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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
December 21, 2011     Sidney Herald
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December 21, 2011

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1 OA WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 2011 EWPOINTS iirllr'lnl I SIDNEY HERALD Editorial Fining insubordinate facilities tough issue $500,000 fine is a heavy rice to pay for not follow- ng housing regulation standards, and one company surely won't forget to follow them again. Williams County, N.D., recent- ly fmed a man camp for $461,125.42, after authorities dis- covered 26 units were in use for 31 days, according to the Willis- ton Herald. The fees include a $500 fine per unit per day, and a $35,000 building permit fee dou- bled for not acquiring a permit before it was built. The man camp houses work- ers for Nabors Industries. In Richland County, authori- ties are caught in the middle. It is no secret that almost all of the short-term housing spots - namely RV parks- aren't in compliance. It's been a sore is- sue these past few months, and it's unlikely to get any better un- til the housing issue is solved. The authorities are caught be- tween enforcing the compliance regulations and perhaps kicking people out, or letting them go on without being in compliance be- cause there simply isn't enough places for people to stay. And with more supposedly on the way, one can assume it will be- come even more impossible to enforce. We do know the county is look- ing into the possibility of a com- pliance officer, perhaps someone who would work in the Richland County Sheriff's Office. The problem is too massive for some- one like the county sanitarian to undertake alone. The question is, then, are these substantial fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars too harsh when clear- ly this is a problem throughout the MonDak? What about fining the owners of such places who charge an absurd amount of rent without offering basic utili- ties? The truth is that it is such a hard topic to wrangle with. Williams County Commissioner Dan Kalil said the fines were a "harsh lesson" for the company, according to the Williston Her- ald. "The rules must be followed. We can't just allow the whole county to be run over." Perhaps the one positive note to come from this story was the county's conversation on how to spend the money collected from the fees: apartments. That's one of the smartest things it could do at a time like this. End of Iraq War era best present possible n Sunday the best Christ- mas present was received. A present so many have been praying and waiting for. I just wonder how many really realize it? Sunday was the day the last American convoy made its way down the highway that connect- edIraq and Kuwait. The final .S.:troops were coming home after almost nine years of fight- ing a conflict-ridden war. I can still remember hearing the words that U.S. soldiers were heading to Iraq to fight a war. A war that had the largest troop drawdown for the United States since Vietnam. Thou- sands of troops were being de- ployed, and with those troops were family members of so many, including my own family. It is sad to say, but I don't think we as Americans really under- stand what the outcome could be until it hits close to home with your own family members fight- ing. Our family was blessed with no casualties, but not every fam- ily was that lucky. According to the defense department, 4,487 service mem- bers were killed in the war. More than 30,000 were wounded and in all, 1.5 million Americans served their na- tion at war as l'hJnkJn' reported by out 10ud CNN. An unbe- lievable num- bby Berndt ber. Questions still remain. With the American troops coming home, what will happen to Iraq? This is impossible to answer. All we know is our soldiers are com- ing home and we must express our gratitude and how proud we are of them. We must continue to support our soldiers as they make their way back into socie- ty, a time of difficulty for so many of them. Our prayers have been an- swered. Merry Christmas all! Uly Bem is the publisher for the Sidney Herald. She can be reached at 406- 433-2403 I Contact your state legislators Donald Steinbeisser (R) Information Office: 406-444-4800 Senate PO Box 200500, Helena, MT 59620-0500 * Send an Online Message to ttp:// / legwebmessage.asp Home Address: 11918 County Road 348, Sidney, MT 59270-9620 406- 482-2187 * Walter L. McNult (R) Information Office: 406-444-4800 House of Representatives PO Box 200400, Helena, MT 59620-0400 Send an Online Message to / legwebmessage.asp Home Address: 110 12th Ave SW, Sidney, MT 59270-3614 * 406-488- 4966 * Write to us The Sidney Herald welcomes let- ters to the editor. Whether politi- cal, a problem in the city or neigh- borhood, or to pat someone on the back, 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 subject to editing for s/ling, clarity or length. Be sure of your facts. It is impossible for the newspaper to verify informa- tion in every letter. We reserve the right to select which letters 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 taxpayers funds. Letters submitted to the Sidney Herald may be published or dis- tributed in print or electronic forms. Write to: Letters to the Editor Sidney Herald 310 2nd Ave. N.E. Sidney, MT 59270 E-marl: Fax: 406-433-7802 SERVING THE MONDAK REGION SINCE 1908 Lby Berndt Publisher Bill Vander Weele Managing Editor Support area schools by donating for supplies Last year, teachers spent more than $350 on average from their own income on school supplies and instructional materials, according to the National School Supply and Equipment Association, and ex- perts say that number could jump as teachers embark on the new school year with fewer funds to spend. As far as the schools are con- cerned, what's going on are many challenges including funding and increased enrollment. Sidney's school officials say there's a possi- bility of 741 new students, or a 61 percent increase, during the up- coming years. Donate school supplies. We are so lucky to be part of an economic growth as a community we must- support our future and our commu- nity. Help a teach out who is earning far less than any oil worker and giv- ing so much time and effort to our kids. Just go in drop off a check, cash what ever you can spare. If you are a business booming yourself give some back! Schools need help - coats and Gloves, school supplies, snacks, tt is real simple. If you are making mon- ey give some money! We have to support each other. Unite as a com- munity! Please send checks or money or- ders to the school of your choice: Central School 200 Third Ave. S.E. 433-4080 West Side Elementary 1100 Fifth St. S.W. 433-2530 Sidney Middle School 415 S. Central Ave. 433-4050 Sidney High School 1012 Fourth Ave. S.E. 433-2481 Deneen Schumacher Sidney Sidney proud to fly American flags in honorable fashion I am writing in regards to a re- cent letter printed that was written by Mr. Eric B. Twigg. It was nice of Mr. Twigg to share his opinion with all of us in Richland County. First of all, I want to say that "all of us" in Sidney and Richland County are extremely proud of the American veterans for the sacri- fices they have made for this coun- try and for all of us. I am proud to live in this community, and also proud that the American flag is fly- ing at our public buildings. Mr. Twigg seems to be very un- happy with us that we do not fly the flag at full-mast or half-mast accord- ing to his wishes. Mr. Twigg wrote: "I need to stand up and inform the ignorant of the customs and courtesies of our Na- tional Flag, I have lived here in Sid- ney, Montana for about six months... Since I have been here, I have observed only one other indi- vidual who shows pure pride and takes our colors to heart without being downright lazy." Here at Restorx, we fly the Ameri- can Flag in our shop at full-mast at all times, we have a flag in our building to show respect to our vet- erans, who died for it and also to show we are proud of Old Glory! I take offense to be called ignorant and lazy from someone who moved to our community six months ago! Mr. Twigg wrote: "...I drove around and saw the Colors at full- staff at the courthouse, post office, Views of our readers National Guard, all of the schools, and of course, the justice depart- ment. Besides showing your disre- spect, this is just spitting in the faces of the rest of Americans... For those of you that are in some al- leged authority position and allow this farce to continue, then shame on you." No. Shame on you Mr. Twigg! You moved here six months ago and have no clue what we have all been through together over the last 20 years. With all the growth we are having, everyone is doing the best they can with what we have. I want to say thank you to our folks in "al- leged authority positions" - our county commissioners Mr. Young, Mr. Gorder, Mr. Steppler, our Mayor Bret Smelser, our city council, our Chief of Police Frank DiFonzo, our Sheriff Brad Baisch, Judge Greg Mohr, Mr. Dan Farr, all of our elect- ed officials and public servants, all of our police officers, the men that haul our trash, all our firemen, the men that maintain our roads and streets and all of you that have tak- en a very heavy load with the growth of this county. The resi- dents of Sidney and Richland Coun- ty thank you all! Mr. Twigg wrote: "Why am I pulling my hair out?" I think you need to stop pulling your hair out and go back to wherever you came from if you are so unhappy with the way we live here in Sidney, Mon- tana. I have news for you Mr. Twigg, the people you have insulted in your let- ter are the folks that the residents of this county and city have elected to lead...your remarks are offensive and unacceptable to all of us. I am not going to get in a letter writing battle, this will be my only letter on this subject. If Mr. Twigg wants to discuss this matter, I am in the big grey building on Central Av- enue. Ben McDowell Sidney Democrats' actions speak louder than words I was extremely pleased and quite surprised to hear of the state De- mocrats' plan to travel to eastern Montana for a listening tour on the heels of the non-partisan legislative tour I participated in that was just conducted on Nov. 5 through the same area. It seems that finally, the legisla- tors have recognized that the east- ern third of the state can and is making a substantial contribution to the states economy. If they were truly there to listen, what they heard was that in order to continue to grow this economy the business community only needs a few things from the legislature. First is to build more predictabili- ty into the regulatory environment. We must move from a system that is punitive based or looking for rea- sons to reject applications and per- mits, to a system and departments which attempt to work with the con- sumer to identify and resolve is- sues. Agency review must be con- ducted in a timely manner so that prospective projects and developers are not held up for months on end. This does not require the elimina- tion or disregard of any safety or environmental regulations which are in place now. Just a clear inter- pretation and predictable approval process. Additionally we need to make some changes to our legal system so that business owners and prospec- tive business owners are not tied up and financially bled by frivolous lawsuits. Contact your governor's office Gov. Brian Schweitzer Office of the Governor, PO Box 200801, State Capitol, Helena, MT 59620-0801 406-444.3111 Next, in order to support the rap- id development which is taking place, additional revenue must l:,e invested in water and sewer sys- tems to accommodate the increased population. There will be larger de- mands on our roads and schools as well and certainly they will require additional upgrades too. It is imper- ative to make these investments if we are to realize the full long term potential that the development of the resources offers to our state. While I am pleased by the gesture that the democrats made on this trip, I can't ignore the votes that their party, and the four Represen- tatives who hosted the tour, have taken in the past which are com- pletely contrary to the needs of Montana Businesses. All one needs to do is review the Montana Cham- ber of Commerce 2011 voting re- view which is available online. But, as they say, tomorrow is an- other day, and I plan to carry legis- lation in the 2013 session which will address several of the issues that have been outlined here, and hope- fully they will receive the biparti- san support that everyone claims to desire. Rep. Matt R0sendale HD38 Make holiday season safer, , don't drink and drive The Richland County DUI Task Force needs your help this holiday season. Across Monna localand State law enforgnt agencies are doing their pal{ to combat the num- ber of alcohol related crashes in our communities. At record num- bers, alcohol establishments are stressing the importance of respon- sible alcohol service, discouraging patrons from excessive consump- tion of alcohol and ultimately get- ting behind the wheel of a vehicle, but they cannot do it alone! Based on recent studies, Richland County had the highest BAC's aver- age of 0.274 for those arrested for DUI. Montana had the second high- est alcohol-impaired fatality rate in the nation and doubled the national rate. With an estimated 989,415 Mon- tanans stretched across 146,000 square miles, Montana faces dis- tinctly rural challenges and with the lower percentage of population concentration on the East side of the state Richland County faces even tougher challenges. Eighty percent of travel is on ru- ral roads. We also have much longer emergency response times due to distance factors; the average response time in Massachusetts is about 20 minutes, while in Mon- tana it's an hour and 20 minutes. Subsequently, a crash in Montana is far more likely to be life-threat- ening. We jointly can do our part to keep our kids and communities safe. Here are some tips to make our hol- idays safer: Plan ahead: Whenever you plan to consume alcohol, designate yotr sober driver before going out and give that person you car keys. If you are impaired, call a friend or family member to get you home safely. Richland County Transporta- tion will provide rides during stan- dard operating hours. Call 433- RIDE (7433). Promptly report intoxicated or distracted drivers to law enforce- ment. Dial: 911 from your cell phone. Richland County DUI Task Force Lt. Gay. John Bohlinger Office: Room 207, PO Box 201091, State Capitol, Helena, MT 59620- 1901 * 406.444-3111 iIUi.