Write the other thing!

Why don't you try covering the rampant, known corruption and injustices carried out every day by the so called "justice" system in this state, from "police" to judges, prosecutors and "LP officers." ("For a columnist and a president, it's the 'Best Of' times," July 6). The number of horror stories is more far-reaching and life-changing than some dumb old voting scandal.

Philip Weiser


Save the granny

MRA would declare your grandmother blighted if it meant they could shovel more money at developers ("Merc/Marriott developer asks for and receives a helping tax hand," July 6).

Brian O'Leary


Notta lotta blight left

Blight (noun): accessible and affordable to anyone not making six figures.

Charles Copeland


Pick your poison

Corruption. Not only do we have a $3 billion bank signing off on this TIF money after they got $1.5 million in TIF money themselves three months ago, but we also have these new developers getting $3 million ... and for what? So they don't feel "stressed"?

The city is $250 million in debt, our taxes have gone up 95 percent over the past 12 years, and there's no end in sight.

Incompetence or corruption ... take your pick. Both are equally bad for your family.

Greg Strandberg


Cuts could hurt

The House and Senate bills repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act include deep cuts to the federal-state Medicaid program. These cuts jeopardize critical care for older adults and affect their caregivers. If the Senate adopts these changes, it could have devastating consequences for older adults and families.

People think of Medicaid as a safety-net health care program that only serves low-income children, mothers, and working adults. For older adults and their caregivers, Medicaid is the country's only guaranteed provider of the critical long-term care services that most of us will need as we age. Nearly two thirds of the long-term care provided in nursing homes is paid for by Medicaid.

For over 30 years, states have moved toward providing "waiver" services that allow Medicaid-eligible older adults to get the care they need in their homes instead of in institutions. Several Medicaid programs have successfully moved tens of thousands of people from institutions back into their homes, offering consumers more independence while saving taxpayer dollars.

Unfortunately, the House and Senate bills would slash long-term Medicaid funding by $834 billion over 10 years, by capping the federal government's share and pushing these costs onto states. Older adults could lose the amount of in-home care they receive or be required to pay for services, despite being poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. Families seeking care for a loved one will encounter long wait lists for services, and cuts to provider rates will harm the long-term-care workforce.

We encourage senators Daines and Tester to reject the House and Senate bills' cuts to Medicaid and start over in a bipartisan, collaborative process to address the real health care challenges we face. You can help by contacting Daines and Tester and telling them to reject any Medicaid cuts that will be devastating to Montana's older adults and families.

Lawrence L. White, Jr.

Missoula Aging Services Governing Board Chair


Picture worth words

It isn't so much this article that bothers me, but the stupid little picture supporting it ("Choteau is the latest Montana town to consider a municipal ban on marijuana dispensaries," July 6). Calling a populace "uninformed" is the exact same bullshit I hear from bubble-minded kiddos on the college campus, lamenting with great and pity-laced sighs, "Ohhhh, those poor, poor people who disagree with me. If only they were more educated, like me!"

That dismissive "better-than-thou" attitude bothers me. There are good reasons not to allow marijuana into your city, namely to avoid many of the behaviors and individuals it attracts. There are medical applications of marijuana, sure, but let's cut the bullshit—medical marijuana is simply a foot in the door for recreational marijuana. Everyone knows where it is going on both sides and all this disingenuous "Dooohhh, they just want to hurt old people" rhetoric is just a bait and switch. Real cases for treatment do exist, but there are far more cases of teens and young adults treating their bad backs and glaucoma with a few ounces of weed every week. Some people don't want that, and so oppose the establishment of dispensaries.

Trying to frame the town as ignorant just because they oppose "helping those poor old folks" is the kind of disdainful insult that comes only from an elitist attitude. Those who oppose legal marijuana are not morons or rednecks just because they lack your attitude and perspective. If an article fully and honestly explores the merits of marijuana legalization, give your opposition some credit and let them form and voice their own arguments in turn. They do exist, and many of them are as well thought-out, if not more thoughtful, than those presented by the "educated."

Garret Morrill


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