Letters to the editor Feb. 28

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Rock ‘n’ roll transcends politics

We need a new approach to political discourse. A good model is my dance band: Zino and the Bel Aires. The group is made up of Republicans and Democrats. We will never be divided by political rancor because we have a higher goal: We seek to make music with each other, and create fun for our audience. Our common purpose is more important than abstract political beliefs. We listen and learn from each other. As a band of brothers, we realize that since our colleagues are such wonderful, smart and talented people — whatever they believe must be worthy of listening to, and learning from. I believe that our government would be more productive if congressional members would form barbershop quartets and harmonize with each other. Don’t you?

—Steve Eckels, Kalispell

Be proud to wear a uniform

Each and every time I’m watching any type of news broadcast which involves police interviews, either locally or nationally, I’m always thrilled to see the top law enforcement officers in their uniforms and representing their departments in a professional and dignified manner. I’m not sure why in Flathead County, however, that our sheriff, who I did vote for and the previous sheriff as well, never wear a uniform when they are interviewed and speak formally televised.

I had the privilege to sit on a military aircraft next to Sheriff Jim Dupont in 1996 to visit Gowen Field in Idaho where he had deputies who were reservists on their two-week training. Guess what? He was in uniform as he was each and every day. He told me that it was in his heart and his uniform was part of him and he was so proud to wear it and to be our sheriff. In my estimation, he was the best in the West and it’s hard to fill his shoes.

From Boy Scouts, to the various government agencies to the military and even many civilian type companies, uniforms are a requirement of employment — no questions asked. Patrolmen and women, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrolmen and women and the like all wear uniforms. I’ve never seen one on duty without it. So why doesn’t the top leader? And for you city managers and the like, you should be requiring your police officials who attend council meetings especially to be in uniform.

Citizens, like old school vets like me, like that. It’s great for business. You can do what you like Sheriff Heino, but you might try what I’m offering here and just see for yourself what happens. I’ll bet you’ll like the results. You’re the coach of a great team — use the energy you speak of do something different.

—Tony Mauro, Columbia Falls

Decrease pollution without onerous regs

Climate change! What can we do about this overwhelming problem? There is something remarkably simple and feasible that we can do.

We need to provide a monetary incentive for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There are several bills before Congress with this objective, but one that has bipartisan support is HR 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019. This Act would place a predictable, steadily rising price on the production of greenhouse gases and return the money collected to the American people. This Act is unique because all the fees collected, minus administrative costs, would be allocated in equal shares to all Americans as monthly dividend checks and would not go into the US Treasury.

This fee would be levied on carbon-based oil, gas and coal at the source (well, mine, port of entry) and would start at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. It would steadily and predictably increase each year by $10. Fuel prices would gradually start to increase, but so would the dividends we receive. For the majority of us higher fuel prices would be completely offset by our dividends.

In just 12 years this Act is expected to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 percent. Clean energy would become cheaper than fossil fuels, giving entrepreneurs and investors the incentive to develop clean energy sources and alternative technologies (think electric cars). The power of the free market would produce the most competitive solutions to our climate problem.

Many leading economists believe this strategy is the best way to decrease carbon pollution without onerous regulations.

How can you help? Contact Sen. Daines, Sen. Tester, and Rep. Gianforte today. Ask them to cosponsor and support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

—Kris Newgard, Troy

Treasure State not for sale

The imbecilic proposal to sell our Treasure State to Canada is the most ludicrous idea ever.

A better proposal would be to sell California to Mexico. It is costing all of us to repair the damages from never-ending fires, mudslides, earthquakes — a constant drain on the budget. More benefits from the sale could include: People trying to come into the U.S. illegally would be more welcomed into California where there is no language barrier, the jobs are plentiful since many of the Hollywood snowflakes already employ them, and the map of the U.S. would look much better without California, unlike the look of the map with Montana taken out.

—Ann Egerter, Bigfork

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