Give a million dollars to education
Cathy Ream's letter to the editor of May 5 suggesting that instead of giving that "floating" million dollars to the baseball stadium as suggested by Marjorie Dula (March 13 Missoulian), we ask the City Council and the city of Missoula to give it to Marshall Mountain so that "thousands of people can have affordable recreation." Indeed, that sounds like a great idea. It might even be a more healthful sport than sitting in the bleachers of the stadium eating hot dogs and drinking soda-pop.
I, however, think I have an even better idea. Why not give that money to the Department of Education where it is sorely needed, where it would help to improve our children's education, they being our future leaders and teachers, where perhaps it would enable them to find better jobs to meet their future. It might even give them the opportunity to build a baseball stadium and/or ski resort if they so wish. These facilities should be built with private money, anyway, and not with public funds.
Nancy N. Wendel,720 Peggio Lane, Apt. 2, Missoula
Anti-logging groups need to quit whining
I am so sick of the whining! First the environmentalists whine about the terrible loggers who ruin the forests so we let them close the loggers out. Direct result is the mills shut down. Then we have a disaster called the fires of 2000 and we lose timber, wildlife, streams, homes, ranches, hay and recreational opportunities. Then the same greenies whine about logging the burned areas and how bad that would be so we just don't do it. Whiners win again. Big problem, with logging and mills closed down there are no good paying jobs in the Bitterroot and state wide tax revenue looks dim so now schools, roads, human services are all in a disaster. How did this happen we whine?
Today we read that we don't get the money for restoration from the Feds to clean up the Bitterroot National Forest of the damage left by the fires that we experienced. We also would have had hundreds of great paying jobs in our valley and in our state. We would have had lots more tax revenue from companies and employees, which means our schools, human services and roads wouldn't be looking for funds that aren't there.
The super big point is if we had been allowed to log only previously roaded areas after the fires, we would have generated more than enough revenue to pay for restoration without asking for one dime of tax-generated funds.
So what are we going to whine about next? Oh yeah, we can scream about the 10 trees accidentally cut down. Like 10 trees in 350,000 burned acres is going to make an impact. Wait until all of those trees start falling down. Like leaving the 10 trees on the ground is smart vs. selling them and taking the funds and applying them towards restoration. Wow, that is common sense; let's not get into that bad habit.
For all of the talk about saving the Bitterroot, I have to ask the obvious. Why are we all not fighting to get our economy rolling, our forests healthy and kicking out the Friends of the Bitterroot and all of their buddies who have put us into the mess we are in?
Cal Ruark,451 Camas Creek Loop, Hamilton
Development needs to be stopped
The tree huggers and the Earth First! people need to get their priorities straight. They should be worrying about the farm land that is being gobbled by development. You can always plant another tree, but not if the land is covered by asphalt and 5- to 10-acre home sites.
And the way Japan and some other countries are fishing, when the farm land is gone, we won't be eating fish either.
Eloise McKee, 506 Westview Drive, Bigfork
Fisher needs to spend day with CPS
In response to Stan Fisher's comments that were quoted in the April 17 edition of the Missoulian regarding state employees:
I would like to invite Rep. Stan Fisher to spend time with the state employees who do child protective services in Montana. Maybe he would like to be a worker who is sent out to check on children whose parents are suspected of making meth in their home. Better yet, follow a SWAT team to a residence where there are children to do a drug search and most likely arrest the parents. Yes, CPS workers deal with the same individuals that our corrections officers deal with and are as much at risk as they are. Often CPS workers are threatened with personal harm and don't have as much protection as law enforcement when investigating abuse, neglect and dealing with suspected perpetrators.
CPS workers are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Right now there are four social workers (due to vacancy savings) doing investigations of child abuse and neglect for Missoula County. Consequently, each worker is investigating 250 to 300 reports a year, filing petitions for protective custody with the court for those children who cannot return home, and working with families on safety/treatment plans. They give at least 100 percent to their job. Usually it is more.
CPS workers choose this job because they are dedicated to the safety of children. They are expected to be highly educated - B.A. or Master of Social Work - and do quality work. CPS workers, like all state employees, are glad to have a job, but don't deserve to be discounted and demeaned. Remember Rep. Fisher, state employees also contribute to the economy of this state, pay taxes, support their own families and vote.
Loretta Rotellini, P.O. Box 761, Superior
Missoula Children's Theatre
Productions were excellent
My qualifications: Film producer, musical director, professional entertainer and speaker, etc.- more available upon request.
It is important to recognize that, in comedy especially, we have license to add a few things to exercise creativity and adapt to the situation (Missoulian letters, May 15). Gilbert and Sullivan productions are very enjoyable in their original concept, but comedy leaves room for enhancement by a talented director.
The additions in the MCT show were a breath of fresh air. The conductor coming out of the pit was very funny. The British constables were hilarious. What a surprise! The soloists and chorus sang with heart and sold the show. The audience reaction was the seal of approval. It was so good I attended two nights with my wife. All the performances were sold out.
Pirates of Penzance was performed by a gifted cast and enhanced with some original interpretation by the talented comedic director Jim Caron. Thank you, MCT.
Frank J. Kuntz, 420 Stephens, Missoula
Activists need to back up their words
I recently read an editorial in the Missoulian that chastised many of the people involved in the anti-war/peace movement. The author seemed to agree 100 percent with the protesters but was extremely disappointed with the lack of support for peace movements.
I can understand this feeling very well. Thousands took to the streets to protest the war, but how many made any effort to support peace movements between Israel and Palestine? Or stepped up to insure that Iraq is rebuilt? I am a guilty one as well. Maybe the pressure to voice our opinions is less, or maybe it takes too much energy to actually do anything directly. Both are poor excuses.
The only way to improve our world and the lives of others is to follow through with our thoughts and ideas. It is pointless to fight for a cause that's never put into action. A quote from the venerable Bob Marley sums up my feelings perfectly. "Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!"
Prairie Wolfe, 2020 Middle Burnt Fork Rd., Stevensville
Kadas making bad situation worse
Under increasing public scrutiny, Mayor Mike Kadas finally signed the Missoula wastewater discharge permit application on March 17, six months after the old permit expired. But the application is still incomplete. Because sewage will continue to flow regardless of what the state does, the state cannot order the plant to shut down. But the state can begin to enforce the law by sending a message that will stop the mayor's illegal practices.
Certain city officials should be fired, like the mayor and public works director. The situation is serious. The wastewater plant has repeatedly failed its acute toxicity tests (effluent kills minnows), probably because the plant is running close to design capacity and, in fact, has exceeded design capacity two months each of the last two years. Kadas is exacerbating the situation by forcing the sewer system out to Mullan Road and the Rattlesnake when the highest priority should be to solve the problems at the plant and repair the miles of leaking underground sewer collection mains in the city. The city's oldest pipes (76 miles of main line) are cracked, offset, broken and allowing up to two million gallons of aquifer water into the pipes and plant daily, making the plant less efficient. No telling how much sewage is leaking out, into the aquifer. The city has budgeted $200,000 per year to repair these pipes. At an estimated $1 million a mile to replace or fix the pipe, they will never catch up with the leaks. Yet they are spending millions of dollars each year to expand the system to rural areas, against the will of property owners and without the legally required scientific analysis of the impacts from induced growth! This is criminally bad management and government out of control.
Reed Smith, Box 346, Frenchtown