Letters published November 7, 2017

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Glad that most cars have headlights — and hoping you will use them

I’m fairly new to Montana and didn’t realize that’s so many cars here lack working headlights. Those poor people.

In a snowstorm or a rainstorm I can’t believe so many don’t have the advantage of headlights to make themselves more visible. I’m very glad that they can see others who have headlights and turn them on, particularly during inclement weather, but I feel sorry for the rest of us who can’t clearly see those who are headlight-challenged.

If your auto manufacturer has blessed your car with headlights, PLEASE use them. If they don’t work, please get them fixed. It helps everyone be safer on the road. —Dee Armstrong, Bigfork

Roundabouts are reasonable safety precaution

I would like to throw my hat into the ring with regard to comments on the possibility of a roundabout at the intersection of U.S. 2 West and Springcreek Road.

Recent letters from Jerry Olson and Dexter Hamilton slammed the roundabouts on the bypass as being hated by truckers and causing damage to their tires and wheels. What most people don’t understand is that the raised section around the center of the roundabout is a “truck apron” purposely designed to allow the tires on their rear axles to roll over it if necessary to negotiate the turn.

I have personally watched tractor/trailer rigs pulling pups roll through the intersection of Stillwater Road and Reserve in front of Glacier High School without ever once hitting the outer curb or having to use the truck apron. I drove truck for many years over the road across the country. If a truck driver cannot negotiate the roundabouts on the bypass, then they probably shouldn’t have a commercial driver’s license.

It has been reported that the intersection in question at U.S. 2 and Springcreek has had 48 crashes in a 10-year period. One is too many in my opinion. I say go ahead and put one in there.

Everyone is in a hurry these days, a fact that is reinforced every day as I watch people flagrantly disobey our posted speed limits and fly past me both in town and on the highway. Roundabouts have been used very successfully in Europe for years, and I have personally never seen a collision at one of these. Those that have happened locally have been very minor fender-benders that have probably been the result of people not knowing how to use them properly.

People just need to slow down and not be in such a big hurry. If you are that impatient of a driver that you don’t have the time to decrease your speed and go through a roundabout, maybe you shouldn’t be on the road to begin with. —Paul Fifield, Kalispell

Trump puts North Korean leader in his rightful place

Either you want to look good, or you want to make the deal! Businessman Donald Trump always wants to make the deal.

Calling the Korean dictator, “Rocket Man” at the United Nations in front of hundreds of diplomats from all around the world may have been absurd, but it was the funniest and sharpest humiliation of that dictator in years. It was also a slap in the face of a little boy, whose henchmen immediately marched out of the UN.

Mind you, over 100 nations previously censored North Korea only days before with no such effect. But Donald Trump calls their leader “Rocket

man,” and they become infuriated and can no longer remain sitting.

It was another Trumpism which will go down in history, alongside telling Mexicans, “We will build a thousand mile wall and make Mexico pay for it!” That doesn’t make sense, either, but it doesn’t matter. It’s straight from New York City, where everybody is leveled in that weird, rude, vernacular of a peculiar people that live in the hub of the world’s business center. Beneath his insult is a form of leveling that bridges the gap of the “Queen’s English,” which allows puppets and politicians who prefer to look good, to rob, kill, wage war, and disparage the ordinary person as “deplorable” with the arrogance of royalty. They are the very ones who need to be stopped.

Donald Trump is effective and democratic. The bottom line for him is the dollar bill. The speech he delivered at the UN simply repeated Harry Truman’s old axiom, “The buck stops here!” —Mike Donohue, Kalispell

Building not right place for public defender’s office

Thank you for bringing to light the concerns of the owners and neighbors in and around the Eastside Brick.

While we recognize the fact that the Public Defender’s Office provides a necessary and important service, to place it in a residential area next to a school and two day-care centers seems by any measure, totally inappropriate. As mentioned in the article, there are several counselors, therapists and health-care providers on the first floor who work with trauma victims of all ages. They feel comfortable coming here for help. We are especially concerned for their safety and well-being, as well as for the school children nearby.

In addition to the potential problems mentioned in the article, the owners of properties in the Brick are also worried about the impact that such a move would have on our property values.

I strongly urge the Public Defender to find another location for his offices. —Karen Leigh, Kalispell

Land unfairly was set aside

I write regarding Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to reduce two national monuments in Utah. I am not well-versed on many of the monuments under review nationwide, but lived and worked in Utah for many years, and feel knowledgeable about the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Grand Staircase-Escalante is a magnificent and beautiful place, and deserves some level of protection. However, at almost 1.9 million acres (roughly the size of Delaware) it is a huge area. Located on BLM lands, even its own land managers concede it’s highly difficult to manage (made even more so given cuts under Bush and Obama administrations.)

In the counties the monument occupies, Garfield County is almost 93 percent federally owned, and Kane County, nearly 90 percent. These rural counties face challenges maintaining economic opportunities with large percentages of federal ownership and restriction to land use, and reasonably felt they were put under additional pressures from the monument, which further restricted resource-based opportunities, particularly mining, which could have been permitted on the BLM land.

Tourism jobs have been added, but as many Montanans know, these jobs seldom produce year-round, good-paying or benefit-offering opportunities for families.

In two counties stretched thin, Clinton’s creation of the monument, in his last days of office, under the Antiquities Act, did not thoroughly consider the challenges of these communities to maintain jobs or what size would be sustainable for the long-term management of the monument itself.

It does not seem unreasonable for Zinke to review this monument for possible reduction in size, which could, in effect, better allocate its resources for better management and resource protection, and allow for a better look at these counties’ economic needs.

From my knowledge of this one monument, it seems rational and reasonable that it be reviewed. —Jessie Walthers, Bigfork

Bigfork is a great place to live

How truly fortunate we are to live in Bigfork. We have terrific artists, sculptors, restaurants, the Bigfork Art and Cultural Center, a library that meets all our needs, great shops, a grocery store, a drug store as well as experienced real-estate people, banks, gas stations, etc. We could go on and on. Talented people all.

We had the pleasure over the summer of attending the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, with Don, Jude and Brach Thomson producing fantastic shows. To the delight of both of us, we saw “Beauty and the Beast” and can say that the professional way all the kids performed (from little ones to high school) had to make their parents proud. How lucky we are.

There is always some event to look forward to and the general atmosphere surrounding us. We wish to express our thanks to all. —Stan and Beverly Fisher, Bigfork

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