Support family planning clinic
Do you live in Ravalli County? Do you care about preserving life? Our US constitution? How about the rule of law? If you do then you should be shoutin’ mad at Commissioners Kanenwisher, Stoltz, Foss, and Chilcott. They’re undercutting all the above by promising to deny Title X funding in 2012/2013 to the County Health’s Family Planning Clinic.
They say they’ll deny funding because, as Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher says, “the deal breaking issue is parental notification.” Kanenwisher says “parental rights” is guaranteed by our constitution. Really? After the August 4th Commissioners’ public meeting on family planning funding I went home and re-read our great constitution, anxious to find the Article, or Section, or Amendment that Matt was referring to. Well, nowhere does it discuss or enumerate “parental rights”, let alone “parental notification.” Matt and Ron Stoltz (who looks to Matt for guidance and seems to lack independent thinking) are simply wrong.
Of course we’d all want parental notification in a perfect world. But what about a 16 year old girl raped by her father? Want her obligated by law to get “parental notification” for medical treatment? Certainly not. Fact is, current law allows a minor to get medical services without parental notification. So Commissioners: Support the law! Laws are wonderful principles to base your decisions on.
The reality is here in Hamilton the Family Planning Clinic saves lives through, for example, cancer screenings. But if saving lives isn’t principled enough for you, the clinic preserves the lives of the unborn by providing medical screenings, prenatal care, nutritional counseling, education and other medical services to pregnant women who might otherwise receive no care.
Simply put, the law and the constitution are on the side of the commissioners who have the sense, compassion and wherewithal to keep the funding going and the clinic open for years to come. No surrender of their principles. And for God’s sake, if you, the commissioners, believe in preserving life and saving lives, then it’s incumbent on you to support the Family Planning Clinic. Citizens will have your back because for many there’s no greater principle.
Van P. Keele
After sitting in on parts of three days of budget deliberations by our county commissioners, I would like to thank them for the hard and conscientious decisions they made in coming up with a balanced budget. They faced a decrease of over $400,000 in income from last year, and increased budget requests from departments and a need to increase budget reserves by $600,000 (which was not done) for a need to cut the budget by over $1,000,000 from what was requested. In addition the easy cuts had already been done in earlier years.
Sadly the commissioners were faced with either cutting employees or wages. After much deliberation they chose to cut employees because in cutting wages those with the lowest wages would face the majority of the cuts because union contracts limited the cuts to non-union employees (the lowest paid in the work force). This way all departments faced the same fate.
I applaud the commissioners in that they started these cuts in their own office by cutting one of two assistants. And after much deliberation ended by cutting the juvenile detention center after exhausting all options to try to save it. But there was just not enough in the budget to do so. Again, thank you for a job very well done.
I would urge all readers to spend some time at the county commissioner meetings to see the daunting task the face day to day in running the county government.
Bake sales could be our last resort
In the general jubilation over the Commissioners passing the County’s portion of Title X funds, there seemed to be a disregard of the amount of money that is really required for the funding of the Department of Health.
Federal grants, indeed most grants, come with strings. The money is to be used for the purpose stated in the grant and spent as directed in the controlling documents.
The County’s portion of $39,000 was to be part of the total amount, and a necessary part indeed. The federal grants provide nearly $200,000. The deal is to accept the whole amount or nothing. Without the County portion, none of the whole amount would be given. That means that the total amount to be raised is a great deal more than the $39,000 that Commissioner Kanenwisher indicated could be raised by bake sales and car washes.
We are talking about the health of the entire County here, newborns’ health, vaccines, emergency funds, checks for cancer, male and female diseases and more. This is not planned parenthood; it is public health we are speaking of here
In this age of terrorism, we can’t know what needs the County as a whole might suddenly find necessary, and this department needs to be prepared for anything (remember the rabies scare) which happens without warning.
So, lay in a lot of soap, we are going to be scrubbing those cars, and baking our oven doors off!
Your health and mine are not a priority of this Commission.
Landry way off base
I just read a letter in the Bitterroot Star (August 4, 2011), by Rick Landry. I wouldn’t know Rick Landry if I saw him, but I do know Bittermonk. I’ve never seen him either. But they are one and the same.
Bittermonk is the username of a person who posts on the Ravalli Republic blog. His posts, over several years, are identical to the letter in the Star. They have never addressed a single issue that I wrote about. They simply name call and express a hatred that is almost incomprehensible.
It should be noted that Rick Landry accuses the Ravalli Republic of “ethically questionable professionalism” because they publish articles that are also included in my newsletter. Apparently Rick has failed to notice that newspapers routinely print opinion pieces by writers for other newspapers. How he could fail to grasp that fact eludes me.
I want Rick to give one example of remarks I made that were homophobic or Islamaphobic. He cannot do that. Landry reads, but he doesn’t comprehend.
One thing is clear. Rick Landry cannot tolerate opinions that are different than his own. In America, as in most civilized and free societies, expression of differing opinions is acceptable. In totalitarian nations only one opinion is permitted. That is the opinion of the despotic rulers of those unfortunate countries.
I am glad that Landry signed his name to his letter. Now all of his neighbors in Corvallis can see him for who he is. I don’t think that most people agree with his venomous and irrational attacks against me for expressing ideas he disagrees with. This is a free country. It would not be if Rick Landry had his way.
National Wolfwatcher Coalition
For the second time in five weeks, a Bitterroot rancher, Mr. Dave Schram of Hamilton, is responsible for killing three wolves because he perceived them as being a threat to his livestock. Although originally reported as yearlings, the latter two wolves were, in fact, four-month old pups. It is our understanding that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks investigated this incident, and it appeared to this agency that the event was a legitimate shooting.
While these actions may be considered legal, the National Wolfwatcher Coalition and its supporters, many of whom are Montanans, believe Mr. Schram’s choice to kill these wolf pups was wrong, especially since a shot in the air could have frightened both pups off his property immediately. Sadly, this incident calls serious attention to the continued unnecessary use of lethal measures to manage wolves when other nonlethal measures can be equally as effective.
As a result of the passage of the 2011 Appropriations Act and its Sec. 1713 (wolf delisting rider), Montana announced its intent to maintain a sustainable population of wolves according to its own wolf management plan – a development that, no doubt, has resulted in relief for some stakeholders while promoting serious skepticism among others. It is now accepted policy that wolves have become a permanent part of Montana’s landscape, and that acceptance requires increased responsibility. As human populations expand and wolf populations recover, there is a growing need to develop both a better understanding of how to prevent conflicts with wolves, as well as the tools for living harmoniously with them. Conservationists and ranchers can work together to protect livestock and save wolves through the use of nonlethal deterrents and the best management practices which help to address the root cause of conflicts in economical ways that protect both livestock and wolves.
While wildlife and agriculture do not always mix, it is our assertion that conflict can be reduced significantly and even prevented with a little extra effort. In our role as a new national nonprofit organization dedicated to responsible wolf conservation, we have been inundated with calls and emails from supporters in Montana and elsewhere requesting our advocacy in this situation. Thus, we urgently request that Montana FWP further investigate the unfortunate circumstances that led to the untimely death of these wolves as well as promote programs such as those afforded by Defenders of Wildlife’s “Wolf Coexistence Partnership” which works directly with landowners to successfully find innovative solutions which protect livestock and ensure wolf conservation in the region.
Marc Cooke, Co President West
National Wolfwatcher Coalition
Re: Marcus Daly nurses
As in most management vs. labor disputes, there is more at issue than meets the eye. In a few words of summary, its actually a blatant attempt by the Montana Nurses Association to impose a closed union shop at Marcus Daly Hospital. MNA has targeted three Montana hospitals in its current unionization drive, including Marcus Daly. The issue here is not merely binding arbitration, as they would have us believe, it’s all about installing a closed union shop. That means nurses would have to join and pay dues to the MNA union in order to work.
The majority of Marcus Daly nurses do not support the vocal minority that demonstrate in the parking lot. There have been no problems under their current contract, one that currently provides nurses with due recourse in any dispute with management. The nurses are not forced to join a union in order to be employed.
To create a smokescreen, the union and its organizer-nurses maintain that the issue is lack of binding arbitration when contract disputes arise. Binding arbitration would mean that the National Labor Relations Board in Washington DC would make the final decision in any dispute. In Washington, the union always wins.
The MNA has placed numerous additional demands upon the table in its unionization drive, unreasonable contract terms that would increase the hospital’s operating costs beyond all reason and curtail the services it now provides. The MNA union is acting in its own interests, not the nurses’ and not the hospital’s nor its patients.
Ravalli County residents should be thankful that so small a population could attract and maintain such comprehensive medical services and so fine a staff. Let’s not allow a few chronic complainers and self-serving union organizers to spoil a good thing.
Progressives in education
In the 1950s, the Soviets prophesized that they would infiltrate America’s college campuses, thus producing generations of leftist activists and political leaders. It seemed like so formidable a task, that no one took them seriously. As time wore on into the turbulent 1960s, it became apparent that they were succeeding in putting protesting students into America’s streets and closet Marxists onto public university faculties. Leftist graduates of these universities grew up and assumed positions of influence and leadership in American society. For example:
Angela Davis was a noted communist and political activist of the 1960s and 1970s. She was a member of the notorious Black Panthers, and three-times Communist Party candidate for US Vice President. Now retired, she had become a tenured history professor with the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Bill Ayers, avowed Communist and former leader of the domestic terrorist Weather Underground, became a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Reportedly, Ayers was a Barack Obama mentor.
Our University of Montana is no exception and is typical of American universities today. Noted for its liberal persuasion, it indoctrinates its students with Socialism’s false promises. It promotes the popular theme of ‘ethnic diversity’, but at UM that means only Hispanics, Afro-Americans and American Indians. Why? Because they represent the largest blocs of potential Democratic Party voters. Forget diversity at UM if you’re Asian or some other ethnic minority.
Conservative US Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson was recently denied his well-deserved ‘Professor Emeritus’ status upon his retirement from UM because he didn’t buy into ‘diversity’ and other liberal philosophies. Sadly, his retirement leaves the University of Montana with no moderating conservative voice, good news I suppose if you’re a Progressive Democrat.