Letters to the Editor-May 1, 2014

Grateful for community care and support

The family of Kathy Sheffield would like to express their thanks to all the wonderful people who sent cards, flowers, brought food, cleaned house, offered prayers and were there for us in this very difficult time.

We can never thank you all enough for everything you have done and continue to do for us. We are very grateful to live in a community that cares and supports each other in times of grief.

Gordon Sheffield and family

Bill and Brenda Clark and family

Debbie Kriewald



Community deserve thanks for successful clinic

Dear Editor,

The Ennis Spay/Neuter Task Force would like to thank the community for another successful spay/neuter clinic.

We had a great turnout and would like to thank all the responsible pet owners for taking advantage of our low-cost clinic to help alleviate the overpopulation of unwanted pets in Madison County. Also, much thanks to the generous folks who donated to our bank account at First Madison Valley Bank—without your financial assistance we would not be able to host these clinics. We would also like to offer our appreciation to Chris at Madison Foods for the food and beverages, Don at the Sportsman’s Lodge for housing our vet teams who travel from afar, White and White Vet Clinic for being our referral vets, the Town of Ennis for providing our venue, Ennis Ambulance for securing our oxygen tanks and of course our ever faithful volunteers who take time from their busy schedules to assist at the clinics.

We, and the dogs and cats of Madison County, can’t thank you enough for all you do!

The Ennis Spay/Neuter Task Force

Tami, Audra, Debbie and Terri


Medical center mill levy needs to be permanent

I was 6 years old in 1949 when Doctor Ron Losee arrived in Ennis to practice medicine.  My first memories were of visiting his small clinic in his log home downtown.  The following spring I developed an infection so severe that I could not get out of bed.  Doc made a house call, driving 10 miles on a muddy county road.  He took one look at me, did a spinal tap and put me on a heavy dose of antibiotics.  A few days later, I was well on the road to recovery.  He probably saved my life.

Much has happened in the past 64 years.  We have a new critical access hospital with state of the art equipment and highly qualified providers, and in order to sustain this level of care I am asking for your vote on May 6 to make the current mill levy a permanent one.  A YES vote will not change your taxes, rather it will make the existing structure permanent and we all can rest assured that Madison Valley Medical Center will continue to provide the care you have come to expect.

Please vote YES on May 6 to make the present mill levy a permanent one.

Manny Hoag

Trustee, Madison Valley Medical Center



Support the sustainability of quality rural healthcare

Dear Editor,

Please support the Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) on May 6 by voting in favor of making the existing mill levy structure permanent without increasing mills. Your taxes will not increase!  You will be voting to promote a healthy and happy community by helping sustain quality healthcare for generations to come. What is it, living in southwestern Montana, which we all enjoy? Our rural population drives a rural economy that provides rural services, all of which underscore the rural tranquility we live and breathe. Knowing that the MVMC provides high quality care with compassionate and accessible service for all gives each and every one of us peace of mind. It may not be you and it may not be me in need of medical or emergency attention, but over 7,000 friends, family members, fellow employees, neighbors and tourists used the medical center last year—1,000-plus of whom were in need of emergency services. As a resident of the Madison Valley and as the president of the MVMC Foundation, I urge you to cast your vote in favor of supporting the permanent mill levy request. Your taxes will not increase! What will increase is your peace of mind.


Mary G. Oliver



Our valley fortunate to have medical center

Dear Editor,

Prior to the events of March 22 I may not have paid as much attention to the vote that will occur on May 6 regarding the hospital mill levy. My son was involved in a dirt bike accident that appeared to be very minor. Within an hour that was not the case. I feel very fortunate to have the Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) available for my family and all of the families of Madison Valley—in addition to our valley’s visitors. While we were extremely fortunate to have a very positive outcome, the precious minutes that were saved due to the fast acting, professional staff and the availability of the life flight could have meant the difference between a normal future for my son and a challenged one. Between the medical center’s ability to stabilize him, the prompt actions of the life flight personnel and the immediate outpouring of prayers from this absolutely amazing community, my son is fully recovered and our sincerest thanks goes out to everyone involved and to all those who offered prayers.

Very Sincerely,

Laura Gilmore



Need for reasonable environmental groups

Several weeks ago I learned of a lawsuit filed by a group known as the Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) challenging a decision by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to approve an amended operating plan by the Golden Sunlight Mine that would extend the mine’s operating life by several years. This amendment would allow Barrick Minerals to continue to promote and participate in the Headwaters re-mining effort that has been successfully reprocessing—cleaning up—legacy mine wastes and creating jobs with private funding rather than EPA Super Fund money.

I have learned over the past several decades that there are some really good people in the environmental movement, but I have also learned that there are some extremely radical elements as well. These are folks that have learned to milk the system in the name of environmentalism and literally make their livelihood filing lawsuits against logging, mining and natural resource activity. These people are not saviors of the earth as they claim. They are destroyers of livelihoods and the natural resource industries that are essential to a modern and productive civilization. It is time to stop the destroyers and get back to the productive use of our natural resources.

We can mine and log without causing long-term harm to the environment. When we shut down good paying, environmentally responsible natural resource jobs in Montana those same jobs end up in South America, Indonesia or Africa where they don’t give two hoots about the environment. I’ve come to the conclusion that much of radical environmentalism has nothing to do with the environment—it is an anti-humanist agenda that demands total control of everything we do, consume, think and say; viewing civilization with horror rather than wonder.

Jefferson County has joined in with Barrick Minerals and the Montana DEQ to fight the lawsuit by Jim Jensen and MEIC. I believe that the Montana Association of Counties and all natural resource counties should join in to support this effort. It is time that county and state governments work together with reasonable environmental groups to expose the radical agenda trying to end responsible natural resource development. Together we can have it all; a healthy and productive economy and environment in a resurgent America that respects and utilizes her abundant natural resources.

Dan Happel

Commissioner – Madison District 2


Show support for Madison Valley Medical Center

This next week on May 6 voters in the Madison Valley will have the opportunity to support the community by voting yes to make the existing hospital mill levy permanent. As a business owner and full-time resident, I believe in the affordable, high quality care that the Madison Valley Medical Center provides to my family, residents and visitors to the area. The hospital has grown to meet the needs of our community with improved facilities, equipment and critical care access. A yes vote will continue to help provide these services into the future.

Amy Kelley



Wagner is true conservative candidate

Dear Editor,

I do not personally know Ray Shaw and so cannot really give an opinion as to his personal integrity. However, he made every effort as he campaigned to convince us that he is a “conservative.” However, even though Mr. Shaw presented himself as a shining example, his time in Helena has shown otherwise! The re-election campaign has a troublesome aspect for Mr. Shaw—his voting record. The Montana Conservative’s rating system—Taxpayer’s Advisory Bulletin (TAB)—rates Mr. Shaw with a pathetic 4 percent. By every means of measuring one’s voting record, Mr. Shaw is a liberal and “bigger government” legislator. Mr. Shaw should be ashamed to even be running as a Republican. Some “tax and spend” Democrats scored a 7 percent on that same report! This kind of representation may be welcomed in Butte, but not in Madison and Jefferson counties. We need a true conservative and honest man in the statehouse.

As a “conservative”, Mr. Shaw narrowly defeated Bob Wagner two years ago in a primary race, then went to Helena and worked to increase our property tax bill and voted to give Montana state employees a $9,600 raise over two years! On social issues, Shaw voted against school choice and for keeping it “legal” to perform an abortion on your minor daughter without your knowledge or consent.

Politics has never been my forte, and so I believe is the case with many Americans. It has become a cesspool for corruption and stagnation because, it would seem, many of those who choose to involve themselves in this field are either corrupt themselves, or greedy for the almighty dollar, and thus easily corruptible!

We need good men like Bob Wagner to stand up in our statehouse and fight for what is right and good, and to call out what is wrong and evil! I believe that Wagner will vote and lead in a manner that will reduce the tax burden and our debt. I believe he has a good understanding of, and a commitment to, the principle of limited government.

I will vote Wagner for HD71 on June 3!

Charles Shank,



Madison Valley Medical Center vital to community

As a real estate developer and landowner, we fully understand the desire for lower property taxes.  However, we also understand how critically vital the Madison Valley Medical Center (MVMC) is to our community.  Not only in its role as a critical access facility, but also as an employer and a strong pillar of our economic community.

In terms of demographics, we live in one of the oldest counties in one of the oldest states in the union.  The MVMC makes it possible for our aging citizens to stay in Ennis and the surrounding areas with the assurance that quality medical care is just a few minutes away.  MVMC is now providing many services locally that were not previously available; which saves time and fuel costs for patients.

Having a critical access hospital in town can dramatically decrease the effects of a major medical event, such as a stroke, heart attack or other serious injury.  Having the option for residents to use the local hospital facility as they recover from major surgery or serious injury makes it easier for the patient and their loved ones.

We are happy to have them here and am happy to continue to support the MVMC by voting for the permanent mill levy on May 6.

Josh and Becky Vujovich



Voters need to re-elect Shaw

I would like to urge your readers to support Representative Ray Shaw in his re-election. I worked with Jefferson County on obtaining grants from the legislature for Big Pipestone Creek, the Jefferson Slough and the flooding problem in Whitehall.

I realize that the above problems are not in Madison County, but are close to it and are a part of Representative Shaw’s district. I got to work with Representative Shaw and observed him working with his colleagues in the legislature, the landowners and affected people in the area. Big Pipestone creek is the second most silted stream in Montana and Whitehall is subject to flooding from Pipestone Creek.

It’s been a problem for several years and only gets worse. Representative Shaw saw the problems and went to work right off. He is able to work with others and clearly can get things done. As a constituent of his, you should appreciate that he is a very effective legislator.

We need him back to help us to continue solving the problems. He has also worked closely with landowners and affected people since the last legislature. This has all been done on his own time.

We need more legislators of Shaw’s caliber and hope you can return him to Helena. He is a real asset to Madison County.


Gary Spaeth



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