Archive for January 9th, 2008

by jhwygirl

At least that’s how I hear it.

Round I didn’t go so well. That was due – again, “as I hear it” – to the convoluted public process: County selects certain people to sit down with a write regulations. County writes regulations. County then takes written draft regulations to public. Public feels misled about public process – after all, regulations are written and “Now you want input?” – and process goes awry.

It’s the same public process, BTW, in play with the city’s zoning rewrite. I haven’t heard of any open public meetings. Haven’t seen any advertised. (Have you?) But I know of people on a zoning rewrite committee. Again – all that is “as I hear it.”

Now – Ravalli County really has it’s public process backwards compared to Missoula. They’re holding public meetings for their county-wide zoning. It’s been going on for months. Most areas – again, “as I hear it”- are going extremely well. Darby, as a whole, is being pretty resistant. There are 7 planning areas, if I recall correctly. The planning areas are based on school districts.

Anyways – Ravalli has started these meetings with maps and outlines of the things necessary to write zoning regs and {gasp} they’re actually having the public give input as to what to put in the regs!

Then the county’s hired Clarion Associates to write said regulations – and once they’re written, the county planners will actually go back to the public with the finished product.

Neato process, right? Involve the public before you write the regulations to see what they want and then put what they want into the regulations after you’ve met with the public.

Of course – there probably are people who like to read at a 2 inch thick document of regulations and provide input after the fact.  That’s fun, right?

Me? I’m not one of them.

Are you?

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by jhwygirl

Probably one of the most whack thoughts I’ve had in a while…

Why couldn’t the city (or Mountain Water) put hydroelectric turbines in the water mains around the city and sell that power back to NWE?

We’ve got an aging water system – there was a recent article in the Missoulian about how leaky the pipes are, and I’d link to it but it doesn’t seem to be archived – and they’re going to have to be replaced.

Yeah, it’s crazy, I know. Like I said – daydreaming.

by Jay Stevens

Oops, so much for the pot initiative making marijuana crimes the lowest priority for Missoula police:

Authorities arrested 29-year-old Brian L. Hawk inside his home at 2705 S. Seventh St. W., where the man allegedly conducted a lucrative pot-dealing enterprise that served as his only source of income for the past two years, according to court papers.

Hawk was met at his home Friday with a battering ram, and detectives were greeted by 3-foot-high marijuana plants, jugs of fertilizer, lighting systems, and a large carbon filter and CO2 tank.

Hawk was charged with three drug-related felonies Monday in Missoula County Justice Court, and remains jailed on $75,000 bail.

The number of plants, the fact that Hawk was dealing, all of this makes the Hawk case a showpiece marijuana bust. In fact, it’s such a perfect bust, it smells political, doesn’t it? Like Missoula authorities are making the case that, yes, pot is serious. In this case, it looks like it was.

IMHO, the most serious crime committed by Hawk was something unrelated to dealing pot:

On Dec. 21, Hawk was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor partner assault for allegedly breaking into his girlfriend’s home and knocking her to the ground.

I suspect the pot crimes will earn Hawk more jail time than the assault of his girlfriend.

So…if we’re going to make pot a low priority, was this investigation and arrest warranted? After all, the subtext of the Missoula pot initiative was a desire to end the illogical priorities of law enforcement, equating pot with serious drug use. But at what point do you draw the line?

Update: For the record, I thought this bust was proper, necessary, and totally appropriate. I realize the post may have been ambiguous. I’m just wondering what level of marijuana use is tolerable. A joint in your pocket? A plant in your bedroom closet? Medicinal use, only?




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