Archive for September 1st, 2008

by jhwygirl

Regular readers might recall that MDOT unveiled the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the much-anticipated Russell/3rd Street re-engineering at a meeting at the Franklin Elementary School back in April.

It wasn’t received well. It left many wondering why we have public meetings at all. I mean – if you aren’t going to listen to 90% of the people who care to be involved…..

Many felt blind-sided. Roundabout plans that had been published on the website had suddenly (very suddenly) been dropped. They had been widely supported. Some called it a “sea of asphalt”, others suggested that its planned could not “be adequately evaluated without concurrent planning for the Reserve corridor and Mullan,” and “without putting the possibility of a Russell/I90 interchange on the table.”

Even Lamnidae weighed in.

All had very valid points.

MDOT has released it published version of the Draft EIS. Comments are due by October 20, 2008. There are links on the website to submit comments electronically. you can also use snail mail, to:

Tom Martin
Montana Department of Transportation
PO Box 201001
Helena MT 59620-1001

I’ll be putting out reminders on this one people. Take some time. Read the EIS. Look at the pretty pictures. Get involved. It’s our town. Not MDOT’s.

That MDOT drive-by gives me a great segue to this….

On a shorter note: HKM Engineering was chosen by the city to assist with the design and public input part of the project. Things haven’t exactly gone as the some with the city had hoped – and councilpersons Stacy Rye and Bob Jaffe have a referral to the Public Works committee requesting that a peer review be done of HKM.

After all, it’s the city picking up the tab for HKM, not MDOT. But one has to wonder with the results we’ve gotten.

The whole HKM situation deserves a post unto itself, actually. If I only had the time…………

Disagreement is Welcome Here

by jhwygirl

Disagreement is welcome here at 4&20. Just want to make that LOUD and CLEAR.

Lord knows we don’t get enough of it (or at least I don’t think so), and I’m not the type who is in need of daily affirmation. I doubt Jay, Rebecca or Pete is either.

I believe that there is no black-and-white – and a recent thread around here that turned into a “why don’t you just leave” type of thing went over the cliff in terms of meaningful discussion.

I hope the person whom that statement was thrown at will stay – just as I hope the person who threw it out there will stick around. Both are valuable to these pages.

Oddly, I believe both of these people would find much to agree about – the need for zoning, the need for better regulatory authority over Montana’s water, and more sensible rules for septic and sewer. A better participatory public in local and state affairs – all these are things I write about here ad nauseum (for some), and all of these are things where at least the three of us to whom I’m directly referring to would find significant common ground.

I found during the primary that many got overly rabid – in my honest and not-so-humble opinion – over who’s candidate was the best. Me? I only preferred one over the other – I didn’t like one at the cost of hating another. And I certainly didn’t transpose my selection of a candidate in a personal way towards the people who voted for the other candidate – although I certainly feel that exactly those feelings were directed towards me.

I fear we are going that direction now. It is not what this country needs. Not now. Not ever.

Keep in mind that even both of our presidential candidates (and even one VP candidate, as it were) have said that each candidate is a worthy opponent. While I clearly favor one, and I am in much disagreement with the other (over healthcare, women’s issues, education, energy, the war in Iraq – just to name a few), that doesn’t meant that the discussion needs to transgress into a you’re-either-with-me-or-you’re-not level.

Look – if you’re here reading 4&20, you pretty much know what you are going to get. It may be snarky, but it’s going to be issue based. At least most of the time. And it’s going to lean left or liberal or progressive or towards the democratic party line. Even though it is apparent that I sometimes confuse the other team, I want to believe that we are all here with the same goal in mind. A better government, a better U.S. of A.

Please, everyone – remember that to get there, it starts with a solid bottom base – you and I and our neighbors, all working together – with agreement and disagreement – civilly and frankly.

Otherwise, us bloggers might as well just give up.


Stepping down off of the podium now…..

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