Letters to the editor Nov. 3

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America’s best idea

I wonder if President Trump, Ryan Zinke, or any of the members of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee that recommended modernizing and privatizing National Park campgrounds (Daily Inter Lake, Oct. 19) have read Freeman Tilden’s classic and definitive book on the National Park experience: “The National Parks; What They Mean to You and Me.” I don’t think so, because their recommendations do not reflect the spirit of the unique character and purposes of the National Park System so well defined by Tilden.

In the preface, Conrad L Wirth (Director, National Park Service March 1954) cautions us to “stand firm against any proposals to impair or destroy…” the scenic and historic heritage so intrinsic to the National Park experience. And Newton B. Drury (Director, National Park Service 1940-1951) writes in the introduction that we need to cherish and conserve national parks “…not for commercial use of their resources but because of their value in ministering to the human mind and spirit.”

President Trump, Ryan Zinke and their ORAC proposals would turn “America’s best idea” into a series of glitzy theme parks and romping grounds where wi-fi, food trucks, and commercial advertising are never more than a few steps away.

I wish Trump, Zinke, and the ORAC could spend a week cloistered up at the Kishenehn patrol cabin reading and discussing Freeman Tilden’s book. Who knows, they might even understand that, as Freeman Tilden made clear, “National Parks were not established to afford profit to anyone.”

—Bob Muth, Kalispell

Montana’s mental health crisis

I wanted to compliment the Daily Inter Lake on its series on mental health in Montana.

I also wanted to make you aware of the requirements to practice in the state. After 25 years of being a mental health counselor, I moved to Montana.

My practice was in Florida and I worked mostly with children and adolescence. Instead of accepting my wealth of experience the state wants me to go back to college for a year. So that’s one less mental health counselor the state has to help with the emotional issues facing it’s residents.

I was told these rules were legislated. It really doesn’t make sense to me considering the issues facing the state.

­—William Walker, Columbia Falls

Support for Rod Kuntz

Protect Kalispell from outside planning influence.

I am supporting Rod Kuntz as my Ward 3 Kalispell councilor. We have watched Rod since he joined the council several years ago, filling the big shoes of former councilor Jim Atkinson.

Rod immediately went to work tackling the Flathead High School parking issue. I have seen Rod at many forums, meetings and open houses, always eager to listen and offer constructive advice. Rod has been an active and hard working, yet frugal counselor, always with an emphasis on conserving our tax dollars.

I agree with those that say that the valley is experiencing growth pains. The Kalispell Council, Planning Board and Architectural Board address the issues of growth, housing and the aesthetics of our community on a regular basis.

We, as a community, need to constantly be looking for solutions to shelter those in need, but we don’t need to look to the city of Portland in this effort. I do not want to see Kalispell emulating the cities of Portland, Seattle or any other on the West Coast, as it doesn’t seem to have worked out so well for them, Let’s leave rent control, tent cities, and people sleeping in my front yard, out of Kalispell.

Please join me in re-electing Rod Kuntz as our Ward 3 Kalispell Councilor.

— John Hinchey, Kalispell

Ryan Hunter for Ward 3

When the incumbent for Kalispell City Council, Ward 3 was asked during a recent radio interview why he thought more people don’t run for a city council position, he replied he believed it was because people don’t have the time.

The truth is a lot of good, highly qualified community members would run, but don’t, because they realize they will have to contend with the deeply ingrained, good old boys network, where money and reciprocal back scratching are more than abundant. Anyone with good, solutions and abilities, willing to serve constituents from all walks of life are pigeon-holed into a partisan category, and deemed as having anti-Montana values.

Well, there is a challenger for Ward 3, and a darned good one! Ryan Hunter is very eager, qualified, honest and comes with impressive credentials and good ideas.

A degree in urban and regional planning, service in the U.S. Peace Corps in Slovakia – working to steer international financing toward local and sustainable economic opportunities, experience in ensuring communities have accessible affordable housing, and providing leadership on the Flathead Trails Association, just to name a few.

Ryan Hunter works to serve his community via the Flathead Land Trust, where he is focused on protecting our wildlife habitat, family farms and clean water. Ryan is ensuring our children have lead-free water to drink in their schools and our homeless and low income populations are helped into affordable housing and not living on the streets. Ryan would be an asset to the City Council and ensure all voices are heard. He would contribute wisely to the current and future plans of Kalispell’s growth and economy. Please vote for Ryan Hunter, Ward 3 on Nov 5.

—­Chrysta L. Bourne, Kalispell

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