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Montana State Hospital

Mentally ill deserve adequate treatment

This letter is in regard to the comments of Stan Fisher in the April 17 Missoulian. I am employed at Montana State Hospital. We treat the mentally ill of Montana. They are the forgotten people. The residents are committed to our hospital because they are a danger to themselves or to others in the community.

Our treatment teams consist of psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychiatric technicians. We, as direct-care staff, must observe behaviors such as paranoia, delusions, mania, aggressiveness and unpredictability. We observe, encourage, reassure, report and document these behaviors to the treatment teams so they have essential information on individual patients. Our sole objective for our patients is to have them return to their home communities as independent, productive citizens. If that is not possible, it is not for a lack of effort on the part of the dedicated men and women who work in these institutions. Because of the many cutbacks, it is more and more difficult to set our residents up in the community. They are unable to afford the medication, and social services and mental health services have decreased drastically. I am more saddened than angry at the comment that I and my fellow workers must, in Fisher's words, "tighten our belts." In the words of my late father, "There are none so blind and those who will not see."

What kind of a people are we in Montana? Do we care for and respect those most in need, or do we ignore them? The people we treat are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and friends of our communities. They deserve the opportunity to stabilize and return to a productive life. Some must have continued treatment and we are the people who continue to care for them.

We welcome Fisher to contact our administration so he may observe the care and treatment at our hospital.

Patti Boggess,

P.O. Box 311 W. Commercial, Anaconda


MCT reviewer should stay home

I turned to the last page of the Entertainer April 24 and scanned down the page. The letters MCT jumped out at me, so I read the article.

I worked at MCT and was interested to know how you arrived at the conclusion that being at the university was so much better than working at MCT. Of all the people I talked to at MCT that day, no one thought you were being funny.

We take great pride in the shows produced at MCT and, just in case you didn't notice, this season didn't have too many familiar musicals. "Children of Eden" and "Blood Brothers" were very definitely outside the box but were well received by the audiences who saw them.

This town is big enough for both the university theater program and MCT. Many people enjoy one or the other and many more enjoy both. If our audiences are any indication, then those "bread and butter" musicals are hugely popular and as long as people enjoy them, I imagine we will continue to produce them.

The reviews that your paper has printed about MCT shows in recent years have been full of inaccuracies and esoteric commentary that speak more to the writers' personal bias than about whether the set, lights, costumes and acting make for a show worth spending money on seeing. That kind of jaded approach is an insult to the community volunteers - and those of us on MCT's staff - who work so hard on these shows.

So please do us all a favor and stay home. Until you find someone knowledgeable about theater who can truly review a show, we don't need you at ours.

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Susan Marquand,

4 Kasota Ct., Missoula

Milltown Dam

All the sediment should be removed

The Missoulian's editorial "Milltown decision will prove momentous" placed emphasis on a fundamental precept which declares, "without full removal of the sediments, the potential for far more costly disaster would remain in perpetuity." Through its reporting, this newspaper in conjunction with the Clark Fork Coalition significantly influenced the EPA's proposed plan. Now, according to that plan, the federal agency recommends leaving 4 million cubic yards of "less contaminated" sediment in place. Consider the following documented statements referenced from previous issues of the Missoulian:

  • Missoula County resolution calls for the removal of 6.6 million cubic yards of sediments.
  • Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society supports Missoula County's resolution.
  • Missoula County commission reiterated its position there is no safe alternative to removing 6.6 million cubic years of sediment.
  • Every elected official in the room, Democrat and Republican, agreed: The EPA should order the removal of the contaminated sediments.
  • Both the county and the water district call for removal of 6.6 million cubic yards of mine wastes.
  • Health board members want the 6.6 million cubic yards of sediments removed.
  • The greater risk is to leave 6.6 million cubic yards of contaminated sediments.

There is an accountability and liability associated with the above statements. How can the politicians, health officials, and special interest groups now justify anything less than a full clean up?

Harley Jones,

2060 Buttrey Lane, Missoula

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