Logger Nation: Let’s Work Together To Open-Up

The dilemma our town’s businesses and schools are immersed in reflects what we have wrestled with in our homes for six months. The questions are many and the answers elusive. Do I work, not work, or work with protection? Do I see friends, not see friends, or see some friends with protection? How much protection is needed?  Do masks or face shields work or not?  Is this just overreach by those with political agendas?

I know few things for certain and struggle to find answers.

I do know that our valley has a large number of vulnerable, lung-compromised folks that seem to fare poorly with this virus. I know that we have shouting matches and near fist fights occurring between people who don’t agree on the issue of safety or when folks try to enforce the rules they have been given as a requirement in opening their doors to the public. I’m quite sure the next decade will be busy in our courts as we battle the constitutionality of the COVID-19 shutdown and start-up regimes and policies. Right now, none of this helps our town or our families.

I also know that shuttered businesses that keep people from their jobs could collapse our locally tenuous economy. I think I know that our children are better off with face-to-face learning and I have a daughter teaching in and grandkids attending our schools.

Amidst this uncertainty, I have a request of fellow community members – let’s work on this together so that our town can open up.

Businesses and schools have been given guidelines about masks and social distancing. Disagreements on those guidelines will be settled in court but, in order to operate, they are developing plans to meet those requirements and protect customers, students, and staff while also meeting the needs of the working Mom’s and Dad’s that will be asked to abide by the plans they construct. Everyone involved has their hands full as they try to find a balance that works.

Libby has been through tough times before. I know that our community has a strong will to move forward even when the framework for decision making is murky and the outcome is unclear. We are in such a time. The outcome is unclear but the current state-of-affairs sucks. If moving forward means we need to follow some rules while we argue over the need for those rules, the motives for those rules, or the constitutionality of those rules, let’s do what is needed for our schools and businesses to open up as we continue those discussions.

While I search to find information I can fully believe, I am masking up, socially distancing, and supporting our town’s reopening efforts. I am trying to be kind in my interactions with those who have opinions that differ from mine. I do this in hopes that our wonderfully strong-willed town will work together and reach the end of this nightmare with schools open, businesses open, and with friends and family healthy and able to hug each other again – with or without agreement on the issue or the remedies.


Submitted by Bruce Vincent, Libby, Mont.

Local supports Governor Bullock running for Senator

Healthcare is a universal need for every human being. Regardless of your political opinions, every person can recall a time when they needed medical aid. Governor Bullock has provided strong and steady leadership to give more Montanans than ever before access to affordable health care.

Governor Bullock has worked tirelessly to make sure all Montanans can access and afford quality care. Medicaid expansion, which was signed into law by Governor Bullock, has had other benefits for the state as well.

The expansion of Medicaid made a positive economic impact, specifically in rural communities around the state. And it kept every single one of our rural hospitals open even as dozens of rural hospitals closed around the country. The TV ads running right now claim differently, but they can’t change the facts of Governor Bullock’s record.

Governor Bullock has proven that he always puts Montanans first and will work with both parties to continue to improve Montana’s healthcare. He works hard to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all of us.

We need a Senator who will make Washington work more like Montana. We need someone who will protect our care and stop Washington politicians’ attacks on our healthcare, especially in the middle of a pandemic. That is why I am supporting Governor Bullock for Senate this November. He has proven time and again that he will put Montana first and we need that leadership in Washington.



Submitted by Ann C. German, Libby, Mont.