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Letters to the Editor: Apologies for my actions

| June 17, 2021 12:05 AM

Apologies for my actions

To the residents of the Mission Valley:

I am writing this letter to apologize for my actions against the Firefighters Auxiliary. What I did was inexcusable. Not only did I betray their trust, but more importantly I betrayed your trust. Without our communities’ support, the Auxiliary would cease to exist. It is my hope that my poor choices don’t influence your decision to continue to support them. I’m sorry for letting you all down.

— Annie Morigeau

Polson’s looking great

Many thanks to all you good stewards who gave of your time and energy picking up the accumulation of trash along our roadsides this spring.

Also, the bulb outs on Polson’s Main Street, the garden spots in Ducharme Park and the downtown flower baskets are the best they have looked in a long time. Thank you, dedicated volunteers and the Polson city crew. The highway divider on Highway 93 at the east entrance to town is once again a bright pink petunia welcome to our community. Thank you, Delaney’s Landscaping.

All of these efforts reflect so much community pride and inspire the rest of us.

— Chuck and Penny Jarecki, Polson

Montanans should know

There has been enough written — much of it in the national press — about Montana’s new restrictions on voting. These laws have been taken to court and will be decided there. Meanwhile, we might reflect on how critical the right to vote is to our democracy and our lives.

Our form of government requires the participation of all its citizens. If we are not actively involved, those with more power or money (be they corporate or members of the government) will step into the breach. They can become strong enough to change the rules and do what they want, regardless of the will of the people.

Montana has seen this before, in the days of the Copper Kings. These wealthy men owned newspapers, politicians, banks and police. They ran Montana to the extent that they could live extravagant lives above-ground while workers toiled beneath, barely able to make enough money to feed their families. This was clearly not what the people wanted, but it took a long time, and many lives, to change. Considering our history, Montana, of all states, should protect its citizens’ right to vote.

Aside from this, voting empowers the people. We not only decide issues, but those in power learn that they must come to us for the votes they need. They simply have to keep us in mind.

If the courts do not reverse these laws, we will need to make voting as easy as we can, despite them. We will need to make sure people have access to the ID they need, and that they can make it to the polls. We will need to make sure people are able to mail in their ballots in time And we will need to make sure people understand how critical it is that they vote.

— Gail Trenfield, St. Ignatius

GOP going too far

The 67th Montana Legislative Assembly has been over for six weeks and we continue to hear about the aftereffects of this session.

Our legislators took an oath to uphold and defend both the federal and state constitutions, yet numerous bills enacted this session are clearly unconstitutional. Knowing that many of these bills would be challenged in courts, the Legislature even set aside $100,000 of our tax money to fight lawsuits.

HB 102 “campus carry” bill: Article X of our state constitution gives full authority over the university system to the Board of Regents. The board and other groups have filed lawsuits against this law as unconstitutional. Funny thing, when the Legislature passed this bill, they made a caveat that the university system would receive an extra $1 million if they don’t sue the state over it.

HB 176, a voter suppression bill, has eliminated same-day voter registration even though voters affirmed same-day registration in 2005 and reaffirmed it in 2014. Our legislators blatantly ignored what the citizens of Montana had legally voted for.

HB112, the “save women’s sports” bill, prohibits transgender athletes from participating in sports. Article X of the constitution speaks to equality of education that is guaranteed to all. This bill goes directly against its intent. Our legislators created a caveat that the bill would be void if federal money under Title IX would be jeopardized, but our university system would still be at risk of losing $350 million in federal funding. Championship games might also be pulled from the state if the NCAA follows its policy of inclusion and protection of transgender athletes.

The GOP is not the same party that defended our constitution in the past. Remember the Copper Kings who ruled Montana? They are back, but now they call themselves “the conservative Republican Party.”

— Gerry Browning, Polson