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It has been months since I've submitted opinion pieces, but the seriousness of the issue here really calls out for action! Though I do express my opinions to some extent, I feel this is not an opinion piece, but rather a set of factual observations over the last few weeks that call attention to a big problem that I feel is likely widespread in Helena right now.

I find myself preoccupied, and even fearful, with everyday activities requiring us to drive the streets. In the past two weeks I have seen from my home so many very close calls, wherein all sorts of vehicles are slipping and sliding every which way on the ice in our area. I worry at night that my car will be wrecked since we have to park on the street. I have never seen anything like this when we lived in the Columbia Falls area, nor the previous seven winters here.

I know Helena has a nasty winter habit of snowing heavily, then freezing/thawing daily for weeks, creating an icy nightmare on our streets and sidewalks, and that has certainly happened so far this winter. But the weather has been just as difficult before in our years here. What stands out is that this year the Helena snow and ice program has decisively failed to do its job. I believe in government and taxation, and I feel our government here is failing us! I believe this is a real emergency and call on the mayor and commissioners to take this very seriously, immediately.

I know this is long, but this is a story that I've spent a lot of time thinking about, and carefully documenting, in order to stimulate attention to similar stories I think a lot of other locals may be having this winter. I hope you will expedite the prompt publication of this submission -- the winter has just begun!

Thank you for your consideration,

Don Kiehn

Helena

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