From the Jan. 26 edition of The Madisonian

Thank you to a generous Ruby Valley community

Dear Editor,

My husband and I would like to extend our gratitude for all the support, compassion and donations that we have received over the past three months. A very special thank you to the Ruby Valley Hospital in Sheridan who saved Josh’s life on more than one occasion. Ted Woirhaye, Rachel Rossiter, Amy and Chris Williamson, Roman Hendrickson and Brenda Barnaby you are forever in our hearts. For anyone else’s name that I did not mention please know we are forever grateful for your help on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, 2011.

We would also like to thank the Ruby Valley Ambulance for their quick response and passion in what they do – they are the reason my husband is still here today. Mike, Ken and Jane you are forever in our hearts – a million thank yous doesn’t even come close to how much we appreciate you.

The benefit dinner on Saturday Jan. 14 was a huge success a special thank you to each and every person who came to support Josh. Donations for the auction made by individuals and businesses as well as monetary donations were greatly appreciated along with those who bid and won auction items. We are simply amazed by the community’s generosity and there are no words to describe how emotional and heartfelt your support is to us. We are incredibly thankful for the Ruby Valley Boys for the live band as well as Dave Marsh for being the auctioneer. Their efforts were greatly appreciated to make the benefit a huge success.
When Josh and I joined the Alder Fire Department two years ago we simply wanted to be apart of the community, however over the course of the past few years we’ve learned much more than we could ever imagine. From training to responding to various calls we’ve learned that our true passion is helping the community and those in need. We never thought that one day the tables would be turned and we would be the ones in need.

Thank You to the everyone on the Alder Fire Department – Dan Doornbos, Megan Ellis, June Pack and Linda Dixon for organizing the benefit dinner; Home Engineers for cooking the delicious food, Harrington’s for the cases of pop and everyone that brought desserts to enjoy. Lastly a very special thank you to my parents Barry and Carla Carter, Frank and Kay Collwel, Jane Waldie, Jim and Jan Wallace, Chet and Mary Pat Graham – family near and far as well as amazing friends who have stood by our side and supported us through this nightmare that we’ve endured we couldn’t have gotten through it without you.
For those who are interested in updates for Josh’s upcoming surgery in Arizona at the end of January please go to www.caringbridge.org under Tawnia and Josh Hanson password is hanson. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

Josh and Tawnia Carter Hanson
Alder

Rep. Wagner responds to recent letter, looks to set record straight

Dear Editor,

The only thing abused more than the citizens that pay taxes in Montana is the First Amendment used by some who are the recipients of said taxes. Such is the case with the perspective by John Getty.

Mr. Getty’s emotional comments may be his right to express, but his facts do not support his position. To the point, I did not vote to close a veterans’ home in Montana. The vote was to privatize the state operated Columbia Falls Veterans’ Home which serves 90 residents at a cost to the State of $289 per day, per veteran compared to the privately operated veterans’ home in Glendive serving 69 veterans at a cost of $67 per day, per veteran. Both facilities were certified by the Montana Veterans’ Affairs Office as to being equal in quality and care, and the proposal came as a suggestion from Legislative Budget Office to reduce costs and improve efficiency of the operations of the state government and save taxpayers money.

Regarding TSEP funding and the governor’s veto of HB 351 – I am not alone in pursuit of justice for the people of my district. This coming week the courts will address the validity of the Governor’s acts in relationship to the intent of the law. MACO and other affected districts have joined in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of his veto authority. Are these folks anti-government activists also? I believe them to be ordinary citizens, like myself, that wish to hold their public servants accountable to the law – the governor is no exception. Governor Schweitzer is known for his political antics and abuse of authority. Simply put, his decision to veto HB 351 is grounded in political mischief rather than principled logic. The TSEP funding process was designed specifically to prohibit these acts. The loss of valuable infrastructure dollars and disrespect for the citizens of House District 71 and disrespect for the intent of the law can only be laid at the feet of the governor and those such as yourself who support this behavior. For the record as I have stated several times now, I supported funding the Sheridan water and Sewer improvements in accordance with the provisions set down in HB 351. However, supporting funding and the process set forth by law is not the same as supporting changes to the law.

If Mr. Getty asked, I would and could explain, so one may conclude that Mr. Getty’s negligence to ask is he is not interested in the facts. To the point of the “tiny” wage increase – all state employees received a 1.6 percent benefit pay increase, and approximately 50 percent of all state employees received a 2.38 percent direct pay increase. I am sorry you may not have been one of them, but neither was I. Given the fact that much of the private sector has taken a pay cut to keep a job, or are living on unemployment benefits without a job – I’d consider you fortunate, wouldn’t you?

As to the state having a surplus. You forgot one important word – that being “projected” surplus. This projected surplus will be more than consumed by the “projected” 10 percent reduction of federal funds.

No, Mr. Getty, it seems clear to me that your motive is self-centered and is more about you than the good of the whole. You might consider looking past your own protected domain of public employment and consider the horses you’re riding on are about to lay down.

Bob Wager
Representative House District 71
Harrison

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