Letters to the editor Jan. 17

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Let’s do the math

Sen. Scott Sales calls $8 million “trivial” the amount he thinks Montana’s taxpayers should contribute to President Trump’s border wall. So let’s do the math. If $8 million is “trivial,” then $16 million is “something.” That would then make $32 million “noticeable.” What then do you call $59 million – the cost of sustaining Medicaid expansion in Montana? I’d call it “affordable” and a legislative success. Spend some of Montana’s taxpayer dollars on the Montana taxpayer, Sen. Sales. Help citizens, families and business succeed.

—David Hadden, Bigfork

Border wall flip-floppers

Democrats are hoping to claim the moral high ground in the immigration debate by supporting the unrestricted flow of people illegally crossing our borders as a humanitarian issue. But do they really? Let’s look at some of the things they said when Obama was president.

Sen. Chuck Schumer: “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.” Referring to the 600 miles of fencing that had been already been built, he called it “a significant barrier to illegal immigration.”

Schumer also is on record saying “one of the most effective things we do on the border is turn people back. They get up to the border and we find them and say ‘go home.’”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “We do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.”

Hillary Clinton: “We have to send a clear message that just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.”

In 2013, every single Democrat voted for $46 billion in border security, including money for 700 miles of border fencing. But they are willing to shut down the government over an additional $5 billion to continue the process they started.

So which is it? Are they just pandering for votes? It is easy to say anything when you are the opposition party. Nothing you propose will ever become law so there’s no accountability. Schumer and Pelosi both know that a nation must control its borders. Something they clearly supported when in power, but oppose now that Trump is president. My guess is that they would oppose tearing down the existing fence if Trump proposed doing it.

— Rick Packard, Whitefish

Another school levy?

We were not even into the second day of the new year and the superintendent of Kalispell schools asked for another mismanaged levy?

If Superintendent Mark Flatau and his cronies want another increase then let’s compromise. No new benefit packages for teachers and administrative personnel and no pay raises. Seems fair, considering that every levy that has passed here has been majority supported by school staff.

We can no longer sit back and get taxes raised year after year for gross mismanagement. Time to speak up people or get burned again, just like we’ve been done in the past.

Too bad they want new technology and upgraded textbooks when most students can’t even make change for a dollar bill without using a computer. Or, even better yet, don’t even know what the Vietnam war was all about. Pathetic.

— Steve Allen, Kalispell

Gala to be proud of

Congratulations to the United Way for their New Year’s Eve fundraising gala for the Gateway Community Center. Acknowledgement also needs to be given to the Hilton Garden Inn for donating their beautiful grand ballroom, and to individual and corporate sponsors.

Thanks also to the people who purchased tickets, and to the volunteers who spent the day decorating the room with colorful nostalgic displays.

Organizers led the crowd in games and dance contests. People, many in vintage attire, did the “twist,” there was conga line, and a whole lotta shakin’ was going on. A delicious all-American meal was served and milk shakes were even offered. Contributing to the warm sense of community was Kalispell’s own band, Zino & the Bel Aires who provided high energy dance music with a carefully selected song list from the 1950s and early 1960s.

Since First Night Flathead has been discontinued, the United Way’s event was a special opportunity for the community to come together, network, contribute and ring in the New Year.

The event was more than just fun and games. It was an enjoyable way to support the community service organizations at our Gateway Community Center. Located in the old Gateway Mall, the Gateway Center is the home to a very impressive array of service organizations and is a facility that we can be proud of. Plans are already in the works for next New Year’s Eve, and contributions are still being accepted.

—Steve Eckels, Kalispell

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