Archive for December 19th, 2007

by Pete Talbot

… chickens. Well, not personally – too much responsibility. But thanks to a City Council vote Monday night, maybe one of my neighbors will share their homegrown, fresh huevos with me.

… a rewrite of Missoula’s zoning regulations (in progress). Planned Neighborhood Clusters, density bonuses, redrawn property lines – these issues, while good ideas, need a little tweaking. Let’s also add some design standards to the mix.

… comprehensive county-wide zoning. Since most of the growth in the Missoula area is occurring outside the city limits, it’s absurd not to have county zoning in place. Can you say gravel pits?

… Plum Creek lands given to Missoula County in the form of publicly-accessible conservation easements. This one follows on the heels of my previous wish. A planner told me that since Plum Creek is a major landholder in the county, it’s going to be darn hard to zone the county until we know what’s going to happen to those lands.

… help for the homeless and an end to the rage. Missoulian Clayton Salcido’s murder is unfathomable, and (allegedly) at the hands of a Hellgate High School student and his buddy. How could this happen in our community?

… the punk who threw a frozen pie in Santa’s face does some time. Not a lot of time, maybe a few days, enough for some introspection. I’d sort of forgotten about this incident then two things happened. First, I met the above-mentioned Santa. He didn’t want to talk about it – he’s probably sick and tired of people asking him about what happened – but he’s a regular guy just doing a job and didn’t deserve this. Second, the perpetrator wrote a letter to the Missoulian. No remorse or “I’ll never do it again;” just some lame justification that this is the kind of entertainment people want (he’s producing a DVD — for God’s sake don’t anybody buy one).

… a semi-auto, clip-fed shotgun, plus a 9mm. Luger and maybe some Nosler 130-grain partition bullets. Not really. I’m going to catch some crap over this one but Gerik, Moorcat and Wulfgar – fellow bloggers whom I often agree with politically – are asking Santa for new weapons. For some reason, for me anyway, the holiday season doesn’t suggest more firepower. But to each his own.

… a couple more Democratic seats in Montana’s House of Representatives. Our state is starting to move in a decent direction. This would help facilitate the move.

… a real energy policy. The CAFE standards that Congress passed and the Prez just signed into law are a start but otherwise it was a pretty insignificant bill. It looks like the oil and coal industry won another round.

… in the same vein, some U.S. leadership on the global warming/climate change issue. I was embarrassed by my country’s behavior at the recent Bali conference. We could be the hero but instead, in the eyes of most countries, we’re the villain.

… no more soldier and civilian war-related death in Iraq. We aren’t winning this war and never will. The recent death of Helena soldier Daren Smith, 19, drives this point home.

… peace on earth, goodwill towards men, women, kids and critters. I could also use a new pair of Sorels.

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by Rebecca Schmitz

One hundred years ago your local pharmacist doubled as the owner of the town’s soda fountain, dispensing both lemon phosphates and cocaine to customers without fuss.  Nowadays, you might be able to pay for most of your purchases at the pharmacy counter in the back of CVS or Walgreens, but don’t expect a milkshake while you wait for your prescription to be filled.   And don’t expect to purchase birth control from the pharmacy at Larry’s IGA in Broadus.  That’s right.  John Lane, the 21st Century’s version of the soda jerk, has decided to stop filling birth control prescriptions in Broadus because of his personal religious convictions.  Since he’s the only pharmacist in town, Powder River County residents now have to either drive 80 miles to Miles City or receive their pills by mail.

Lane believes a little inconvenience shouldn’t outweigh his ability to work and provide for his family — he and his wife, Amy, have six children ranging in age from 5 months to 9 years — while living out the convictions of his faith.

Powder River County, and all of Montana, can do something about this.  We can insist Mr. Lane and others, like the owners of Snyder Drug in Great Falls, simply do their jobs.  Since no other licensed professions allow their members to practice without a basic belief in and understanding of the tenets of their chosen profession, (A teacher who doesn’t teach?  A hairstylist who can’t cut hair?  A doctor who doesn’t cure patients?) let’s make it easier for John Lane to “work and provide for his family”.  Let’s elect folks to the 2009 Legislature who will introduce and pass a law requiring pharmacists to fill all legal prescriptions and requiring the Montana Board of Pharmacy to revoke the licenses of those individuals who cannot perform their jobs.  That way, Mr. Lane can practice his faith by finding employment in a less-demanding field.  Like making banana splits at Baskin Robbins.

PSA

by 4&20 Staff

Please attend this important event:

In response to the stomping to death of homeless man Forrest Clayton Salcido, Missoulians are invited to Take Back the California Street Bridge on Thursday, December 20 at 5:30 p.m. Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger will speak at this candlelight vigil, which will be followed by a rally against violence at the Badlander starting at 6 p.m. The Badlander is located at the corner of Broadway and Ryman in downtown Missoula, and this is a free community event aimed at keeping Missoula’s streets safe for all people.

The Poverello Center is the main sponsor of this event, which is a part of ‘We Are Missoula,’ the group behind the community rally held on Nov. 26 against the two anti-gay beatings that happened near downtown.

(This message was forwarded to us from Caitlin Copple at the YWCA.)

Additional information just in from Ellie Hill at the Poverello:

Speakers Include :
Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger (who also heads the Governor’s Council on Homelessness)
Ellie Hill, Executive Director, Poverello Center, Inc.
Cindy Weese, Executive Director, YWCA
Amy Carter, University Congregational Church
John Lund, University of Montana’s Lutheran Campus Pastor
Amanda Salcido, Niece of Forest Clayton Salcido

December 21st is the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day in order to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember the homeless who have died from illness, neglect and violence during the year.

This past week, the community witnessed one of our own local homeless Vietnam veterans, Forest Clayton Salcido, senselessly and brutally murdered. More and more homeless people are dying from violence and unprovoked hate crimes in this country each year.

Missoula citizens and collaborating organizations are outraged over this crime and the continuing pervasiveness of violence motivated by hate in this community.

“WE ARE MISSOULA” is the partnership of thirty (30) collaborative private and non profit organizations unified to: Speak up and Stand out against Hate Crimes. The last WE ARE MISSOULA rally in November drew over 300 participants.

Those attending the candlelight vigil are asked to bring candles in glass containers to the bridge and join speakers, singers and others to remember our homeless and the others in this community who have been victims of hate. Immediately following the vigil, participants are encouraged to warm up in The Badlander for a rally against hate in Missoula.

With sponsoring organizations like Forward Montana, Montana Human Rights Network, The Poverello Center, Montana Pride Network, ACLU, University of Montana LAMBDA Alliance, YWCA and Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, this rally will provide a venue for showing broad community support for ending
hate crimes, homophobia and other forms of systemic violence.

The goals of the rally are to educate the community about the vulnerability of homelessness, hate crimes and how to report them to the Missoula police, as well as to encourage strength and solidarity within the community.

In addition the rally will serve as the kick off for a broader campaign of community education, skill building and political action.

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