and Whitefish Stage, I’m guessing maybe seven deaths may be the preferred option. I pray that the proposed new Whitefish Christian Academy on Whitefish Stage is in limbo till we get a stop light at that ungodly intersection.

Heads up, commissioners: The Flathead Valley is no longer a rural free-for-all. The place has taken off, it’s busy and everybody is in a rush. We need to slow traffic down at uncontrolled intersections, and no doubt, we need traffic signals at the most dangerous. I request the county commissioners reconsider their irresponsible and short-sighted decision and demand the Montana Department of Transportation install signals at both intersections — at U.S. 93 and Hodgson Road (or nearby Timber Lane) and at Montana 40 and Whitefish Stage. —Leo Keane, Whitefish

What about light pollution?

Congratulations to the county, the homeowners and the businesses using 93 North to grow. More homes, more people and more stoplights. I’m not against growth. The valley is a beautiful place and new blood is positive.

I’m against bright lights all night. Why was the Hutton Ranch complex required to use soft, muted lighting in the parking lots but the new car dealership looks like a sporting event every night? The nightly flights to Glacier Park International Airport might mistake it for a runway. Where are the people who protest everything?

Who can I call to discuss the lighting plans for the 93 North corridor? —Rob Braig, Kalispell

Help President Trump get tax reform passed

As soon as President Trump was elected to office, he moved to slash regulations.

The results? We’ve seen more than 1 million jobs added to the economy.

Now, he’s working on tax reform that will help small businesses expand and create even more jobs. Plus, we’ll see higher wages too.

Trump knows what he’s doing. Let’s pass tax reform and Make America Great Again! —David Passieri, St. Ignatius

Real world experience says diagonal parking won’t work

My small store once had only front diagonal parking. People pulled in — easy — then backed out into traffic. Harder. Three years ago I spent a LOT of money buying the parking lot in back of my building and adding a backdoor. The increased repeat business to my store paid for all that money spent. Every week we are told, “The only reason I didn’t shop here more often is because I HATED backing out of your front parking.”

Backing out of my front parking is MUCH easier than it will be out of the proposed diagonal parking on Main Street — the same diagonal parking old-timers were thrilled to ditch. Why is it easier at my store? The “sidewalk” space between my front parking and the street makes it easier. The “sidewalk” gives room — most of the time — to back up parallel to the road and then ease into traffic. Diagonal parking on Main Street will not have that extra space.

In low traffic towns (like Polson’s Main Street) and slow traffic areas (like parking lots), diagonal parking works great. It did NOT work great for my store on Center Street. How can it be anything but worse for EVERY Main Street business?

What will encourage downtown pedestrians?

—More overhead pedestrian bridges that will also add value to the buildings used for them.

—ALL downtown workers learning why the best parking should always be reserved for customers.

—Sidewalks all the way from homes to the downtown.

In my stroller-pushing days I resented how many times my children and I were forced to walk in the street. Kalispell spent money on guaranteed-to-fade colored sidewalks, but still doesn’t care about small children walking to school on streets without sidewalks. —Fran Tabor, owner of A-1 Vacuum, Kalispell

Thanks for supporting Dayton Daze

The Chief Cliff VFD/QRU would like to thank everyone who contributed goods, services, time and money to making the 26th annual Dayton Daze celebration our best yet! We were, indeed, Fired Up for the Fifties, as were those who showed up for the occasion.

Despite the smoke and cancellation of other area events, we had a great turnout and surpassed our fundraising goal. As a result, we have ordered a vital signs monitor for our QRU, and will soon choose a thermal imager for the department. We also brought in enough to add more new radios to our inventory — and grow our fund for a new tender/pumper. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the individuals who bought raffle tickets, bid on our many wonderful silent auction items, participated in the car show, set up booths, turned out for the parade, bought beer, and otherwise supported our event.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s Dayton Daze when our theme will be “Montana Gold Rush.”

Thanks again for the great support! —Zoe Lilja, Dayton

Charge all cars, not just gas users

I agree we need to take care of our roads and bridges and the best way to do that is by the user fees. All who drive should pay including electric and hybrid vehicles by an annual fee or one based on mileage.

And for the lower-income resident, a lower-income tax might be appropriate.

As far as expanded Medicaid this was a huge mistake. And we are seeing this cost and others in the current health-care debate. Mr. Tester and other Democrats should be thinking about the huge increases in their constituents’ cost and not loyalty to Chuck Schumer and the President Trump haters. Obamacare is an total disaster and costing many people huge increases in their health-care costs. —Dexter Hamilton, Kalispell

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