Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 3:02 PM

Feels like the first time

I was a 40-year-old first-time snowboarder, and the folks at Board of Missoula taught me the ropes ("Skate or die," March 16). I am so happy that Bacon is living this dream and so happy Board of Missoula is back!

Craig Sweet

posted at missoulanews.com




You go, daddy-o!

Chris Bacon and Edge of the World have always been a support for the young teenagers and young adults in this town, giving them a safe and secure place to hang out and skateboard. My son is the wonderful man he is today partly because of the influence of Chris Bacon. I hope and pray for your continued success, Chris.

MaryPat Harr Hertz

posted at missoulanews.com




The power of They

Sometimes I think the "living-wage" is a number that really means "just enough to survive, without any form of leisure time or vacation from work." No one making $14 an hour is taking too many vacations ("What's a living wage, really?" March 9). They can't afford it. People are forced to work through vacation time to pay bills. They have to pick and choose between food or other necessities. They can' t take a few days off work or the power gets turned off. I believe it is set up this way to keep the middle class the middle class. They make up the grandest share of taxpayers, and the government loves getting money, so the best way to keep the dough rolling in is to keep people at work. Plus, any time wages get increased, the tax departments increase the taxes and prices on everything go up. A living wage is meant to keep you alive enough to pay the government tons of money before you are too old to work or pass away. They do not care whether your existence was fulfilling or pleasurable. They just want their pedestrian bridges and convention centers.

A.J. LaBrosse

posted at missoulanews.com




Target: missed

Your support for the Second Amendment may be laudable, but this article is complete crap! ("Sure shot," March 16)

You have the nerve to say "Newman is a trained and responsible gun owner. As such, he did not shoot any bystanders while deploying deadly force"which is apparently where you set the bar for considering a gun-waving lunatic a "trained and responsible gun owner." Shortly after that you refer to his "judgment" as "impeccable," clearly demonstrating that you do not understand the meaning of one or both those words.

His actions were legal (up until the last few shots), but his judgment was incredibly flawed, and regardless of the police giving him a free pass, the video of the event clearly shows that at least his last two shots were both irresponsible and illegal. It is pure luck that he didn't "shoot any bystanders." Random wild shots into a public area with no concern for where his rounds were going is not the action of "a trained and responsible gun owner." If the police had reviewed the video, he would probably have been arrested. Certainly once the video became available he should have been charged with multiple counts of wanton endangerment.

If you consider this an example of "a trained and responsible gun owner" demonstrating "impeccable" judgment, then I have to seriously question your judgment, training, and responsibility.

Tom Currie

posted at missoulanews.com




Any more questions?

After the Independent published "A teen and a prayer" on Feb. 9., a letter to the editor demanded, "What is it about religion that drives you leftists crazy?"

Answer: Religion will cause humans to ruin the Earth.

We are the most invasive of species, and we think that the laws of nature (such as no unlimited population growth) don't apply to us. Darwin displaced humanity from the pinnacle of the organic world, but religion cannot allow that, or Heaven (and Hell) can't be sustained. Thus, the Catholic Church insists that all human life and death is solely up to God.

Pope Francis issues his encyclical to save "our ruined" planet, blaming humanity's inappropriate consumption for the Earth's woes. But the real cause is human population growth.

Half the world's human population still wants to consume its way into the middle class, yet it would take several Earths' worth of resources to support all humans living as middle class. All Pope Francis can offer is a "moral imperative" that humanity do better. Yet if "moral imperative" worked, then no priest would ever have abused a child.

People who study demographics say that to control human population, we must allow contraception and abortion. But the Church insists on viewing human failings as sin as opposed to evidence that we are animals. If we could view human sexual expression as our biological nature, then we can still teach all the reasons to be prudent about sex, while realizing that our "preaching" is going to regularly fail, and so we graciously allow people to have contraception and abortion. Or we can keep ruining the Earth.

William H. Clarke

Missoula




God's worst creation

Until I read your last edition, I did not know that God created Mountain Standard Time ("Playing God with time," March 16). Guess you're never too old to learn. I will ask HIM to forgive the creator of daylight savings time, because it irritates all of my friends who wait until dark to start bar hopping.

Peter Daniels

Polson

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 3:25 PM

KettleHouse Correction

The article titled "County to get zoning overhaul" (March 9) mischaracterized the zoning status of the KettleHouse Amphitheater. The article incorrectly asserted that the KettleHouse Amphitheater did not have the authority to operate under the current zoning regulation.

Logjam Presents, the owner of the KettleHouse Amphitheater improvements and operator of the venue, has been working closely with the Missoula County Zoning Department since November, 2016. The KettleHouse Amphitheater has presented iterations of the architectural drawings to Missoula County throughout the design process.

The zoning regulation that existed prior to March 9, 2017, allowed for the KettleHouse Amphitheater to conduct events with a limited infrastructure (as the Big Sky Brewery has done for over 10 years). Infrastructure such as permanent concession areas and permanent bathrooms were not permitted under the zoning regulation that existed prior to the passage of the March 9 zoning changes. Missoula County Zoning Department and the KettleHouse Amphitheater had reached an agreement that if the zoning changes were not passed on March 9, 2017, the KettleHouse Amphitheater could proceed with the limited infrastructure design concept. At no time was a show booked, or were tickets sold, without an understanding between Missoula County Zoning Department and the KettleHouse Amphitheater.

The KettleHouse Amphitheater postponed submitting for its final building permit in anticipation of the passage of the March 9 zoning changes. That said, the KettleHouse Amphitheater had obtained the required permits and approvals to complete its mass excavation, rough grading and other retaining wall work. The KettleHouse Amphitheater was proceeding with construction in a manner that would allow it to complete the venue with either the full infrastructure or limited infrastructure, depending on the outcome of the March 9 zoning meeting.

On March 9, the Missoula County Commissioners approved several zoning changes. These changes allow for the KettleHouse Amphitheater to proceed with the more robust design concept that includes a more permanent infrastructure. The KettleHouse Amphitheater intends to submit for a full building permit on March 13.

Overall, the KettleHouse Amphitheater has collaborated with the Missoula County Zoning Department, Missoula County Health Department, Missoula County Building Department, the Conservation District, not-for-profit organizations such as the Blackfoot Challenge and the Clark Fork Coalition, and other regulatory bodies to obtain all entitlements and support required to design, develop and construct a world class venue. We take issue with the characterization in the March 9 article that we proceeded without the required zoning to conduct shows in the new venue. While the limited infrastructure design would have been less ideal and detracted from the artist and concert goer experience, it would have been sufficient for our first year of operations. We delayed our final building plan submittal to utilize the zoning changes and have the opportunity to construct a more robust venue.

Nick Checota

Logjam Presents

Missoula




No to Gorsuch

As the co-founder of a Missoula-based technology company, Gatherboard, which licenses calendar software for communities across the West, I was disappointed to see the Montana Chamber of Commerce's recent endorsement of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee. Judge Neil Gorsuch's record certainly does not represent the best interests of my business. I encourage Sens. Daines and Tester to take a hard look at Gorsuch's record.

Like many small business owners, I'm wary of being forced to sign binding arbitration agreements imposed by giant companies in order to conduct business. Most Montana businesses I'm familiar with don't even use such binding arbitration agreements. However, the trend, which Gorsuch apparently supports, is toward forcing individuals to go to arbitration rather than before a court, to resolve disputes with massive corporations.

In Ragab v. Howard, entrepreneur Sami Ragab filed a lawsuit against an investment bank and capital financing company for misrepresentation and violating consumer credit repair laws that helped him obtain startup capital. The companies demanded arbitration, but there were six different and irreconcilable agreements about arbitration, and the court recognized there had never been a "meeting of the minds"a basic principle of contract law. Judge Gorsuch dissented, arguing for a "workaround" so the companies could impose arbitration on Ragab.

Much has been made of Gorsuch's employer-friendly record, but it appears that he's only for giant corporations, not regular business people and entrepreneurs. It's telling that he supported Hobby Lobby in citing the company's "sincerely held religious beliefs" as an excuse for denying women employees birth control insurance. Montanans do not believe corporations are people, and we expect our senators to support justices that don't either.

Molly Bradford

Missoula




Getting up to PACE

The Montana Legislature is considering an important bill to benefit homeowners and businesses interested in improving energy efficiency and lowering power bills. Introduced by Sen. Chas Vincent, R-Libby, and supported by Governor Steve Bullock, SB 330 authorizes Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and would empower local government programs that support energy efficiency, clean energy and water conservation projects. PACE is voluntary and would allow property owners to pick local contractors for improvements and pay through long-term, low interest loans linked to energy savings. Repayment would be coordinated through city or county property assessors much in the same way sidewalk and sewer upgrades are repaid over the long term. By lowering up-front and long-term expenses, PACE will save property owners money on power bills, conserve energy and water, and put local contractors to work. SB 330 authorizes the PACE program without costing the state any money, and participation is determined at the local level by city or county officials. Thirty-three states have already authorized PACE programs and more are in the process. Let's help property owners and contractors in Montana save money and create jobs—support SB 330, Montana PACE.

Tom Platt

Missoula

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 3:11 PM

KettleHouse Correction

The article titled "County to get zoning overhaul" (March 9) mischaracterized the zoning status of the KettleHouse Amphitheater. The article incorrectly asserted that the KettleHouse Amphitheater did not have the authority to operate under the current zoning regulation.

Logjam Presents, the owner of the KettleHouse Amphitheater improvements and operator of the venue, has been working closely with the Missoula County Zoning Department since November, 2016. The KettleHouse Amphitheater has presented iterations of the architectural drawings to Missoula County throughout the design process.

The zoning regulation that existed prior to March 9, 2017, allowed for the KettleHouse Amphitheater to conduct events with a limited infrastructure (as the Big Sky Brewery has done for over ten years). Infrastructure such as permanent concession areas and permanent bathrooms were not permitted under the zoning regulation that existed prior to the passage of the March 9 zoning changes. Missoula County Zoning Department and the KettleHouse Amphitheater had reached an agreement that if the zoning changes were not passed on March 9, 2017, the KettleHouse Amphitheater could proceed with the limited infrastructure design concept. At no time was a show booked, or were tickets sold, without an understanding between Missoula County Zoning Department and the KettleHouse Amphitheater.

The KettleHouse Amphitheater postponed submitting for its final building permit in anticipation of the passage of the March 9 zoning changes. That said, the KettleHouse Amphitheater had obtained the required permits and approvals to complete its mass excavation, rough grading and other retaining wall work. The KettleHouse Amphitheater was proceeding with construction in a manner that would allow it to complete the venue with either the full infrastructure or limited infrastructure, depending on the outcome of the March 9 zoning meeting.

On March 9, the Missoula County Commissioners approved several zoning changes. These changes allow for the KettleHouse Amphitheater to proceed with the more robust design concept that includes a more permanent infrastructure. The KettleHouse Amphitheater intends to submit for a full building permit on March 13. Overall, the KettleHouse Amphitheater has collaborated with the Missoula County Zoning Department, Missoula County Health Department, Missoula County Building Department, the Conservation District, not-for-profit organizations such as the Blackfoot Challenge and the Clark Fork Coalition, and other regulatory bodies to obtain all entitlements and support required to design, develop and construct a world class venue. We take issue with the characterization in the March 9 article that we proceeded without the required zoning to conduct shows in the new venue. While the limited infrastructure design would have been less ideal and detracted from the artist and concert goer experience, it would have been sufficient for our first year of operations. We delayed our final building plan submittal to utilize the zoning changes and have the opportunity to construct a more robust venue.

Nick Checota

Editor's note: Due to what turned out to be incomplete information available to us during the story’s reporting and editing, “County to get zoning overhaul” (March 9) inadvertently conveyed a misleading suggestion that the KettleHouse Amphitheater currently under construction in Bonner had yet to clear administrative and permitting hurdles necessary to the venue’s construction and the booking of acts there. That’s not the case. As Logjam Presents president Nick Checota has since clarified, Logjam—the owner and operator of the amphitheater—possesses both written and verbal confirmation from the county of Logjam’s longstanding compliance with the relevant regulations and requirements. The Independent regrets contributing to any confusion, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to correct the misimpression.

Kitchen politics

Oh please, do we have to now bring our politics into our kitchens ("Turning red state blueberry muffins," March 2)? Maybe if your muffins are so good they will transcend party lines? But it is just another case of someone desperate to use the press for their own agenda. Very unAmerican blueberry muffins. Let's make muffins that unite, not divide.

Mary Frances Caselli

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Did not see that coming

Dan Brooks asked about possible "dumbness" of Montanans regarding Steve Daines in his good soldiering on Betsy DeVos, ACA dismemberment, constituent avoidance, etc. I expect that Montanans, at least those who follow this kind of thing, and certainly Indy readers, are pretty un-dumb regarding Senator D.

However, based on what I've seen in the newspaper and on the streets, Montanans are exhibiting a high degree of dumb in regards to another quite serious issue: getting slammed/crushed/killed by folks in large metal boxes on wheels. First, there is hardly a evening/night-time drive where I don't see (barely) a person walking on a road shoulder or starting to cross a street wearing dark, non-reflective clothing. Do these numbskulls not realize they are a chalk outline waiting to happen?

And then (secondly) there is the multi-chapter (never-ending ?) story of impaired, especially DUI, driving arrests, crashes and deaths. Is this of any real concern to my fellow Montanans? If so, I've not seen any significant indicators in the print or electronic media. Perhaps it is simply that driving while drunk (or otherwise impaired) and the resultant carnage is accepted as standard operating procedure by our community. If it isn't, one might expect gatherings at their door and/or letters to their office similar to the pushback to Daines' "leadership." Is that happening? Nope.

As "he-who-shall-not-be-named" often tweets: SAD!

Eugene Schmitz

Missoula




Study the money

Montana has the most one-room schools of any state in the country. In light of this fact, how Daines could support Betsy DeVos and her charter school nonsense is beyond me ("How dumb does Steve Daines think Montanans are?" March 2). Tax dollars should go to public schools. Just a back door for the Republicans to get rid of teacher's unions.

Kathy Buchman

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Daines by a hair

Let's make sure Daines doesn't squeak by again like he did with his House seat and then the big leap to the Senate ("How dumb does Steve Daines think Montanans are?" March 2). Just lucky both times, due to Democrat mistakes and voters not paying attention. We see you now, Steve, and you better work for us or pack up.

Mari Laxmi von Hoffmann

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Sad simulacrum

Oh how magnificently sad this is ("Reality bytes: Mercantile gets a virtual resurrection through digital scanning," March 2).

Juanda Frelin

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Stay the course

Considering he did nothing in Congress, I hope he continues that trend in the Cabinet ("Ryan Zinke confirmed as Secretary of the Interior," missoulanews.com, March 1).

Pam Little

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Watch your wilderness

Watch the privatization of federal lands coming soon! ("Ryan Zinke confirmed as Secretary of the Interior," missoulanews.com, March 1.)

Dennis Petrak

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




The bright side

Now hang on folksOf all the Trump picks, Zinke might be the best ("Ryan Zinke confirmed as Secretary of the Interior," missoulanews.com, March 1).

Robert Dunlop

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Love the enthusiasm

Not quite as versatile as beer, but more than wine for sure ("Getting canned at Western Cider," March 2). And yes, I want to drink a loaf of bread with my loaf of bread!

Adam Keele

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Fat chance

Quit telling Daines and Trump what you think they should do.

I'm all for holding politicians accountable, but I think the recent protests against Daines at the capitol and at his office in Missoula were misguided. Folks need to realize that Daines and Trump are doing exactly what a majority of those who voted for them want them to do.

If you want to change the actions of elected officials you need to change the minds of the people who put them in office. People tend to think that folks on a different part of the political spectrum are all in Washington or Helena, but they're not. They live right next door to you. Protests have their place, but what you really need to do is what Obama urged in his farewell address: Go out and talk to your neighbors. Be open, engage them, learn where their views come from and let them learn about you. It's really the only way political progress will occur.

Good luck to us all.

Roy Curet

Missoula

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:38 PM

Boom-town blues

After I read the article regarding the Riverfront Triangle project ("On the Riverfront," Feb. 23), I wrote to the City Council, the mayor and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency to shame them for once again putting profit over people. I am so tired of seeing the council and the mayor falling all over themselves to cater to developers and spend our tax dollars on projects that give developers free rein. I've never seen a developer keep promises that aren't officially required (e.g., promises to build sidewalks and community parks in residential developments). They do nothing that isn't contractually required, and even then they weasel out of commitments via indefinite delays. Yet city and county officials continue to fall for it, saying we have to trust them. Why on earth should we trust them?

Why can't we have a city commitment to supporting unions instead of empty lip service?

Missoula's problem is hardly not enough development. Our problem is high housing costs and low wages. So why do local leaders support development that does nothing to address what ought to be the overriding concern? I assume they are afraid the developer will take its ball and go home, along with the supposed jobs. If so, so be it! Missoula citizens are not desperate for more development and the handful of lousy jobs it brings, we are desperate for affordable housing and living wages. Why is that not the priority?

I assume it's too late to cancel the Riverfront Triangle project or renegotiate the terms. Over the years I have become more and more disgusted watching these developers call the shots while our elected leaders roll over. I have contacted our local labor groups to show my support for their efforts, and I will encourage my friends to do the same.

It may be too late to put the brakes on this project, but I and other Missoula citizens can still make some noise. Who's in?

Gwen McKenna

Missoula




Scraping by

This is such a joke ("On the Riverfront," Feb. 23). Missoula needs to support the people that already live here with real job opportunities, not 500 low-paying jobs that will cost Missoulians even more money in taxes. Why is the city financing mall renovations, expo centers and parking garages when the average person in Missoula can barely scrape by? It has become very evident that our mayor is only concerned about filling his own pockets and has no concern for the people of Missoula.

Rebekah Barsotti

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Watch the money flow

Released now or later ("Show us the money," Feb. 23), voters are going to be in for severe sticker shock.

Matthew Neer

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Best for last

The last paragraph is the best ("Show us the money," Feb. 23)! The mayor estimated the legal process would cost $400,000! To think that the Carlyle Group would roll over on an asset grab so easily was either completely naive, incompetent or a complete lie to coerce public support. Legal fees were off (just for the city) by a factor of at least 20!

Tony Cate

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




No privacy

Absolutely b.s. ("Show us the money," Feb. 23). It is a public entity and as such there should be nothing private!

Adam Pummill

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Following orders?

I called his office and they claim this is standard procedure that all representatives follow ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). Funny, Jeff Sessions didn't quit voting!

Ian Chechet

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Money for nothing

Yet surely he's still collecting his congressional paycheck ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). What has he done to earn $20,021 since Jan. 5? (Members are paid $174,000 per year.)

Emilie Ritter Saunders

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Who hates snowflakes?

He's putting together his plan to start utilizing and harvesting our natural resources, and drafting legislation to do away with frivolous lawsuits by enviro-terrorists ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). The snowflakes are going to freak out after he gets confirmed!

Kris Wosepka

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Ignore Daines

Sen. Daines' outlandish demand that Sen. Tester immediately endorse Trump's nominee for Supreme Court justice is an insult to my intelligence. Isn't Daines the same senator who refused to give Obama's nominee even an interview for nine months? Isn't Daines part of the party that, before the November election, threatened to never seat a Clinton nominee if she won? He is. Did I hear Daines chastising his fellow Republicans for such trash talk? I did not. How does this blatant hypocrisy work? Does he think we're stupid? Or that we suffer from short-term memory loss? Sen. Tester is a patriot, not a puppet. I trust him to represent me. That means careful vetting of any nominee. There hasn't even been a hearing yet. And, thanks to Daines and his fellows, we've been without a full Supreme Court for more than 11 months. He obviously didn't think having a full court was important when the shoe was on the other foot. Daines forfeited all moral right to make any comments about Tester's decisions concerning Supreme Court justices. There is no reason for Tester to pay any attention to him. Neither should we.

Pat Tucker

Hamilton

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 3:09 PM

Left a bad taste, huh?

I love the Independent and look forward to reading it every week. I always turn first to the food column and this week was horrified and disgusted to find Andrea Grimes' Resistance Kitchen ("Whoops it's soup," Feb. 9). With a mouth like a sewer and an abysmally poor writing style Andrea proceeded to desecrate the very idea of a food column. Was she drunk when she wrote this? I don't know if this is indicative of what passes for writing in the Bay Area, but I am accustomed to a much higher caliber of prose from our local authors. Please don't carry her column again.

Pattie Fialcowitz

Dixon




One sane senator

If "Jon thinks what President Trump called Sen. Warren is offensive," and if "Jon takes the integrity of our elections very seriously," then Jon needs to speak up ("Here's what happened during Sen. Tester's luncheon with President Trump last week," missoulanews.com, Feb. 15). This is not the time for silence. We need our one sane senator to speak the f**k up!

Suzanne Siegel

posted at missoulanews.com




Worked for her

Adult and Teen Challenge changed my life ("Lawsuit opens a window on faith-based addiction treatment," Feb. 9). I learned to not be lazy. I learned to turn to Christ for strength, to be the best mother, wife and woman I can be. They have taught and given me the tools to handle any difficulty and struggle that could come my way, no matter how big it is. They have shown me that I am not alone and that I am always loved and always was loved by God, even when I was at my worst. They taught me to turn my sorrow to joy. Life is not all peaches and ice cream, but I have the skills I need to overcome the hard times. That is because a group of people didn't give up on me. They give their time willingly to help a bunch of lost, hurt, angry people. You sign up for Teen Challenge voluntarily, and if you read the information before you say yes, it tells you exactly how the program works. Sure there are flaws, but what program or even workplace doesn't have flaws? They learn from them and build a better program or business. That's just how life rolls. There are always going to be situations that you will be made aware of that you didn't know were happening, and Adult and Teen Challenge is committed to taking care of any problems that arise.

Jamie Lee Stotts Wilson

posted at missoulanews.com




Let stinking dogs lie

Trump lies and blusters constantly to guard his exquisitely thin skin. It's like your dog rolling in smelly stuff—he's been told it's bad, but he just can't help himself. Real leaders have self discipline—Tester was wise not to take the baits Trump offered to Democratic senators ("Here's what happened during Sen. Tester's luncheon with President Trump last week," missoulanews.com, Feb. 15).

The election margin debate is a clear loser for Trump, and Warren is plenty capable of defending herself from slurs. Don't jump into that stinky pile with Trump—that's his turf!

We need Sen. Tester to stay on-target with the real issues regarding Trump: forcing release of the president's taxes, uncovering the Trump campaign's connections to Russia and revealing the full extent of foreign interference in our elections. U.S. leaders, Democratic and Republican, must demand immediate, bipartisan and transparent investigations of all these issues.

Self discipline and leadership are not shown only by withholding from unwise actions. You also have to do the right thing when that thing is needed, even if it's difficult. Tester must actively lead Congress to start a real inquiry into Trump's campaign now. Just let dogs like Trump lie in their own stink.

David Morris

posted at missoulanews.com




Over the line

I've read many an article in the Independent over the years that I have found belligerently antagonistic toward the Christian community here in Missoula and at large. I have never taken offense by it because I understand that the Independent is a paper with a view that caters to the Missoula populace, which, as we know, is widely liberal and increasingly secular. After reading your article about Teen Challenge, I've decided not to hold my tongue. I have personally seen the Teen Challenge ministry change women's lives from despair and addiction to freedom and hope. Teen Challenge has given countless women the skills, attitudes, opportunity and environment that they needed to make a new start. You chose to place the focus of your article about this noble charity on one or two negative experiences someone had—someone for whom Teen Challenge was obviously not the right fit. But who are you to demean and bully the hundreds of struggling women and children for whom this was exactly the right fit? Who are you to malign another soul's search for meaning and spirituality in their lives? It isn't a "homophobic statement" by some TV personality that ruffles your feathers, it's Christianity in general. While you make conjectures about homophobia, you practice Christophobia. I'll finish with this: Christians do not fear or hate gay people. It simply plagues secular people that God calls homosexuality a sin. Christians also understand what the "Free Thinkers" at the Independent are selectively ignorant of: As far as sin is concerned we are on equal ground, and every last one of us, gay, straight and everything in between, needs Christ, and needs to be redeemed from sin. You don't have to like it, but that is who we are, and we aren't going away, nor will we evolve to be more comfortably compatible with your preferences and subjective worldview. Our faith is our identity. So go ahead, continue to practice your hypocrisy with smug self-congratulatory pseudo-moralism. It's nothing new. We've been living alongside you for 2,000 years—we know how to take it on the chin. We may not seem sophisticated to you from your ivory tower, but what you can't perceive from that is height is the peace that passeth understanding, in our lives and on our deathbeds.

Patricia Pardee

posted at missoulanews.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Oh that card again...

Your snarky, sarcastic article ("Better dumb than sorry?" Feb. 9) only demonstrates your failure to be a well-read and informed citizen, not just of the United States but of the world.

A proactive legislative body is, in my opinion, frequently more helpful than a reactive one.

This bill might not have been necessary if Missoula hadn't decided to play the phony "we're all so caring and loving here" card so a few people could pat themselves on the back for their good deeds and wait for the resettlement money to roll in.

Linda Sauer

posted at missoulanews.com




Aquiver in our bubble

One city block in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, probably has more resident Muslims than all of Montana ("Better dumb than sorry?" Feb. 8). All those guns, and "Big Sky" is afraid of a crescent moon and stars?

Randy Bassett

posted at missoulanews.com




Free the pigs!

I am writing in regard to the University of Montana's proposed research facility using live pigs to test spinal cord injuries. I suffer with PTSD, and how dare you use my disability as an excuse to cause severe trauma to these pigs! Especially knowing that this is a completely unnecessary and outdated research method! All 202 accredited osteopathic and allopathic medical schools in the United States and Canada have terminated the use of live animals to teach medical students. This includes the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (the U.S. military medical school). In addition, 47 hospitals and colleges teach first responders crucial life-saving methods using human-based methods after abandoning outdated live animal use.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, no experiments—including those that inflict pain without relief—are outlawed. The Animal Welfare Act is the only federal law that applies to animals used for research.

Each species has a unique spinal orientation, movement kinetics and neural anatomy. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as PET, SPECT and fMRI can be used to visualize neural pathology at various timepoints after injury. In Miami, researchers are collaborating on the Human Spinal Cord Injury Model project.

You can read more about ethical research and education using non-animal testing methods at pcrm.org. You can also find grants for non-animal testing research at drhadwentrust.org.

Montanans do not want this facility, as proven by the failure of I-181, which was due, in part, to the possibility of live animals being used as test subjects. Bringing this lab to the University of Montana would take the university backward, in addition to tarnishing the image of Missoula. UM can join other universities and medical schools in rejecting outdated live animal labs and using more advanced and humane methods for research.

Jennifer Nitz

Missoula




Tick-tock

I am shocked that we still allow flaring, venting and leaking methane into our atmosphere. These practices threaten our health, waste our resources and—perhaps most concerning—accelerate the threat of climate change. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas; it heats the planet at a far faster rate than carbon dioxide.

We can no longer afford to continue releasing these lethal emissions. Especially when they are emissions that, in most cases, can be avoided. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has something they call the "Doomsday Clock" used to illustrate how close the world stands to "midnight," or doomsday. During the Cold War, the clock stood at 2 minutes to midnight. Right now? 2.5 minutes to midnight. According to these scientists, we face an existential threat the size of the nuclear-arms race: climate change.

The Bureau of Land Management responsibly created protections requiring that more oil- and gas-field emissions be captured. This agency spent years traveling our country, listening to affected people, and creating rules that took all sides into account. However, Congress and the new administration are putting these protections on their chopping block. Congress is slated to vote on the rules next week, and they are gunning to entirely eliminate those protections.

The time to take action is now. Montana's senators need to hear from you: Protect the climate, fight for the methane rules and stand up for the West.

Cindy Webber

Big Timber




You want a list?

What is it about religion that just drives you leftists crazy ("A teen and a prayer," Feb. 9)? You want your rights the way you want them, but those that don't agree with you, well that's where your "love everyone" comes to an end. You want any speech you don't agree with shut down.

Ed Kugler

posted at missoulanews.com




Has he no shame?

Twice in one day, Sen. Steve Daines disgraced Montana.

"School choice" does not help the budgets of public schools in our cities and towns, and it offers nothing whatsoever for education in our rural areas, where there will never be charter schools to offer "choice." But Daines chose to back out-of-state campaign contributions over the interests of Montanans when he voted for Betsy DeVos.

Later the same day, he played toady to authoritarian party powers, helping to muzzle open, honest debate with the party-line vote to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Her "out of bounds" testimony? Reading letters written by Sen. Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King, which had been considered earlier as Senate committee testimony.

If Steve Daines and the party in power are so genuine in their adherence to Senate rules, why didn't those same rules compel them to allow Supreme Court nomination hearings last year, as provided for by the Constitution?

This is a sad day for Montana's representation in our nation's capital. Steve Daines has disgraced our state by putting wealthy campaign donors ahead of Montana's school children, and by taking part in ham-fisted authoritarian practices more at home in the Kremlin than in a 21st-century democracy.

Tod Trimble

Stevensville

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Renters rights

Protecting Montana renters should be a priority for all lawmakers this legislative session. However, for Roger and Peggy Webb, a couple that has split their influence across Senate and the House, respectively, the 2017 session has provided a means for pushing an unfair and sometimes unlawful pro-landlord agenda. At first glance, the changes brought forward by the legislature seem to be simply cosmetic clarifications. Senate Bill 175, for instance, has a large section devoted to specifying a landlord's right to enter and make repairs. In addition to "clarifying" this section, it also cuts in half the time a renter has to respond to a maintenance issue, gives the landlord "immediate" access to the residence, and allows the landlord to perform an impromptu inspection without notice. Furthermore, if this impromptu inspection finds a new issue in need of maintenance, the landlord can fix the problem and bill the renter with no notice and no opportunity to rectify the issue.

House Bill 348 requires that renters notify their landlord every time they plan to be gone from their residence for longer than 24 hours, while landlords may currently require only that tenants inform them of absences longer than seven days. Changes like this, requiring that tenants notify their landlord before leaving town for something as simple as an overnight shopping trip or a basketball game, are not just unduly burdensome, but indicative of the tenant-averse laws that are being proposed this legislative session. Senate Bill 176, another example, removes all ability of a renter to refuse entry to their landlord, and goes further by forbidding tenants from adding locks to any portion of a residence, irreparably hindering renters' right to privacy and safety.

The most egregious of these bills is Senate Bill 174, from Sen. Roger Webb, which seeks to shift the legal and financial burden from landlord to renter by holding tenants liable for legal fees if they lose a case against their landlord. Its banality does nothing to change the fact that it presents a gross overreach of a landlord and a legislature by attempting to dictate how judges should rule. This renter-averse legislation from landlord-legislators like the Webbs presents a great danger to the balanced relationship of Montana renters and landlords. The bills currently introduced undermine tenant protections and call into question the fair and equal treatment that's been at the heart of Montana law for 40 years.

Our elected officials in Helena must make sure to also represent the voices of the one in three Montanans who rent their homes, and prove that our landlord-tenant laws are here to serve and protect everyone.

Mary O'Malley

Director, ASUM Off-Campus Renter Center

Missoula




Blood in the water

Lemme get this straight—we took the water company on the notion that "corporations are bad," but now we're going to get a toxic loan from an overseas multinational investment bank ("Slow drip," Feb. 2)? How does us hemorrhaging interest overseas benefit Missoula?

Benjamin A. Hart

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Kitties cornered

This is the cost of living in the wildland interface ("FWP removals draw ire," Feb. 2). Everybody seems to want to live in the Montana woods—it's the trendy thing to do these days.

Lions are different from bears, they don't relocate or change their habits well.

The human population is growing and consuming the habitat of wild creatures.

As lions populations grow, they need to find new territory. They move with their prey, and young lions often get in trouble with humans as they try to find a place to set up a home range. Seven billion people on this planet and counting—human growth has many consequences.

People with pets and children should always have a close eye on them, whether in the big city or in or near the woods. A bump in the road is just a bump in the road to a car, and meat is meat to a lion.

We, as the animals with the bigger brains, should consider what our impacts are, and how we can limit them, what kind of place we want to live in, and what kind of life we want for the generations to come—human and animal.

Joe Bear

posted at missoulanews.com




Run, dog, run!

Do not give that lunatic a dog ("Top dog?" Jan. 26). He doesn't deserve one and would have no interest in it unless he could pose with it to boost his ego. As he has narcissistic personality disorder, it would be terrible for the dog because he would never get his needs for love, play, exercise, food and vet visits met. Do not give that sicko a dog!

Patricia Bowers

posted at missoulanews.com




Re-routing progress

Move over, working-class Missoulians ("Mary Avenue freeze-out," Feb. 2). Our "progressive" overlords are here to hit you with a big dose of gentrification, or "progress," as they like to call it.

Adam Hertz

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




We see what you did there...

"Critics call on Sen. Daines and others to recuse themselves over campaign donations." And I call on all feral dogs to refrain from snapping at raw pieces of meat.

Lee Conway

posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Dinging Daines

I'm a veteran. Sen. Daines does not represent me on health care. His support for repealing the Affordable Care Act will be disastrous for Montana veterans. Since passage of the ACA, the number of uninsured veterans has declined to less than 10 percent. Repealing the ACA will force veterans who currently have coverage to attempt to meet their health-care needs through an already overburdened Veterans Administration. Trump's freeze on federal hiring (which Sen. Daines also supports) means that new doctors, nurses and technicians cannot be hired by the VA to meet our increased numbers and needs. Sen. Daines needs to think more clearly about his positions and how they will affect the veterans of our state.

Pat Tucker

Hamilton

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Love it, but...

I always look forward to reading a Dan Brooks column. Almost always thought provoking, as well as being in my basket of non-deplorables. So I was cruising right along with both thumbs up and a smile on my face as Dan gnawed on the idiocy of Rep. Usher's so-called bike safety bill, also known as the "don't make us slow down to keep us from killing cyclists" bill ("A wheelie bad bill," Jan. 26).

So I was grooving on Dan's riff until I got to the second-to-last paragraph, where my brain did a locked front wheel fly-over. I quote: "We should not condemn drivers for their irrational anger at cyclists, because people aren't rational, especially behind the wheel." Wait, what? Well, yes, folks are often irrational behind the wheel. Just Google and enjoy the '50s Disney animation "Motor Mania," starring Goofy. But anyone who values life and rational thought should condemn (deplore, hold accountable) drivers who operate a machine with deadly potential while being in an irrational and even malicious frame of mind. If an irrational friend tells me she wants to put brothel-style wallpaper in her bathroom, I'd say "Hey, whatever." If she says anyone stupid enough to ride their bike on a rural Montana road deserves to get hit, I'd say "Whoa, that's messed up!"

But thank you, Dan, for an excellent closing paragraph to go with a very good overall column.

Eugene Schmitz

Missoula




Training in short supply

I am a domestic violence survivor. I also had the misfortune of witnessing my next-door neighbor be assaulted by her boyfriend in broad daylight last June. I called the police immediately, but by the time they arrived, the man had fled. The police spoke with my neighbor but informed me there was nothing they could do if she denied he'd hit her. They informed me that they told her they knew she was lying. I understood that they were trying to get her to help them make the arrest, but as a survivor myself I also realized that they did not have adequate training in handling the situation. Victims of domestic violence often will not admit the truth because they fear for their ongoing safety and, often, for their lives.

Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the STOP grant is one source of funding that police departments like Missoula's can apply for to provide their officers with adequate training in responding to domestic violence calls. According to a spreadsheet on their website, three officers out of Missoula's police force receive 28-30 hours of training for responding to violence against women. And although the full police force is trained in responding to sexual assault, the three-hour training is arguably insufficient, even paired with a few other brief trainings. If the Missoula police department wanted to offer comprehensive domestic violence response training to all of its police force, the department could apply for a STOP grant from VAWA. I urge them to consider it. However, given the likelihood that the U.S. Attorney General will be Jeff Sessions, it is probable that VAWA will be eliminated entirely. Jeff Sessions has a record of voting against bills and provisions that would help the most vulnerable and oppressed populations in the U.S., and this includes his repeated votes against VAWA. That Sen. Steve Daines supports Jeff Sessions' nomination for U.S. Attorney General speaks volumes about his lack of support for Montana women. Though I don't hold out any hope that Daines will reverse course on his support for Sessions, I do hope that with or without VAWA grant funding, the Missoula police force can find ways to provide comprehensive training to more officers responding to intimate partner violence.

Emily Withnall

Missoula




Oppose Tom Price

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, I and a group of Missoula constituents were turned away from a scheduled meeting with Sen. Steve Daines' staff. What follows is the statement I would have given to the senator, had our scheduled meeting been honored:

As a mother and small business owner, I am deeply concerned about Sen. Steve Daines apparent opposition to expanded Medicaid and CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides insurance for thousands of Montana children, including my daughter. On Jan. 12, 2017, Sen. Daines voted yes on a senate budget resolution that will cut federal funding for the CHIP program. Now the senator has another opportunity to stand up for Montana families by opposing the nomination of Tom Price for Director of Health and Human Services. In his senate hearings, Tom Price has refused to commit to ensuring that Montana families who depend on Medicaid for health care will not lose their coverage. However, Sen. Daines has stated that he plans to vote in favor of Price's nomination—a decision that will have grave consequences for Montana families like mine.

In addition to being parents of a 1.5-year-old daughter, my husband and I own Tandem Bakery in Missoula. We started our business four years ago as a stand at the Clark Fork Farmers market with $1,000 of our own money. We reinvested all of our profit back into the business and now we are a year-round wholesale bakery with five employees. We are entrepreneurs, building a business for ourselves, providing jobs and contributing to the local economy. But this is a new venture, and we are trying to grow without taking on debt, so we still pour all of our profit back into the bakery. This means that in addition to raising our daughter and running the business, my husband also works a day job—which does not offer health insurance. Medicaid and CHIP have allowed us to take the risk of starting a new business. Without these programs, my family would not be able to afford health insurance, and because we cannot allow our young daughter to go without coverage, we would have to close our business and fire our employees.

If Sen. Daines is truly pro-family and pro-small-business, he will support CHIP and expanded Medicaid, and he will vote no on Tom Price.

Beth Gherlein

Missoula

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Posted on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 2:48 PM

Betrayed by Zinke

There are many reasons why Rep. Ryan Zinke does not represent Montanans. Just a few days back in Washington, D.C., he not only voted, contrary to campaign promises, to make it easier to dispose of public lands, he voted to undermine essential public health protections and put Montana kids and families at risk.

Federal agencies including EPA and FDA set safeguards under the law to protect the public from air pollution and kids from tobacco. Thanks to their work, the nation has made huge progress in improving public health. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA has issued air pollution safeguards that have dramatically improved the quality of our air. And under the Tobacco Control Act, FDA has imposed new requirements on tobacco products to keep them from being marketed to children and protect the public.

But Zinke voted in favor of H.R. 26, a bill that would in effect strip the ability of these and other agencies to establish life-saving public health protections and eliminate the oversight system that protects the public's safety and health. The proposal is a sweeping attack on federal safeguards that would require all new economically significant regulations to be approved within a narrow window of time by both chambers of Congress before taking effect.

Clearly, this bill is a giveaway to polluters and the tobacco industry that would undermine lifesaving protections for our lungs and mean more air pollution and fewer restrictions on tobacco products being marketed to kids. How is that good for Montana kids and families? My adult daughter suffers from asthma and I have a 10-year-old granddaughter and 11-year-old grandson. I am concerned about their futures. As they grow older, their chances of being exposed to tobacco and air pollution increase.

Now more than ever, our elected officials must stand up for Montanans and prevent the rollback of public health protections.

DeAndria Gutzmer

Missoula




Hacking distraction

The "hacking" language distracts us from the bigger case for charging Trump with illegitimacy (in my opinion) as president, which is the question of conflicts of interest and the fact that he won't release his tax returns nor divest himself from his business enterprises ("All too legit," Jan. 19). This may very well dovetail with the fact of Russian hacking and subsequent leaks. We may find that Trump is uniquely qualified to be blackmailed. But I don't think we need to wait for that to come to light to call him an illegitimate president.

Megan McNamer

Missoula




Don't blame voters

The thing is Dan, Trump lost by 3 million votes ("All too legit," Jan. 19). Now if you say gerrymandering in the Rust Belt got Trump elected, or that Trump received more votes than anticipated, fine, but Americans overall did not vote for Trump. This country had 16 years to fix the electoral college issue, and especially Democrats failed to take the problem seriously. Blame it on a number of things, but not the majority of American voters.

Sandy Johns

Posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




It's not him, it's you

I can actually deal with Trump, because no one will take him seriously ("All too legit," Jan. 19). It's that 25 percent of our neighbors that voted for him that I am disgusted with and worry about.

Ellen Holland

Posted at facebook.com/missoulaindependent




Unsatisfied customer

My experience has not been good ("UM's other (other) problem"). It feels as if the school is doing everything in its power to convolute the registration process and create needless obstacles that delay graduation in order to milk their students financially.

I know it's a business, but at least pretend like you care about your students!

Robert Sullivan

posted at missoulanews.com




Unclear on the concept

Last week my girlfriend and I wrote Sen. Daines a letter expressing our concern about Scott Pruitt's appointment to head the Environmental Protection Agency. While I was pleased to get a quick response from his office, what it said was most troubling and pointed to the misguided understanding that Mr. Daines has with the concept of regulation.

In his response, our Senator wrote that he acknowledges "how special our environment is to our way of life," but then continued that "Mr. Pruitt will bring balance to the agency, ensuring it protects jobs."

Since when is protecting jobs a responsibility of the EPA? It is my understanding that the EPA exists as a counterbalance to industry run amuck. Any effort to "balance" outside concerns within a regulatory agency can and should be seen as binding its hands and diluting its effectiveness.

Our country was founded on checks and balances, and an effective independent EPA is just that. Yes, regulations can often hurt short-term financial goals, but I would hope that most of the American public and the citizens of Montana are wise enough to know that sometimes you need to make sacrifices in the short term to protect a way of life in the long term.

We are resourceful people. We can endure regulations and adapt while still keeping our Western values. But without any regulation, we risk losing the very environment that sustains us and the wild places that define us.

Jamie Drysdale

Stevensville




It's a theory...

God Bless America! Congratulations to the people of planet Earth. America, sovereign under God, is once again sanctified in Godly leadership. A united America is the goal. New alliances and strengthened existing alliances to rid the planet of the destructive Islamic radical terrorists is the promise! Heavenly father, by Your will and loving grace, may President Donald John Trump deliver Your will by truth, courage and your loving care. May the veil of wickedness continue to lift for all people to know Your will. I am grateful to Your only begotten son Christ Jesus, and thru Him I pray, amen.

David Passieri

Saint Ignatius

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Letters to the Editor 01-12-17

Posted on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 2:11 PM

41 isn't the new 50

Dan—Your assertion that Amanda Curtis is a good candidate because she received 41 percent of the vote during a much abbreviated U.S. Senate run really needs to be rolled back ("Dem for the win?" Jan. 5). Your logic would have us believe that return is a remarkable achievement and given the chance at a longer effort, Amanda would surely top 50 percent, as if the political climate in Montana is somehow akin to the Tortoise and Hair parable.

To be clear, I believe that Amanda is probably well liked by the Democratic base. However, a vote for a candidate who is well liked by the base counts exactly the same as a vote for someone who is just mostly liked by the base. You can look no further than Ryan Zinke's recent victory as a good example of how this works.

It's likely that what Curtis received in 2014 represents just the base Democratic vote, with the addition of a few Independents who didn't want to vote for Steve Daines for whatever reason. That is a long way from winning. I have not read any compelling reason to believe that the Independents and moderate Republican voters needed to secure a statewide election in Montana will warm up to Amanda.

Don't get me wrong, Amanda Curtis most surely has a role to play in Montana Democratic politics for some time to come. We desperately need all that energy, and Amanda seems to have a lot to offer.

Still, Curtis emerging as the early Democratic favorite might have more to do with the jockeying of the statewide teachers organization that funds a large percentage of the Montana Democratic Party effort than any careful consideration of Curtis as a truly viable candidate. Just ask yourself if you think that Curtis can match the broad appeal that Pat Williams had when he beat Ron Marlenee by 51 percent, or Cy Jamison with just 49 percent. Because that's exactly the kind of appeal it's going to take for a Democrat to win this seat in the foreseeable future. Is your answer no? Then let's keep looking.

Bruce Dickinson

posted at missolanews.com




What the Travel Plan leaves out

Motorized users combined with a mountain bike group have filed a lawsuit over the Bitterroot National Forest Travel Plan. They're unhappy that some areas are off limits to their machinery. It's interesting that mountain bikers now aligned themselves with motorized users.

I went to many Travel Plan meetings. Periods were extended and record numbers of comments were taken. In no meeting that I attended did a motorized user/mountain biker discuss the impacts their recreation have on plants and animals. It was typically about their "rights."

Approximately 2.7 percent of the contiguous U.S. is protected Wilderness. Not even 3 percent of what once was remains in a "natural" state. Wanting to protect what little is left outside of Wilderness hardly seems extreme. Wanting to ensure the integrity of a few Wilderness Study Areas doesn't seem extreme. It's wise.

According to the BNF, the forest has about 837,851 acres of non-Wilderness. There are also 2,246 miles of roads. There are 543,840 acres open to snowmobile use.

The harmful effects to wildlife and wild places from motorized use are well documented in peer-reviewed science. The same is beginning for mountain biking. All recreationalists, myself included, have impacts. We could all exercise a little humility. We can go other places. The plants and animals who live there are about out of room. It's not just about us.

Consider a typical meeting with extractive representatives wanting more timber and roads, motorized users/mountain bikers wanting more areas open and environmentalists wanting more protections. Now imagine seats at the table for elk, bear, bighorn sheep, golden eagle, pica, bull trout, red squirrel, lynx, black-backed woodpecker, Douglas fir and sage. Also imagine a seat reserved for the sacredness and integrity of the Earth. The plants and animals might start out by stating many of their kind are no longer alive due to recreational pursuits, development and forest "management." They might mention that a very small percentage of their original homeland remains and ask how much more should they give. They could mention the many benefits to humans of saving what's left, such as clean water and spirituality. They may voice genuine concern for the future of their children. They might remind those in attendance that their ancestors used to co-exist in a sustainable manner with the people who originally lived here. They might make a final plea that humans alone have the capacity to make it possible for all species to live and thrive.

That would be a great meeting, and a start toward real collaboration. It would be a truer representation of all the stakeholders regarding the Travel Plan. One has to ask: How much more should plants and animals give up for our weekend warrior pursuits?

Gary Milner

Corvallis




Thanks, Obama

During the eight years before Obama, Bush squandered the Clinton surplus by passing a major tax cut for the richest folks, fostering deregulation and starting two wars that went on the national credit card and killed 5,000 Americans and countless foreigners (none of whom were named Bin Laden). Bush bequeathed to Obama an American economy that was losing 750,000 jobs per month and $4 per gallon gasoline. He was also torturing prisoners and overseeing a collapse of the banking and auto industries. This tsunami all washed ashore in Obama's first year in office.

I for one am proud of the Obama presidency. He regularly answers reporter's most difficult questions with dignity and aplomb. He and Michelle managed to raise a beautiful family in the middle of it all. Thank you, Obama.

John Heffernan

Missoula

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