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Letters for Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Letters for Tuesday, July 10, 2001

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Milltown Dam

Consider historic, pollution aspects

There are a lot of things to consider when we are thinking about removing the Milltown Dam and dredging millions of yards of lake bottom. Where do we put all the tailings - in someone else's back yard?

How about the Milltown Dam being Missoula's sole source of electricity? Thanks to our state government, electricity prices are going to go through the roof. Now it seems our local government wants to remove our last source. That dam runs the mill and the mill provides groceries for hardworking people. Milltown Dam is historic and I, for one, do not want to do away with everything our forefathers built. I like a sense of history and place.

So, shall we pollute Missoula's aquifer and tear down a part of our history?

People come and go in this town and they all think they know what's best for us. We should take the same oath as doctors to do no harm.

Tim Nolan,

1823 McDonald, Missoula

Fourth of July

We have reason to celebrate

From my journal of July 4:

From my perch, halfway up the Rattlesnake and below the Mount Jumbo saddle, the illegal fireworks from half the city are visible and somewhat audible. The official display at the mall has not yet begun, but the view across the town's east side and flat areas and hills south of Brooks Street is alive with colored motion. For the past half-hour there has not been an instant when some private person's rocket and starburst was not visible. Most of the time I can see six to a dozen bursts simultaneously in that part of town, while the snaps, crackles and sizzles of nearby stuff let me know that folks in this neighborhood vote a lot like those in the valley.

This is Independence Day, a day for celebration; a real, persistent, dedicated, jovial, noisy celebration. The marvelous unenforceability of city rules about fireworks strikes me as grand.

I started the day with NPR and their reading the Declaration of Independence - made my eyes leak. We do have a grand country because we have a grand basis for it.

Now, the fireworks at the mall are active and visible, the lowland private fireworks are lessened, somewhat, yet there is still plenty of local noise. If your dogs are sensitive to that, now is past time to have them sequestered or sedated.

This stuff is spontaneous, partly trivial and partly selfish, yet fully American. This is America's Day, Missoulians' Day, and the noise, risk, annoyance, joy and gratitude are all in a bunch. Is this a great country to be in, or what? How do we recognize independence and freedom? Via exuberance, wealth, spontaneity and assertiveness. All the pops and flashes of the day are only a clue about the breadth and depth of what we have to celebrate.

Don Michels,

P.O. Box 8652, Missoula

Where was Troy?

What a pleasant surprise to see that the front page of your July 3 edition reported positive news in your roundup of Independence Day activities. This truly is a day to celebrate many things, first and foremost our personal and collective freedoms we have in this country.

I must admit disappointment in that your regional report did not mention the incredible happenings in Troy. This is small town Americana at its best, with local parades, a day full of music, arts and crafts - including a stellar quilt show and enough hot dogs and hamburgers to feed Congress during a post-session filibuster - topped off with fairgrounds fireworks. Arguably, this is the best July 4 celebration of any small town in this grand country put together by many, many volunteers on limited budgets.

With as much negative national press our towns of Libby and Troy have received on our asbestos tragedy (some reports well written, others full of inaccuracies) it would have been especially nice to see our celebration mentioned. In the face of our tough times, the people of our communities know the value of good neighbors, fellowship and the need to have some fun together. Too bad you weren't here; worse yet, too bad you don't live in this paradise.

Rick Palagi,

P.O. Box 979, Libby

Letters policy: The Missoulian welcomes and encourages letters to the editor on topics of general interest. Letters should be about 300 words or fewer. The Missoulian reserves the right to reject or edit letters for content and length. The Missoulian prints as many letters as possible. Letters must contain the writer's name, address and telephone number (phone numbers are for verification, not publication).

Mail to: Missoulian Letters, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807. Fax: 406-523-5294. E-mail:

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