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An IR View: Deer culling program, arts venues struggling, facility dog program
AN IR VIEW

An IR View: Deer culling program, arts venues struggling, facility dog program

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Take a quick drive around Helena and you’ll see why the city's deer culling program is so important.

Through this program, the Helena Police Department traps and kills the number of deer needed to maintain a specified population density goal and then donates the meat to Helena Food Share. The program started in 2008 as a way to help reduce collisions with vehicles, damage to landscaping and other conflicts between humans and deer.

However, the city suspended the program about two years ago due to budget cuts, which allowed the city’s urban deer population to flourish.

Now dead and wounded deer are a common sight around town, and we’d much rather see that meat go to the food bank instead of the landfill.

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Helena’s performing arts venues are struggling to keep their doors open due to surging COVID-19 cases, and many shows have already been canceled or postponed.

And according to leaders at the Grandstreet Theatre and Helena Symphony, one of their biggest roadblocks is a new state law that prevents them from requiring attendees to be vaccinated.

According to the symphony’s artistic director Allan R. Scott, most concert halls around the country require performers, staff and the audience to be vaccinated. Montana is the only state in the nation that takes this power away from performing arts venues, and we could end up losing them as a result.

That would be a shame for a city that was once known as the “best small arts town in America.”

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Dogs have a unique ability to light up a room.

And for many patients at St. Peter’s Health, a visit from one of the two golden retrievers on staff is just what the doctor ordered.

The health system recently added a second golden retriever to its facility dog program, and she has been well-received by the staff and patients alike.

Healthy minds make healthy bodies, and a dog can do wonders for our mental health.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 

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