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Letters to the Editor

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Let the sun shine

I get that High Country News is not based in Montana, but it would be great to have an addendum that discusses the barriers/limitations on rooftop solar locally (“It’s time to move past the myths about rooftop solar,” Nov. 3). It is my understanding that Montana similarly prohibits net metering and that it is having a serious effect on adoption.

Ben Weiss

The band name game

The The is my favorite example of a an insufferable joke band name that works for an intangible reason (“A good band name is hard to find,” Nov. 2). King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is a great example of turning absurdity into straight-forward precision.

Kyle Verhovshek

Bridge as blockade

The issue, in my opinion, is not that this albatross wasn’t needed (“What is the Reserve Street bridge good for?” Nov. 2). Maybe it was, but there are crosswalks that could be used just as well by the walking and riding public. The real issue is that this money put out by the city could and should have been used in much more important causes within the city—fixing potholes that were three years running, traffic light synchronization, cleanup of the homeless camp/river areas—things that would have benefitted a vastly greater number of Missoula residents and visitors alike. And let’s not ignore the gorilla in the room with this bridge. It was a direct and highly blatant attempt to stop the oversized loads of equipment traveling through Missoula. Deny it all you want, but deep down that is the main reason it was sent through by this highly liberal city government.

Paul Middleton

Think of the cyclists!

I use it. I think it will show a great dividend as the biking community sees western Montana as a destination, and local businesses will unquestionably profit. Ask Adventure Cycling what the benefits stand to be? If it blocks the large megaloads, great!

Pattie Corrigan Ekness

Think of the walkers!

I tried to cross Reserve Street at the crosswalk. It was crazy hazardous to say the least. Drivers do not look for pedestrians when making right turns. If you could guarantee that nobody ever ran a red light, you could argue against the bridge.

Julia Morris Howard

Not my FOTD

So, I’m one of the few Mexicans that lives in Missoula (“Are we watching the death of the Festival of the Dead?” Nov. 2). I’ve lived here for over a decade and I’ve attended several of the parades over the years with mixed opinions. I went the first year I lived here naively expecting a celebration at least faithful to the culture and left with a “what the hell did I just watch?” feeling. Good intentions or not, it’s still a bastardization of a holiday celebrated by a long-subjugated culture. Why use Mexican iconography at all? Because it looks cool? It’s frustrating to see an indigenous holiday picked over by another culture that often doesn’t understand the history or meaning behind it. I would even rather see a completely loyal adaptation than what is currently represented (or, better yet, one separated from my heritage and culture altogether).

Ashley Ochoa

No respect

I have had the same experience over the years. We crave things that are culturally relevant to our family, things that belong to us, and most of the time I’m leaving with a WTF experience. There are plenty of options and outside sources to make it authentic, and organizers have always neglected it. I’ve tried to be in the community, but have never received a response. It’s definitely an appropriation parade, and nothing about respect.

Rebecca BearCub

All due respect

I have known Tarn Ream, one of the main Festival of the Dead organizers, for many years. She is a very multiculturally aware and respectful woman. I’ve been disappointed to see personal attacks in the community toward her from people labeling her racist.

These attacks are are not helpful, and Tarn has worked very hard to hear all sides and respect the many views and traditions of Hispanic and minority cultures. As the issue of cultural appropriation has become a more hotbed topic in Missoula, she has not walked away from or hidden from it. I’ve seen her working with others to address the issue and to find ways to define a festival for Missoula that isn’t defined by the Day of the Dead, while still being a Festival of the Dead and a celebration of life.

My owns views on cultural appropriation are malleable, and my understanding has been changing with the local debate. I’m grateful for the minority perspectives raising their voices and helping inform the conversation. I hope that this isn’t the death of the festival, but the birth of something even more inclusive and special that the community will celebrate for years to come.

Nathan Stephens

Too many

On a Missoula night when a quarter of student housing units sit empty, when numerous foreclosed homes in Missoula County sit empty, when over a thousand Missoula hotel/motel rooms went unrented, a person froze to death from exposure to the elements due to lack of housing/shelter (see “Losing

Little Tim” pg. 8). How many more will perish before the city gets real about affordable housing for all and wet housing for those on the margins and suffering from chronic alcoholism and substance abuse disorder?

William Harvey


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