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Letters: Pay attention this Memorial Day

| May 26, 2022 10:15 AM

Pay attention this Memorial Day

Montana American Legion launched a program 70 years ago to remind motorists of the state’s driving fatalities and to caution them to drive with care and sobriety. It is their continued hope that when people see the crosses they will slow down and pay attention to what they are doing.

The Fatality Marker Safety Program (previously named the White Cross Program) began in Missoula after six motorists died in local traffic accidents during the 1952 Labor Day weekend. The program was the idea of Hellgate Post No. 27’s Floyd Eaheart.

Legion Posts throughout the state adopted the program after the Montana Highway Commission approved it in 1953. Since the Fatality Marker Safety Program’s start, it is estimated over 3,700 white crosses have been placed along Montana’s highways. This represents a cemetery of more than 5 acres.

The American Legion has a written agreement with the Montana Department of Transportation to help prevent littering and decorating of our white marker safety program. As such, we are asked to remove any decorations whenever the white markers are maintained or excessively decorated. Under this approved highway safety program, a marker is placed near the site of a fatal crash, again in compliance with state and federal standards.

This Highway Safety Program operated under policies and procedures in place for many years and undergoes annual review. In 2007 additional guidance was issued by MDT, which specified no advertising; no reflect paint, no lighting or other devices; and no wreaths or decorations placed upon the marker.

— Jim Kelly, Fatality Marker Chairman, Missoula

Keep Stanley on County Commission

Steve Stanley has my vote for County Commissioner. In the short time Steve has been in the commissioners’ office, he has worked diligently and successfully to improve the lives of all the citizens of Lake County. His work on the living conditions in our county jail has substantially improved safety and health standards for the inmates and our detention officers. Sheriff Bell has praised Steve's tremendous efforts.

Steve Stanley hit the ground running once selected to complete Dave Stipe's term, and he has earned our vote of confidence. He deserves an opportunity to fulfill his own full term as a commissioner, and then stand for future election based on his own complete record. Changing horses in the middle of the stream for no good reason does not serve the interests of the citizens of Lake County.

Steve brings to the table extensive coordination experience from his prior service in County Emergency Management. His experience working closely with the Confederated Salish and County Tribes (CSKT) will contribute to ongoing coordination regarding Public Law 280 — something both the county and the CSKT wish to retain. Likewise, Steve's efforts in helping achieve a memorandum of understanding between the CSKT and Lake County concerning roads, bridges and culverts now falling under the jurisdiction of the CSKT due to the Montana Water Rights Protection Act (MWRPA) is critical to ensuring all Lake County citizens — tribal and nontribal — retain the ability to travel safely as the final disposition of responsibility for infrastructure is assumed by the State and Federal authorities. Without this cooperation, some citizens would face the risk of traveling on crumbling roads and bridges for which responsibility has been cast into oblivion by Sen. Daines and his imposed MWRP Act.

In the short time Steve Stanley has served, he has established a superb record for getting difficult jobs done. He works well with his fellow commissioners and the other key county offices to include the Sheriff's Department. Now is not the time to inject new and untested unknowns into the County Commissioner's Office. Join me in supporting Steve Stanley for County Commissioner.

— Tracy Sharp, Polson

Rosendale turns back on mothers

America has an emergency, a nationwide shortage of baby formula. The U.S. Congress voted on a bill to address it by boosting inspections of foreign and domestic suppliers of infant formula to increase the supply, so that in U.S. grocery stores parents can be assured that what they buy to feed their baby is safe. Alternatives to breast milk or baby formula are not safe for infants.

Montana’s U.S. Congressman Matt Rosendale voted against the bill.

It reminds me very much of comedian George Carlin’s routine in which he points out that often people who are very vocal about protecting the unborn have no interest in protecting them once they are born.

— Stephanie Brancati, Big Arm

Tranel is best for Congress

It's a struggle when you are presented with two good candidates for the congressional seat in the Western District. Both have their strong points and vulnerabilities. Cora Neuman is strong on health care policy, but short on Montana roots, which is important to some and not so much to others. Monica Tranel has deep Montana roots and a reputation for not putting up with B.S.

Monica has a record of working for Montanans and against Northwestern Energy, which put millions back in our pockets when they tried to saddle us with their failure to plan, or working for Montana farmers and ranchers who are being pushed out of business by big profit-seeking companies. Monica has Montanans' interests at heart and to her core.

Border issues and building a wall are the B.S. I referred to. Let's talk about how Montana issues such as women's health care, saving our public lands, child care, universal pre-K and how federal tax incentives can create affordable housing, can be addressed. These are the issues that directly affect Montanans.

The goal in the Democratic Party is to beat Ryan Zinke, and Monica Tranel is the best candidate to do that.

— Susie Reber Orr, Missoula

Repke for PSC

I strongly endorse John Repke as the Democratic candidate for Public Service Commissioner from District 5. As we all know, utility costs are consuming a larger share of our household budgets. The primary job of the PSC is to represent ratepayers in the negotiation of rates with our regulated utility providers. John has the experience, knowledge and commitment to make sure what we pay is fair. He has an advanced business degree and a 40-year career in private sector finance. Unlike others in the race, he has the expertise and credibility to effectively challenge the utilities.

John is not a politician looking to pad his pension. He is a retired businessman appalled by the current PSC, which stands out for its lack of integrity and ability to deep-dive into the issues it should be considering — on behalf of Montana’s ratepayers. John’s goal is simply to do the job as it should be done — competently, professionally and honestly. He’s the ideal candidate for this position, and I hope you will join me in voting for him.

— Ann Brodsky, Helena

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