Letters to the editor May 13

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Test-forced tennis defaults

I am writing to commend the class, maturity and grace of the Flathead High School seniors who were defaulted from two matches at this week’s Northern AA Divisional Tennis tournament because one was taking IB tests at Flathead when their matches were called.

Between these defaults, they were able to play once, beating the highest-seeded team in the tourney, only to be eliminated the next round by default (again) because MHSA mandated that tournament directors NOT work around these tests, even when two days of gorgeous tennis weather would have easily allowed it.

MHSA officials say there is no precedent for Montana high school tournaments working around academics at all, including IB or AP tests. AP tests are much more flexible than IB.

I am not sure if MHSA leaders are simply out of touch with the reality of the situation or if they don’t want to acknowledge it, but for the five years I have been involved with Flathead tennis, both IB and AP students from multiple high schools have had matches held for them at divisional and state levels.

In these situations, coaches have agreed that playing tennis, even with the possibility of incurring a loss, is better than taking advantage of a test-forced default.

While we will continue to work through formal channels to correct this unfair situation which has affected Flathead student athletes for 13 years now, please consider reaching out to our MHSA board if you also feel change should occur.

—Amy Borgen is an assistant tennis coach at Flathead High School

Power to the people

“We the People” are not to be swayed nor influenced by the loud and relentless voices from both the Executive and Legislative branches of government. These folks are being covered by the media 24/7.

“We the People” have already demonstrated not being swayed nor influenced by all this. The midterm elections powerfully showed the mood and good sense of our nation’s people. “We the People” are not running for office, are not trying to influence those we are supposed to be serving; are not trying to protect our back-sides; are not feeling the pressure from some “executive branch” in our lives that threatens us in any way; and are very often not even controlled by the political party to which we say we belong.

No! “We the People” have spoken in the midterms and shall speak again in the general elections. All the political panels, all the media coverage of Congress, all the very partisan political palaver will not change the very positive trend our powerful decision-making public is making.

This is my take on where we are in America today as we endure the next months and months of very partisan political palaver.

—Bob McClellan, Polson

Grizzly lies

Once again, the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem committee met publicly to present their false news and lies to convince the general public that grizzly bears should be delisted from the Endangered Species Act list and trophy hunted. They do these meetings periodically on orders from their bosses who are beholding to Republican Party politics for their salaries and that dictate this action.

In my old days in aerospace engineering this was called “reverse engineering” and served a similar purpose and requirement to achieve a winning strategy to respond to a request for proposal (RFP) from the federal government on a major contract.

The tactic is to predetermine an outcome you desire and then produce fake science to prove the premise you want unsuspecting people to believe with the false outcome.

A number of people on this committee for this particular meeting, in my opinion, knowingly falsified their premise and, consequently, the resultant outcome:

Jeff Mow, NCDE Chair GNP; Randy Arnold, NCDE Vice Chair FWP; Carolyn Upton, USFS; Scott Jackson, USFS; George Edwards, Montana Livestock Loss Board; Hilary Cooley, USFWS; Mark Albers, BLM; Gary Bertellotti, FWP; Chip Weber, USFS; Bill Avey, USFS L&C; Kraig Glazier, USDA APHIS; Dan Rogers, DNRC; Jim Williams, FWP; Jodi Bush, USFWS; Bryan Donner, USFS; Claudia Regan, USGS; Cecily Costello, FWP; Holger Bohm, Ministry of Forest Lands & Natural Resources (B.C.); Paul Frame, A.B. Fish & Game; Stacy Courville, CSKT; Dustin Weatherwax, Blackfeet Nation; Connie Stahr, Assistant to NCDE Chair GNP.

There were representatives of conservation groups and individual environmentalists present to testify and appeal to the committee to save the grizzly bear from delisting but, as usual, their pleas were ignored.

You, the general public, must protest these false meetings with predetermined results and come forward to save the grizzly bear in a massive protest by writing op-eds to local newspapers and national major newspapers. The grizzly bear is a noble animal and deserves to survive as Mother Nature intended ... notwithstanding the greed and politics of the human species that has already reduced their old, natural habitat by 98 percent.

—Bill Baum, Badrock Canyon

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