Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Opinion


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  • Op Ed: Is This a Canary in a Coal Mine?

    GARY MARBUT, Montana Shooting Sports Association|May 22, 2024

    A gun show scheduled in Hamilton, Montana, for the weekend of May 17th, 18th, and 19th was canceled because of the new regulation by the Biden administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) redefining what “engaged in the business” is for selling one or more firearms. Typically, some vendors at gun shows have federal firearms licenses to be in the business of selling firearms and require all buyers to complete a federal background check before completing a transaction. Other vendors are private sellers, not...

  • Dear Editor: Thank You All Who Attended

    NANCY JANE LIEN, Montana HD75 Candidate|May 22, 2024

    Dear Editor, I want to thank the folks who attended the Jefferson County House district campaign kickoff last week in Whitehall. Betsy Gaines Quammen read excerpts from her book True West: Myth and Mending on the Far Side of America. True West is Quammen's second book about extremist groups, the first being American Zion, a scholarly work about the LDS church's western migration. Betsy speaks in her book True West of the attempt by Aamon Bundy of Idaho and his followers to occupy the Malheur...

  • Dear Editor: Politics - Not My Favorite Topic

    CHARLES HADDON SHANK|May 22, 2024

    This is not my favorite topic, but I figured it 'tis the season, so here goes. Of course, I'm referring to election or political season. I do NOT like politics! I do my best not to get involved; I rarely vote, except for local elections occasionally. Speaking of local elections/politics, although I STILL would rather not get involved, I DO plan to vote this time. The biggest complaint I've been hearing lately from those who live in town (I do not) is the increased water rates while still...

  • Dear Editor: Mandating Electric Vehicles by 2032

    TERRY MURPHY|May 22, 2024

    Dear Editor, Rural Montanans deal with many trials that those in urban areas do not typically struggle with-whether that is internet connectivity, access to healthcare, or simply just the mileage it takes to get to a gas station or grocery store, the fact of the matter is that folks in the more remote portions of our state rely heavily on their vehicles to access the basic needs and services that we all rely on. Unfortunately, the EPA's recent rule mandating that two-thirds of vehicles sold by U...

  • Thought Provokers: 5/22/2024

    May 22, 2024

    As a society, we went quickly from overpopulation will kill us to population collapse will kill us. We have deodorant for armpits but nothing for buttcracks. Someone out there is tithing their Only Fans money. When we think of Steve Irwin, we all picture him wearing the same clothes. Sex scenes are hardly shown from the female point-of-view. Life gives more second chances than people think. We won’t give food and shelter to the needy unless they commit a crime first. Life becomes a paid membership when you turn 18. Most humans who have ever e...

  • Just Ask Georgia: 5/22/2024

    GEORGIA|May 22, 2024

    Georgia, I have a question, I have two employees who usually leave work at 6 p.m. They are great workers, but I don’t like that their commitment lasts only for work hours. What should I do as a CEO? Be More Dedicated Dear Be More, You should copy and paste this complaint into a table in Microsoft Word 2007, print it double-sided in landscape mode, fold it in half eight times, soak it in olive oil, and eat it. Really - really??? You have great workers who are dedicated during work hours - respect them. With love, Georgia Georgia, I have q...

  • CONNECTING POINT: Party Crasher

    BILL LANES|May 22, 2024

    It’s almost summer, the weather is getting nice, and it’s time for some outdoor BBQ. Maybe your plans include inviting guests for a meal and conversation in the weeks ahead? Last week, we had two separate occasions like this with friends and family, which was very enjoyable. Have you ever had an unannounced guest or party crasher show up at your home? Dinner can get quite awkward, can’t it? Certainly, being hospitable is challenging if this occurs. In Luke chapter 7, we see a rather interesting setting where Jesus had a dinner invite from...

  • Horoscopes: Week of 5/22/2024

    May 22, 2024

    ARIES Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, you may meet an influential ally this week. Chat them up because this is a person you want to have in your network. You never know when you’ll need some assistance. TAURUS Apr 21/May 21 Taurus, you have real talent, so you should be proud and show off your efforts. Whether it is artistic in nature or you are a whiz with numbers, share your gift with others. GEMINI May 22/Jun 21 Explore creative possibilities, Gemini. You can use a new hobby right now that keeps you occupied. Look at trends that are popular right n...

  • Dear Editor: Rebuttal on Rank Choice Voting

    JIM BUTERBAUGH|May 15, 2024

    Dear Editor, Good Wednesday, Jefferson County. This is a little note about last week's letter to the editor trying to mislead on Rank Choice Voting. The writer stated that I misrepresented Ballotpedia's explanation of rank-choice voting, saying we would only vote once as usual. He stated that the only thing that would be required is multiple tabulations and instant run-offs. How do you get multiple tabulations and instant run-offs? It seems to me you must vote. Nothing is wrong with the system e...

  • Dear Editor: Support for Ray Shaw

    KEN WALSH, HD71 Representative|May 15, 2024

    Dear Editor, Running for public office is not for the faint of heart. City council members, county commissioners, school board trustees, and state legislators all require a big commitment to do their jobs well. I admire anyone who tosses their hat into the ring. As taxpayers and voters, we all must participate by educating ourselves on the candidate's priorities and policies and, most importantly, voting. Our jobs are not done yet. We must remain engaged in the budgeting and policy-making...

  • Dear Editor: Throwing Rural Montana Under the Bus

    KATIE SULLIVAN and RYAN LYNCH, MT House of Representatives and MT Senate|May 15, 2024

    Dear Editor, Republicans fight with each other all the time, but it seems the one thing they can agree on is throwing rural Montana under the bus. During the last session of the state Legislature, 130 of 150 legislators–Republicans and Democrats–passed a bill to fund the conservation of public lands and repair the county roads that help hunters, anglers, hikers, and campers access them. This bill, SB 442, would have ensured a permanent and stable source of support not just for the rec...

  • Thought Provokers: 5/15/2024

    May 15, 2024

    Insurance is the only industry whose entire business model does not give you what you paid for. Considering how advanced our species allegedly is, it’s amazing we haven’t evolved to live off of grass. This would have solved so many of our problems throughout history. Cows, deer, and many other mammals can live off of grass and similar foliage, but somehow, we can’t. By your 30th birthday, you will have spent an entire month celebrating your birthday. With the most powerful telescopes being mirror-based, we will never see the space vampi...

  • A Different Perspective: 5/15/2024

    LARRY HOFFMAN, Whitehall Ledger Contributing Writer|May 15, 2024

    Boy, oh boy, oh boy! What better time to write about perspectives than an election year? Especially this one. I hardly know where to start. Local? State? National? Present, upcoming, or lingering on from the past? Events? Issues? Personalities? Real or perceived? All are integral in our lives, whether or not we’re directly affected or have any ability to make a difference. Some of the topics are front and center in our thoughts, while others are just too abstract to be worth thinking about. W...

  • Just Ask Georgia: 5/15/2024

    GEORGIA|May 15, 2024

    Georgia, I have a question, I’m the mother of a five-year-old. I’ve been happily married for six years - but that could change after my husband’s outlandish Mother’s Day present. He gave me - deep breath - a “Mother & Toddler” two-hour art class for Mother’s Day. I love my child; I adore the ground she walks on, and she gives me endless hours of joy. We spend a lot of time together as I am a stay-at-home mom. So is it terrible that, for Mother’s Day, I do not want to be sent off to a class with my child while my husband plays golf? I want a...

  • CONNECTING POINT: Luxury of Hindsight

    BILL LANES|May 15, 2024

    Hindsight is everything someone once quipped. Looking back at circumstances, we can gain a greater appreciation or come to a better understanding. However, when in real-time, some matters can be confusing or completely misunderstood. Christians today have the luxury of hindsight when it comes to Jesus Christ because we have the Bible in our hands, and most accept the tenets of faith about His birth, death, resurrection, and Messiahship. This luxury was not always shared in the 1st century, even by His followers, including Thomas and, at times,...

  • Horoscopes: Week of 5/15/2024

    May 15, 2024

    ARIES Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, a friend has made steady progress and exhibited significant personal growth. Continue to support this person’s pursuits and act as a source of encouragement. TAURUS Apr 21/May 21 Your happiness can bring joy to many other people this week, Taurus. Spread your positivity among those who can use it the most. You will reap rewards as well. GEMINI May 22/Jun 21 The people around you may behave in interesting and unexpected ways, Gemini. You don’t know what to make of this, so sit back and watch the show. CANCER Jun 22/Jul...

  • Dear Editor: Bible Texts Offered by Whitehall Church of Christ

    JOHN DUFORD, Whitehall Church of Christ|May 8, 2024

    Dear Editor, Ever promise yourself that someday you'd start reading your Bible every day but never got around to it? You're not alone. We will start a new round of free daily phone texts this week, designed to help you read your Bible cover-to-cover in about one year. This ministry is entirely non-denominational. You can use whatever version you prefer, and it doesn't cost you a penny. This will be the seventh year the Whitehall Church of Christ has done this. We forward these texts worldwide;...

  • Dear Editor: Support for Becky Beard

    SCOTT MENDENHALL|May 8, 2024

    Dear Editor, Jefferson County residents have the opportunity to elect an outstanding, proven Legislator from Elliston, Montana, to serve as our new State Senator in the newly drawn Senate District 38, which includes nearly all of Jefferson County. I've known Becky Beard for over 25 years and always found her to be an upright, conscientious, and principled conservative who listens to her constituents and votes in line with our family and rural values. With Becky, we have a wealth of experience...

  • Dear Editor: Policy is Ridiculous

    SUSAN CONNOR|May 8, 2024

    Dear Editor, The “Infant at Work Policy” is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Employees are paid to WORK, not tend to their babies with feeding, changing diapers, etc. Get a babysitter like everybody else must do! If you can’t afford a babysitter, you should have thought of that before you had the baby. SUSAN CONNOR Whitehall, Montana...

  • Dear Editor: Clarifying Rank Choice Voting (Again)

    DON LEPINSKY|May 8, 2024

    Dear Editor, I have read some opposition views on CI126, CI127, and Rank Choice Voting (RCV) in the Whitehall Ledger recently. One opponent cited Ballotpedia's explanation of RCV to support his opposition view. So, I compared Ballotpedia's explanation to the opponent's letter and found some discrepancies. I believe the author of the most recent letter misinterpreted Ballotpedia's description of RCV. He implied in his letter that voters would have to go to the polls multiple times over a period o...

  • Thought Provokers: 5/8/2024

    May 8, 2024

    Some products are so ingrained in our daily use that companies don’t need to spend money on marketing. You almost never have to buy shoelaces anymore because shoes don’t last that long. Some people don’t know how to talk to kids because their go-to small talk with adults is to ask about work. It is a choice to be a parent. But it is not a choice to be a child. On the Internet, the final question on IQ tests is whether to pay for the result. We need unattractive people to have attractive people. Every year, your eventual death date comes and g...

  • CONNECTING POINT: Chain of Command

    BILL LANES|May 8, 2024

    The term "chain of command" is well used in business, law, military, and more. Defined basically as a ladder of authority for any organization to direct others or a system that ensures individual members stay on task and report to a supervisor. Such structure enables any organization to move forward with its mission. A perfect example of a "chain of command" is seen in Luke chapter 7. "When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a Centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was...

  • Just Ask Georgia: 5/8/2024

    GEORGIA|May 8, 2024

    Georgia, I have a question, My best friend (we are both 23) asked me to be her maid of honor and to plan her bachelorette party. I asked her what her ideal party was. She said it was a nice dinner with friends and some female family members, then having just the friends go to a bar since her mom and aunties probably wouldn’t be up for that. Can we say BORING? Anyway, I asked her for a list of people, and she gave me ten family members she wanted to have dinner with and about 20 friends to invite to the bar. I was not comfortable with the l...

  • Dear Editor: Our Governor Does Not Trust County Commissioners

    NANCY JANE LIEN, Montana HD75 Candidate|May 1, 2024

    Dear Editor, It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Republican supermajority in the Montana Legislature failed to override the Governor's veto of SB442, which would have distributed a portion of marijuana revenue for county infrastructure. This bill was unique for the 2023 session because it garnered bipartisan support. It was also unique in that the Montana Supreme Court allowed the Legislature to exercise its constitutional right to vote to override the Governor's veto. The...

  • Dear Editor: I Cannot Take the JRCC Seriously

    DON LEPINSKY|May 1, 2024

    Dear Editor, This letter is in response to a letter published in the Whitehall Ledger's April 19, 2024 issue, submitted by the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee (JCRCC). The JCRCC's letter states its opposition to rank-choice voting and ties it to Constitutional Initiatives CI126 and CI127. My intent is to use reliable sources to define the meaning of these initiatives more clearly. If approved by the voters, CI126 would combine the Republican and Democratic primaries into one open...

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