The Billings Outpost

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Taxation without representation

The people of Lockwood voted the sewer project down five times. After the most recent vote in November of last year, the Sewer Board hired a consultant to hold a series of meetings with residents. They sent a questionnaire to residents asking people their opinion of a property assessment to create pipes through the residential streets in Lockwood. Sewer Board Chairman Carl Peters calls this a “survey.”

As a result of the “survey,” the board resolved to create a “Phase II Sewer Subdistrict” and a “Special Assessment Levy” tax on the 642 property owners of the redrawn Phase II. Each property will be charged $472.92 per year, regardless of property value or lot size. This may represent a great hardship to fixed-income persons and families with low income. The Sewer Board is at leave to sell the property if the land owner does not pay the assessment. That could be devastating for many.

The only voice the people of Lockwood have on this procedure is to lodge a written protest by July 28, 2014. According to the county attorney, 51 percent of the affected property owners must present one of these protests in order to change the Sewer Board’s proposed action. There will be a meeting Aug. 13, after the protest due date. By then, the protest time is over and if people do not respond now, they will be charged this new tax. I see this as taxation without representation.

Mana Lesman Seward


Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 10:21

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No response from Daines

I wrote several letters to [U.S. Rep. Steve] Daines. In the last one I asked for answers to these questions and as of this date I have not received an answer:

How can he claim to be a fifth-generation Montanan when he was born in California?

How can he claim to have passed legislation that increased timber production and created 6,000 jobs when that legislation was not approved in the Senate and has not created 6,000 new jobs?

Daines had called for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki while Republican Sens. [John] McCain, [Jeff] Flake and Republican Speaker of the House [John] Boehner had not called for the secretary’s resignation. Late last year he voted against funding for veterans programs.

At the national ceremony for the Veterans Cemetery in Laurel, I gave Daines a copy of the letter I sent him on May 12, and I got no response at all.

A couple of other things to remember. He stated that he voted against Obamacare, and also he claims Sen. [John] Walsh voted for Obama’s stimulus package when neither was in office at that time.

Ron Kuneff


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:49

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Treat with respect

Thank you so much for publishing my article about World Fair Trade Day a few weeks ago. Including it in the Outpost was important to the success of our events, both Fair Trade Day and our Go Global fundraiser, which was held in May. We received a lot of good feedback, and I am certain attendance was increased because of it.

Additionally, it was a great tool to help educate people a bit more about Fair Trade and its importance in building a more just world. As the movement grows, it becomes more nuanced and more complex, as many things do. In the end, however, it means we must treat people and the environment with the respect with which we would like to be treated.

Thanks you again for including the piece. Thank you all at the Outpost for doing an important job and for doing it well.

Candace Forrette

Global Village

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:47

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Book drive a success

The Used Book Donation Drive held by the Friends of the Billings Public Library April 26 at the old Volvo building downtown was a huge success. Thanks go out to the people who came by to donate to our cause. We were overwhelmed by the response. The success of this drive has helped to replenish the supply of used books in our inventory so depleted in the move from the old library’s third floor to a much smaller space in our new library building.

The Friends use these resources in outreach programs by sharing with numerous nonprofit and social service agencies throughout the community. Our Book Nook sales shelves in the new library’s Sweet Café coffee shop area will welcome the new additions. The balance will be sold and recycled back into the community through our various sales, revenues from which underwrite our mission, which is “to help promote and enhance literary usage and literacy through volunteerism and financial assistance.”

Special thanks to the Billings Clinic Foundation for the donation of the former Underriner building for the event. Without its help and cooperation, this event would have been much more difficult to carry out. We are also very grateful for the support from the local news media in promoting this event to the public. The huge turnout showed the event was worth doing.

Roger W. Young


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:47

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Renewing subscription

Please renew my subscription to the Outpost. Because:

1. I have moved to Arizona after having lived in Billings for 50 years. Amid rumors that newspapers were dying, the Outpost was started. And survived.

2. The Outpost is the only newspaper I know of which is often hand-delivered by the editor and publisher. Even in a snowstorm.

3. The Outpost employs interesting writers who write about local matters that matter.

4. The editor occasionally writes editorials.

Dorothy Baltrusch

Scottsdale, Ariz.


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:44

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Strength in ‘us’

Citizens have a voice in protecting Montana’s land and water, and it was heard! Energy Corp. of America, which has begun controversial oil and gas drilling in the Belfry area, was found illegally pumping water from an area gravel pit without a permit or right to the water [Outpost, May 22].

The ECA was ordered by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to stop its usage of the pit’s waters after a nearby farmer witnessed and photographed several water trucks taking the water.

For those of us who care about preserving Montana’s unique quality of life ... we can make a difference!

The DNRC took action because of the outpouring of concern from local residents. There is strength in “us” and “we!”

Sandy L Haney


Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 15:48

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