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Letters for Sunday, August 3, 2003

Letters for Sunday, August 3, 2003



Trash, weeds on Brooks a disgrace

I drive Brooks Street to work every day and am appalled at the weeds and trash that are on the concrete medians. I know this is a U.S. highway, but I do remember that it was our City Council that decided to put the medians in for traffic control. I see broken glass, cigarette butts, dirt, weeds and more weeds. What a wonderful sight it is for the visitors to our city.

The fair is starting next week and I wonder if this is what we want our visitors to see when they come into town. You can argue all you want as to who is responsible for the maintenance of these ugly medians, but it comes down to the fact that it is our city and we should keep it neat and clean. There are cracks in the concrete caused by weed growth, so I know it won't be long before taxpayers will again be asked for more money to replace those medians. What a mess!

Connie Gelvin,

2605 Anthony Lane, Missoula


Goodman ignores later troubles

Ellen Goodman's joyful column July 3 on her relatives' adoption of a Chinese baby ignored problems in the trafficking of Asian children. Adult Asian Adoptees of Washington, a non-profit aiding adult adoptees in Seattle, estimates 250,000 adoptees are in the United States, which at the going rate cost a total of $4 billion to 5 billion. More are coming. At $15,000 to 20,000-plus per child through the adoption monopoly, Asian babies draw big bucks, e.g., a $3,000 to 4,000 "gift donation" to those giving the child and up to $2,660 for agents' dossier fees.

A fourth-generation Chinese American, Korean War vet and retired psychology professor, I live in Montana, which has fewer than 8,000 Asians. Over the years, I have contacted about 50 white families with adoptees.

Magnified across America, they are everywhere. Volunteering assistance out of my background, I told them cute as they are and loved by family members and others as youngsters, real concern should be given their childen's self-concept and treatment by others in later life. With their looks, they will be viewed as Asians and face racial stereotyping with little clue as to what they are unless prepared. Many older adoptees grasp for their roots and complain bitterly about their deraciation and parents' ill attention to their identity needs. Except for one family, my pro bono offer has been ignored.

While most adoptive parents are loving and caring, there is abundant evidence that the relative ease of adopting overseas have placed many children into unwholesome families. The babies are in a Catch-22 - infanticide or indigence where born, or a happy or scarred life in the United States.

Since demand is high, and granted that the very best possible parents should have priority, federal alien adoption policies must be improved to stress quality parenting instead of dollars. Never forgetting that many adult adoptees are torn by deraciation and identity confusion, the reason why AAAW exists, parents must not treat their adoptees' future lives lightly.

Al Yee,

3822 Lincoln Road, Missoula

Amtrak, Yellowstone

Price of savings too costly

I read in the July 29 Missoulian that the Bush administration is planning to save American taxpayers a whopping $1 billion a year by eliminating Amtrak. I also read that due to a failure of the federal government to increase appropriations in line with inflation, Yellowstone National Park has an annual budget shortfall of $22.7 million, and now has insufficient fire protection, interpretive resources and law enforcement.

Our country's conservative leaders are so proud to report these savings to the American people and show how they are reducing government waste and fraud! But wait - how much are they saving? The country has

280 million people, so the Amtrak savings are

$4 per person per year; the Yellowstone savings are about 10 cents per American (or perhaps

20 cents per taxpayer). For this we will eliminate or degrade two of our great American symbols, ones that I love when (rarely) I use them?

It seems to me that we need to look elsewhere for our savings. In the meantime, please increase my own taxes by $4.10 (or even more than that) and let me continue to be proud of my national symbols!

Charles Hall,

301 BioStation Lane, Polson

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