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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
May 14, 2003     Sidney Herald
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May 14, 2003

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r, 4A-VVodnosday, May 14, 2003 Serving the M ak area 1908 hail " ees rea OH commun Sidney School Board trustees made sense when they decided not to charge to use the schools' gyms. The policy is for no-prof- its inside the district. Trustee Gail Peterson was right when he said, "I really have a hard time with these rentals when the taxpayers paid for the buildings already." Allowing residents to use the gyms, add to community owner- ship of the buildings. It distracts from the feeling that school offi- cials and the general public are on different sides. It may seem something small to some people, but the state- ments v ere a good gesture by Sidney's trustees. OOO Organizers should be commended for the first Rivers of Time Storytelling Festival held at the Sidney Public Library Saturday. The event featured talented performers from Billings, Fort Union, Kalispell, as well as Sidney. We're sure it was a great learning experience for everybody that attended. Thank you Arch Ellwein and area librarians for organizing this historical festival. BY RALPH PECK Director Montana Department of Agriculture The past five years of drought in Montana have masked another emerging problem for our agricultural producers. The crop hail insurance industry in Montana, and in other states, has downsized and is not likely to grow again when crops rebound with ample moisture. Hail insurance capacity for the 2003 crop year will be limited, and some producers may find it difficult to get the coverage they want to manage their risk. There are several reasons for changes in the insurance industry. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York caused huge losses for carriers and reinsurance compa- nies. They responded by reducing risk and limiting the range and types of insurance products they offer. Some national carriers also have experienced large losses from health-impairing mold found in thousands of homes in wetter regions of the country. The prospect of a bad tornado year in the South and Midwest also could prove costly for insurers. In Montana, two large companies that pre- viously offered private hail insurance have ceased operations in the state. Other compa- nies have set caps on the amount of hail insurance they will write this year. Some insurers plan to offer coverage for hay and grain, but not other crops such as canola, crambe and lentils. Industry officials have indicated the total of private hail insurance premiums available in Montana this year is $7 million to $10 million lower than previously - a loss of about a third of total private insurance capacity. Hail insurance capacity for the 2003 crop year will be limited, and some producers may find it difficult to get the coverage they want to manage their risk. What this means is growers should plan immediately how to manage their hail insur- ance risk. They may need to go to more than one carrier to find coverage, or to get the level of coverage they desire. The 2003 Legislature responded to pro- ducer concerns regarding hall insurance by authorizing increases in the maximum allowable coverage for the State Hail Insur- ance program. This 85-year-old, non-profit program cannot meet the total needs of all producers. Maximum coverage for most crops is $30 per acre on non-iffigated crops and acre on irrigated crops - up from limits of $24 and $48 per acre. cies typically allow much limits, but producers may find private policies this year. To get the( age they want, they may need to two policies. The Montana State Hall Board, in l ing the higher limits, determined program is actuariaUy sound and need to limit the number of That is good news for producers, least have the assurancecan hail insurance to recover costs, even if coverage from runs out. Agricultural producers in aware their livelihoods are unknowns. Will the rains summer heat wave wise Will the fall justify Good managers know they their basic risks with insurance input decisions, and count on its in good years to cover the bad years. This year, prudent include making hail insurance early enough to get the require. It's another change in number one industry. People keep asking me, "Why would you want to move out here, you lived at the beach in Southern California?" Could the good people of Sid- ney ~magine breathing air as thick as gravy? Could Sidney imagine parking meters? Could you imagine not being able to p,ark your car in front of your homes? Could you nmagine the city impounding your car for a number of ridiculous reasons and holding it for 30 days at $150 a day? (What if you did not show up with the cash and the city sold your car?) Whttt if the cheapest smallest apartment in town was. $850 a month hnd didn't meet health regulations? bN~t to mention the scary neigh- rs I left behind. Everything from going to the store to licens- ing your vehicle in Southern California is a huge hassle~ I don't think the good people of Sidney would have it. The sun, breeze and the beach- es cost a high premium. In my humble opinion " Sidney is closer to para- dise than L.A. County. I feel blessed to have escaped Ellen Robinson t h e clutch- Reporter es of southern California for the com- fort and safety of Sidney. I grew up in a smaller town than Sidney in South Carolina. I'm a simple girl who got tangled in the rat race. I wanted to turn my ticket in and get my money back at the door. I traded smog for clean air, crime for peace and noise for silence. That is why some- one like me would want to move here from the sun drenched, "plastic" beach. Volunteers needed to help with potluck meals To the Editor: About a year ago, Richland County Extension Agent Judy Johnson approached the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America group at the high school about helping with a project for the Richland County Nutrition Coalition. We decided to hold a Sunday potluck dinner for the residents of Crestwood Inn. as they do not have a meal program during the weekend. Throughout the school year, with help from various groups, we have been able to provide one dinner a month to the resi- dents at Crestwood. We thank the following groups for their help throughout the year: Richland County Health Coali- tion, Leo Club, Pella Lutheran youth group, Lonsdale United Methodist youth group, Peoples Congregational Church youth group, Key Club and Sidney High School Student Council. This has been a great project that we hope to continue. If any groups are interested in helping with a Crestwood dinner in the future, please contact Kendra KaUevig, 488-5455. Kendra Kallevig President Sidney High School FCCLA City supports national buckle up campaign To the Editor: Proclamation Whereas. motor vehicle safety is a public health problem, as more teenagers and children are killed in motor vehicle crashes than from any other cause, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for peo- ple from 4 through 33 years old; and, Whereas. in addition to pain and suffering, motor vehicle crashes cost the nation $231 bil- lion each year. including $21 billion from federal and state tax revenues, $32 billion in medical costs, and $59 billion in proper- ty damage; and, Whereas, inpatient hospital care costs for unbuckled crash victims are 50 percent higher than those for those who are buckled, and 85 percent of those medical costs are borne by soci- ety; and. Whereas, the failure of crash victims to wear safety belts leads to an estimated 9,200 pre- ventable fatalities and 143,000 needless injuries, costing socie- ty $26 billion; and, Whereas, increasing safety belt use is the single most effec- tive way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes on America's roadways; and, Whereas, to avoid getting a ticket, and lower your risk of getting hurt or killed, simply buckle up, every trip, every time. Now, therefore, I, Bret Smelser, mayor of the City of Sidney, by virtue of the authori- ty vested in me, do hereby offi- cially proclaim support for the National Buckle Up America campaign, and encourage the public-private partnership among public officials, law enforcement agencies, associa- tions, community and health groups and businesses to work to ensure that all children and adults buckle up; and I support and encourage law enforcement in their efforts to promote and visibly enforce compliance of seat belt and child safety seat laws of Montana to save lives, reduce injury and save Montana taxpayer money. In Witness Whereof, I Have herunto set my hand and caused the official seal of the City of Sidney to be affixed this eighth day of May, 2003. Bret Smelser Mayor Sidney TI GI4"T" Views of our readers f!, ologizes for To the Editor: Dear Richland County community, My name is David Lorenz. On Feb. 21, I was arrested for the illegal manufacturing of metfiamphetamines. Since then I realized the impact my actions have had on my fam- ily and the whole community. " " This may be hard for some people to accept, but I believe my being arrested may have actually saved my life. It made me clean up and able to think clearly again. My family has been encouraging me to take this negative experience and turn it into a posi- tive life-changing experience. My goal is to I feel like,I owe the community an apolo- - follow this encouragement: - gy. So I would like to say I am sorry for my Methamphetamine is a powerful drug that actions. I affected everyone in the commu- alters one's thinking and something that nity, I have caused pain to my family and can't be kicked by your self. I would like to friends, and I put the community at risk encourage people to seek help for your along with myself, addiction. Coming from firsthand experi- ence, drugs will ruin your life. There is nothing worse than thing that hurts your family, cause, s the community, and ruins your Later when you ask yourself, "Wa~ it?," the answer will be no. I hope that community will h~art-felt apology and'someday regain the trust from my family and! munity that I once had. Gear, Melby should receive special reco To the Editor: The city of Sidney and the local school district, in my opin- ion, have two living legends; these individuals do not have the recognition that they richly deserve. To this writer, my heroes are teacher/coaches (Mike) Gear and (Guy) Melby. From my observation, these two coaches are very humble yet extremely sincere. They both apparently have strong value beliefs; that is, be sincere, be honest and be industrious. They have done an outstand- ing job for Sidney High School and the community. Without a doubt, I am sure that each of the two coaches could have easily received a higher salary by mov- ing to a larger school district. Fortunately for Sidney High School, they preferred to remain in a smaller community. All parents who have high school students under the super- vision of the two coaches should visit with each coach and "thank" him for his dedication. The Montana University Sys- tem in my opinion, does not pro- duce coaches with strong char- acter traits such as Gear and Melby possess. Montana State University, Billings, does not field a football team. Again, par- ents should insist on retaining personnel such as Gear and Melby. Would the school dis- trict prefer a "Clint Eastwood" type personality to teach their youngsters or would they desire an ubiquitous, spineless "Woody Allen" individual to instruct their youth? The school district cannot raise the coaches' salaries; how- ever, the school district, and the city of Sidney, in order to recog- nize positive teaching, should consider the following: A. Name a "room" in the high school honoring the two coach-~ es. B. Next to the football score- board, place a memorial honor- ing the two coaches. C. Place a "billboard" on all roads entering the city thanking the coaches. D. Name a new street or avenue - Gear or Melby. JE. Name a city park or county building in their honor. By the way, the community was impressed with the "clock" the civic group gave' to Gear; let's hope that the "clock" was not manufactured in China. In conclusion, observe the fin- ished product that each of the coaches has produced; not all of Melbfs wrestlers will perform in the Olympics nor athletes play ball,'bul these young face the the future dence Let's pay tlemen teachers.