Archive for February 25th, 2010

By Carfreestupidity

In an update to a previous post, according to @KPAX, Missoula City Councilwoman Pam Walzer did take the breathalyzer when she was arrested on a DUI charge (her first).

I know what that says to me.  A lot of people are already calling for her resignation (and I would hate to see what her voicemail and email inbox must look like).  Until court she should at a minimum recuse herself from the debate on breathalyzer refusal.

it doesn’t absolve her – but of anyone who would know what the implications are of blowing or not, she went and did the right thing (props for not being a hypocrite, unlike Greg Barkus) She’s also asked that her BAC be released…again, unlike Barkus who had to have his blood subpoenaed and even after his BAC levels were released (2x the legal limit 2 hours after the crash), Barkus continued to say that he had only had “two drinks.”

Thing is, it was wrong.  She knew better.

Trickster? Or Sincere???

by JC

Open thread on the fate of health care reform (or what is currently passing for reform) for those who are glued to CSPAN today to see democracy at work. [/snark]


by JC

In light of our current discussion over Constitutional rights for non-humans, I thought that with this week’s change in policy for carrying weapons in National Parks, that maybe I could make an exception:

From the WaPo:

The federal government will lift long-standing restrictions on guns in national parks Monday, meaning that visitors with proper permits could pack heat along with camping and picnic gear to most of the 392 parks. The move concerns current and former employees of the National Park Service who are convinced that the move will damage the spirit of the nation’s park system.

From the NPCA:

“This law is a very bad idea. It is not in the best interests of the visitors to national parks, the resources to be protected in national parks, nor the employees in national parks. Opportunistic shooting at wildlife and historic resources, such as petroglyphs, will increase. Employees, especially law enforcement rangers, will be more at risk. And visitors will not only be more at risk, but will now see national parks as places where they need to be more suspicious and wary of others carrying guns, rather than safe and at peace in the solitude and sanctuary that parks have always provided. It is a sad chapter in the history of America’s premier heritage area system.”

by CarFreeStupidity

There has been a string of DUI arrests, drunk driving incidents/accidents and news of late.  But the latest is certainly unexpected.  The Missoulian is reporting that Missoula City Councilwoman Pamela J. Walzer was, “arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol early Wednesday morning and has pleaded not guilty.”  Given the timing of this incident and Dave Strohmaier’s push for making refusal of a breath test a an offense worthy of a $300 fine, Councilwoman Walzer should recuse herself from any discussion and voting on the issue regardless of her guilt.  Missoula wants to take a step forward… not stagger backwards.  Many commentators on the Missoulian story are even calling for her resignation immediately, but that should only happen if its found that she truly was drunk while driving, although I’m skeptical about a blood alcohol content number being published.

I know I’m tired of constantly reading about fatalities caused from drunk driving and the flood a DUIs that occur on a weekly basis.  Its about time Montana enters into the 21st century and actually do something about our state’s little, err…big, drinking problem.  One recent DUI offender even proudly stated he was, “contributing to the reason that this state is number one in the nation for drinking and driving.

Unfortunately our state’s culture won’t easily change, many of us can remember, probably even fondly, the days when an open container in a vehicle was legal.  Hell, I’ve been in a truck when a boss of mine was driving while he was driving a company vehicle.

Why doesn’t the state do something really drastic like a lifetime suspension for a license?  Force all these drunks to walk, bike, or take (often nonexistent) transit.  I don’t think there is anything to dissuade someone from drink like the possibility of hours spent on a Greyhound bus.  Drunk driving already costs the state of Montana $642 million a year and another $131 million in lost economic productivity.  In that case drunk driving is already having a major impact on our state, and its not the cost that is the worst, but the emotional and family tragedy that drunk driving that is the greatest cost.

Or we could all do nothing and just enjoy the fact that Billings is the third most drunkest city in America.  Why stop at the bronze… always go for gold.

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