The North Fork Forum

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A little of a year ago, a new group calling themselves the North Fork Forum was formed. To my knowledge, they have not elected officers. They are just a loose group of North Fork landowners who talked about doing something to benefit the community. Their first project was to sponsor a series of meeting to educate themselves and anyone interested about the U.S. Constitution.

Meeting were held at the Sondreson Community Hall. Because forum organizers are members of the North Fork Landowners, they are able to use the hall rent-free as long as the public is invited.

First meeting was to discuss Article II of the U.S. Constitution. It was attended with nearly 20 people present. The discussion was moderated by a retired high school government teacher. The discussion was excellent and focused on the wording of the article. It was non-political, non-confrontational and I, and other attendees, all felt it was very informational. I’ll bet most people can not name the only Supreme Court Justice to be impeached and removed from the bench.

Several more meeting on the Constitution were held during the fall of 2017. All were well attended and informative.

This year, the Forum had a new project. They organized a debate for the candidates for Montana House District 3. Both Republican candidate Jerry O’Neil and Democratic candidate incumbent Zac Perry attended. The Libertarian candidate was invited and agreed to attend, but was unable to do so.

Questions were compiled from local residents and the debate was conducted by a member of the staff of Montana Public Radio.

The questions ranged from topics of national interest, to state issues, to relations with cities and counties. Both candidates remained after the debate to answer any other questions folk might have. Just shy of 30 people were in attendance.

The folks attending were quiet and attentive. As requested, all applause was held until the end and was for both candidates.

All in all, an excellent, informative meeting. I confess I knew which one I was going to vote for before going to the meeting and my mind was not changed, although I was trying to listen carefully and with an open mind.

Obviously, the members of the North Fork Forum deserve our thanks for hosting the gathering. Also, the candidates for taking the time and traveling to far to speech with a relatively few constituents. Finally, kudos to the residents who attended. Our national parties, their candidates and supporters could learn something from us backcountry hicks. We don’t have to whine, shout or insult folks who don’t agree with us. We might need them to pull us out of the ditch this winter.

And we still have fun. Most recently, Alan Jacobson hosted a big dinner party at his North Fork home. He was ably assisted by brothers Wes and Charlie Martin and a host of other friends and neighbors. I did not actually count the number of people – we were in the house, on the porch and in the yard. I would guess about 50. As always, the food was great (Charlie cooked oysters Rockefeller), and so was the company.

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

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