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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
January 1, 2014     Sidney Herald
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January 1, 2014

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8A WEDNESDAY, JAN. 1, 2014 00IEWPOINT',i SIDNEY HERALD 14 predictions for the year 2014 nother year has come and one and for me like many iiothers it has been a year of change. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be back in the region. And while I have worked long and hard to get to the role of publisher, I did not expect it to be back here. But as of June I here I am with a new year coming up. You will find them every- where. Predictions, predictions, predictions. So why not make some myself? Obviously take them as you will, half-hearted, jokingly, dead serious. I am not a prognosticator by any means, but I thought I would take a stab at it regionally. And with that prelude, here you have it; my 14 predictions for 2014. • Passenger rail will an- nounce a stop in Culbertson. As people that are in the energy industry become more familiar with the communities to the west of Williston, they will see the value to living and doing business in the outlying areas on this side as well. • The lagoon issue will get resolved. The question will become if the resolution will be long term resolution or quick fix. The prediction will be a quick fix with a commitment to continue to look at long term solutions. • The four-day school week will be adopted in at least one more northeast Montana com- munity citing an opportunity to alleviate some local worker demand as the reason why to switch to it. • There will be a $10 canta- loupe. • It will snow at least one day in May. • The Boys and Girls Club will find a location for 2014-2015. While it will be another tempo- rary location, progress will be made toward a new location. • Reynolds and IGA will install their first automatic checkout counters. • A major restaurant chain will announce a commitment to Sidney in 2014. Seeing that Sid- ney is becoming THE bedroom community to Williston, this restaurant chain will establish in the same general location as the Shops of Fox Run. • There will be a major com- munity event as part of the 2014 Richland County 100th Anniver- sary Celebra- tion. (Am I up to something?) • There will be an announce- ment in the Bakken region Walk this way of a "high rise" apartment com- R0bertArr0wsmJlh plex. "High rise" meaning more than five stories. It will be the first major com- mitment making a serious ef- fort to try to alleviate the rental issues of the region. • The Post Office, citing con- tinue failure to keep delivery personnel, will announce the corner box system will be coming to Sidney, meaning that boxes will be installed on specific corners around town where you will be able to go to pick up your mail at instead of being delivered to your home. • There will be two hole in ones at Sidney Country Club in 2014. • To coincide with the 100th anniversary of Richland Coun- ty, there will be a new organiza- tion in town committed to a mix of economic development as well as downtown and historic preservation. While this orga- nization will more than likely be committed to Sidney first, it will take a long hard look at Fairview, and the other commu- nities as well. • We will get a natural gas sta- tion. As the price of natural gas continues to be the hot play in the industry in 2014, there will be widespread recognition of the value, and more and more commercial vehicles will begin to use the fuel as an alternative way save money. By the end of the 2014, there will be a natural gas fueled vehicle available for sale at one of the car dealer- ships. There you have it. Some with a grain of salt, some a stab in the dark, some...well we might be up to something. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you in the year to come. Robert Arrowsmith is the publisher of the Sidney Herald. He can be reached at 406-433-2403 I publishesidneyher- Views of our readers Sidney students remain impressive I am so impressed, once again, with the quality of young people we have here in the Sidney area. The Sidney High School tal- ent show was once again a suc- cess. I am especially impressed with the level of support the students show for one another and for the performers. The first year I was here, I was surprised to see the gym floor filled with students doing "The Hustle", and once again, they did not disappoint! Kudos to staff & students at Sidney High. Peggy Ann Strupp Sidney Contact your governor's office Gov. Steve Bullock Office of the Governor, PO Box 200801, State Capitol, Helena, MT 59620- 0801 • 406-444.3111 Toll Free: 855-318-1330 FAX: 406-444-5529 • Lt. Gv. John Walsh Office of the Lt. Governor, P.O. Box 200801, Helena, MT 59620-0801 406.-444-3111 Toll Free: 855-318- 1330 FAX: 406-444-5529 Write to us The Sidney Herald welcomes letters to the editor. Whether political, a problem in the city or neighborhood, or to pat , someone on theback, let us know what s on your mind. All letters must include the writer's signature, address and daytime telephone number. We do not publish anonymous letters. Letters should be 300 words or less; all are sub ect to editing for spelling, clarity or length. Be sure of your facts. It is impossible for the newspa- per to verify information in every letter. We reserve the right to select which let- ters are published. One letter per month unless in response to another letter. The Herald will not publish letters critical of individuals or businesses unless such letters deal with issues involving taxpay- ers funds. Letters submitted to the Sidney Herald may be published or distributed in print or electronic forms. Write to: Letters to the Editor Sidney Herald 310 2nd Ave. N.E. Sidney, MT 59270 E-maih Fax: 406-433-7802 SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Robert Arrowsmith Publisher Bill Vander Weele Editor From the government shutdown to the startup of Obamacare, Joe Heller, nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist, looks back at some of the big issues of 2013 that caught his eye. POI: FPIg  POIvL[ TO IIVE" 'q RFLT 81"t4 I,O00.E ,' tL- ........ ....... FIRST RM Conservative solutions for health care do exist he promise of Obamacare was too simple. It was supposed to provide more affordable ac- cess to quality health care to more people at a lower cost. Unfortunate- ly, instead of increased coverage, we have 5 million Americans who have already seen their coverage can- celled and new reports surface ev- eryday showing that number could grow by up to 100 million additional policies cancelled by next fall. I could list all of the failures, but there are articles in every corner of the internet pointing to them. Too often I hear people comment that conservatives don't have solutions, just complaints. Well -- I agree, that is why I want you to know you will never hear me complain about a problem without having a solution. We may not always agree on the solution, but as your congressman, you won't just hear "no." You will hear an alternative. First of all, it is important to note that our health care itself is not bro- ken. We have the finest health care in the world. The best doctors, the best treatments, the best technology and the most advanced medicines are right here in the United States. What is broken is our insurance and payment systems and giv- ing control of these to the federal government is not the answer as Obamacare has proven. Free markets are the answer, but the pre-Obamacare markets were no freer than Obamacare itself. In the pre-Obamacare insurance market, insurance companies acted at the  direction of a web of complicated and contradictory state and federal regula- tions that lacked common sense. Every time gov- ernment puts its fin- State ger on the scale of the free market, the senator market is distorted. Like you, I have Matt R0sendfle watched our govern- ment stray from the principles espoused by our founding fathers. If we truly want to bring more affordable, quality care to more Americans, we must have leadership in Congress that understands and lives by the rules of market capitalism and not government run economics. So how do we begin to reform health care if we repeal Obam- acare? 1 -- Give people ownership over their own plan. A truly free market will allow you to choose the plan and coverage options that best suit you and your family. Allow insur- ers to sell across state lines, to dramatically increase choice and competition -- thereby driving down insurance costs, making it more affordable for everyone. Cur- rent markets are not competitive because many states only have one or two primary insurers, thus seg- menting and distorting the market. Additionally, we need to encourage portability. Rather than your em- ployer providing coverage directly for you and me, they would contrib- ute to the plan of our choosing. 2 -- Lawsuit Reform. When doc- tors are forced to perform proce- dures just to cover their backend, costs skyrocket. Our medical system today is the equivalent of taking your car in for an oil change and being forced to get new tires every time just so you can't sue the repair shop for a flat tire. Medical lawsuit reforms that have been implemented in states like Texas have proven to lower costs across the board. National lawsuit reform is necessary to control the balloon- ing costs in our hospitals. 3 -- Medicare and Medicaid reform. We simply can't make our health care system affordable without reforming Medicare and Medicaid. This is not fear-monger- ing, it is basic fact. I am not saying (as I am sure to be accused by liber- als) that I want to end these social safety nets. I am saying the math is the math and in their current form, these programs will bankrupt our health care system, themselves, and our country in that order if we do nothing. Reforms and premium as- sistance at the state level are a good place to start in order to reduce fraud, abuse, and control costs.We must act to save these programs for our seniors and those in need. There are many issues we need to address but this is a start and I hope you will join the conversation about conservative reforms that put you in control of the solution instead of bureaucrats in Washington.