Do you want to be free, or do you want to get something for free? That’s the question we can ask ourselves this 4th of July. Far beyond the hypothetical, we can look to the Rainbow Gathering taking place near Dillon. That’s where thousands of self described hippies are gathering in the woods likely wanting to feel free, but instead it appears that all too many simply want something for free instead of being free.
Panhandling, trespassing, and shoplifting- just some of the complaints in Dillon, Montana.
Marnee Banks has more:
Beaverhead County Sheriff Jay Hansen says so far they have arrested nearly 30 people for assault, possession of dangerous drugs, and warrants out of other states.
Sheriff Hansen also confirms there was an incident where one of the Rainbow Family member’s dogs killed an elk calf.
Another post by Marnee Banks:
Beaverhead County Commissioner Tom Rice says the gathering has already cost the county around $26,000 and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
But the local hospital, Barrett Healthcare, is taking the biggest financial hit with more than $100,000 in unpaid medical bills for providing care to nearly 50 uninsured rainbow family members.
Meanwhile, Montana’s Governor sends taxpayer dollars and relief to Beaverhead County, which begs the question- did he raise any concerns with the US Forest Service in advance of the gathering, or just cut a check?
On Monday, the governor signed a state of emergency executive order for the county, allowing Beaverhead access to state emergency money and services to cover the cost of the Rainbow gathering near Jackson.
(David Marx, the director of disaster and emergency services for Beaverhead County) Marx said the county had budgeted $123,000 to manage the Rainbow gathering, but said he expects the actual costs to exceed that.
MT Standard: Forest Service Budgeting $400,000
The Forest Service budgeted $400,000 to cover costs incurred by the Rainbow Family gathering near Jackson, but how much of that will get spent is uncertain.
Forest Service spokesperson Cass Cairns said Tuesday that it’s too early to project if the final cost will be below or above the $400,000 amount, despite the fact that the turnout has been lower than expected.
As of Tuesday, the Forest Service estimates 7,000 campers — and 1,400 vehicles — were gathered at the Rainbow site. Thirteen years ago, on July 2, 2000, an estimated 22,000 Rainbow members camped at the same place near Saginaw Creek.