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Open space article did not belong on front page

Open space article did not belong on front page

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My goodness! The lead story on Page 1 of the May 18 Missoulian seems to suggest that there is considerable support for raising taxes so we can preserve our cherished open space, despite the economic doldrums.

"Support for open space surviving downturn. Residents who responded to survey would pay more taxes for conservation." Well, well. Let's read on. Only after reaching the inside pages do we find that the total number of respondents in the survey that justified this important story was "some 80 people"n not 80, not 8,000, but 80! That is less than 0.5 percent of Missoula's population.

How in the world are we to have faith in our local paper when we encounter such journalism as this? Why did this get front page positioning? Admittedly, those involved in the issue appear to recognize, "just a small slice of people actually are involved in open space. Who knows how the rest of Missoula would see it?" Indeed! Why not save the article until more of the "rest of Missoula" express an opinion. Right now your Page 1 headline is not justified.

Ward S. De Witt,

Missoula

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