Sunday, July 12, 2020

Letters to the editor May 4

| May 6, 2020 12:54 PM

I am writing this letter in support of Bruce Tutvedt’s bid for House District 6 due to his integrity and support of public education. As a leader in our community, he understands the importance of a public education to provide opportunities for the next generation. In his distinguished two terms in the Montana State Senate he supported expanded K-12 funding, a tuition freeze for higher education, and increased funding for career and technical education. As a Kalispell Public Schools trustee, I keenly appreciate his support of distance learning which was beginning during his terms in the legislature, but are vital to our online presence now.

Public education is the foundation for our Democracy. Schools are an institution where no matter what economic level, race, or religious belief our children come together, are exposed to new ideas, learn how to critically analyze those ideas and prepare for being a citizen in our community. Hard work by dedicated educators have created outstanding public schools in Montana. Bruce’s stances have not always been popular with either party, but his decisions have been consistent with his values and his analysis of the facts before him. Bruce supports the local control and accountability by publicly elected local school boards. As a conservative, he will not raise taxes in order to add new education systems where private schools are not accountable to the taxpayers through oversight and accountability.

Please support Bruce Tutvedt in the primary election. He has demonstrated an ability to work with others to get things done to the benefit of families in Montana.

—Lance Isaak, Kalispell

In a press conference, President Trump stated: “I’m going to have to make a decision and I only hope to God that it’s the right decision. But I would say without question, it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”

His statement is regarding the reopening the United States economy in concert with Covid-19 as it ravages the country, particularly the urban centers.

Whether you think Trump is the best president since (fill in the blank), or you are middle of the road, or you hate the man, think he is an idiot, and hate that for which he stands, he is the president, hence, has a large portion of the world on his shoulders.

Per some economic professionals, our economy is at a precarious point, perhaps already sliding downhill within the reach of a depression the likes of 1929. Others are less pessimistic but, acknowledge the dangers of continued economic stall. Just like this novel virus — new and unprecedented — we simply do not know what will happen, thus, Trump’s statement: “I only hope to God that it’s the right decision.”

Regarding a possible depression, I’ll relate a true story that my precious late mother-in-law told me in the 1980s. She lived through the Great Depression and said that no one should have to live through something like it. Her emotions — palpable — as though living in that time the moment she relayed the story. She said she had a can of tomatoes she was using to make meatless spaghetti (there was no meat to be had). She poured the tomatoes into a sieve separating the juice to use for another meal. After she separated the two, she absentmindedly poured the juice down the sink. SHE POURED THE PRECIOUS JUICE DOWN THE SINK! Fifty years to the day she told me this she was still berating herself for wasting that juice. We cannot imagine.

I spoke with my youngest who as a nurse practitioner in New York is ministering palliative care in the hospital to dying COVID-19 patients. She is certified in that area so they moved her from cardiology to that unit as she volunteered - no one else wanted to do this. If anyone should know what it is like for the patient and their families and the health-care providers to see the horror of Covid-19 and subsequent loss that she sees on a daily basis, it is she. I asked her opinion on opening the county in areas with less cases and her immediate response. “We have to.”

She continued, “I already know of at least one man who committed suicide and he has two children.” My heart broke for the children, and that man, and the mother. Suicide during the Great Depression was less than had been propagandized, but homelessness, starvation, complete misery and hopelessness were pervasive. We cannot imagine.

Is there risk of reopening? Absolutely. Is there risk to not reopen. Absolutely.

Pray more, criticize less, support more and make note of those who continue to criticize from their TV soapboxes, or from seats of power, whose seats are occupied by men and women who likely have million dollar income streams, who are career politicians that would never survive with the feelings of hopelessness some now face.

—Lianne Gregory, Kalispell

Tim Fox and the Montana Democratic Party are accusing Congressman Gianforte of profiting off of the COVID-19 pandemic, because he has investments in some companies that produce virus related products. Do Mr. Fox and the Democrats not understand that companies need capital (investors) to run a company? They must be very upset at distilleries in Montana that switched to making hand sanitizer or companies that are now producing protective masks. Will those companies be accused of profiting off of the virus?

With that line of thinking a grocery store is evil for profiting off of peoples’ hunger. It just doesn’t make sense.

I am thankful for individuals like Mr. Gianforte that see a need and use their resources to provide for the public. What are Mr. Fox and the Montana Democrats doing to help people through this pandemic? Giving criticism and sitting on their money?

—Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell

No one is better prepared to serve as Montana’s next Attorney General than Raph Graybill. He has the energy, intelligence and values that resonate with me. Graybill values fairness for all, which will guide the future of our entire legal system.

As Governor Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, Graybill has been working by the Governor’s side to keep Montanans safe and respond to COVID-19. He knows how to make the tough decisions that face an Attorney General because he’s doing that work now.

Graybill also knows about fighting for Montanans. While politicians like to talk about public lands, Graybill went all the way to the Supreme Court to protect them. He’s done the same fighting dark money and standing up to protect working people in Montana, as well as our public schools.

There’s no other candidate like Raph Graybill with the experience facing the tough decisions and winning the big cases for Montana. With great enthusiasm, he has my vote.

—Dan Weinberg, Whitefish

Tim Fox is by far the best qualified candidate for Montana governor. He is a Montana native. He has served Montana since 1990. He has a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration. He has been our Attorney General since 2012. His Montana accomplishments are too long to list. In 2012, he was elected to the executive committee of the National Association of Attorneys General. He is now its president-elect. Tim set Montana track records in high school and college.

In 2016, Fox received a record number of Montana votes for his second term as AG, 40 percent more votes than Gianforte who lost his governor bid.

Gianforte is unelectable in 2020. He has zero experience in Montana government, law, or public service. He has no plan to get Montanans back to work. He body slammed a reporter half his size. He broke his promise to stay in Congress. He avoids governor candidate debates that would reveal the real Gianforte. He hides behind expensive political ads he hopes will steal the primary from Fox. Gianforte is not a team player. His actions threaten to elect a Democrat governor, again.

All Montanans should vote for Tim Fox for governor.

—Edwin Berry, Bigfork

How many people in Montana know his name? Maurice Hilleman (1919-2005). Here is a man who probably is responsible for saving the most lives in the world in all of human history and most people here in his own birthplace could not guess who he was and what he did. Especially now when we are in the midst of our COVID-19 epidemic and we are all praying for a vaccine for this terrible disease, he is a shining light of the past.

Maurice Hillman was born on a farm near Miles City. His mother and twin sister died a few days after his birth. He was brought up by a childless uncle and aunt who lived on a farm near his father’s family. He worked hard and often said that his work with chickens and eggs in his early life on the farm prepared him for his scientific work. His uncle recognizing his genius talked him out of being a clerk at a department store and helped him financially at Montana State University. He graduated number one in his class and went on to the University of Chicago for his Ph.d. Instead of going into academia he worked at the Pharmaceutical giant Merck. He is responsible for inventing 40 vaccines including, MMR, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis A vaccines.

—Lynne Bradley, Kalispell