In The Mail

Monday, June 29, 2020



On Friday the Trump administration filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, which currently provides health insurance for 20 million Americans who would otherwise not have any — perhaps this even includes you or one of your loved ones? 

Recall that the Supreme Court previously upheld the ACA, but the administration is back at it — trying to strip millions of Americans of life-saving care. Most critical — they did this while having no plan in place to help 20 million people who will immediately be without health insurance should the Supremes overturn the ACA. This at a time when our country is suffering the worst pandemic in our lifetimes. No plan. Just chaos. 

Tim Stevens



Shame on the county coroner


So, Mr. Jenkins needs more time and more money to do his job. And the commissioners give it to him, in spite of his history of doing nothing in several unsolved murders that have occurred during his career as Park County Coroner. Well, it isn’t as if he did nothing at all — he lied to the survivors of the victims rather than investigate the deaths. Suppose he had actually looked at the facts and determined cause of death, and perhaps a perpetrator — would that have saved future victims? We’ll never know. What we see of Jenkins’ methods tells us he is not only unqualified for his position, he sees his solution as “just lie to everyone and they’ll never know I’m incompetent.” Jenkins was also remiss in his duties by refusing to turn over these cases to a qualified detective, keeping all the information to himself. Can you say “cover-up?”

Years ago I visited the Assistant County Attorney asking for information or an update in the case of my nephew, Nelson McNair. The assistant first rudely reprimanded me for “walking in here demanding information.” She denied knowing anything about the case and referred me to the detective. Upon approaching him, I received the same rude reprimand, using almost the identical words as the assistant. I left even more suspicious about a cover-up, this time for the entire law enforcement department. 

The reason I’m targeting Jenkins now is that he is the only remaining employee in law enforcement since Nelson’s murder in 1995. So the crooked finger of guilt points directly to him. I cannot describe the frustration and insult he has laid upon us with his lies and deception. What a cruel and wicked little man to announce publicly that there were “no suspicious circumstances” when he knew damn well that Nelson’s body was allegedly found with his hands tied behind his back and a gunshot to the back of his head. And what has Jenkins done since? He has continued to build on his deception, even having the audacity to suggest Nelson died by suicide. Yet we continue to give him his office every time an election rolls around. Imagine how foolish I feel after voting for him. That was before I knew how phony and shallow he is. And even now he is guaranteed another term since nobody is willing to run against him. His is one position I will leave blank when we next vote.

What is it going to take to get Jenkins’ “secret” information to someone who knows what to do with it? How many families are still waiting (25 years for us) to have their kids’ cases solved? Again, can you say “cover-up?”

It’s so disappointing to see the commissioners reward this kind of behavior with a big raise and more benefits. I can only think they haven’t done their homework. Shame on them. And double shame on Mr. Jenkins. How do you sleep at night? Oh, that’s right — you let the rest of us suffer the anxiety you created.

Peggy Berg



These young people are our future


Earlier this year, a group of white students went up to a person of color in a local high school and made that person feel welcome. And, in our town and communities across Montana, young people made masks for their neighbors to help protect all of us from the coronavirus.

These young people are our future. They show us the way we need to be as human beings.

We all need fresh air, clean water and a healthy environment. All of us are affected by our changing climate and by pandemics like the current coronavirus.

Earlier this month, volunteers of all ages from Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) across Montana exercised their democratic rights and lobbied our Senators Daines and Tester, and Representative Gianforte about the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (

We did this because this carbon fee and dividend bill can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent below 2015 levels in the first 12 years, hitting 90 percent reductions by 2050. For each adult, the dividend provides, in year one, approximately $250 monthly and in 10 years, approximately $1,410 monthly. It will create millions of jobs and provide secure energy for all of us.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, putting this money in people’s pockets will help the economic recovery.

CCL is a nonpartisan volunteer organization. We welcome everyone who is serious about solving climate change. We work with members of Congress across the political spectrum to find common ground on climate change solutions.

Among our values: We empower everyone in exercising their personal and political power regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, or political affiliation. We seek out, support, and elevate people whose voices may not have been fully heard. (

I’m proud and grateful to these volunteers, and to the many men and women who are helping us get through the coronavirus.

Alexandra Amonette

Big Timber