The Billings Outpost

Support public schools

It is dismaying to note how many Republican Montana legislative candidates see “charter schools” as a way to “improve education.”

Diverting taxpayer public education funds to private schools does not “improve” education at all. In fact, where public funds are diverted into private education, then public schools deteriorate and become sad places for poorer left-over children who are not admitted to “better schools.”  It is class warfare.

Part of our democratic national heritage is educational opportunity for all children, and that requires publicly funded education. Support public schools, not privatization.

Joan Hurdle

Billings

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 21:34

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Voting for Tooley

The June 5 primary election may not seem important, but for this year’s primary the candidates are varied and known. Your voting decision will decide which candidate gets the chance to enter the final election Nov. 6 to compete. The choice is seriously up to you in the primary election to determine who even gets on the ballot for the Public Service Commission.

Your utility rates are at stake!

Chuck Tooley has entered the race to run for the Public Service Commission for District 2. He has been in training for the PSC position all his business career. He has actual on-the-job experience in many areas governed by the Public Service Commission.

You probably remember Chuck as mayor of Billings conducting courteous council proceedings. He was the longest-serving mayor and directly regulated the Public Utilities Division, making his decisions on behalf of citizens. Chuck has additional job experience in fields of communication and energy, as well.

Chuck’s qualifications are exactly the ones required for a smooth, courteous PSC sessions, which until this time have not been accomplished.  Citizen’s interests cannot be preserved when there is personal rancor among governing members.

Do not miss this opportunity to put Chuck Tooley on the ballot for Montana Public Service Commissioner in District 2 in the June 5 primary election. This vote could be the most important! Chuck has your interests at heart - let’s be sure he’s on the ballot.

Bonnie Eldredge

Billings

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 May 2012 21:32

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Reconsider coal traffic

In the county commissioners’ rush to support the export of coal to Asia (April 17), they failed to consider the needs of Yellowstone County residents. 

While there may be economic benefits to some of mining Montana coal, there are also a number of costs borne by others.

In Yellowstone County, the biggest cost would be a tripling of train traffic, meaning that gates would be down at downtown and Monad/Moore Lane crossings for at least a third of the day. The commissioners’ dismissal of such concerns displays an ignorance of the situation.

Currently it is tolerable but very inconvenient, with traffic backed up for many blocks downtown. But a tripling of train traffic would cripple our community, and a good quality of life is far more important to our local economy than a few mining jobs.

Are there ways to address the traffic issue? Certainly. But they will likely cost in the range of $50 million to much more. How do our county commissioners propose to pay for the transportation infrastructure?  Should Yellowstone County taxpayers pay the bill so that out-of-state companies can sell coal to China?

These questions could be addressed if we had information from an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the impacts of proposed coal export terminals in Washington. Yet the commissioners apparently had no interest in answers and voted not to be included in the EIS—a great disservice to Yellowstone County residents. I hope they reconsider their stance.

Ed Gulick

Billings

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:45

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Help for abuse

More than likely, a person experiencing sexual abuse or exploitation feels very alone. Whether the abuse is coming from a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a family member, or someone else, there is help out there – this is no time to be alone. 

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is a place to find help. Their telephone hotline or their website can help you take that first step.

If you need help, call RAINN’s hotline at (800) 656-4673 or visit their website at www.rainn.org. If you – or anyone you know – is going through sexual abuse, you can take this first step.

April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month in the US… there is no better time than this to take the step, or to help someone else take it.

Sexual abuse is unacceptable. People do care, and help is available.

Steve Paulson

Billings

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 17:44

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Cebull should resign

In the law there is a doctrine called res ipsa loquitur. In Latin, it means, “the thing speaks for itself.”

Judge Richard Cebull’s action speaks for itself despite his denial. A cartoon involving President Obama’s mother implying bestiality is the lowest of the low in terms of racism, misogyny and animal cruelty.  Unfortunately, the dog cannot speak for itself.

I realize we have a First Amendment right to free speech in this country. However, in terms of professional ethics, judges are held to a higher standard which involves the avoidance of any sense of impropriety. Judge Cebull has breached his duty of care to act reasonably. Additionally, his perceived ability to be fair, impartial and unbiased in future cases involving any woman or person of color has been severely compromised.

One extremely pornographic alleged joke has caused irreparable harm to the image of the federal judicial system in Montana. Is this joke evidence of the kind of judicial temperament we citizens want and expect from our federal judges in Montana? I think not. Judge Cebull should do the decent thing and resign immediately.

Mary Catherine Dunphy

Miles City

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2012 19:53

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