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My heart breaks over the fires in Glacier - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

My heart breaks over the fires in Glacier

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Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 9:32 am

GLACIER PARK is my favorite place upon this Earth (and I’ve been blessed to see a lot of Earth’s other gems). It breaks my heart, then, to learn of anything that damages its beauty or its use. Currently, wild forest fires have left their mark on the Park.

Smokey the Bear to the contrary, fires in Glacier are caused by lightning strikes, not careless campers. A strike may take out a single tree, or it may start a wild fire that consumes between 800 and 1,000 acres of timber. That is this year’s total to date according to Park authorities

The entire west side of the park has been evacuated. Going to the Sun Road - the paved road clinging to mountain sides - crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, to join the two sides of the Park. Many Glacier, Two Medicine and East Glacier are not affected, nor is Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park, which adjoins Glacier across the international border.

Glacier’s wildfires this year are overshadowed by Harvey, Irma and Maria, but local papers - like the Hungry Horse News - keep me up to date.

More Glacier news: Lysander Spooner University (a Montana school) staff members do not believe Glacier’s glaciers will fall prey to manmade Global Warming. Grinnell Glacier is the most accessible - a 5.5 mile hike - and LSU teams are taking series of photos; they believe the icy masses may be increasing in size.

Their premise: glaciers grow during winter and spring (even summer) snowfalls. Then, in August and parts of September, the snow melts. And will be replaced by winter and spring snows. Melting glaciers are caused by seasonal weather, not climate change.

During our childhood summers in Glacier, we were told that eventually, all the glaciers would disappear. More than 75 years later, they’re still there, waxing and waning.

YESTERDAY’S E-MAIL made my eyes pop. Amazon.com sent a message, about my anticipated child, and gave explicit directions for setting up a baby gift registry.

Immediately, visions of diapers, baby-friendly soap, 2 a.m. feedings and reprise of the teen-age years flitted through my head. And how would I explain this to the kids I already had?

Apparently Jeff Bezos came to his senses, and I got a nice e-mail that started “Oops!” Sister Gretch also got the baby registry offer and the Oops! sequel. Maybe many women wrote an angry “I don‘t want or need any #%$@& baby gift registry!”

And that’s what got his attention.

WE ONCE WATCHED Gunsmoke, Cheers, Mash, and All in the Family regularly. Last Sunday, we did not watch the Emmys program. I’m not sure whether television or we have changed. We no longer watch any sitcoms, or much of anything beyond news and opinion.

The Emmy ceremony was advertised beforehand as a Bash Trump fest. Since then, news stories have reported yearly declines in Emmy attendance and viewers. Is that because of decline in TV quality, or Trump Bash fatigue? Just a thought: an actor able to make Big Bucks in this country, with its system of government, should say a few good and positive words about it.

Same for the millionaire athletes. Whatever reason some have for refusing to stand honoring the national anthem, seems pretty puny next to the opportunity and rewards this system has provided them.

And those players should think about their responsibility as (highly paid) role models; A news item this week reported players in a grade school team went down on a knee, rather than stand for the national anthem. I wonder how the grade schoolers’ parents handled that.

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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