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Throwing our money out the window

What makes me maddest is how little politicians regard our tax money. Missoula's mayor gives $2 million for a ballpark; one state pol wants to increase Highway 2 along the Hi-Line to four lanes; we send billions to Israel as foreign aid.

Now Bush Jr. is sending Christian missionaries to preach "just say no to sex" to Africans to solve the AIDS problem. Once elected, they only care about getting re-elected and paying back campaign contributors with favors.

Ellis Campbell,

P.O. Box 2011, Lolo

War with Iraq

Show your true color, and make it yellow

I am the lucky parent of an airman that will be coming home soon after being deployed in Iraq. Since I couldn't roll bandages as they did in the past, I decided to tie yellow bows. Another parent of a U.S. soldier in Korea got me started. She has made around 300 and given them away.

Please display yellow ribbons. We want our kids to feel adored and appreciated when they come home. The news on Iraq is becoming less frequent, but we have tens of thousands of troops there still. There are also thousands of troops deployed in other locations around the world.

It does not matter how you feel about the war. Remember these kids in our military are our sons, daughters, friends and neighbors.

If you need a bow, you can e-mail me at I am NOT selling anything, just trying to tie the town yellow.

Peggy Cain,

2530 Floral Court, Missoula

School election

Where was the reminder, Missoulian?

I found the Missoulian editorial of May 9, "Balloting Was a Poor Show of Support," arrogant, to say the least. Please notice that, while you point the finger at apathetic voters, three other fingers are pointing back at you.

Granted, I am old enough to know that the first Tuesday of May is election day. However, as this date is not a prominent date on my calendar, I rely on the media to remind me that an election is being held. (Silly me. I should be old enough to know better.)

Although I did see the article on school board candidates in the Sunday (May 7) paper, I did not think that the Missoulian would give such short notice of the election. You could have made the election a featured article on the top of the front page on Sunday instead of the dog show or the Kentucky Derby. I only remembered to vote on Tuesday because there was a sign on Gharrett reminding me that it was election day.

You could be a great help to voters by putting "VOTE TODAY" in large letters, even in red, at the top of the front page or at least under "Today" on the left side of the front page. But, then, whom would you have to point fingers at?

My inference might be that it is the Missoulian, not the voters of the area, that doesn't really care.

Christine Prescott,

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120 Bridger Court, Missoula

Save Our Neighborhoods

Group's goals are questionable

As I was walking in my neighborhood recently, I noticed a sign that caught my attention. The headline "Save Our Neighborhoods" drew me in. As I read on, I learned that the city has plans to "increase density" and that there is a group forming to oppose this municipal strategy. This campaign struck me as odd for a couple of reasons.

In the first place, what separates a traditional neighborhood (pre-WWII) from an automobile suburb (post WWII) is that a traditional neighborhood is mixed in use and medium- to high-density, while an automobile suburb is generally single-use and lower density.

The other aspect of the poster that struck me as odd was that the image that was used to depict the "neighborhood" that was presumably being saved by this campaign was a classic pre-WWII, mixed-use, high-density neighborhood.

When we consider the fact that no government policy can actually prohibit people from moving to an area in which they want to live, the only alternative to some form of density increase is sprawl. And Missoula has only begun to get a foretaste of the kind of hellish sprawlscapes that municipalities across the country have been bemoaning for years. I do not know the specific goals of this group, and I have not carefully studied the city's "plans to increase density." I can accept the fact that there are myriad examples of poorly written legislation, which can bring unfortunate outcomes from well-conceived ideas. What I can't seem to make sense of is how any group who is in favor of neighborhoods can be against density as a matter of course.

I suspect that we are gearing up for a long and protracted discussion concerning what it means to be neighbors and how we can live peaceably with one another. This discussion is far too important to be thrown off track by the misuse of words like "neighborhood" and "density."

Eric O. Jacobsen,

433 Keith Ave., Missoula

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