Two thumbs up

Yes to this article! (“The Last Jedi is for lovers,” Dec. 22) I loved this movie. It might be my favorite. I was so intrigued by Kylo telling Rey to forget the past and start it all new. Which didn’t seem like a terrible idea, to be honest. This movie was so bomb. I can’t wait to see it again.

Erin M. Erickson

facebook.com/missoulaindependent


Four thumbs...

Thank goodness. I love Molly Laich’s reviews and I feel exactly the same way about Star Wars. There is. No. Conflict.

Grace McNamee Decker

facebook.com/missoulaindependent


Changing horses

I’ve been a Democrat all my life, but they too have succumbed to the addiction of dark money and less-than-honorable maneuvers (“The Dems’ own dark money,” Dec. 22). From now on I’m calling myself an independent. I’ve just had enough.

Mike McNamara

facebook.com/missoulaindependent


Owning Bobby Hauck

In 25 years of writing as a hobby, there’ve been two topics about which I felt enough passion to write a book. One was Grizzly football and the other was child sexual abuse and victim-blaming in sexual violence.

While writing my football book, secretly my life was in crisis. After fleeing an abuser, counseling, training and volunteering for advocacy organizations provided a lifetime of knowledge on the complexities of sexual violence and society’s ignorance about the issue.

The controversy surrounding the return of Bobby Hauck as head football coach has driven a wedge between many in the community. People are stubborn in their perspectives. My book about sexual abuse is entitled Blindfolds and Pitchforks. People put on their blindfolds, clutch their pitchforks and vilify their perceived opposition, unwilling to budge.

Some don’t grasp how egregious it is that a woman was harassed for her petition against re-hiring coach Hauck. But, by and large, Griz fans see clearly that such behavior is unacceptable and not to be tolerated.

Athletic Director Kent Haslam stated, “There’s no room for harassment in Griz Nation … We can disagree with each other, but there is absolutely no reason to belittle and harass, and I absolutely condemn that behavior.”

Hauck followed up by saying, “Respect is a core value. We’re going to all treat each other with dignity and respect around here. It’s a core value of this university. It’s a core value of this football program. It has to be a core value within the fan base.”

Regarding past players getting into trouble, Hauck said, “…I recognize that when we were here before, we were not perfect … some of the players brought in by us in the past did not behave in a manner worthy of the Grizzly football uniform.”

As for his return being associated with sexual assault, he addressed the issue on college campuses stating, “I’m a father of three daughters and a college-aged son, and I worry about all of them all of the time. We are going to do our best to address this issue and lead as a positive example.”

There were zero reports of sexual assault by Griz players in Hauck’s time at the UM. Nearly three years after Hauck left, a student recruited by Hauck pleaded guilty to sexual assault. None of the other players implicated years later in sexual assault were Hauck recruits. I see no basis for blaming Hauck for later sexual assault issues.

The Jimmy Wilson matter received much negative press, but these are the facts: While in California, Wilson went to the aid of his aunt, who’d been beaten unconscious by her boyfriend, then defended himself when the man came at him with an assault rifle. Wilson was acquitted due to self-defense, returned to UM, played multiple years in the NFL and had no problems after leaving Missoula.

Hauck responded to six of his players’ involvement in a burglary and student assault by promptly kicking all of them off the team permanently. Hauck was known as a strong disciplinarian. As for enrollment, it increased steadily while Hauck was at UM and continued to increase for two years after he left.

Hauck admitted mistakes, but now he has owned them and handled criticism with maturity and class.

Griz Nation does not support bullying or abuse. Griz Nation does not condone people waiting to pounce on any misstep to support misconceptions about Hauck, nor do we accept the use of falsehoods and misinformation to convict him in the court of public opinion.

Griz Nation is thrilled to welcome the Hauck family home to Missoula.

Welcome back, Bobby. Go Griz!

Stacy Coulter

Missoula


Daines the destroyer

Seldom-seen Sen. Steve Daines is running in Montana and hiding in D.C. From his beltway desk, like drone warfare, he remotely lobs acts of destruction into Montana.

Daines recently introduced the “Protect Public Use of Public Lands Act,” which proposes to abolish most Montana Wilderness Study Areas protected by the late Sen. Lee Metcalf’s Montana Wilderness Study Act. These areas are last, best wildlands carefully vetted by Sen. Metcalf, a far-sighted and much-loved statesman who recognized their value.

Daines hides behind reports of some local opposition to these wildlands, and ignores widespread local and national support for protection. In targeting the Blue Joint and Sapphire WSAs in the Bitterroot, Daines leans on the parochial opinions of Ravalli County Commissioners who advocate sacrificing these jewels. While focusing on the local commissioners’ myopic antipathy to these national public wildlands, Daines ignores the fact that Sen. Lee Metcalf, the author of the act, was a Bitterroot local. The WSAs are his legacy, established just before he died.

Even if Sen. Daines does not value these special wild places, I would think he would respect senatorial courtesy and the legacy of Sen. Metcalf at least as much as the business-as-usual attitude of Ravalli County Commissioners.

Larry Campbell

Darby

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