The Wednesday Read

Quote for the Day…

Your job is not to judge. Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something. Your job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting. ― Joel Osteen

In today’s column, I look at these people/issues:

  • Great Falls Homeless Encampment
  • The Western Word Poll
  • Reading Assignments

Hello June – you beautiful thing!


The city (or maybe shitty) of Great Falls decided to attack the most vulnerable in our community by going after the First United Methodist Church for stepping up and helping the homeless who are using church property.

According to the city’s press release:

The City has notified Pastor Jeff Wakeley that the Church is required under the City’s zoning ordinance to obtain a Conditional Use Permit to even operate any type of homeless shelter in the first instance. The Church has since submitted a CUP application that is currently being processed by City staff and will ultimately be presented to the Great Falls Zoning Commission within the next few weeks.

The city also decided to go the court route:

In the meantime, the Church was also placed on notice in early May that the tent and camper encampment is a separate violation of the City’s zoning code, which does not permit campgrounds in the zoning district where the Church is located. The Church did not respond to that notice by removing the tents and camping arrangements as directed, so the City has now filed a lawsuit in District Court to enforce its zoning requirements.

Going the lawsuit route is a shitty way of doing business, Great Falls. I don’t know which lawyer advised the city to do this, but it is ethically and morally wrong. I hope you lose.

Great Falls favors casinos over helping those less fortunate and churches. That’s plain to see. Almost every block on the most traveled streets has a casino on it, while a few homeless people are occupying a parking lot in one small area in town.

Some of the comments on social media about the lawsuit were so ridiculous that anyone thinking of moving their business here needs to ask if there’s any intelligent life here. Many were ignorant MAGA folks.

I suggest people who care about the homeless, donate to the First United Methodist Church to help them with this mission – and the lawsuit. Click HERE.

On the city’s Facebook page, I left the following comment:

God bless the First United Methodist Church, Pastor Wakeley, and their members.

That post was one of the most liked comments on their post. At least some people understand what needs to be done.

Read the press release from the City of Great Falls HERE.

The Electric has a story about it HERE.

The Great Falls Tribune has a story about it HERE.


The NBA Finals are set – It’s the Boston Celtics versus the Golden State Warriors. This week’s poll question asks, “Who will win the 2021-22 NBA Championship?”

The results will be posted later this week.


Here are some articles you should read…

Helena IRNRA’s a powerful force in Montana politics
Wow – breaking news…

Bozeman Daily ChronicleEditorial: Montana’s schools need more counselors, not fewer
Very true – it seems the Republicans are against public schools…

MTN NewsWarrior Wishes Montana works to fix military veteran’s house
We are supposed to help those less fortunate – maybe the leaders in Great Falls will read this…

APTexas police: School door shut but didn’t lock before attack
As the days go by, we learn more and it’s not good.

USA TodayCanadian prime minister Justin Trudeau proposes ‘national freeze’ on handgun sales
Good luck with that…

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10 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read

  1. A few thoughts –

    One of your remarks was: ” – it seems the Republicans are against public schools…” Another of your remarks was: “Wow – breaking news…” Both remarks totally apropos when taken together.

    It’s been an NRA mantra for years that the only solution for a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Considering the most recent slaughter of children in Texas, I don’t think anyone would declare that Texas has a shortage of guns, so I guess we’re left with the conclusion that Texas does seem to have a shortage of good guys – at least in public office.

    I’ve been to Texas a few times over the years, willingly or not. Austin is interesting, but makes Roundup look lush and tropical. San Antonio is somewhat civilized and has the Alamo and River Walk – a day is enough to see everything twice. Dallas/Ft Worth and Houston make Detroit and Chicago seem like Paris. West Texas? El Paso shows why the Texas state flower is a rock. Some in Montana complain about Californians moving here, but I think there may be more Texans, and for better reasons.

    • Steinbeck on Texas:
      “Montana seems to me to be what a small boy would think Texas is like from hearing Texans”. From Travels with Charlie.

      I spent a year in Texas in the military in 1970. At first the land was so foreign to me that I hated it. But it grows on you. The Hill Country is fabulous. And Texans themselves are a different breed. They can be arrogant as hell, but I counted many as close friends. What you see is what you get. They really don’t care what others think of them. I really enjoyed drinking in some of those little outback bars miles from anywhere with maybe a light bulb hanging down to light the joint. They were from a different era, a good era I thought.

    • I spent about six months in Texas at Lackland AFB and at Camp Bullis. San Antonio is nice. -JmB

      • I spent time at Camp Bullis before heading to Nam. They called it AZR training. We did a lot of nighttime training. It was fun, and incredible to hear the Javelinas and coyotes serenading us all night long. I have never forgotten that. It gets in your soul. But I can do without the Army chow. First time I’d ever seen jello you could bounce! True story.

      • The amazing thing I remember about Bullis was the swimming pool. It was built in 1930 and also revamped by German POWs. I hear it is now a pond for catfish.

    • A lot of truth in this opinion piece. I know I started carrying after many years of threats because of my activism. I see it only getting worse as public meetings become a venue for folks to show up armed. And if you have a constitutionalist sheriff who supports one side over the other, it could get dicey. That’s what happened in the Bundy standoff at the wildlife refuge in Oregon. The Bundy crew was escaping to the next county over where a sheriff named Palmer had promised them refuge. The FBI said no way and intercepted them on the way resulting in the death of Finnicum. Who knows where it will end? No good can come of it.

  2. Nothing in the press telease or news stories regarding what the City Commission proposes to do about the city’s homeless issues once the people have been 86’ed off FUMC property. Perhaps the expectation is that if this very visible downtown group of homeless can be forced to disperse the issues and people will magically disappear. “Out of sight, out of mind” – It was working great for the Commission before, so why change anything? Rude to even bring it up. File a lawsuit, issue citations, and just make it go away, please.

    • Terry – some commentators on social media seem to believe out of sight out of mind. The city of Great Falls is looking pretty bad in this situation. Thanks, JmB

      • This situation has made the City Commission look totally impotent, is what is has done. Except as far as bringing down the full power of government on the businesses and citizens of the city. They’re always good at that.

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