Act the part

I think the Montana Rep could do well by choosing material that would benefit drama students in their quests to become professionals and hold an Actors’ Equity membership (“Sentimental on the surface: Montana Rep’s On Golden Pond,” Jan. 25). Opportunities where students would be able to find roles that have characters written by playwrights for their own age group. In the legitimate theater and cinema, actors are cast accordingly. Let’s hope the next director will keep this in mind, as there is tons of product out there.

Jerry Hopkins

Smoke up

Cough cough (“Another smoking revision,” Jan. 25). Meanwhile, mental health people and people with disabilities run around the state with no services. And the elderly aren’t entitled to dentures. That’s enough to make one smoke.

Rebecca Loren Merfeld


I quit smoking a long time ago, but when I smell it, I am tempted, still. That’s why I don’t like people smoking around me. I live in an apartment and my neighbors smoke outside, but I can still smell it and see the butts in the ashtray. I hate it! But I understand.

Athina A. Collins

Easy peasy

How about offering a free detox program (“Homelessness in Missoula gets a panel, but no grant,” Jan. 25)? A lot of folks who are homeless are alcoholics. Getting clean and getting a job is the answer to a ton of problems.

Alex Wells

Why I march

Yes, I went [to the women’s march] because I wanted to be counted among those who are concerned about the political direction our country is going now (“Street Talk: When women march,” Jan. 25). The absence of anything spiritual is much more noticeable amongst our country’s leaders. The grab for power and money is vividly apparent. The willingness to use scapegoats to dull the minds of the average citizen to the truth is barked: “fake news, fake news.” We can no longer even pretend to be living up to the aspirations of our founding fathers. So, I marched.

Colleen Mattson

Bones to pick

The Jan. 25 opinion “Slaughter rule,” by Jeanine Pfeiffer states that “every scrap and smidgen of bison killed by tribal hunters” was utilized in some manner. She implies that “every scrap and smidgen” of every and all bison were consumed/used in some fashion. If so, why can bones still be found at former buffalo jump sites? Oh well, it’s just her opinion or perhaps an “alternative fact.”

Greg J. Houska


Talk it out

You’re right. Our panel could have and should have covered more aspects of fake news, so I’m glad you helped fill in the gaps (“Why was there no fake news at Missoula’s fake news roundtable?” Jan. 25). We could have talked more about the weaponized fake news campaigns on social media that shake the public’s confidence. I’d like to talk more about how to spot fake news. It’s sometimes hard, though, to know what the audience already knows and what it wants to talk about. For example, I thought the Missoulian did a pretty good job before the panel of taking apart Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s email lecture on what news to pay attention to. That seemed to set up our point that, for many people, fake news isn’t really about fake information. It’s about real news they don’t agree with.

Your piece seems to suggest the need for much more discussion about this, and I couldn’t agree more. Thanks.

Dennis Swibold


Delaying HIT

Small businesses can use all the help they can get, most especially representatives in Washington who stand up for them and represent their interests. Montana’s small businesses are lucky that they have such champions in Sens. Tester and Daines, both of whom recently signed on to legislation to delay the Health Insurance Tax (HIT). The HIT is a federal sales tax on health care plans purchased by small business owners for their employees. At $430 per family per year, this tax directly raises the cost of health care, forcing small business owners to forgo hiring or paying bonuses to their employees.

The senators understand how this tax negatively affects our state’s small-business community. Delaying the HIT allows small-business owners to invest in their businesses, thus growing Montana’s economy.

Sen. Tester and Sen. Daines, thank you for supporting legislation to help small employers!

Richard Miltenberger


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