Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On forwarded mail and other waste

| December 30, 2020 1:00 AM

If everyone had as good and merry Christmas as I did we are all in good shape. A great meal, family, a few friends, a few drop-ins after dinner —all observing distancing and safety. Not to mention that old Santa was good to us all.

I did miss the usual Christmas dinner at Sondreson Hall with the usual 80-plus attendees. We will, hopefully, make it bigger and better next year. The same with Thanksgiving and New Years.

There was a time when I sent out 200 or more Christmas cards. No more. Although a few friends have passed away in recent years the real reason for reducing the number of cards is laziness and cost.

The Postal Service whines about needing more money to operate, but their cost-saving methods baffle me. Years ago when I wanted to forward my mail from Columbia Falls to the North Fork it was easy. I just informed the post office and the good folks there moved my mail from the local box to the North Fork carrier and it came up the North Fork with little delay and almost no cost. No more. Now, forwarded mail from Columbia Falls to the North Fork is sent to Missoula where it gets a little yellow sticker and is sent back to Columbia Falls to await the next mail day. This costs nearly a week of delay, plus the transportation costs. More efficient and cost saving? Phooey!

Glacier Park and the Flathead Forest waste money on an even bigger scale. Glacier’s Inside Road was mostly created with axes and shovels. Now to fix a washout it takes thousands of dollars in “engineering” costs. The Forest Service spends ninety thousand dollars to do a river study which could have been done cheaper and no doubt quicker by local Forest employees.

These are just little examples. The new $908 billion Covid Relief Bill is monstrous by comparison. Granted, covid relief was, and is, needed. The kicker is that only about half of the bill qualifies as covid relief. Hundreds of millions go to foreign aid, new museums and a laundry list of things not even remotely related to covid relief.

Maybe the federal government and big business have just become too powerful. Maybe it is time taxpayers reorganize the whole mess. Wouldn’t that make 2021 a year to remember?

What do you think?

Larry Wilson's North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.