Missoula, beered

Awesome article ("Griz Lager vs. Bonner Logger—an Indy taste test," Aug. 31). Haven't tried the Griz Lager yet, but the Bonner Logger tasted like any generic domestic lager. Not a fan of lagers in general. I had a Corona with lime phase early this summer, but that is probably just a result of too many trips to Vegas.

Chawn DuBack


'Close to water'

As a college capstone project, I constructed a survey for a local craft beer brewery. The results were interesting, because the majority chose the popular Missoula brewery beers as their favorites. Although, when asked about specifics—alcohol content, bitterness, color and hoppiness—the majority chose characteristics aligned with the Millers and Buds of the world. After trying both beers, I was reminded of those survey results. People like beer they can drink all day and still feel trendy. Personally, these two beers remind me of the Monty Python skit about American beers, "like making love in a canoe..." I'll take a Moose Drool or a Fresh Bongwater over the Griz and Bonner.

Jimmy Ray O'Neill


Bit of research

I'm a truck driver, and five minutes of research and everyone here would be smarter on this subject than me, yet every comment here is stupid ("Why did a Bonner bitcoin company decline a $416,000 state grant?" Aug. 31).

[The article] said—and I'm not kidding at all—the only reason they can figure out why location anonymity for a service called crypto-currency (duh) is that competitors might figure out where "cheap energy" is. Not a word about ISPs, hackers, tracing or interception of server data or the law enforcement issues involved in protecting the only location that may even know about both parties of an intentionally blind transaction. This irresponsible piece of trash writing actually has the ability to undermine faith in the entire currency.

R.J. Dieken


His own horn

He used to park his campaign tour bus at a mini storage facility near my workplace ("Daunted courage: Is Ryan Zinke losing touch with Montana?" Aug. 31). The gold stars, the SEAL logos, the patriotic colors, "Commander Zinke" in zillion-point font—the paint job on that thing would make even the most egotistical rock star blush.

Rebecca Schmitz


Mountain man

Missoula is a wonderful place to live. It is home to a wealth of natural beauty with a river, streams and mountains within the city limits. It is no accident, but rather it is the result of the values and ethics of many of our citizens, including Mayor John Engen.

Engen is an outspoken supporter of maintaining these resources as essential to the quality of life for all Missoulians. John has long been a champion of our open spaces and the management of these community treasures, to preserve our vistas, create and maintain hiking and running trails, preserve wildlife habitat and maintain our agricultural heritage for future generations to enjoy.

John has endeavored to make Missoula a leader in sustainability. He has supported community efforts toward Zero Waste, increased biking and walking infrastructure, supported innovations in wastewater management (like the poplar plantation that has diverted more than a million gallons of treated wastewater from the Clark Fork river). John was the first mayor in Montana to support the Paris Climate Agreement, when the federal government failed to uphold its commitment. This action demonstrated our community's interest, concern and commitment to addressing the profound consequences of human-caused climate change. I admired his unwavering leadership as we purchased the local water system, and he is committed to rebuilding the wasteful, costly and inefficient infrastructure.

Mayor Engen's leadership reflects our conservation values. The trails, mountains, streams and open space are not just amenities, they are valuable community assets that contribute greatly to our identity, our quality of life and our local economy. Please join me in re-electing John Engen.

David Schmetterling


The fire line

Our industry-serving politicians came to Lolo to fan the wildfire flames with lies promoting logging (see "Smoke and mirrors," pg. 10). They ignored that this summer is again setting records for heat and lack of rain as the climate warms. They also ignored the fact that logging increases the rate of fire spread.

According to the Forest Service's "Living with Fire" publication, fire spreads at 15 acres per hour in the dense conifer forests so demonized by the timber industry and our politicians. Thin those forests into an open pine forest and fire spreads at 150 acres per hour. Clearcuts with young trees spread fire at 650 acres per hour. Brush and grass spread fire at over 3,000 acres per hour.

Cut down trees and you get more brush and grass that dries out faster due to less shade and more exposure to wind. Research shows most of the carbon released by fire is from brush and the forest floor. Only 5 percent of large-tree carbon is released because only the needles, bark and limbs burn. The tree trunks remain, continuing to store their carbon and providing absolutely essential habitats for wildlife—unless the same lying politicians force the Forest Service to log the dead trees.

Logging removes trees, their carbon and nutrients from the forest. Fire releases only a fraction of the trees' carbon and returns nutrient-rich ash to the soil.

We have longer and more severe fire seasons due to global warming, not environmentalists. As a former logger and Forest Service firefighter, I think the politicians are putting up a smoke screen so their buddies can steal carbon-storing trees from our public forests.

Keith Hammer


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