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Missoulian, Monday, August 19, 2013 – B5

OPINION

GUEST COLUMN

Halt soup kitchen for sake of Lowell students By STEPHANIE MORROW, LEAH HONSKY, MARGE BAACK, CANDACE ROMERO and SALLY PAINTER

presence will compound the negative effect because local businesses and wealthier families in the Westside neighborhood will leave the area. he Lowell Elementary School PTA Studies have shown this type of is writing to ask the community to concentrated poverty leads to more crime support the emergency interim and delinquency, higher school dropout zoning ordinance proposed by Missoula rates, lower school achievement, City Council members Cynthia Wolken psychological distress and various health and Adam Hertz. This ordinance could issues for residents, especially children in prohibit the Union Gospel Mission from the area. The stress of living in unsafe, opening a soup kitchen and men’s poor neighborhoods affects parenting recovery center at the former Sweetheart practices, for example by not allowing Bakery on Broadway Street. children to play outside their homes. Allowing this center will be an added High levels of poverty, distrust and burden to the Westside neighborhood instability undermine a community’s since the Poverello Center will be opening ability to organize and to socialize leading its new homeless shelter a few blocks east to further isolation. on Broadway Street. The Mission’s added Lowell Elementary School in the

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Westside neighborhood is located just a few blocks from the future home of these two organizations. Lowell Elementary School has one of the highest poverty rates of all Missoula County Public Schools schools. Last year, nearly 75 percent of Lowell students qualified for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Imposing a double burden of both the Poverello Center homeless shelter and the Union Gospel Mission soup kitchen and recovery center on an already low-income neighborhood should not be allowed. Homelessness is a community problem, and any negative impact from outreach programs should be shared by neighborhoods across the city. The children in our neighborhood are

relying on City Council members to vote for this proposed emergency interim zoning ordinance. By writing a letter to the council members at council@ ci.missoula.mt.us, or voicing your opinion at the City Council meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 140 W. Pine St., urging council members to support the emergency interim zoning ordinance, you can help Lowell Elementary School students.

This opinion is signed by the following members of the Lowell Elementary School PTA: Stephanie Morrow, president; Leah Honsky, vice president; Marge Baack, secretary; Candace Romero, treasurer; and Sally Painter, member.

Letters n Comments: Keep the conversation going. To comment on any of these letters, go to Missoulian.com/news/opinion/ mailbag.

A couple of months ago after a woman was killed on the sidewalk by a drunken driver, I wrote new verses to a 1960s-era Vietnam protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” now in protest to a seemingly insurmountable social ill. In remembrance of my daughter Rachel and countless other lives lost:

How many Montana roads can they drive before they no longer survive? Yes’n, how many drinks can they pour down their throats before they can no longer drive? Yes’n, how many bowls can they smoke in a day before they feel they’ve arrived? (refrain) The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind. How many rehab centers do we build before they give an honest try? Yes’n, how many jail cells must be filled before the last addict’s DUI? Yes’n, how many deaths will it take till they know that too many people have died?

all the serious health problems related to tobacco use and obesity. Placing our focus on keeping people healthier results in less serious illness, fewer deaths and reduced health care spending. Federal funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the (refrain) Prevention and Public Health Fund, and Health Resources and Services How many laws can Montana enact Administration helps local health before we are no longer free? departments operate programs that Yes’n, how many judges does reduce smoking and obesity, provide Montana need screenings for moms and newborns, before they’ll enforce what’s provide immunizations and help decreed? communities prepare for disasters and Yes’n, how many times can a judge disease outbreaks. turn his head Yet Congress has cut CDC’s budget pretending he just doesn’t see? by more than 10 percent since 2010 and HRSA’s budget by more than 21 percent (refrain) over the same period. It has not fully Dana G. Millhouse, funded the Prevention Fund. While Montana has made progress in Missoula public health, significantly reducing the number of deaths here from PRESIDENT OBAMA cardiovascular disease, we stand to Urgent need for acid reducers benefit by addressing other public health issues. Subliminal perception seems to be We have the fourth-lowest something I am experiencing, and I can immunization rate for children ages 19 tell you that I am not enjoying it. to 35 months and we rank 10th in the As you may remember, sometime in nation for binge drinking. Rates of the ’60s there was a big flap about obesity among Native Americans here subliminal advertising being used to persuade people to buy certain products. also are high. We will only make progress in Some say it is bogus, some say it is improving public health and saving lives effective, but I can tell you that every and money if our members of Congress time I watch or hear Barack Obama I fully fund public health programs. have an urgent need for some acid Please join me in calling on them to do reducers for my stomach. so. Somehow I have been influenced to Jan Parmelee, believe that he is the most uninspiring, Northwest region director, divisive and negative president I have Montana Public Health Association, been exposed to. Just because he hung Trout Creek out with people who bombed the Pentagon, preachers who said “G— d— FLATHEAD WATER COMPACT America,” and stuck his nose into a couple of “race” incidents prior to Will meetings help or not? getting the facts couldn’t be the reason. It must be something subliminal. The Flathead Joint Board of Control As you may or may not know, the will hold meetings in each irrigation actor Ashton Kutcher recently gave a district to discuss water compact issues. more inspiring speech to a group of The suggested topics of discussion are young people than all of Obama’s vague and confusing. combined. That is really sad. 1. Who owns the water right for the Mark King, project? Missoula One board member suggested the FJBC holds the water right. PUBLIC HEALTH Unfortunately, the FJBC has no good measurement to establish such a With funds, progress can be made water right, and has confusing documentation filed with the state with an inadequate It costs a lot less money to prevent disease than to treat it. Just think about amount of water. The Bureau of Indian

Editorial policy: The Missoulian strives to present ideas from a diverse array of writers. Missoulian editorials express the views of the newspaper’s editorial board. Signed commentary, columns, letters and editorial cartoons represent the independent views of the authors. Letters policy: The Missoulian welcomes and encourages letters to the editor on topics of general interest. Letters should be no more than 300 words. The Missoulian reserves the right to reject or edit letters for content and length. The Missoulian prints as many letters as possible, but cannot print them all due to space considerations. More letters are available online at www.missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag. Submission of letters and other commentary constitutes permission to publish in print and online editions of the Missoulian. Letters must contain the writer’s name, address and telephone number (phone numbers are for verification, not publication). Mail letters to: Missoulian Letters, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807-8029. Fax: (406) 523-5294. Email: oped@missoulian.com.

Affairs has a competing claim to the project, which suffers from the same deficiencies as that of the FJBC. In the compact agreement, the United States holds the water right in trust for the tribe. Title to the water right is conditioned in the Water Use Agreement. The agreement protects the use of irrigation water for irrigators, protects landowners’ water and would

also allow project irrigators to benefit from the tribes’ priority date, as opposed to the project’s later date. The proposed irrigation project water under the compact contains a sufficient amount of water to account for existing and future project needs and eliminates the long and costly litigation that would be necessary to resolve competing personal claims. 2. The joint board wants historical records of water use and present needs assessed. That discussion holds the same problems as the first suggested topic – poor past records and no way to assess present use accurately. 3. The board contends that the Unitary Management Board is not necessary because the reservation should have two management authorities, one for tribal members and one for fee land owners. The negotiated water compact provides for a local state/tribal board controlled by regulations that mirror the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. The board is not controlled by the tribes. Are these FJBC meetings going to be constructive or destructive? Susan Lake, Ronan © 2013 Wanderful Media, © 2013 Find&Save

DUI Protesting a social ill

Needed.

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