From the March 22 edition of The Madisonian

MSTI should share profits

Dear Editor,

If the “powers that be” should decide to allow MSTI to permanently take away our scenic views and deface the natural beauty of our landscape (all in the name of progress and a few temporary jobs), they should be required to pay for it.

Every man, woman and child that resides in the affected Montana counties should be given a proportional share of MSTI’s profits, indefinitely, i.e. a royalty, if you will. We residents are the people that will be forced to live with the ugly transmission lines, roads and power poles, etc. Not to mention the devaluation of the affected public and private property.

Should we win this battle, it will send a loud and clear message to other business enterprises (present and future) that come here and permanently (and negatively) damage our quality of life in Montana. Business enterprises should not be allowed to have such a traumatic impact on Montana residents and their way of life. And if they do, we should be allowed to share in the profits. If the residents of Alaska can do this with oil and other natural resources (and rightfully so) we are entitled too! We residents have had too much “progress” crammed down our throats already and it’s about time we stood up for what is right, fair and just. Let’s send this message to MSTI and the rest of our “bought and paid for” politicians and tell them to put up or do their “business” elsewhere.

I recommend that MSTI develop the project along one of the already existing “power corridors” to reduce any additional impact to our environment.

Rick Parke

Dillon

Vujovich and Coffman the right men for the job

Dear Editor,

In response to announcements from Josh Vujovich and Chad Coffman of their intent to run for the Ennis School Board, I have to say that I am very impressed. Both men have the insight to the needs of the students and staff of the Ennis School District, which is very encouraging. With the recent events encompassing the district, looking forward to continue the excellent education of our students is the only way to get this community back to normal. I am very encouraged by the quality of community members stepping up to help move our district forward. Having Chad and Josh involved in working with a new superintendent, will be a positive direction for the school and our community.

I am in full support of both men’s run for the Ennis School Board.

Wayne Black

Ennis

Wagner misguided on his “birther” conspiracy

Dear Editor,

 

Say what? The “birther” conspiracy, which brought Montana and Madison County such dubious distinction in 2011 is back! Rep. Bob Wagner’s latest letter of recurring paranoia is breathtaking. He tells us that an investigative unit of the “Maracaposa” County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona has released findings that conclude the Presidential birth certificate is a forgery!

First: Look at the background. Since there is no “Maracaposa” county in Arizona, it is presumed Wagner meant Maricopa County. The Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arapaio, is under investigations (which began during the Bush Administration) into allegations of this sheriff’s leadership, which raise serious concerns about public safety. The investigations allege evidence of discrimination, retaliation and human rights abuses that violate the 1st, 4th, and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. On the flimsy basis of a right-wing Arizona sheriff’s department’s rantings, Wagner attacks our Montana Secretary of State of not “preserving the purity of the election process.” Apparently Wagner thinks the Secretary of State must subscribe to the same forgery delusions as the Arizona sheriff and himself.

Second: Montana law prescribes the filing procedures of all candidates in Montana and the Secretary of State must follow the law. The filing forms must be filled out by each and every candidate, who affirms or certifies its validity, and notarized. The Secretary of State then certifies to each county election administrator the names of candidates who have fulfilled the legal requirements for placement on the ballots. Defying logic, Wagner alleges that the Secretary of State has not “guaranteed that a candidate (the President) has met the qualifications of the law” and “that she has neglected to act” (to demand a valid birth certificate). Montana law requires only a declaration for nomination by a candidate, not a birth certificate, by anyone, even a candidate for House District 71.

Third: Getting back to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s unit’s “findings,” this mentality is mindful of Rep. Wagner’s, and other local representative’s, belief that sheriffs shall be the supreme law enforcement authority in America. This belief was proposed as law in Senate Bill 114, the “Sheriffs First Act,” in the last legislative session and supported by tea-party people and anti-government representatives. The bill failed. It was just one more far-right, unconstitutional, time-wasting act to undermine the U.S. Constitution, which we all know (or should) is the supreme law of the land.

Is this the same type of thinking and representation that we can expect from our current legislator if he is re-elected? Be an informed voter.

Pat Bradley

Twin Bridges

Focused on school district and community health, George announces for school board

Dear Editor,

 

On March 6 of this year I filed my oath of candidacy for trustee to the Ennis School Board.

First of all, our school is the most important cornerstone in our community. I believe that it is here, within its walls, we place our greatest dreams and hopes for a better future, our children. It is also here, they should receive some of the basic navigational skills of life – education, pride, teamwork and esteem. A few will achieve more, like the ability to share in the positive mentorship of others and to be our leaders of tomorrow.

The school board trustees are one of the most important governing bodies in our community. Five trustees are given your trust to guide the needs of education to our children. They are also entrusted with your combined hopes not only for a more secure life for you and your children, but for a future of freedom and opportunity. In doing so, each year we give to our school board the responsibility to manage millions of our dollars to provide the framework for the educational needs for our children. It is through these chosen few we ask for their integrity and leadership to guide and implement our values and standards.

Our community is no different than most, in many ways. We are comprised of families from all walks of life with different ideas, needs and wants. We can agree to agree or to disagree on many subjects or positions, but never compromising in the needs of providing an education of well-roundedness to our children. Our children and their parents should always know that the school is a place where the opportunity for education is offered and given with neutrality to each and every student.

Granted, during the last year and a half our community has grappled with some difficult issues. We have a beautiful new school building. It is there and it is ours. Yes, there are questions regarding what funds were used to build it. And yes again, we do need to look back at what has been done, determine what remains and needs to be done, and begin moving forward.

I believe the board of trustees needs to be open and approachable. I also believe hard, but informed decisions must be made. A trustee must represent the needs of his or her community as a whole, not just the ideas or wants of a few. The community needs to be more involved and informed of the issues involving the school with the posting of agendas that reflect the issues to be discussed. Greater community knowledge of issues can occur with the posting of approved minutes. Any question from any citizen about any public issue deserves an answer.

For over three decades I have been in the service of the United States and my community. First, serving in the United States Marine Corps and then for 26 years in the Oregon State Police. Through my life, my schooling and life experiences, I have come to believe that our system of government, especially local government, is the very best in history. I also know that there is nothing about our government that can be taken for granted. It is only as good as our leadership and our citizenship. It is with this I ask for your involvement in the upcoming election on May 8. In asking for this involvement, I also ask for your vote.

Craig B. George

Candidate for Ennis School District Trustee

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