The Billings Outpost

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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 and Apostrophe Magazine ( Together let’s change hearts and minds in March.

Larry Noonan


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


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:56

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Time to buy local

In the movie, “Medicine Man,” Sean Connery found the cure for cancer in the Amazon Rain Forest. Sometimes fiction is not that far from fact. There is a plant in the Amazon area that does indeed kill cancer cells.

Unfortunately, the drug company which did all the research can’t come up with a synthetic pill. Some plants can’t be cultivated or domesticated! How can the pill pushers make a profit from weeds and herbs?

We now import more food than we raise, the question is from where? Take a product produced in a country known for its toxic food products, sell it to the food brokers who sell it to a food processor, who then sells it to the wholesaler who sells it to the retailer you buy it from. How many countries, factories and food handlers has that product been through? How does one trace where the contamination originated?

The propaganda goes: Sugar is the reason we gain so much weight. So we consume diet products with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. What we are not told is those artificial sweeteners make us crave more food and break down in our systems into their original toxic chemicals.

The side effects of sugar include muscle spasms, dizziness, headaches, tinnitus, unexplained depression, anxiety, blurred vision and many more.

Some of the medical diagnoses include multiple sclerosis, seizures, depression, ADD and ADHD. It is especially dangerous with diabetics because of the glucose balance they need. The reason the artificial sweeteners are not banned: look at the profit and label of what you buy! Aspartame, Nutra Sweet, Equal or Spoonful. What product does not contain sugar?

If ever there was a time to buy local, fresh, raw, natural food product, it would be now. Might be a time to start home cooking instead of prepared prepackaged, over processed food. Above all READ THE LABEL, what poison are you ingesting today?

The things one can read in magazines and on FaceBook. The poisoning of America by our own people. We are told we are an obese people by our media, but not why.

Lauris Byxbe

Pompeys Pillar

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:55

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Brainless war

When we hear about sequestration and threats of shutting down funds to programs that are vital, does anyone remember the previous administration officials spent $10.6 trillion to kill one man? They also shot arms and legs off 45,000 soldiers and killed over 4,500 young men and women.

Many expenses are still ongoing because of this brainless war. Also, remember, this was the first time in history the U.S.A. ever started a war.

Lloyd DeBruycker


Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 14:54

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Join conversation on coal

Montana is in the midst of an important conversation about coal. Our state holds significant reserves of this fossil fuel, which over the decades has helped boost Montana’s economy via mining and exports and to power our nation via the coal-fired plants in Colstrip. There’s no question that coal is an important part of Montana’s history.

Yet, we’ve now reached a juncture where we must discuss how coal fits into our future. There’s great interest in mining more of this resource in our state and exporting it overseas. Local communities are concerned about the impact of increased rail traffic as a result. There’s also significant concern about how burning more Montana coal in China and elsewhere will affect our climate.

As physicians, we share these concerns, but also want to address the more immediate effects that the burning of coal has on public health. These hazards are well-documented, but tend not to get the same amount attention as coal’s impact on the larger environment.

Coal-fired power plants do more than cloud the air; they emit toxic pollution that causes illness and death. Toxins emitted by burning coal worsen asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cause heart attacks and strokes, lung and other cancers, and lead to birth defects.

Nationwide, coal-fired plants account for 386,000 tons of dangerous pollutants each year, including acid gases such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride, which can burn the eyes, skin and breathing passages, lead, arsenic and other metals that can harm the lungs, kidneys and nervous system, and dioxins, which pose a risk for cancer.

We urge Montanans to learn more about the impacts of coal and their health, in order to insure that the coal’s affects on human health are not overshadowed in the current debates over coal and our state’s role in burning, mining and exporting it.

An informative resource to learn more about these issues is “The Silent Epidemic: Coal and the Hidden Threat to Health” by Alan Lockwood, M.D. This book from the MIT Press draws on numerous peer-reviewed studies to examine every aspect of coal, from its complex medical makeup to the health effects of mining, burning, transporting and disposing of this fuel. These are all central issues to Montana residents.

Dr. Lockwood, an emeritus professor of neurology and nuclear medicine at the State University of New York, will speak at 7 p.m. March 18 at Rocky Mountain College, Losekamp Hall, 1511 Poly Drive in Billings. The event is free and open to the public. We encourage you to take this opportunity to learn more about this important topic.

Paul Smith, Missoula

Robert Shepard, Helena

Robert Merchant, Helena

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:24

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Speaking out on climate

Wilbur Wood did a great job of writing about climate change dangers and specifying what needs to be done [Outpost, March 7]. In our nation there has been a long silent period of inaction and our children will pay dearly for that selfish indifference.

It is good to see that the Outpost is not silent. Thank you.

Joan Hurdle


Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:23

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