Letters to the Editor – April 4, 2013

Your right to vote

Dear Editor,

The Ennis School District has an important election coming up on May 7 and every election provides us with the right, the responsibility and the privilege to cast our vote and make a difference in the election result.  To vote in Montana one must:

  • Be registered as required by law
  • Be 18 years old or older on or before the next election
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Have lived in Montana and in the county in which you intend to vote, for at least 30 days

As a reminder to students, some of you are or will be 18 prior to May 7 and you may register and vote in the Ennis School District Trustee election.  You have an opportunity here to make a difference.

Ideally, we must have registered 30 days prior to the Election Day; however there is a provision in the law that permits us to register and vote up to and including the Election Day at the County Election office. The Madison County Election office is in Virginia City.

Additionally, you may download registration applications at www.madison.mt.gov, then go to the Clerk & Recorders page.

All Ennis School District voters are urged to vote May 7.  I encourage you to contact the candidates, be fully informed and above all, base your decision on facts. Every vote counts!


Maria Lake,

Candidate for Ennis School District Trustee



Sharing Nature’s Offerings

Dear Editor,


This message comes to you as a note that we may share and acknowledge the generosity of caring for just one of nature’s wildlife in the Madison Valley. Thank you Spanish Q Sharing Natures Offerings

Ranch and Karen Rice for protecting wild horses that are referred to as unadoptable.

We realize the controversy attached to any holding areas. I see any income over costs as only a token payment and secondary to the services offered.

Please put aside any personal motive among “their humans” and allow this wildlife their respite. You may consider some native or an “unwanted stepchild.”


Thank you,

Lyndall Morgan



Voter shows support for school board canidate

Dear Editor,


It is with great pleasure that we write this letter in support for Maria Lake for School Board Trustee.

The Ennis Students and their families deserve to have strong, clear-thinking leadership with responsible priorities at the forefront of the educational process.

We believe Maria Lake is the living embodiment of these principles. Strong and intelligent work ethics, superior organizational skills, unending energy, kind generosity and deep faith are just a few of the descriptions that we know personally about our cherished dear friend, Maria. Her professional experience and natural business acumen will be a huge asset to the Board.

Having worked with Maria on various projects such as the Fourth of July Parade and the spectacularly successful Relay for Life, there is no doubt in our mind that her contribution to the School Board will be highly valued for the important perspective she will bring to the Board.

With her own grandchildren enrolled in the Ennis School System, Maria has every reason to care deeply about the future education of all children in Ennis and the health of the school system for the future.

Please take the time to talk to Maria and express your concerns. She will listen and consider your ideas in the decision making process and provide a voice of reason on the board of Trustees. Please make time to vote on the future of your schools and set a good example for all the children and their role as responsible citizens.



Bob & Nani Luebke


County commissioner takes a look at mining in Montana


Last week I explained the effort by certain groups to end all mining in Montana and countered with reasons we need viable new mining and mine cleanup (re-mining) for our economic survival. This week I will outline how we can move that process along and enlist the support of historically opposing groups to accomplish our goal.

All rational people should want a clean and healthy natural environment. In a natural resource dependent world, that especially should include those making their livelihood from the land.  Hard rock mining has been branded as the poster child of bad stewardship by the environmental community because of a bygone era of minimal oversight and a limited understanding of long term impacts on the environment–which was the norm at the time. In the 1850s and 60s when Montana’s mining took off, almost anyone with a shovel, gold pan or pick was off to the goldfields to make their fortune and good land stewardship was the last thing on their mind.  Most had little education and the ability to read or write was the exception rather than the rule. That dynamic has certainly changed and, by necessity, hard rock mining is becoming the new leader in scientific, wise, environmentally sustainable, resource management.

Forward thinking environmental groups are beginning to get on board and realize that working together with a modern, profitable, and enlightened mining industry will not only improve sustainable mining practices into the future, it will provide the economic incentive to clean up the mistakes of the past.  One such group is Common Ground Conservation, a consortium of rational environmentalists led by Monique DiGiorgio (Western Environmental Law Center) and Dennis Glick (Future West) that understand free market economics, win-win team building relationships, and refuse to allow themselves to be mired in traditional environmental dogma.

We first met these folks while studying the routing alternatives of the MSTI (Mountain States Transmission Intertie) project and quickly recognized that not all environmentalists are created equal.


Dan Happel

Madison County Commissioner – District 2


Legislature denies Medicaid expansion


Dear Editor,


Committees in both houses of the Montana Legislature rejected Medicaid Expansion proposals last week along party lines, with all Republicans voting against the measure. I was hoping Republicans would do the right thing and help the working poor of the state, but perhaps this was too much to ask because we all know poor people do not have a good lobbying group.

I hoped they would step up and help the estimated 9,000-plus veterans and their spouses who could benefit from the expansion. But then I remembered that while many people like to talk about supporting troops, some of them forget about the actual troops.

I hoped they would listen to health care professionals who testified that expanded Medicaid would help needy people and save us all money because people could use primary care providers instead waiting until their situation is dire, forcing them to run up huge medical bills they can never pay. This would help insured patients who pay for the uninsured though insurance premiums and the higher medical charges needed to cover unpaid care.

I hoped they would listen to business leaders who testified that this would be good for the Montana economy as billions of dollars would come into the state creating health care and related jobs directly and indirectly creating other jobs as these dollars flowed through our communities, creating an estimated 14,000 new jobs in all. If these billions of dollars were to pave our highways would they have turned the money away? I thought Republicans were pro-business and pro-job.

I hoped they would listen to economists who told them that even when the state needs to pay for 10 percent of the expansion it would be at worst neutral to the state budget due to the increased tax revenue it would create.

I hoped they would be inspired by the numerous Republican governors around the nation who put their opposition to Obamacare aside and supported Medicaid expansion in their state because they could see it was the right thing to do for the people of their state.

None of these things could influence even one of the Republicans on the committees. Do they hate Obama so much that they are willing to go against the interests of the people of Montana to prove a point? What is their point?


Don Foley

17 Wells St.

Butte, MT 59701


Thank you


This is long over due…. The Watts family had a lot of tragedy in November of 2012. The community all came together and took care of us as we were their own. There is no way Shane and I can thank each and every one of you for helping us. All I can say is THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I hope some day we can repay you all in one way or another by truly pay it forward…


Shara, Shane and Heaven-Leigh Watts


Thanks for making cake walk a success


The Virginia City Rural Fire Department and the Fire Dept Auxiliary want to thank the community for making the annual Cake Walk fund-raiser a success.  The Cake Walk makes up 10% of our budget so we appreciate your generosity.

Thanks to the Elk’s for donating the space, for Loren Tucker – our auctioneer, Bill & Christina Koch – DJ’s, Amy Kelley for getting it all together, Lizz Parish, Dallas, Dillon & Bo – floor painting, Catherine Dixon, Bobbie Dirks, Karen Brown, Patty Davis, Claire Leonard, Darrell Schulte, Scott Petersen – help at the event and clean-up, Erin Leonard – Poster, Chris Leonard – for donating his portion of the 50/50 drawing.

And last, but not least, thanks to all of the bakers that make this event possible and to those who spent the big bucks purchasing cakes.  Thank you all.


–VCRFD Auxiliary


A Memorable Birthday


I want to thank all of my family, sons, daughter-in-laws and my friends for making my birthday party a big and wonderful time. I will remember that day forever.


Penny Christensen




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