Letters to the editor July 1

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Union is necessary

I am writing this letter in solidarity with the nurses and hospital employees who have joined together to form a union.

I have practiced medicine in the valley since 1983 and have worked with many different administrators. Unionization of hospital employees has been considered in the past, but rejected, because there was a feeling that all parties were working together for a common goal, to provide excellent health care for our community.

The headline in the June 23 paper “CEO: Union could threaten hospital’s independence” scapegoats the union. If the hospital’s independence is lost, the administration and the board bear the responsibility. The greatest assault on our hospital began with a restructuring plan that has pushed staff to a breaking point. This restructuring has resulted in loss of numerous key staff, low morale and erosion of the exceptional standard of care that has been provided in our community. The restructuring was carried out in a heavy-handed, top-down manner.

The hospital employees who directly provide patient care need to have a say in how the hospital is run. The union is necessary for direct care givers to advocate for patients, regardless of who is serving in administration.

—Dr. Karl Oehrtman, Kalispell

Outstanding citizen

Three weeks ago I had an automobile accident at Signature Theater. I won’t go into detail, but want to give a shout out to a very kind gentleman who probably called 911 and who came to my aid by helping me out of my car and bandaging my bleeding leg. It is heart-warming to know there are caring people in our area who don’t hesitate to help. So thank you, Jon Vigil, for being one outstanding citizen.

—Ann Hoagland, Kalispell

A medical term

All of the abortion news of state’s passing laws restricting abortion has the pro-choice crowd all upset. Fetus (Latin for baby) is a feel good word. It takes away the “Oh, how cute.” I believe if we use the term “unborn baby” less people would approve of this court ruling. Abortion is a medical term for a complication in a pregnancy, not deliberate act end the baby’s life.

­—Dexter Hamilton, Kalispell

Volunteer Park improvements

I want to congratulate the Montana Conservation Corp crew for the incredible job they recently did restoring the landscaping at Volunteer Park in Lakeside.

The park opened in 2009 and 10 years later it was ready for intensive weeding and replacement of mulch. The Flathead Weeds and Parks Department made a great choice of asking the young people from MCC to accomplish the project. MCC’s mission statement reads, “Inspiring young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land and engaged citizens who improve their communities.” As I watched this team work with diligence and enthusiasm throughout the week, I realized how lucky county residence are to have the Montana Conservation Corp young people learning and working to improve our shared public lands. We will all enjoy the fruits of their labors for years to come.

— Jean Agather, Lakeside

Segregationist Democrats

I write with regard to an error in the AP article June 28 written by Juana Summers and Steve Peoples, “Fiery Democratic debate: Race, age, Health care and Trump.” That article states that the segregationist senators that Joe Biden had stated that he had worked with were Republicans. This is not true. The segregationist senators Joe Biden said he had worked with were both Democrats: James O. Eastland of Mississippi and Herman E. Talmadge of Georgia.

The Daily Inter Lake should not allow the AP to get away with writing such falsehoods. This one is especially egregious because the segregationists have always been Democrats. Allowing the AP writers to get away with writing such falsehoods, stating that the segregationists were Republicans, in effects rewrites the history of our country. Republicans are the party of Lincoln. The Republicans fought to free the slaves. Democrats fought to keep them slaves. Democrats are the party of poll taxes, Jim Crow laws, and the Ku Klux Klan.

— Mickale Carter, Columbia Falls

[Editor’s Note: The AP issued a correction shortly after the June 28 edition went to press. The correction was published in the following edition. We regret missing the error.]

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