The racism dialogs

I thoroughly enjoyed Erika Fredrickson’s review of our production of On Golden Pond (“Sentimental on the surface: Montana Rep’s On Golden Pond,” Jan. 25). Especially interesting are her thoughts on Norman Thayer’s racism and anti-Semitic remarks and hence his point of view. It was of great concern to us and was the first topic we discussed on the first day of rehearsal. Norman’s “country club” racism is inherent to his character. He is indeed flawed. We kept it in for the very reason Erika posits in her review: We hope to create discussion, or that “talk on the way home in the car” moment, as I like to put it. We hope that audiences will notice that racism comes in many guises, and what might have seemed innocent and acceptable in 1974 no longer is in 2018. It is also an interesting generational question. So thank you, Erika, for being such a vital, interesting and interested part of our community dialogue.

Greg Johnson

Artistic Director

The Montana Repertory Theatre

The gospel of bitcoin

Roger Ver might be the Bitcoin Jesus, but Andreas Antonopoulos is the cryptocurrency theologian (“The Bitcoin Barons: How a marketer and a money launderer sold Montana on digital gold,” Jan. 25). To understand this you must know first that blockchain is not equivalent to Bitcoin. Blockchain is a solution to the double-spend problem with digital currency.

Money is a communication.

Cal Schindel


Look before we leap

In Missoula County’s haste to attract high-tech businesses, the county just might be a bit too quick to release taxpayer money. While Missoula lags in affordable housing, our social services are being cut. (Example: help for the mentally ill, [since] more than a third of the petitions to involuntarily commit, according to County Attorney Kirsten Pabst, involve the homeless). Some of our tax money is going to a business whose owner’s and operator’s past, according to the Missoula Independent, is “sketchy.” And by sketchy, they seem to me to be users — users of others’ money, users of cheap energy, users of the environment (noise pollution from the plant) and users of people’s faith and trust. I would rather my tax money go to help the homeless to relieve their plight in life than to these “users.” Please, Missoula County, screen potential businesses better before you give them our money.

Renee Valley


Editor’s note: Thus far, no Missoula County taxpayer money has been directed to Project Spokane.

The time to act

People need to quit pussyfooting around and nail this guy (“A Flathead homeless shelter promises respite for veterans. Why do so many veterans say it doesn’t deliver?” Feb. 1). It’s not helping anybody for him to keep bilking employees and lying to veterans about the services he offers.

Darci Coffman

Fair warning

I am in a couple of veterans groups with members in Houston and the surrounding area. I sent this article to some of them since he made the claim of moving his operation to Houston. Thanks for getting this brought to people’s attention.

Steven Comstock

Thumbs down

The performers were awesome (“Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen at the Wilma,” Jan. 30). The drunk, maybe stoned, let’s just say annoying girls giggling behind us throughout everything and the lady texting in front of us the whole time were lame.

Erin Kautz

Tough choices

As to autonomy: Yes, smoking is objectively bad (“Another smoking revision,” Jan. 25). The relative benefits are mild compared to the relative detriments. However, we live in a world that values autonomy and free will and freedom of choice. If people want to hurt themselves, fine. That’s their right, as autonomous people. We’re even willing to risk their bad choices potentially hurting others because we value freedom of choice and autonomy so much. If we didn’t, there would be a breathalyzer on every driver’s side car door.

As to the slippery slope: Once we start outlawing smoking in public, why can’t we outlaw every potentially harmful act? Skateboarding is dangerous to the user and

potentially to others. The benefits of skateboarding are relatively low compared to the benefits. Why don’t we outlaw skateboarding based on the same logic?

Also enforcement would cost the same or more than putting in some kind of pro-health initiative in Missoula. I would leave that to the experts, but being pro health might work better long term than expensive individual targeting.

Lily Crespo

Act naturally

Chase Reynolds needs a job, no doubt (“Etc: Montana goes to the Super Bowl,” Feb. 1). It’s “natural,” in our current era of celebrity over substance, for him to consider politics. In my opinion, public servant is not really his forte. Maybe in 10 years, when he has a little more life under his belt.

Nancy Dunne

Load comments