Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Thoughts from a ‘non local’

| August 18, 2021 12:35 PM

A few weeks ago your paper published a letter to the editor offering “advice” to us non locals about how to behave in Montana. As a “non local” who pays taxes in Montana, in addition to the state of my legal residency, I would like to respond to Ms. Bergs rather narrow views and observations.

Ms. Berg cites numerous examples of us non locals miss behaving but she does not provide information as to how she knows the misbehaving folks are not locals. Ms. Berg offers an example of boaters miss behaving. In my experience many boating accidents and bad behavior are related to alcohol use. According to  Auto Insurance.org Montana is No. 1 in the country in DUI related traffic deaths. According to the Billings Gazette Montana has one of the highest rates of drug use in the country. If I saw this reported bad behavior related to boating I would have to assume that the odds are high these individuals are locals.

Ms. Berg gives other examples of bad behaviors and the she cites the reasons locals live in Montana. One of those reasons is that they enjoy  no interference from the government. According to U.S. News and World Report Montana ranks in the bottom half of the country in education, access to healthcare, and income. Glad to see that limited government situation working out so well in Montana.

Ms. Berg complains about non locals cutting down trees to make driveways and build houses. Do the locals live in stone houses without driveways? Is harvesting trees a decent size industry in Montana?

All the things Ms. Berg complains about are attributable to locals as well as non locals. I would like to suggest that Montana is a special place because of its geography. I would also like to suggest that local people of Montana are just like those in the other 49 states … locals are neither special or problematic …they are just people too..

John Powell

Portland Oregon and Columbia Falls