Letters to the Editor 03.28.13

Richmann supports second opinion

Dear Editor,

I was so pleased to read Mike Richmann’s letter to the editor last week announcing his candidacy for a seat on the Ennis School Board. Mike Richmann is the only candidate thus far who has consistently and unwaveringly supported cleaning up our school’s finance issues and advocating for getting a second opinion from another attorney.

I know Mike Richmann and know that he is informed about the issues and that his word is his bond.  As he said in his announcement letter, there is still much to be done. I know he would serve us well and help to get the school system back on the right track.

I look forward to hearing more from him throughout this campaign. Please consider casting your vote for Mike Richmann on Tuesday, May 7.



Phyllis Wasick



Road improvements could increase property values

Dear Editor:

The Jack Creek Road improvements proposed by Becky Vujovich should be supported by residents of Madison Valley for the increased value added to properties in Ennis and surrounding communities.

With access to Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, both visitors and residents will benefit. Resorts get more business from those of us on this side of the mountain, and residents can market their properties as having easy access to Big Sky skiing.

Business from summer and winter visitors would increase as well as opportunities for a shared business community among the chambers of commerce in both areas. This can be a win-win solution to keeping the valley and the resorts healthy. Let’s get on the bandwagon to encourage the County Commissioners to support this endeavor and build a stronger Madison County.


Shay Sayre

Shining Mountains


Medicaid expansion needed to protect Montana’s working poor

Dear Editor:


As a registered Republican and someone who did not vote for Obama, partly because of his positions on healthcare, I feel strongly that Montana must expand Medicaid.

The Supreme Court has upheld the new healthcare law, and now we must deal with it. The expansion of Medicaid is probably one of the few provisions of this healthcare law that I can embrace.  Montana is 49th in personal income. We cannot afford to take the hit of rejecting Medicaid expansion on an ideological basis.  Those people without health insurance in our state, who would otherwise be covered under the Medicaid expansion, are real people and need to be remembered and considered.

For the foreseeable future, if we do not expand Medicaid, there are no options available to these working poor to obtain healthcare coverage, except to neglect their health or face personal bankruptcy. The Accountable Care Act, better known as Obama Care, has raised the cost of healthcare for everyone.

The working poor in the state of Montana, who could not afford healthcare before, are now hopelessly priced out of healthcare forever, unless they are allowed the option of obtaining Medicaid.  The Montana Legislature MUST expand Medicaid coverage to the working poor in our state, or accept that they have disenfranchised the working poor from obtaining appropriate care for their healthcare needs. I urge all those in our legislature to vote in favor of Medicaid expansion for the working poor in our state.




Roman M. Hendrickson, MD


Thank you for your kindness

Thank you for all the remembrances and kind words from the community after Dad’s strength finally failed him. A heartfelt thanks to those nurses and CNA’s who were Dad’s favorite caregivers and made the last few years more bearable. We will all miss his unconventional nature.

Marilyn and Terry Jenkins

Kelley and Steve Knack

Daniel and Tami Jenkins and all eight great-grandchildren

Jamie and Brian Lovett

Kristen and Chris Retherford


Without natural resources we could not function for 5 seconds as a modern industrial society

Dear Editor:


As a consequence of recent news articles in this paper, I have fielded a number of questions about mine cleanup and re-mining activities in Southwest Montana, and felt that a letter describing my involvement and perspective might be in order.

Since the early 1970s there has been a concerted effort by environmental groups to reduce and eventually eliminate most mining in Montana. Much of the rationale for this is based on the scale and environmental impact of 150 years of past mining under traditional (notably less stringent) standards and the scars left on the landscape. Times have changed and mining technologies have changed as well. Modern mining can happen in a much more environmentally responsible manner, can produce high paying (safe) jobs, can provide economic opportunity for local communities and be reclaimed in ways that were unimaginable even 50 years ago. It is time that we end the false perception that mining has to be bad for the environment and should automatically be banned.

We need mining. Without natural resources we could not function for 5 seconds as a modern industrial society. Look around your home or workplace and name one thing that could be produced without mining and natural resources. If we shut down American mining and send those jobs to third world countries, what will we have accomplished?  We are losing high paying American jobs and the natural environment will be much more polluted in a low skill, third world country with lax environmental laws. If it really is about saving the environment, then why would we send our mining infrastructure to countries 10 to 20 times more likely to pollute the environment? This really makes no sense. In 1960, Montana was 6th in per capita income in the United States. Today we are 48th. The reason we are taking a nosedive in wealth creation is because outside forces are shutting down our natural resource industries and transferring our technology to anywhere but America.  It is time we turn that around and no better place than here in Southwest Montana.


Dan Happel

County Commissioner

Madison District 2


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