To the person who took our red Old Town canoe: It is a sad time when we have to tell our grandchildren there are dishonest people that came onto private property and stole our canoe and paddles. The canoe was a retirement gift to my husband from our kids, and something our grandkids always looked forward to, taking it on the creek and lake.
Please return our red Old Town canoe and paddles.
The real threat
Each time the Ravalli Republic prints Williams’ “editorials”, they neglect to disclose they have been previously (self) published in Gene’s wingnut publication, ‘The First Edition’. This is ethically questionable professionalism, on the Republic’s behalf. As for this latest ‘sensational’ rant, I think it’s pretty clear to everyone that Williams suffers not just from Islamaphobia, but xenophobia, homophobia, and misogynism, as well, since it’s all covered in the body of this ‘Viewpoint’. And trust me, Gene, no one here would want to assuage or deprive you of your unwarranted fears, phobias, and sundry hatreds. It’s when you project them outwards in a public forum to “keep the fear alive” with your hatemongering, that many of us may find objectionable. While you’re busy wringing your hands about Socialism and Marxism, apparently also fears of yours, we are today experiencing an atmosphere of corporate FASCISM. Why doesn’t fascism seem to concern you, Mr. Williams? For that matter, while you’re hyping up the fears about Muslims behind every woodpile, you seem to have overlooked the fact that both the FBI and the Dept. of Homeland Security have RECENTLY reported that the greatest threat of large-scale attacks come from individuals and small groups of extremists who subscribe to FAR RIGHT-WING IDEOLOGIES. In a nutshell, where I assume you wingnuts hang out, both these agencies conclude that the most prolific, domestic terrorist threat to the country comes from right-wing militants. Two years prior to the Tucson shootings, the Dept. of Homeland Security warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise; of course, the agency backed quickly away from this report when they came under fire from Republicans. At the end of the day, despite your aberrant miscues and misdirection of public fears to focus on the Muslim jihadists, violent right-wing extremist ideology is the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States today. Guess what that makes you, Gene.
While excessively vocal Progressive Democrats spend much of their time sniping at our current Ravalli County Commissioners, perhaps we should revisit the performance of the former commissioners that they seem to prefer.
Today, Ravalli County is dealing with 29 legal actions, mostly messy business left over from the reign of the three former Commissioners and their cooperative County Attorney. Since his election in 1990, former County Attorney George Corn defended 18 lawsuits and lost them all, incurring settlements paid by the county totaling $500,000 in just six years. Lost and pending lawsuits from the previous administration exposes the county to well over $1 million in liability, an amount that Ravalli County simply cannot afford.
With Carlotta Grandstaff’s generous $80,000 gift to the Sapphire Clinic in her last hours of office, taxpayer dollars were squandered to keep alive an unbudgeted facility of questionable value for a few more weeks. Bloated salaries soon consumed the infused money and the clinic closed. It’s closure created not a ripple in Bitterroot Valley healthcare availability. In this time of shortages, the county could certainly use that money to help meet its current obligations.
Then there’s the former Commissioners’ crowning glory, that overly elegant, overly expensive 911 Center. Costing $950,000 and well over budget, it must be constantly pumped to prevent it from filling with groundwater. Located in an already existing 1620 square foot basement beneath the Ravalli County Courthouse, and costing taxpayers an exorbitant $586 per square foot to refurbish and equip, its security features cannot even withstand the assault of a common prankster.
These examples are but the tip of an iceberg. Can we really afford and would we wish to return to the performance of the former Commissioners and their co-conspiring County Attorney?
In October of 2010, I submitted a letter to the Missoulian bearing the same title. I am grateful that it was selected and published. Looking back, it proved to be accurately prophetic, deserving subsequent comment.
At the time, campaigns for Ravalli County Commissioner seats were in full swing. The incumbent county commissioners touted their ability to corral government grants in the amount of $22 million to supplement the county budget and keep it solvent. I remember thinking this is no way to run a county, and the bubble must eventually burst.
Well, it wasn’t the way to run Ravalli County and the bubble most decidedly burst. Available state and federal government grant funds dried up overnight with the current recession. Now our new County Commissioners are burdened with the daunting task of balancing the county budget in the midst of recession with the meager revenue currently available. I would not like to be in their shoes.
Our County Commissioners are currently undergoing a gut-wrenching budgeting process, with no happy outcome. Something has to give. Instead of proffering its incessant criticism, the Progressive Democratic opposition should put its childish animosity aside and join the valid democratic process. Our elected commissioners deserve all the support we can give them.
Our US Constitution guarantees free speech, but that privilege comes with a price … responsibility. Our hard-working Ravalli County Commissioners deserve better support than they’re getting from the highly vocal “Progressive Left”. Local malcontents, who seem to have no difficulty publishing their baseless diatribes in our local newspapers, constantly snipe at them. A Missoulian letter-to-the-editor on August 11 even suggests that they should resign or be recalled.
These “Progressive Democrats” are poor losers. Their constant name-calling, innuendos, lies, finger pointing and disruptive behavior are repulsive to civilized society. Ravalli County voters spoke their preference when they unseated the previous commissioners and their cooperative county attorney. It’s especially notable that Progressives demand from this Commission exactly what they sought to prevent when they had their unholy foursome in office, namely transparency and strict adherence to law. They should “get over it”, and move on constructively with the challenges facing our county in this time of financial hardship.
Progressives should grow up and accept what we the people already know. Placing wolf welfare over people is not for the common good. Instituting “let it bum” policies creates a nightmare that is not the will of the people. Lack of jobs in our county is contrary to the people’s desire. Progressives and environmental extremists, take your childish behavior home and keep it there if you cannot contribute productively to civilized society.
Meet Florence’s new VISTA
Greetings Bitterroot Valley!!
My name is Traci Kutzleb and I’m the new AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at the Local Living Family Center in Florence. I’m very excited to have started my year of National and Community Service in the state of Montana, my second home. I grew up in a small rural community in Northern Idaho called Sagle, just outside of Sandpoint, about 60 miles south of the Canadian border. After high school, I attended the University of Montana and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music, Flute Performance, and in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music History and a Certificate in Entertainment Management. In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Vienna, Austria with the University of Montana School of Music study abroad program. Currently, I perform with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra when needed, and play in the River Sounds Trio.
As a new AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), I am very excited to be working at the Local Living Family Center in Florence, serving Florence, Stevensville, and Lone Rock. I have lived in Missoula for the past six years and I am excited about serving in the Bitterroot Valley. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, my year-long goal will be to build capacity within the community and to develop resources for children and families at the Local Living Family Center (LLFC). I plan to help with the center’s main purpose of bringing people of all ages, skills and abilities together to create a network of support that will strengthen resiliency in parents and their children, provide information and resource referral, engage families in lifelong learning activities, and encourage volunteerism, leadership, and civic engagement. One project that I’m excited to be working on is Welcome Baby, “The North Bitterroot Valley baby connection”. I will meet new moms and host monthly conversations on topics of common interest to new mothers. Again, I am thrilled to be working at the Local Living Family Center for my year of service, and I’m excited about working with community members on strengthening the North Valley community. I look forward to meeting you and getting to know the people of Ravalli County.