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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
February 22, 2004     Sidney Herald
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February 22, 2004

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/ I OA FEB. 22, 2004 IIY iU.[N P, OIINSON SIDNEY HERALD Todd O'Hair is a Republican candidate running for secre- tary of state in Montana. The issues O'Hair is concen- trating on as a candidate for secretary of state include elec- tions and voter registration fairness, proper land manage- ment and Streamlining busi- ness regulations. "Our goal is to get greater participation, and I have ideas to get younger voters to partic- ipate. I think we, as candi- dates, should do more debates so people can really see where we stand on issues instead of the 30-second TV commer- cials," O'Hair said. "This would give the public opport l- nities to meet the candidates. O'Hair recognizes the im- portance of land manage- ment. "I care passionately about land management issues; I grew up on a ranch in Liv- ingston," O'Hair said. "In 2002, state lands contributed $45 million to Montana educa- tion. That is a large sum of money that comes from our state lands. I want to make sure we get as much out of it as we can." O'Hair currently serves as natural resources policy advi- sor for the Martz/Ohs admin- istration, administration staff leader for Montana's State Land Board and was the natu- ral resources and agriculture legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Rick Hill. "Agriculture is the bread and butter of eastern Mon- tana. I've been active in agri- culture my whole life and un- derstand the issues," O'Hair said. O'Hair be- lieves Montana could benefit from modeling after one of its neighboring states. "ff you lo0k across the bor- der in Wyoming at how they have created a $1 bil- lion surplus, it's one of the few states that has a surplus right now, that comes from oil and gas development. It has had a huge impact," O'Hair said. O'Hair sees a positive future for Sidney. "Sidney is a bright light with a bright future. Its got a lot going for it, Sidney Sugars, Busch-Ag and the oil," O'Hair said. "You can see the drills across the county, and they will be seeing the benefits here on Main Street in Sidney. The development of our natu- ral resources is vital for eco- nomic growth." Another goal is to make business regulation more effi- cient. "Our current secretary of state, Bob Brown, has worked towards making business reg- ulation more efficient and ! would like to see that progress continued," O'Hair said. O'Hair understands the im- portance of attracting busi- ness to the state and also ac- knowledges the difficulties Montana has in attracting companies for relocation. "It's difficult for manufac- turers to have businesses in Montana because the market for the items lies in the urban areas and shipping manufac- tured goods becomes difficult because of the location of Montana," O'Hair said. O'Hair believes the greatest competitive advantage Mon- tana has for development and growth is through its natural resources. "Our natural resources give us our competitive edge. In the East there is coal, oil, gas and agriculture arid in the West there is timber. There is no de- cline in the demand and not every state can produce these," O'Hair said. "In devel- oping our natural resources, we bring lots of highly trained and highly educated people in- to the area." O'Hair is concerned with at- tracting people to the state through Montana's competi- tive advantage. "We have to re- alize what Montana's competi- tive advantage is when it comes to marketing the state," O'Hair said. "The truth is, if we don't attract more people we will never grow economi- cally." O'Hair wants to focus on the Montana way of life has the most marketable quality in comparison to other states. "To boost the economy, his- torically, Montana's most suc- cessful when we try to add val- ue. Our way of life is our most marketable quality to those outside of the state, that is how we can add value for com- panies considering Montana," O'Hair said. O'Hair feels COlifident he un- derstands the issues Mon- tartans are most concerned with. "I am a state-elected local, and I believe I am on the same page as many Montanans," O'Hair said. Residents should have plan to move livestock nificant hazards in communi- ties. "The creeks are a concern, Charley Creek, Fox Creek, Lone Tree Creek, the Hay Creeks and Four Mile Creek. You just really never know how it's going to happen," Ren- ders said. "If we get a 70 degree-day we could see a lot of water come down from all of that snow in the coulees and creek beds," Hagler said. Overland flooding can be a problem if too much water is present with no way of releas- ing it. "The ice on the river could be thick this year which could pose a problem. Ice jams cause problems every year," Renders said. Water held back by an ice jam or debris dam can cause flooding upstre'am. Subsequent flash flooding can occur down- stream if that jam should sud- " Life stays busy for student ~OM PAGE I A During the blizzard the last week of Janua , the Vairas were stuck in their rural home with no electricity. "It was cold, but it wasn't that bad," Vaira said. "Some- day, I'll look back at it as a good family bonding experi- ence." The Vairas went to bed wrapped in layers of clothing and covered with blankets. When Jim Steppler and Don Steppler came to their house, after plowing through the snow, the temperature was 32 degrees in the Vaira home. "That's the great thing about a small town," Vaira said. "You can depend on someone plowing you out at 3 in the morning." A week later, Vaira and oth- er students stayed at Rodney and LeeAnne Evenson's place for three nights when visibili- ty was too poor to drive home. "We told LeeAnne the rea- son why us girls did so well at the tournament was that we had all that team bonding at their place," Vaira joked. That's all part of the life of growing up in the rural parts of eastern Montana. Vaira may talk of being a "big city girl" inside, but wherever her future may take her, her smalltown girl heart and caring for her neighbor will surely follow her. denly release. "When the river is low like it has been,the risk is higher be- cause sand bars are exposed and some islands appear, creat- ing areas where debris and ice can accumulate and restring the flow of water," Renders said. "Ice jams are a problem every year, it just depends on how it thaws." The Yellowstone's north- ward flow creates an extra haz- ard because the ice thaws quicker further up-river. "The ice in the Billings area starts thawing before it does here, then it starts flowing our way, Certain parts of the river are more prone to ice jams like where there are turns, like Miles City," Renders said. "We communicate with other emer- gency officials down stream. If there is an ice jam in Glendive, we know the river flows at a rate that gives us 14 hours, so we have some warning sys- tems:" March accounts for 48 per- cent of ice jams, February ac- counts for 21 percent, while January and April each report- ed about 10 percent of ice jams. Since ice jams form and break without much warning and are difficult to predict, officials encourage people to be aware of the hazards and to prepare to prevent significant loss. "The people who live near the river know. They know to move their livestock, and the farmers are aware," Hagler said. "It's a good idea for people to start thinking about moving livestock or equipment to high- er ground so that when it hap- pens it can minimize loss," Renders said. Knights of Columbus Annual Every Friday through Good Friday 5-7 p.m., St. Matthew's Parish Center, Sidney A(( You Can l a,t, $6 per person $20 per family i!!!iiii After 84 years, Frank Gladowski finally turns "21". LEGAL AT LASTI Join him for a Birthday Party Sunday, Feb. 29, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Moose Lodge Enjoy dancing to the Fox Lake Dixie Chicks. Come for cake and a visit. Your presence is present enough. 24 ie ello prl pack cans e o, e II Milwaukee's es ee Reg. Light, Ice 24 pack cans r Western Family aper owels 6 roll pack NK e I e ower Fresh Or! Multi Western Ti le Phone 433-2305 Grocery- 433-1902 Meat Dept. - 433-5181 Produce Dept. Mon. thru Sat. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.- Sun. 9 a.m. to 6 p,m. 1151 South Central,