The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

If you want to improve your memory, lend someone money. – African Proverb

In today’s column, I take a look at these people/issues:

  • Scouting For Food
  • Counting Envelopes
  • Knudsen Joins Lawsuit
  • Trump’s Phone Records
  • The Western Word Poll

SCOUTING FOR FOOD:

This Saturday (April 2) in Great Falls (I am not sure about other places in Montana) is the 28th Annual Scouting for Food Drive. The food will be donated to the Great Falls Food Bank.

Please take a moment and help!

COUNTING ENVELOPES:

The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that the Missoula County Republican Central Committee is paying about $5,000 to have election officials recount signature envelopes from the November 2020 election in an attempt to alleviate voter concerns after a private group claimed its own count found nearly 4,600 more votes than envelopes in the election held by mail because of the pandemic.

Beam me up, Scotty!

They could have better used that $5,000 to buy tinfoil hats for the wackos who have taken over the Montana Republican Party…

Read the complete story from the AP HERE.

KNUDSEN JOINS (another) LAWSUIT:

According to a press release from the Montana Department of Justice, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen joined 20 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit to end President Biden’s continued mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of mass transportation. The mandate exceeds Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) authority and intrudes on Montanans’ rights.

Once again, Knudsen is filing lawsuits to get attention.

Read the complete press release HERE.

TRUMP’S PHONE RECORDS:

According to the Associated Press (AP), the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol has identified an almost 8-hour gap in official White House records of then-President Donald Trump’s phone calls as the violence unfolded and his supporters stormed the building, according to two people familiar with the probe. The gap extends from a little after 11 a.m. to about 7 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, and involves White House phone calls, according to one of the people.

If the country was not so partisan, this might be a big deal. It’s not.

Here is why: The Republicans will probably take over the majority in the House and the Senate come this November (midterm elections). The new Congress will be sworn in in early January (January 3, 2023). The January 6 panel will end, and all the investigations surrounding the insurrection on January 6 will go away. The House Panel’s jurisdiction for the new Congress will not be re-authorized. Of course, the Democrats will complain but winning the majority, as everyone knows, has its perks.

We may never know what happened behind the scenes on that day – at least until Bob Woodward writes the book, or Trump brags about it.

You can read the AP report HERE.

THE WESTERN WORD POLL:

The men’s NCAA Basketball “Final Four” is set. This Saturday, Villanova takes on Kansas and then Duke takes on North Carolina. The winners will play for the national championship on Monday. (Source)

This week’s poll question asks, “Which two teams will play for the National Championship?”

The results will be posted Thursday.

## THE END ##

11 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. This editorial is quite lengthy but interesting and apropos to our own situation here in Great Falls. Maybe Doney and company should read it. Growth for the sake of growth is insanity. Hundreds of low wage jobs and lack of housing and infrastructure is insanity. See many affordable houses for sale in town? As I look at all the ugliness of high rise apartments south of the hospital area and realize they have more planned, the situation becomes serious. If the Madison Food Park gets built, it will be game over for our community. Thirteen thousand non-English speaking immigrants would overwhelm local services. Time for our elected officials to figure it out. Exacerbating the situation is not good planning, especially since it basically increases the tax burden on those of us already here.

    https://montanadailygazette.com/…/op-ed-enraged…/

    • I think the Kalispell commissioners are primarily responding to growth that is already occurring organically because lots of out-of-staters want to move there, and not simply pursuing growth for growth’s sake. Though one might argue that growth on the west side of their valley was a goal (of somebody, like maybe developers with their political contributions as well as speculative landowners out there) when they put in that Hwy 93 bypass. Like every other “bypass” everywhere forever.

      • Terry, you’re probably right. But I think it has applications for our own growth policies. I live south of town. In talking to my neighbors, I discovered that neighbor works recently bought that huge chunk of land just west of the cemetery. My neighbors are very concerned that more of those ungodly looking three story apartment complexes will be built there. And I don’t blame them. Low income housing you know. I think the article suggests that low income housing is not the way to go for lots of reasons. Attracting low wage jobs that don’t provide enough income to afford a house simply shuffle the real costs elsewhere. And that violates my number one rule of economic development. Economic development must make economic sense………for everyone.

      • Terry,
        Your comments reflect a common misunderstanding of highway design and funding issues. The Kalispell Bypass was included in the Planning and Environmental documents developed as part of the plan to make Highway 93 north of Kalispell to Whitefish a seperated four lane road. This was in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. It was originally proposed as a means to eliminate large truck traffic, in particular, “wood chip” trucks hauling from mills to chipboard manufacturers in the Columbia Falls area from driving up Kalispell’s main street and to avoid negotiating the street around the original Flathead County Courthouse. The alleged goal was to make downtown Kalispell more “user-friendly” for revitalization. The bypass was given some preliminary design work and “corridor protection” but there was no sufficient funding to proceed with further design and construction. Then, in 2009, the Obama administration was able to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which provided massive funding for infrastructure projects to speed recovery from the financial collapse of the previous years. The Kalispelll Bypass was deemed far enough along in design as to be considered “shovel ready” to access the federal funding and final design and construction was implemented. This resulted in the south portion from roughly Ashley Creek on Highway 93 to the intersection with US 2. That phase of the project was panned for being a two lane faacility, its early termination and support for the completion of the north half to its connection with US 93 grew. Additional funding was secured and the north half was completed. Now, planning for the complete build out of the south portion is underway to complete it as a four lane road and address the issues with the existing roundabouts and changed development. A huge RV park, now situated on land originally designated for a mix of residential and commercial development is part of the current development circumstances.
        Indeed, development is following the highway traffic as it originally did with the development of Evergreen with improvements to US 2 to Columbia Falls and Glacier Park. The development then followed the completion of the four lane portion of US 93 between Kalispell and Whitefish. So, while it is true that land development has followed the Kalispell Bypass, that was not its original intent or desire. Also during this time, Flathead County was experiencing tremendous demand for housing and it went like gangbusters until the bottom fell out of the housing market. It has been a 30 year process of fits and starts to accomodate changing circumstances but not a grand plan for development. Probably the greatest factor in the development progress was the construction of a bridge over the Bypass to connect the recreation fields across from FVCC to the west side of Kalispell by providing a means of getting to the recreation complex without turning left across busy Highway 93.
        There will always be support and opposition to development in areas like Flathead County where its’ inate attractiveness gives rise to its degradation by increased population.

      • O.L.D – I realize that every bypass everywhere is always initially proposed to alleviate traffic for one reason or another. I’ve seen enough in the larger cities in other states where I’ve lived. They all take forever to approve, plan and build, and then when they do massive development immediately follows. No one will ever convince me that developers and land speculators aren’t helping push the agenda over the finish line, even if they weren’t the ones who originally proposed the thing.

        Larry – The article from the Gazette was pretty much incoherent. First in between attacks on the Commissioners she’s arguing how a three story apartment building will be an eyesore and may even blot out the sun (3 whole stories!) and then she’s arguing how the housing won’t be affordable because it can’t be affordable. I finally gave up after the 37th paragraph of gratuitous attacks on the commissioners for being greedy money-grubbing curs. As I understand it that development includes 300+ apartments (presumably the “affordable” housing component), and some townhouses and traditional homes which will no doubt be less affordable. She could have summed up her lengthy argument in 5 words: “Not In My Back Yard”.

        No town is ever going to have affordable or even semi-affordable housing if the existing residents won’t let anyone build anything new. Even now we have State property tax assessor/inspectors circling our neighborhoods like vultures smacking their lips because the value of the limited existing housing stock is going up so fast, and politicians in Helena like kids in a candy store plotting how to spend all the windfall tax loot. The lack of alternatives for buyers will also hammer your taxes, and at least according to the folks proposing a tax-limiting ballot initiative is already hammering some Montanans to the tune of 30-40% a year. .

    • The “Montana Daily Gazette”??? Really? That’s the fake news site, pretending to be an actual news publication providing fact-based info from actual journalists. What it actually does is provide tattered cover for the spiteful outpouring from the so-called pastor, Jordan Hall. I always try to maintain an open mind, and consider issues on their own merits; but I have to admit that anything I see coming out of a far-right, xenophobic mindset like Hall’s tends to create a very negative override of that open-mindedness. In simpler terms, “If he’s fer it, I’m agin it.”

      • Larry had gone to the extremes recently- Raw Story and now Montana Daily Gazette. 😂

      • Fred, I disagree. Yes, it is a very biased site, but they also do hard news occasionally before anyone else. And sometimes we’re even on the same page. For example this article about Zinke. It’s even more hard hitting than the lefty sites.

        Btw, it’s an influential news source for lots of folks. Why not read it? I’ve discovered all kinds of information from reading it. For example, no other newspaper in the state has so plainly illustrated the connections between our local sheriff and the far right organizations he belongs to. They celebrate it. They have the interview with Jesse and Richard Mack on their site. Who else does?

        https://montanadailygazette.com/2022/03/29/zinke-files-5-fired-by-trump-for-the-right-reasons/

      • Larry – I read all the left and right wing stuff, too. I try not to use it as a reliable source on this website. Someone a few years ago quoted Tucker Carlson to me. I asked how they could be that gullible. They unfriended me. 😂
        Thanks, JmB

      • I kinda threw that editorial out there to get a response. Sure enough old line democrat didn’t disappoint. I knew that someone in your readership could clear things up. I enjoy their expertise, especially since we’re all headed down that road to rapid change and how to manage it. Never too early to start thinking about how to preserve the state and way of life we love. If the last fifty years is any indication, it’s gonna get ugly. (-er)

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