Merc? Meh.

I'm looking forward to seeing a new building on the block and the business it will bring to downtown ("Missoula is dead. Long Live Missoula," April 27). The Merc was hobbled together over the years, and although the brick was nice, the architecture of the building was—meh. Downtown Missoula has more charm and is more exciting a place to be than any downtown in Montana. Seriously. I celebrate the new hotel and am happy the old part of the building will be saved. Out with the old and in with the new! Progress.

Susie Orr

Multiple choice

Sometimes profit and progress deceive us into thinking destruction of old things is necessary and good. Sometimes it's just a lie that that people profiting the most tell to excuse their greed.

Julie Beers

Time to die

I personally know many Broadway business owners and off the record, they supported the demolition. History is one thing, and everyone wanted to save the Merc, but nobody seemed to offer any solution or funds to do so. History is amazing, but if you talk to those who had worked in the building the last few years, it was poorly maintained. That building had a shelf life, and unfortunately it expired.

Eric Dunn

He thinks we're young!

Some people's idea of a "vibrant" city... If only you knew Missoula before it was put on the map, and the kind of people it attracted. Most of you guys aren't old enough to know or understand what we have lost. Missoula was so much more than a playground for rich tourists and an ever-growing transient population. Missoula had a very unique soul. Those of us who have been around long enough, we see and feel the loss.

If the kind of "vibrancy" that a transient tourist destination produces is the kind of home you want, that is what we're getting. It's sad to lose the Merc, but what it is being replaced with is even worse.

Joe Bear

What won't Quist do?

Rob Quist has been a hunter longer than his Republican opponent has lived in Montana. He supports Second Amendment rights. Dark money TV ads contend that he supports a "gun registry." Quist's statement referred to fully automatic assault rifles—guns designed to kill humans. The ads omit that fact.

Quist will protect our public lands. He'll stand up for farmers, ranchers, small business owners and the timber industry. He'll fight for affordable health care and will defend Social Security and Medicare.

Rob Quist will strengthen public schools. He will advocate for Montana veterans, tribal sovereignty, equality and women's right to choose. He supports equal pay for equal work. He believes we must overturn Citizens United and close tax loopholes for corporations. He believes in science.

He has been a spokesman for the Montana Food Bank and a three-term member of the Montana Arts Council. Rob Quist supports Montana values. Please join me in voting for Rob Quist on May 25.

Karen Buley


Fight for our right

Montana's Constitution gives citizens the right to meaningfully participate in our state government's decision-making. There's a bill headed to Governor Bullock's desk that would undermine that right. Montana Senate Bill 337 would abolish the Board of Environmental Review, which serves as an important layer of citizen oversight for state decisions about our land, air, water and health.

Gov. Bullock should veto this damaging bill. Citizen participation in our government is a Montana value and our Constitutional right.

Beth Costigan


Not at any price

Now that winter is ending, we Montanans are putting away our skis and snowshoes. We're preparing to kayak, camp and hike in our public lands. Our summer recreation plans could change. The assault on our public lands continues.

This session, the Republican-controlled Montana Legislature passed a destructive resolution. It aims to open wilderness study areas to grazing, timber harvesting and mineral development. House Joint Resolution 9 asks the president and Congress to develop plans to manage some of our most valuable public lands for natural resource development. HJ 9 undoes decades of public land protection.

In 1977, Montanans, recognizing how important these lands are to our recreational heritage and to our clean and healthful environment, petitioned Congress to preserve them. Although these study areas were never designated wilderness, they have been managed as wilderness, and we have worked hard to develop bipartisan cooperation to protect their pristine status.

Our wild, public lands create many jobs for Montanans, in the woods and in our local communities. Asked why new businesses want to locate in Montana, owners credit the culture of hard work and the opportunities to recreate on public lands. Opening these lands to development will destroy jobs, hurt local economies and weaken working families. Development requires roads, motorized vehicles and heavy equipment. Land now home to wildlife, wild streams and natural vegetation would be damaged irreparably.

HJ 9 proponents want to invest millions of taxpayer dollars in road and bridge development in our wild public lands. They say pristine lands are a waste of money because they are prone to fire and taxpayers have to foot the bill. The cost will be much higher if we lose the environmental and recreational value of these lands.

I voted against this resolution. Help me defend our wild lands. Contact Sens. Tester and Daines and tell our candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives that our public lands are our lands, and they are not for sale.

Sen. Sue Malek


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