The Billings Outpost

Smooth transition

Kudos to Gov. [Steve] Bullock for a smooth transition. In the weeks leading up to his official inauguration, I watched his appointments for a sign of what kind of governor we’ve elected. His choices? By and large smart, professional, down-to-earth folks. My guess is this will be an administration that gets things accomplished.
Thanks and best regards,
Blaine Jensen
Billlings

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:13

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Better road safety

The recent death of a young man along Becraft Lane in Lockwood is tragic. Unfortunately though, the real tragedy is that this isn’t the first and, most likely, won’t be the last senseless and preventable death along the busy thoroughfares in the Lockwood community. There will be continued and accelerated growth and increased traffic volume along the narrow and dangerous arterials of Becraft, Old Hardin Road, Johnson Lane, U.S. 87 and Piccolo Lane.

A few years ago a young man on a bicycle was killed on Old Hardin Road. People contributed money to do something about the widely recognized and long neglected issues of inadequate Lockwood roads. This money was used by the Lockwood Urban Transportation District to commission a professional study and the development of a comprehensive transportation plan for Lockwood. The tragedy with this has been that the Yellowstone County Commissioners have largely ignored the plan.

Walkways/bike trails are desperately needed. Widened and resurfaced roads are necessary to safely handle the variety of heavy traffic that uses the roads daily. Reasonable speed limits and traffic control measures need to be established and enforced. Also, adequate lighting must be provided. Lockwood citizens have been voicing concerns about these issues for years but, tragically, the people in authority have done very little in response.

Instead of relentlessly working against those of us who have tried to bring improvements to our community of Lockwood, the Yellowstone County commissioners should collaborate with us. We would all be the better for it.

Don Reed

Lockwood Steering Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:02

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Chavez championed poor

Hugo Chavez is dead. One CNN apologist, at least trying to be courteous, said, “We don’t agree with their socialist ideas.”

“Why did he go to Cuba?” asked another, forgetting that Cuban medicine was subsidized for years by the Soviet Union and the plentiful Cuban doctors are still widely respected.

During the ’50s the Cubans had the healthiest children in the hemisphere.

One Republican American congressional leader commented on the death, “good riddance.” That kind of crassness is embarrassing and discourteous in any death.

In spite of American attitudes, Chavez was a champion of the poor. Poverty in Venezuela declined by more than 50 percent during his rule. Chavez encouraged participatory democracy by starting 30,000 communal councils in various communities. He used Venezuelan oil for social and regional redevelopment, rather than selling it only to Standard Oil. He pushed for participatory democracy, opening many new polling places in poor neighborhoods, in contrast to Yellowstone County’s closure of polling places in all Billings neighborhoods.

Joan Hurdle

Billings

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:01

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Gun laws won’t help

A person steals several guns, a violation of the law. He shoots and kills his own mother, a violation of the law. Transports loaded guns, a violation of the law. Brings guns onto school property, a violation of the law. Murders 26 people according to the media, a violation of the law. These are the prevailing laws in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Conn.

The above is an attention-getting method of emphasizing a point, but due to the commonsense aspect of it, very few in Washington, D.C., or state governments will pay much attention to it. Thankfully, we do have a majority in Helena who do pay attention.

But unfortunately there are millions of people out there who somehow believe that passing another gun law will protect them from a person bent on doing harm.

Many of us have noticed that people in government that are on the political left are not concerned about more laws, they care only about fulfilling their own twisted evil agenda. The only people that a new gun-law would impact are law-abiding citizens, and it would serve only to cripple their ability to protect themselves, their families and their property.

Arthur Hollowell

Joliet

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00

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The right services

We at AWARE Inc., the Montana affiliate of The Arc, are proud to join advocates across the country to recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This month commemorates the progress in improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and highlights the challenges that remain in achieving full inclusion.

The Arc’s advocacy efforts were crucial to President Ronald Reagan’s signing of a proclamation in 1987 affirming that “Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities.”

This month we will join more than 700 chapters of The Arc nationwide and advocate with and on behalf of individuals with I/DD. Their right to live, learn and work as they choose must not be ignored. These individuals are our neighbors, colleagues, friends and family members and we must ensure that they have a fair opportunity to achieve their dreams.

While there has been much progress over the years, there is still much to be done. We hope the community will join our efforts and help us raise awareness.

Developmental Disabilities Month is our time to make a difference. To learn more about developmental disabilities, advocacy and inclusion, visit thearc.org and Apostrophe Magazine (www.apostrophemagazine.com). Together let’s change hearts and minds in March.

Larry Noonan

AWARE Inc.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:57

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Answer to Bonnie Eldredge

Yes, Bonnie, you have the right to avail yourself of the right of self protection or not [Outpost, March 7]. But remember, the law enforcement cannot keep you safe nor are they chartered to do so. Most of the police response is after the fact of a crime committed.

Remember also that a disarmed populace leads to a draconian government where everybody but law-abiding citizens has fire arms.

Check out the mess in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia and you will see the results of gun registration/confiscation.

Keith Babcock

Lockwood

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:56

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