ImagineIF deserves new home
Our Imagine IF Library is one of Kalispell’s most important cornerstones. It is our public library, a community hub where people of all ages, income, race, gender, and beliefs can gather and access free information. Our library gives our community a strong sense of place by offering all kinds of learning activities through a vast range of resources. Summer and winter reading programs, storytime, job search help, resume writing, interview skills, K-12 school resources, filling out government paperwork for health insurance or taxes are all supported at Imagine If.
Where else can one explore medical information for free and travel the world without a penny? In a world of fast-paced change and burgeoning information, our library offers a wide range of experiences and new ideas. We can get delightedly lost in fabulous stories or be reminded by preserved history how libraries have been torch bearers of facts against misinformation. Libraries promote the progress of knowledge. When I sit in the magazine and newspaper area upstairs, many are online who couldn’t otherwise. I hear people learning English and sit with those who may not have a roof over their heads at night. Library programs bring books to shut ins and community resources outside the library are highlighted and dispersed.
The library’s physical building protects one of democracy’s most important public institutions and boosts our community in countless ways.
The ImagineIf library deserves a forward looking set of community leaders who know that the current library has been too small for decades and needs a consistent centrally located home supported as the essential public service that it is!
—Margaret Strainer, Kalispell
The Associated Press reported recently that “The number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically under Trump, despite his tough rhetoric and hardline policies.”
Of course the numbers have risen. The masses of illegal immigrants are trying to get into the United States before Trump inevitably cracks down on the lawlessness. He has given and continues to give Congress the opportunity to come up with real solutions to the border crisis. The immigrants know that sooner or later — hopefully, for us, sooner — he will take action. Thus the rush.
Our founding fathers deliberately made lawmaking difficult. They wanted Congress to think carefully about passing laws. Are they constitutional? Are they enforceable? Are they necessary?
However, our founding fathers were wise enough to realize that the president must have authority in the case that Congress cannot or will not act responsibly in times of crisis. I hope President Trump takes whatever steps necessary to prevent all of us from paying the price for the invasion at the southern border. I hope the crisis doesn’t spread to the northern border, when Montanans might see, first hand, this crisis and its consequences. Oh, I forgot — Montanans tell me that will never happen here. As Charles Dickens said, “Never say never.”
—Dee Armstrong, Bigfork
Whitefish water woes
To the citizens of Whitefish; putting aside the remaining and unanswered questions about how the city let itself get into a position of having to limit water use city wide when no other town in the valley is having to do this.
I believe that we all should do our part in conserving and reducing our water consumption. But be on guard!
There is another issue, recently the city of Whitefish adopted the water conservation ordinance. Residence of Whitefish please be aware of the probable impact on you as a rate payer.
When the citizens conserve water and reduce their water and sewer usage, the water and sewer companies/city, receives less revenue from the year before which means that the politicians and city officials will agree to a rate increase to make up for the reduction in revenue due to our sacrifice of water usage.
Please let your politicians and city officials know that you will not stand for a rate increase due to your water conservation.
Also, tell them like my father use to tell me, “think further than the end of your nose when planning something.”
—Michael D. Mormino, Whitefish
Summer is here and I know all of us in the valley are aware of the influx of people from out of town that support our local businesses, our national park, and our communities. I also think most of us are aware of the increased traffic that is on our roadways. But for some reason this summer, this influx of traffic has seemed to have turned downright out of control to me.
I want to focus specifically on the portion of U.S. 2 between Hungry Horse to West Glacier. It has become downright dangerous.
I do not know if the solution would be to lower the speed limit during the summer or if an increased patrol of the area would help, but something needs to be done.
I commute from Whitefish to Coram daily and every time I go to work it feels like I am taking my life into my own hands, and I am not driving through our small communities of Hungry Horse and Coram, but on the Indy 500. Few drivers seem to pay any attention to the speed limit.
Then throw in the weaving in and out of lanes without turn signals, riding the rear bumper of cars going the speed limit, and the erratic and dangerous weaving in and out of lanes when a vehicle in front of them turns on their turn signal, it is downright dangerous.
During the summer months a plethora of locally owned businesses open their doors to the influx of visitors, right off the highway, on this stretch. A number of our community members live on roads that are right off the highway. There are RVs, boat trailers and horses in tow to visit the areas that are right off the highway. A highway that travels through communities where people walk their dogs, children ride their bikes, and people live. A highway that has very few turning lanes, a thin berm, and a speed limit that is set too high in my opinion for the increase in traffic volume that no driver seems to adhere to.
I honestly can say I feel fear when I have to make a left onto the highway from my work establishment. There is no center lane, so I try to make it into a small turning lane and wait for an opportunity to go from a dead stop to joining in with the traffic flow; with cars flying by me without slowing down that make my car shake. Every local I have spoken to has had at least one close call with getting hit by traffic that doesn’t slow down while they are trying to turn down their road off the highway just to make it home.
I have seen very little patrol on this portion of the road that is becoming more like a race track. I fear it is only a matter of time before a family turning into their campground, a motorcyclist, or local gets killed in a collision due to high speeds and driving negligence from other drivers. I understand people are from out of town, but they are flying right through our small communities with no regard to the people that live there. Something needs to be done.
—Danielle Peirce, Columbia Falls