Mark Blasdel is very special to us. We have watched Mark grow up. Anita was his first grade teacher. It has been wonderful to see Mark mature into a caring, congenial, sincere and hard working gentleman. He balances raising his young family with running a restaurant business in partnership with his mother, Alice. Mark puts forth his best effort in every endeavor he enters. He has distinguished himself by serving the Flathead community.
As the widow of Montana Highway Patrolman Michael Haynes, I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
As a widow with two young children, I experienced firsthand the support Tammi Fisher has given and made available to all members of the Patrol. Tammi has been with us as a prosecutor, and as an advocate.
The 2015 Montana legislative session will be the most important session since I was elected to the Montana House in 1999. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ water compact, the impact of government controlled health care, pensions deficits, the lowest wages in the nation, high cost of energy and skyrocketing taxes are just a few of the issues that need immediate attention. Fortunately, Bob Keenan, former president of the Montana Senate is running for the District 5 senate seat that I must vacate due to term limits. Bob is one of the best financial minds to ever serve in the Montana Legislature.
This letter is focusing on the Republican and Democratic responses on just two major issues facing America: (1) The reform of America’s health insurance and health care system. (2) Actions necessary for clean and healthy air in response to climate change.
On health care: 40 years ago Nixon sent a special message to Congress proposing a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. Every president since Nixon has brought up this subject for debate and with suggestions for change. Revising America’s health insurance and health care system has been discussed in every administration ever since early in the 20th century, actually.
Every two years we hear the same hysterical protests from liberal Republican legislators, when their voting records are exposed by our “Taxpayer Advisory Bulletin” ratings. Florida resident Jesse O’Hara’s guest column in the Flathead Beacon was a perfect example.
O’Hara called the ratings “concocted.” I’d like to know how one “concocts” 75 officially recorded votes from the House and Senate floors. These votes show that in every session, there is a solid block of Republicans, including O’Hara, who consistently side with the Democrats – creating a working majority for the Dems that makes it almost impossible to pass any mainstream Republican legislation (school choice, tax cuts, etc.).
The recently passed Farm Bill provided an opportunity for states to assist the Forest Service in getting much needed work done on federal land. States had 60 days to designate appropriate lands to the agency. Our governor, Steve Bullock, did a wonderful job reallocating resources to meet this timeline. Bullock enlisted help from his staff, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Forest Service and an ad-hoc group of stakeholders. The lands designated were based on hard data collected annually by the Forest Service and match their analysis of current conditions.
It is sad to see that campaign signs have again started to litter our roadsides. The campaign rules state that campaign signs cannot be displayed in zoned areas more than 30 days before the mailing of absentee ballots for any election. Therefore, campaign signs should not appear in zoned areas before May 5 for the upcoming primary. There are no regulations or guidelines for un-zoned areas of the county. We who live in the county have to suffer the campaign litter endlessly in many cases. Ryan Zinke’s campaign signs appeared on our county roadsides about the middle of March, and who knows when they will be removed.
I am writing about the pro-life and pro Second Amendment stance of the current Republican candidates for the U.S. House seat. Matt Rosendale, Elsie Arntzen, Corey Stapleton and Ryan Zinke are pro-life and pro Second Amendment, all support defunding Planned Parenthood with federal dollars and believe that life should be protected. Ryan Zinke is the only one of the four who actually carried and presented a pro-life bill for Right to Life of Montana, the Unborn Victims of Homicide bill, which is now law in Montana.
There’s something liberating about slipping a raft into a river in Western Montana. We are fortunate to have so many clean, free-flowing rivers nearby to enjoy with friends and family. And in my mind, few rivers can match the North Fork Flathead River. Other rivers may have more thrilling whitewater or more fish per river mile, but few match the North Fork for clean, beautiful water and stunning, wild scenery.
Montana’s congressional delegation happens to agree with me on this point. Sens. John Walsh, Jon Tester and Rep. Steve Daines are all supporters of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act. For this reason, it is especially maddening to read news that the bill is being blocked in the Senate by three senators who – in the memorable words of Tester – “can’t even find the Flathead River on a map.”
A version of the North Fork Watershed Protection Act (NFPA) recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives and has been stymied by some U.S. senators refusing to vote for it. This oversight is welcome. One of the senators is the author of the apt and timely book, “The Debt Bomb” (Coburn, 2012). The senators “… have stipulated that the only way they’ll support additional land protections is if an equal amount of land is removed from federal protections” (March 19 Beacon).
Congressman Steve Daines deserves credit for advancing the North Fork Watershed Protection Act, but he needs to work on being more consistent and reliable with similar Montana-made legislation.
The day Daines helped pass the North Fork legislation out of the House of Representatives he also voted to pass another local grassroots bill that protected a historic lakeshore in Michigan. This is significant because it was the first time in his career he helped pass a collaborative, solution-oriented bill that includes new wilderness area into law.
In response to the many articles and events surrounding the recent vandalism at All Families Health Care, the Kalispell area 40 Days for Life Leadership Team feels compelled to comment.
Following the news of the vandalism, 40 Days for Life issued a press release stating, “We stand in strong opposition to the vandalism incident that occurred at the All Families Healthcare location. Violence and vandalism are opposed to our belief and continued focus on a prayerful and peaceful means to oppose abortion.”
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