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Locals have always taken care of Libby, surrounding areas

| September 7, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

In response to the "pride in Libby" letter:

I grew up in Libby, was educated in Libby, and am very proud of my home town. I am also very proud of my sister, who happens to own two of the casinos in Libby.

What you seem to be unaware of, Laura McGlasson, is the number of people my sister employs and the effect that has on Libby's economy. She pays city, county, and state taxes, which brings in revenue for Libby. She employs 10 people. These people are able to stay in the town they love, and have pride in, due to the fact that they could find jobs.

I know that Libby has seen an unfair share of hardship in the last several years. Many people have moved to be able to support their families. My husband and I are an example. Before you start grouping people who go to casinos in with drug users and drug dealers why don't you go and see for your self what kind of people go to the locally owned casinos in Libby?

I have. I worked for my sister during two of her anniversary parties. I, personally, can tell you from that experience that more people who come to her casinos drink ice tea and coffee than beer. I know because I served them. These people go to socialize with each other and they are not the crowd that you have assumed them to be. I don't know of one locally owned casino who condones or tolerates drug activity of any kind in or near their business.

As for pride in our beautiful area, how do you think it has stayed so beautiful all these years without any outside help? That's right, the locals. We have always taken care of our town and our surrounding areas. We have great pride in the beauty of Lincoln County.

I think that before someone like you decides to condemn a whole group of people that you lump together with drugs and destruction, you should get your facts straight. The money that these locally-owned businesses generate stays in Libby. The money that the employees make is spent in Libby. I happen to know that a lot of the locally-owned casinos donate money to local causes and charities. With the economy of Libby being what it is you would think that a business that employs good hard-working people would be appreciated. I would also like to point out the fact that whenever possible my sister and other locally-owned businesses hire local contractors and laborers.

I also defy you to find any "junk or debris, or carelessly erected signs" as you put it, on any of my sister's property. Many of the local business and casino owners and employees have worked hard to make their businesses and casinos look good because they have pride in Libby! When most people have to make the choice of a solid job in another town or staying in their home town and risking their life savings to make a go of a business that can help employ others and help boost the economy of their home town they won't risk their money. My sister did, and I think she is a very, very, beautiful person to do that.

You should be aware that if people didn't have choices in Libby they would just travel to another town to play. There is nothing wrong with Libby entertaining the people who live there and any tourist who happens to come through town. Maybe if you would open your eyes to the aspect of making Libby more attractive to the tourist population, you would see more revenue coming into Libby. Entertainment is not a bad thing. The last time I checked casinos were legal businesses. So pride comes in all shapes and forms Ms. McGlasson, open your eyes to it.

Ruby Nelson