Letters to the Editor: 1.17.13

Close Up kids thank you

Dear Editor,

Thank you to the community for your support in the Close Up fireworks fundraiser.

The Sheridan Close Up kids and parents


We don’t have to be afraid of our government

Dear editor,

I won’t get into Bill Hanley’s rambling letter blaming all of society’s problems on the “decision makers.” (I guess he’s referring to the Founding Fathers who guaranteed all those rights). What most concerns me is the anger and fear expressed because some Americans are trying desperately to curtail the epidemic of gun violence that continues to tear our communities apart. We all need to take a deep breath and consider:

No one (at least no one with any authority) is suggesting or even considering taking away anyone’s guns…not in this country.

The Founders could not possibly have visualized life as it is in the 21st century. In the 1780s, it took Benjamin Franklin nine days to get from Boston to Philadelphia. Most people raised their own food, and there were no chemicals or preservatives. There were no cars, trains, airplanes, phones, TVs, computers, or NEWS…and the most dangerous weapons were erratic muzzleloaders.

No matter what we do, it won’t change anything immediately, but we can’t just continue doing nothing. It’s a cultural problem and it will take years, generations…after we lost 600,000 of our best men and The Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law, it took 100 years to pass the Civil Rights Act. And 50 years later, we’re still trying to overcome racism.

Ours is the most benevolent government in the history of the Earth. For all its failings, we still don’t have to be afraid of it. And in this country, WE are the government. We’re all in it together and that means protecting each other’s rights…even if that includes sensible regulations along the way that affect all of us.

Walt Long

Virginia City


You are all a wonderful blessing

Dear Editor,

To all of our wonderful friends and family – thank you so much for all of your prayers, cards and gifts of food.

Your support for Larry and me during my recent “open heart” surgery and since I got home has been a wonderful blessing.

May God bless you, each and every one.

Carrol Young


Thank you to the friends and family of John Simpson

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank everyone who attended John’s funeral and came to say farewell to him and pay their last respects. He loved his Montana and all his friends, family, co-workers, and classmates. He never tired of telling me stories of experiences he had with all of you and some were great and some were sad, especially when he had to dig graves for children and friends.

We travelled many places on our mission trips but Sheridan and Twin were always home. Although we didn’t get back there as much as we wanted, it always felt like we were finally home when we got there. We loved hiking, rock hunting, and especially fishing on the high mountain lakes and the Ruby Reservoir.

Now he is gone and I miss him so much, but I know that I will see him again one day. Thank you all for loving him and being his friend all these years.  May God bless all of you.

Suzanne C. Simpson

Overton, Nevada


Wake up and smell the coffee

Dear Editor,

Last winter I attended a meeting at the Montana Department of Livestock to discuss wolf depredation, and a proposal to add 25 million dollars to the Farm Bill to cover livestock losses. On the morning of the hearing, I awakened early and downloaded information, including financial, off the websites of the two environmental organizations (Natural Resource Defense Council & Defenders of Wildlife) that had lobbied most actively for introduction of Canadian Gray Wolves.  These groups had made commitments to pay livestock producers for wolf depredation as an added incentive to resistant political leaders.

When I arrived at the meeting a gentleman at the other end of the room, was stressing the need to provide funding in the Farm Bill to cover livestock losses. I asked, “Why aren’t the NRDC and Defenders of Wildlife paying for these losses as they had originally agreed?” His response was; “We only agreed to pay for depredation losses until delisting and besides, we can’t afford it…we don’t have that kind of money.” We can’t afford it? Who was this guy that seemed to have so much influence on the Board, was directing the discussion and referred to the environmental groups as we? It turned out he was a Virginia based attorney for the NRDC named Bob Harrison. He had requested the meeting and seemed to be very much in charge. I mentioned that NRDC raised 531+ million dollars during a 2010-2011 fundraising effort to get the wolves RELISTED. Mr. Harrison unsuccessfully tried to refute my information until I showed the group NRDC’s latest audited financial statement. I also learned that Michael Leahy, the Rocky Mountain Regional Director for Defenders of Wildlife was serving as a current voting member on the Livestock Loss Board. I came away from that meeting, knowing that the foxes really were in charge of the henhouse.

When the draft Farm Bill came out several months later, the $25 million dollars had been added, but not one dollar had been included for livestock losses or lethal controls of wolves. The funding was directed toward hazing and other non-lethal experimental efforts to reduce depredation, with the lion’s share of the funding going to environmental groups. Somehow they had managed to pass the buck, or more accurately, 25 million bucks, to American taxpayers and were positioned to reap whatever financial benefit resulted from the effort. When are we going to wake up and smell the coffee?

Dan A. Happel

Commissioner – District 2


Should only act on behalf of Madison County

Dear Editor,

We learn from Commissioner Dan Happel’s recent letter that we in Madison County have much to fear. It seems that rather than exercise the general authority given by law to county commissioners to take care of county business, he has returned to his global conspiracy theories and will be attempting to use his position as a Madison County spokesman to save us from “forces beyond our state borders.” He says he will protect my life, liberty and private property. He is not responsible for such – I am. He is responsible for my public services in Madison County.

Mr. Happel advocated several unconstitutional proposals of the last legislature, such as the expanded State sovereignty resolution, jury nullification, gold and silver backed currency, the “birther” documentation of candidate eligibility, recall of the 16th Amendment and many of the far-right bill drafts that were fortunately defeated. His letter identifying future targets seems to indicate that he will continue to speak for his agenda positions.

Happel’s recently drafted Resolution 33-2012 is called a Large Predator Policy, but the essence of it is to establish coordination supremacy with State and Federal laws, which has the same intent as the previously drafted and failed unconstitutional 2011 bill SB117. State predator policy is now established in Sec. 87-1-217 MCA.  A current draft LC0441 considering “coordination is now being prepared at the legislature and the county should wait and give that preference.”

Mr. Happel is a thoughtful and serious representative for county business. However, he openly acknowledges his anti-government political persuasion, and says that we must fear policies crafted or enforced by State and Federal agencies, environment special interests, tax-exempt foundations, even “vision statements.” He has every right to his personal opinions, but it is problematic if he speaks on radical positions when he represents himself as a Madison County commissioner. As representatives of our county, it is hoped that the each Commissioner will clarify their personal stand on legislation and act only in unison on behalf of Madison County. We must trust that the other two sitting commissioners will continue to take moderate positions that have always served our local government well and that they will be wary of extreme positions.

It is ironic that as a government official, Mr. Happel’s exercises such anti-government paranoia. His suspicious perception of our State’s and Nation’s laws makes one wonder what part of America has not worked out for him. It is interesting to note that Mr. Happel swears to uphold the Constitution above all else except when he wants to change it.

Pat Bradley

Twin Bridges


Granny Lueck also supports ice rink

Dear Editor,

Loved reading the great article on the Virginia City ice skating rink updates (1/3/13)! The funding for the improvements was also made possible by a committee of V.C. gals who “hosted” the Granny Lueck Memorial Golf Tournament a couple summers ago.

That committee has given over $1,900 to the ice rink for equipment and improvements. Thank you Granny Lueck Tournament and Madison Meadows Golf Course!

Micki Benedict

Virginia City

No Comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>