Older, wiser friends didn’t like winter, want better ambulance service, etc.

From the Publisher - 3/9/17
By: 
David Keyes
Laurel Outlook Publisher

Kudos to Rep. Vince Ricci and Jeff Laszloffy for swooping in to save Laurel’s Montana’s Firefighters’ Memorial.
This community has two years to finish off this important memorial or it will be moved to Helena. The process to build the memorial started in 2003 and has been stalled numerous times.
It is great Laurel received a second chance. Here’s hoping the memorial committee gets going and brings the important memorial to completion.

•••

It is great to have older and wiser friends.
Because of these friends, I have pondered numerous things during the past week. Not saying I changed my mind on these topics, but it is always good to take in competing points of view.

• Mail in elections. I can’t figure out why this is even debated and why it is political. The Montana Republican Party chairman Jeff Essmann recently said mail-in ballots hurt Republican candidates. My thought is everything possible should be done to encourage the public to cast a legal and informed ballot. Mail in ballots are safe and the areas of our country that have tried mail in elections have shown an increase in participation. Not sure any party benefits more than another with this system of voting.

• Winter. No winning here. I continue to give kudos to the city of Laurel employees who were taxed with keeping the city roads passable this winter. Yes, some roads were treacherous with a mix of permafrost, ice and snow but as far as I know, city residents were safe and emergency crews could respond throughout town.

• Safety. Big discussion on emergency response time by our ambulance service. While it appears there will soon be better ambulance service here, most of the folks I have talked with have lost faith in the fact that if they need an ambulance in an emergency. This is a problem.

• Country singer versus religious nut: Big debate on whether Democrat crooner Rob Quist or tech guy with strange religious beliefs, Greg Gianforte, would do a better job taking Ryan Zinke’s seat in Congress. Older, wiser friends tell me that Gianforte will win it in a walk

• Worst season most can remember for cold, flu and falling on the ice. Everyone agrees this winter was one for the ages and that if you survived it, you are good to go for another year at the very least.

• Sales tax in Montana? The older, wiser group says it is a horrible idea and would be a waste of money.

• President Trump. Most of the older, wiser friends won’t fess up to voting for Trump. Some say he is still getting his footing since he isn’t a typical politician while others tell me he is the worst president this country has ever had and that he is mentally ill. There is nobody in the middle in this discussion. They either appreciate him or despise him. My guess is this group would have been equally split about loving or hating President Obama a few years ago as well.

David Keyes is publisher of the Laurel Outlook.

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