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Readers Write: New economy fuels green energy, entrepreneurship; Pray in secret

Letters to the Editor for the July 22, 2013 weekly print issue:

The destructive extractive economy is indeed changing, as is the expectation of what constitutes a truly satisfying standard of living. Bozeman, Mont. epitomizes a new economy with a respect for environmental conservation.

In the debate of prayer in school, it's worth remembering that Jesus said to pray in private and silently, not publicly.

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A changing economy, new energy

The June 10 cover story, "Rise of the 'Green Coast,' " brings out the idea that entrepreneurship that responds to change lives on. My great-grandfather Gen. Lester S. Willson and his brother orchestrated the first wagon train to Bozeman, Mont. – the focus of the article – in 1867. He founded a freight company, general store, and bank. His son, Fred Willson, studied architecture abroad and returned to build much of Bozeman and Montana State University, including the Baxter Hotel, pictured in the article.

The destructive extractive economy is indeed changing, as is the expectation of what constitutes a truly satisfying standard of living. The habits and sensitivities of the past 40 years of expensive resource-intense living fueled by housing appreciation and cheap credit and energy are over. As American author and social critic James Howard Kunstler has argued, in the future, our communities will thrive on local economies that are "simpler, smaller, closer," even as businesspeople use amazing technology to create livelihoods.

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