The Billings Outpost

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Names incorrect

Hi, I’m writing regarding the article by Sharie Pyke, “New Arts Venue Here” [Outpost, July 11] about the play reading of “Among Beautiful Women” at Sacrifice Cliff Theatre Company. I organized the event and was one of the actors in the reading so first of all, thanks to Sharie for attending and for writing the article!

There were just a few misspellings (my name was spelled correctly, thank you) and I’m wondering if it’s possible to correct them. First, the playwright George Carroll is correct but the poetry is by Gerald Locklin, not George Lachlan. The actor who played Burl is Gustavo Belotta, and Kate was Amanda Megyesi-McCave.

Also there is a sentence about the play being “written to be performed anywhere without having to pay a royalty,” which might give the wrong impression. While it’s a play written for actors to be performed anywhere, rights and permissions are granted on an individual basis.

And I hope someday the playwright does receive some royalties for all the effort he’s put into the piece.

Donita Beeman



Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:40

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ACA won’t work

I was mightily relieved to hear in your issue of 11 July 2013 that the cost of health insurance in California, one of our most populous states, will face no increases. I guess that’s the reason four of the largest insurance companies have canceled all of their existing policies and are abandoning the state. They just can’t make money there under the ACA!

All this trash-talk about insurance costs rising by an average of $2,500 per year were worrying. I’m so glad to hear that all the organizations investigating where insurance premiums will go are wrong. As for a family of four having to pay an average of $20,000 per year for insurance surely can’t be true, can it?

Just thinking of all those lousy doctors abandoning their practices due to the ACA? They don’t care about the health of the people, do they? They should all go to Cuba and leave us alone with those who are left, most of whom will not be our regularly visited doctors. I say get rid of all those money-grubbing doctors and depend on those who are left – most of whom really will give good service, but only for cash on the counter, although there may be a problem getting gin in front of those tens of thousands of Canadians who drift down here to get what they can’t get under their only form of the ACA.

The rest of the information given you by an ACA promoter is so insipidly wrong that it needs no comment. I’m glad though, to hear that a lot of money is being spent on instructing school kids on how to tell their parents how great the ACA is. It takes time away from them being instructed on how to put condoms on bananas.

What form should health care insurance take? I say let’s do what Australia does. They have plans which provide for those insured to pay what they can for casual and uncomplicated care, but the plans then cover all the really disastrous illnesses. Seems to work quite well and maybe people should be required to take care of some part of their routine health problems but be covered if things get nasty, and really expensive.

As for the young taking over the healthcare costs for the elderly? Turns out that in Japan, more nappies are used by the elderly than by babies. The U.S. is facing this same problem of a declining birth rate. How long will the young agree to pay through the nose for the healthcare of elderly people in this country?

I think we’re reaching an impasse under the ACA, and my feeling is that the ACA is not going to survive for this and other reasons of high taxation and high costs involved with governmental oversight and control.

If you want it done at a reasonable cost, don’t have the government leeches involved.

J.P. Snively

Post Creek

EDITOR’S NOTE: The July 11 article did not say that health insurance costs would not increase in California. It said that costs “appear to be lower than projected.”


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:40

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Thanks for cleanup

Regarding the cleanup of the old mine tailings in Cooke City, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Tom Henderson recently said:

“The removal of tailings from the impoundment is over 80 percent complete. This upcoming year should see all the mines wastes placed in the repository at the site, and possibly the placement of the final cap over the repository. Reconstruction of Soda Butte Creek and Miller Creek will occur this year.

I expect that the major work at the project will be complete this year, but expect there will be additional re-vegetation work and final site work will be conducted in 2014. The project work is being done by Knife River.”

This $20 million project by DEQ would not have occurred without the efforts of Beartooth Alliance, an affiliate of Northern Plains Resource Council, at Cooke City.

The threat of the unattached dam above Cooke City washing out from large snow-melt or rainfall into the town will now be eliminated. Also the poor water quality that ran down Soda Butte Creek for years will not continue.

The creek will run in its original channel with clean water and good fishing. It has been a truly remarkable project. Thank you, Montana DEQ and the Beartooth Alliance.

Nellie Israel



Last Updated on Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:38

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Not trash

“The most precious gift of God is a child.” So said Mother Teresa.

I remember a picture of her holding a tiny baby who was recovered from a trash bin in Calcutta, India. This wrinkled and saintly nun, face beaming, held aloft that child as though he were the infant Christ Himself. And to her, he was.

That babe in the trash bin sums up much of what has gone wrong with our world. Children are discarded like so much garbage not only in Calcutta, but also in the cities of America.

Countless unborn babies are killed in their mothers’ womb through abortion. The old and disabled are “put down” like cats and dogs that have outlived their usefulness.

If only we could take the words of Mother Teresa to heart. A child is precious. He is of infinite value even before he is born. Human life is sacred. Even the old and feeble are made in the image of the living God.

How dare we treat them as disposable trash?

Mike Kecskes Sr.


Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 14:56

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Landowners win with HB 417

During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers and Gov. Steve Bullock put the interests of landowners ahead of the corporations that condemn property for private, for-profit purposes when they passed HB 417, a bill that helps restore some fairness in the eminent domain process.

It was sponsored by Rep. Kelly Flynn, R-Townsend.

While Montana’s property owners are eager to build our state’s economy (most are business owners themselves), I believe that the power of eminent domain should only be used for public projects that advance the public good. The process should be fair, and landowners should receive just compensation for the property taken.

HB 417 makes the condemnation process more fair by requiring that the entity condemning the property give a landowner a final written offer before initiating condemnation proceedings, preventing bad actors from playing manipulative games with various offers that leave the landowner unsure of where they stand.

There is more work to do to restore balance to our eminent domain laws, but HB 417 was an important start and now a good law.

Tom Reeves



Last Updated on Thursday, 11 July 2013 14:56

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Common sense and guns

Editorial critic Jack McKenzie sounds a bit paranoid stating that a May 2 Outpost editorial suggested “repeal” or “taking the power out of the Second Amendment.”

The Outpost editorial certainly did not suggest such an extreme position, but McKenzie’s response proved the editorial’s point that some gun advocates “imagine that the founders would have unhesitatingly ascribed constitutional protection to the array of weapons available today.”

With the array of weapons and the serious social problems of today, it is only sensible to do careful background checks to keep those weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.  That is not “repeal” of the Second Amendment, or even “weakening it.” That is plain modern common sense.

Joan Hurdle



Last Updated on Thursday, 04 July 2013 10:59

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