Letters to the Editor – Nov. 21, 2013

Wonderful tribute to John

I would like to send belated thanks to all who helped attain and place the rock in the Ennis city park in John’s memory.

I give thanks to the Town of Ennis, the Yellowstone Mine, Dan Northway, and Shorty for the crane service and of course all my family and friends.

John would be amazed that he was so beloved. Myself, and my family, are so honored that he will be remembered by this wonderful tribute.

Tammie Clark



Happy America Recycles Day, Montana

Dear Montana,

Nov. 15marked the 16th America Recycles Day. More than ever, recycling is something to celebrate all year in Montana. A 2004 study by Montana D.E.Q. found that recycling generated nearly 90 million dollars in revenue, paid over $9 million dollars in wages and benefits, and sustained over 300 full‐time jobs. At that time, recycling and composting diverted 176,571 tons of material from landfills or 15 percent of Montana’s waste stream.  In line with national trends, that number has continued to grow.

Community commitment to recycling continues to grow across the state.  Rural and urban areas alike are recognizing the public savings of diverting items from the waste stream back into the economy. One success story is Headwaters Cooperative Recycling. Headwaters paved the way for recycling in communities throughout southeastern Montana in Augusta, Beaverhead County, Choteau or more than a dozen other communities. All of these entities are now able to sustain programs on their own through incorporation of recycling into their public works departments, private partnerships or community efforts.

The 2004 study noted that “recycling in Montana is more than just a fad, it is a real industry.” This America Recycles Day, we see that recycling is more than just a good idea; it is something we all do in support of our community and our economy. Learn more about recycling success stories in Montana at RecycleMontana.org.


Mark Nelson, President

Recycle Montana Inc.



Veterans Day is a time to remember those that died in Benghazi

Veterans Day has come and gone.   As a Navy veteran, the day has special meaning and I set aside some time to reflect upon those servicemen and women that have provided significant service to our country, either by the loss of life or limb, or through devoting their working life to government service.    I also think about the promise our country has made in return; that it will “have your back” and if you fall, will bring you back whether dead or alive.

On Oct. 27, 2013, 60 Minutes broadcasted a riveting piece entitled “Benghazi”.  Our government’s actions with regard to the events of Sept. 11, 2012 are troubling and disheartening.  The attack on American’s sovereign territory, the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the death of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, is the subject of the broadcast (available at  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57609479/60-minutes-benghazi/).

The embassy staff had warned Washington for some months that they were at substantial risk as 9/11 approached and asked for help.  But the support that would have saved their lives was not provided by the State Department, the CIA, the Department of Defense, or any other agency in President Obama’s administration.  Our country abandoned them to their fate.

Since the attack, the United States House of Representatives has repeatedly asked for the details of the events leading up to the attack and the attack.  President Obama’s administration has stonewalled and dissembled.  This is from a president that had promised America that he would bring “transparency” to our government.

Let us keep in our hearts those that have given their lives for our country, including the four Americans killed by Al-Qaeda in Benghazi.  Please write Senators Baucus and Tester and Representative Daines, and demand that they take action to uncover why our government failed these four brave men.  It is equally important that our elected officials understand that their constituencies do not accept the obstructionist tactics of President Obama’s administration and want the facts of Benghazi disclosed, not swept under the proverbial rug.

John J. Bingham Jr.


Thank you, MVPL

Dear Editor,

I wish to express a heartwarming thank you to Madison Valley Public Library.

Not only is the facility well maintained, efficient and accommodating our needs, but also the atmosphere and graciously friendly staff is an added asset to our community.

Thank you again to the public servants providing this treasure.


Lyndall Morgan


Government roles, duties and responsibilities debated

There seems to be an ongoing debate about the respective roles, duties and responsibilities of various elected officials and the constitutional underpinnings of federalism.  If we strip back all the new age rhetoric by folks determined to replace our constitutional republic with progressive socialism, you will find that the true will of our founding fathers was for limited, representative government with strictly defined (enumerated) powers and minimal interference in the daily lives of citizens.

Our government as envisioned by the founders was intended to be a bottom up government with the rights of the individual protected under rule of law, and local elected officials, designated as the highest office holders in the land. County commissioners and sheriffs were meant to be the ultimate administrative and law enforcement protectors of individual liberty. Because local elected officials lived and worked in the communities they represented, local elected government could be made more directly accountable to the citizens they represent.  Under this system, local issues and concerns and the rights of minorities could be reasonably protected against the mob rule typical of pure democracy.  As the joke goes; democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

Over the past 150 years, the roles of federal, state and local government have been reversed and we now see an overreaching brand of new federalism that is becoming repressive and more inclined to promote collectivism than protect individual liberty and a heritage of personal responsibility.  We are losing the ability to shape our own destiny and are now subject to the will of others with more money and influence at the national, and increasingly, international level.  Most elected officials chose to either dismiss or ignore their oath of office, and some are openly hostile to the accountability that “sacred oath” entails.

It’s time that county commissioners and sheriffs start representing local interests and to openly resist ideas and programs that harm their electors.  We are supposed to be the last line of defense against federal overreach and a little visible backbone would be in order when necessary.  That’s not being obstinate; it’s merely doing the job our founders intended.

Dan Happel

Commissioner – Madison District 2


Ruby Valley FFA makes positive difference

The Ruby Valley FFA was recently chosen to be the recipient of the quarterly Blue Jeans Friday Fund. The chapter was chosen based on their personal growth and confident characteristics that will help these members to develop premier leadership and career success in the future.  The merit of the chapter includes its ability to make a positive difference in the lives of its members.  The chapter is very grateful for the donation and would like to express many thanks to the First Madison Valley Bank.

Ruby Valley FFA Chapter


Family grateful for kindness after unexpected passing

The family of Carleen Clark would like to show sincere appreciation to those who sent cards, flowers and donations to the Twin Bridges Fire Department/ Senior Citizen Home after her unexpected passing Nov. 1.  We are grateful for your kindness and compassion during such a difficult time- she was an amazing mother, grandmother, companion and friend and she will be greatly missed.

Thank you,

Barry & Carla Carter

Josh & Tawnia Hanson

Doug & John Smith

Jim Brulla


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