There’s been a recent push in the editorial pages urging the governor to sign SB 239, which would grant a tax holiday to companies who provide internet service. As a legislator, I opposed this bill because the industry consistently misrepresented the intent of it.
The lobbyists said SB 239 would bring broadband to rural Montana. It won’t. This bill does nothing but give the telecom industry a tax break, which will eventually shift more of the property tax burden to homeowners. Here’s how.
SB 239 does not specify that tax incentives will only be going to be given to rural projects. Rather, the industry is getting a tax break on ALL their cable property. So ask yourself; with fiber optic cable costing $30,000 per mile to install, will these companies build their new infrastructure in urban areas like Bozeman or will they lay cable out to Bufallobutt out in Petroleum County? Let’s be real. Once they get their tax break, these corporations will forget about rural Montana faster than you can say “corporate giveaway.”
Internet access is critical for growth, but rural Montana will be best served by different technology than fiber optic cable. Within a few years, satellite internet will be a fast and far cheaper alternative than cable for rural customers. The telecom lobbyists know that, but by playing the “help rural Montana” card they just might just get themselves a nice, juicy tax break. That’s their game plan.
—Rep. Tom Woods, Bozeman
Stick to ‘Goldilocks’
I would like to ask that those who continue to push their homosexual agenda not use little children as fodder. When a child goes to the local library for “storytime” they do not need to be exposed to any type of sexual orientation. If a parent wants to try to influence their child’s behavior or thought process concerning sexuality then let them do it in the privacy of their own homes. But it is not the place of a tax-supported institution, such as a public library, to meddle in the private affairs of little children. For “storytime” please stick to “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
—Jeff Van Fleet, Kalispell
Love in all its forms
Reading Sherry Stockham’s letter to editor (April 4) I was dismayed Ms. Stockham felt the ImagineIF’s book choice about two boys discovering their affection for each other was inappropriate and controversial. How can anyone’s affection, love and caring for a fellow human being be inappropriate?
Furthermore, love should be celebrated, not controversial. Children at a young age need to be exposed to the many different ways people can be attracted to and display love for one another. Same-sex marriage is a law and loving relationships of all kinds are undeniably part of the human condition. We need to accept this fact and instruct our children to appreciate all healthy, loving relationships. In doing so, hopefully this next generation will make this world a better place by embracing diversity, thereby strengthen our society. This is the world in which I want to live.
All young people need to see themselves in literature and popular culture. Normalizing all healthy, loving relationships is necessary for all people to feel accepted and should definitely not be controversial. One of the most appropriate ways to do this is through children’s books! Kudos to ImagineIF for taking steps to teach our children about the wide variety of ways people can love others. In doing so, they are contributing to a community where love in all its forms is not controversial.
—Michael Sherman, Kalispell
Million Mothers March
Mothers are a gift of life. Many women of the 19th century believed they had a responsibility to care for the casualties of society. For example, organized women in the Appalachians improved sanitation. In 1858 Anna Jarvis encouraged women of both the north and south to care for the wounded in the Civil War.
In fact, so many states had an official Mother’s Day that in 1872, Julia Ward Howe, proposed an annual Mother’s Day for Peace. For the next 30 years, many celebrated such on June 2.
In 1913, Congress established Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May. Then what happened? Commercial interests recognized an opportunity to exploit so now it’s a billion-dollar day.
Imagine instead, a Million Mothers March to the nation’s capital demanding equality! We would certainly celebrate that.
Until that march, my four children honor me by taking loving care of the casualties of society. Pass that on and celebrate a real gift of life on Mother’s Day.
—Dorothy Starshine, Great Falls