Bum steer

Having this asshat in her wheelhouse is not going to get her my vote ("Lisa Triepke campaign surrogate Wes Spiker goes off script," Sept. 21). Not by a long shot.

Kelly Shank


Lost in translation

"No, no, oh God, no. I'm not getting paid." Translation: "Yes, Yes, Oh God yes, I'm getting paid."

Julie Madsen


Speaking for the tribe

The removal of Montana's Confederate monument is nothing more than political opportunism ("The real history lesson behind Helena's Confederate monument," Sept. 21). For the tribe or anyone else to claim offense to this monument is total nonsense. It's opportunism, victimology at its finest. And the City Council violated all consideration of, as they say today, transparency. What do you tell your kids about things you have to do under cover of darkness? They should be ashamed. Quit rewriting history, Montana!

Ed Kugler



The city is to be commended. The perfect opportunity to erect a monument which recognizes racism and promotes equality.

Jay Sinnott



After reading some of the comments in the Independent a week ago, I am prompted to write that Dan Brooks does not deserve the kind of negative threats that were printed. Brooks is my absolute favorite reporter in Missoula. His columns are always informative, sometimes humorous, and virtually always right on target. Keep it up, Dan, the political scene needs your analysis.

L. Jack Lyon


Defending Engstrom

While I agree with much of what you have written regarding the administration's approach to lecturers and budget cuts, I think it would have been better to avoid the cheap and ill-informed shot at Dr. Engstrom ("Cutting teachers for dummies: How to maximize pain and minimize profit at UM," Sept. 21). He is actually teaching two courses this semester, and will teach more next semester. The course in chemistry is 4 credits, has an enrollment of 50+ students, and includes 3 additional contact hours per week in recitations (meaning that contact hours are equivalent to two 3-credit lecture courses). Dr. Engstrom is teaching this course for the first time and putting a great deal of effort into developing it such that it will give students a greater chance of success in introductory science courses and advanced courses in science. So he is helping UM to address real challenges.

Christopher Palmer


Rebrand thyself

With academics—the essence of any university—no longer its priority, perhaps the institution should rebrand itself as Administration and Sportsball of Montana.

Rebecca Schmitz


You listening, Engen?

I wonder if Montana has more institutions of higher education than the population of the state requires. What I see is the success of a football team that is kind of keeping academia afloat. How would the city of Missoula manage if it lost UM, which is on the brink of financial disaster. Shouldn't city fathers step in and lend a helping hand?

Jerry Hopkins



I've been saying exactly this for years. Robert Stubblefield, for one example, is one of the hardest-working people on campus. I've heard professors complain when they are forced to teach two courses per semester. It appears that LEAN principles should be implemented on campus to determine what is actually going on here. The university system in this state is inefficiently managed. The regents look down from their ivory towers and have no foothold in reality.

Janis Terwilliger Schmier


The Zinke formula

They build their houses made of cards, lies, alternative realities and the silliness will never stop with today's career-, fame- and fortune-driven Republican politicians ("Zinke gets Interior staff into the '#sportsmen' spirit," Sept. 21). They use a similar formula for "success" as pop country. Play the fools for fools.

Joe Bear


Seeking judgment

Missoula voters have an opportunity to elect a new municipal court judge this November. Brendan McQuillan will promote justice, create a culture of safety, and treat all who appear before him with dignity and respect in a court that processes more than 18,000 charges each year. He embraces bipartisan-supported criminal justice reform implemented by our Legislature. McQuillan's Missoula roots, coupled with his experience as a prosecutor, defense attorney and legal director of the Montana Innocence Project, have instilled commitments to compassion, equity and restorative justice.

McQuillan will apply the law in a safe, equitable, and fiscally responsible manner which will benefit both individuals and our community. For example, he will work to interrupt the cycle of poverty that incarceration—at taxpayers' expense—of people that cannot afford unpaid traffic fines perpetuates. Allowing these nonviolent offenders to complete community service to offset fines, rather than removing them from families and jobs during a jail sentence, is both humane and economically prudent. As mcquillanformissoula.com states, "The people of Missoula need a judge who will be tough on crime and gentle on people."

Please join me Nov. 7 in voting for Brendan McQuillan for municipal court judge.

Karen Buley


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