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Montana therapists take direct route

I cannot believe you published Brandon Gaudiano's commentary in the Missoulian (Dizzying dilemma, Jan. 2) about his difficulty finding a decent counselor.

Maybe it's hard to find a real counselor in L.A., but in Montana it is simply done by word of mouth. There's not much call here for "dolphin-assisted" therapy. And "charlatans offering snake oil cures for psychological problems" are rarely asked to give expert court testimony or meet with our wives and kids. Californians might like tapping on parts of their bodies to correct "energy meridians," but Montanans expect counselors to do something about problems of love or work. No Montanan is going to shell out hard-earned cash unless the counselor earns it.

There is little room to hide behind big-city anonymity. So most of us counselors stick to the therapies that are cost-effective, like family therapy, cognitive-behavioral interventions, reality therapy, and personal counseling for exactly what ails you. With children I stick with art, music, play and family therapies - all well-recognized as effective ways to address child and adolescent disturbances not only by researchers, but by the parents for whom I work.

Montana counselors learn to mean what we say. I learned this in Ronan 20 years ago, fresh out of counseling school, first day on the job. My clinical supervisor sent me to the Polson jail to interview a guy for the county attorney, to see if the guy could benefit from some counseling instead of going to prison. I evaluated the guy and told the county attorney that chances were good the guy could benefit from a year or more of counseling. When I got back to the office, the guy was sitting in my waiting room. My supervisor reminded me, "You told the county attorney the guy could use some counseling, so he sent him over. Now he's your first client." In Montana, you don't make counseling recommendations you can't live by.

David Bennett Stube,

537 Stephens Ave., Missoula


'Surplus' elk tells tale of wolf reality

Who was that group of "Montanans" telling us that the elk would be gone in three years? Yes, the "wolf-hating crowd" swore the elk that had survived and evolved into what they are, not in spite of predation, but because of it would be wiped out.

Now the FWP is talking about issuing a second elk tag in some districts because of "surplus" elk. HmmŠ

It kind of makes an objective mind question their credibility on other issues (doesn't it?)

Some people just won't let the truth get in the way of an agenda.

Mike Phillips,

523 Third Ave. S.E., Ronan

Land use

Right to sell, develop can get out of control

Craig Worden, in his reaction to Tim Nardini (Missoulian letters, Jan. 6) has a fascinating and charming way with words, i.e., "Maybe you should share your views face to face with some of the contractors locally and see how many teeth you walk away with."

Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree with Worden's view that "landowners have a right to sell, develop or improve their property." Every time I look at Mount Jumbo, the Rattlesnake Wilderness and Blue Mountain, I see money in dem thar hills. Oh, by the way, Worden, there are plans to buy up every tract of land surrounding your house and home to build a Superstore! Just think: All you need to do is walk across the parking lot for your groceries. That should do just wonders to improve your property!

Miguel Gomez,

Apt. 1, 120 Daly Ave., Missoula


Be aware, help a friend win war on meth

How many of you know someone who has been involved in drugs and alcohol and lost their life, their freedom, or their children? The November 2002 Missoulian states that Montana is second in the nation for illicit drug use and Missoula first in the state. We have a war going on in our city for the lives of our loved ones that is often not obvious. Methamphetamine usage is at epidemic proportions here as well as across the nation. I wonder what the statistics would be if the Missoulian stated how many have lost their lives in this area. I'm sure that it would be far above the war in Iraq. Are we winning this war in our own community for the lives of children and our heritage?

Methamphetamine is made with household items, such as kerosene, Drano, lighter fluid, lye, etc. You couldn't even put them in the palm of your hand without it burning a hole in it, and yet we have folks here injecting it into their veins, snorting and smoking it. It totally destroys the receptors in the brain, which makes one feel tired, depressed, achy, grouchy, mean, restless, confused to the point that you'll do anything to get more of the drug. It takes a minimum of one year of being clean for other receptors to begin to take over so the brain can begin to function and sometimes it never does. Is it any wonder we are seeing the loss of lives in our own city?

I encourage you, if you have a friend or loved one using this drug to get them into a long-term treatment program. Also, if you see suspicious activity, report it to the police. If you need on-site drug tests to use in your own home, contact Teen Challenge, 543-1912. Let's save some lives this year.

Jan Henderson,

director, Teen Challenge,

1830 South Ave W., Missoula

St. Francis

Outside group is jumping the gun

When I read the Dec. 19 article on the Save St. Francis Xavier School Foundation, I just shook my head. I wonder what Tom Moylan's problem is. He reminds me of the kid, who when he doesn't get his way, throws a tantrum and jumps up and down screaming foul.

I've been a parishioner at St. Francis for 18 years and have been involved on the parish council in the past. The council is responsible for coming up with ideas and visions for the future of St. Francis. The ultimate decision on those ideas is the pastor's along with the Diocese of Helena.

The council is in the process of determining the direction of St. Francis for the next several years. Their plan should be finalized by mid to late spring. Without knowing what the outcome of the council's recommendations will be why are Moylan and his group muddying the waters so prematurely?

I have faith in the way the parish is currently being run and I also have faith that whatever the final decision is on the buildings that it will be in the best interest of St. Francis and its parishioners.

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I've heard suggestions of what to do with the outdated buildings by the Save St. Francis Xavier School Foundation, which to me, are like a lot of other "Save" groups and, like many others, the lip service is great but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, suddenly things aren't so simple.

The Save St. Francis Xavier School Foundation does not speak for me. It doesn't represent St. Francis Xavier Parish. What it does represent is a small special interest group that would put buildings ahead of the people of the parish.

Dino Fanelli,

1215 Pineview, Missoula


Bush protects industry over our health

The back pages of the Jan. 8 Missoulian held a troublesome article, one that epitomizes the continued assault on the environment by the Bush administration. This most recent policy reversal involves regulations of what is known as "mountaintop mining," where the tops of mountains are sheared off to get to the coal within. The "tops" of these mountains are then pushed into the adjacent valleys.

Previously, companies were not allowed to fill a valley area within 100 feet of a stream unless they could ensure water quality and quantify would not be affected. The Interior Department, under the Bush administration, is amending this policy requiring that companies simply "try their best" to prevent damage. Unfortunately this is business as usual for this administration. Over the past few years, the administration has been dismantling many of the environmental laws we citizens have counted on laws that are meant, in part, to protect us from greedy and uncaring individuals and corporations.

Other Bush administration actions include: tripled the amount of mercury pollution allowed from power plants then issued public health warnings to pregnant women and children about mercury; became the first administration to support shifting burden of Superfund toxic waste cleanups from polluters to taxpayers; refused to classify industrial carbon emissions, linked to global warming, as an official pollutant under the Clean Air Act; dismantled provision that requires oldest, dirtiest power plants and refineries to curb soot and smog pollution; and proposed a national Energy Bill that did nothing to reduce dependence on foreign oil or protect special places from oil and gas drilling.

The administration continues a pattern of willful negligence for enforcement of even basic clean water and clean air laws. It's quite clear this guy cares more about the well-being of corporations than he does about the health of citizens.

Bob Clark,

2036 S. 13th St., Missoula


Try this Grand Canyon story on for size

In the Jan. 10 Religion section, there was an article about the origin of the Grand Canyon. The National Park Service claims it was formed millions of years ago, but the religious community insists it was formed by the great flood only a few years ago. I have to side with the Christians because of a documentary I saw back in 1958. Walt Disney produced it, so I know it must be factual.

I don't remember the exact details (that was 40-some years ago), but the gist of the story is something like this: Paul Bunyan was born in the great north woods in the early 1800's and became a famous logger with the help of his blue ox, Babe. About 1849, Paul heard that miners in California needed housing, so he and Babe headed west. They started cutting trees in northern California but soon were stopped by the loco, excuse me, local environmentalists. The day after the environmentalists' last cabin was built, Paul and Babe were run out of northern California.

They headed to Southern California where the environmentalists were even more radical. They said they would rather live in mud huts than let Paul and Babe cut any trees, so Paul and Babe headed back home to Minnesota. After crossing Death Valley, Paul was feeling very hot, tired and discouraged. He let his ax drag on the ground, cutting the Grand Canyon through the desert.

Rod Hand,

P.O.Box 1496, Bonner

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