Local football fans taking part in the will-they-or-won't-they debate of the Griz moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) finally have some real pieces to the puzzle. Colorado is moving to what's currently known as the Pac-10, Boise State formally announced its jump to the Mountain West and Nebraska is close to announcing its move to what we still call the Big 10. (Exhibit A of college football's current madness: The Pac-10 is believed to be expanding to 16 teams, thus becoming the Pac-16, and the Big 10, a misnomer considering it already has 11 teams, may also be going to 16. Or just 12. Or...never mind.)
Those moves are just the beginning of what experts are calling the end of the FBS, the end of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and, perhaps, the end of the word as we know it. So, should Griz fans feel fine?
Depends. UM AD Jim O'Day told us last month that, aside from hiring a consulting firm to study the university's options, he's content to wait for everything to unfold. "Every day you're reading new pieces about conference expansion. Every day there's something new," he said. "If we don't think people are looking at us, we're crazy. That's not to say they're serious, but they're looking. And we need to be ready if they come to us with an offer."
At first glance, the Boise State move has the most immediate impact for the Griz. WAC Commissioner Karl Benson held a press conference last week about Boise's imminent departure from the conference, and said the WAC has looked at five or six western FCS schools and is seeking "the next Boise State," or another small school with potential. Both of those comments would seem to point to UM. (How weird is the prospect of Hawaii and Fresno State someday visiting Wash-Griz Stadium?)
Then again, others expect many more dominoes to fall. Let college football's silly season—and the Griz debate—continue.
Bill Ohrmann is a Drummond rancher who started painting when he was 78 years old. We did a feature story on Ohrmann last year when a documentary about him called Be Thou Always As a Guest screened in Missoula. If you missed it, filmmaker Sean O'Brien is showing the film again, this time at the Opera House Theater in Philipsburg.
Now 91, Ohrmann's completed over 200 paintings, many of which hang in the Ohrmann Museum and Gallery located on his Flint Creek Valley ranch, which he's owned since 1933. His colorful pieces include sometimes graphic illustrations of both environmental beauty and destruction. One of his newest ones, "Always Hopeful Always Wrong," shows Ohrmann's take on the current oil spill fiasco.
In fact, you can check out both the museum and the film while you're in the area. And Philipsburg's always good for a weekend heritage trip to get your Montana history on.
Be Thou Always as a Guest shows at the Opera House Theater in Philipsburg Saturday, June 12, at 7 PM.
There will be reception following the film at the Community Center, where some of Ohrmann's paintings will be displayed. $7 admission includes food and drinks.
Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The “secret” is in plain sight. The “hidden resource” is freely available for anyone who intends to use it with integrity. The “lost key” is very close to where you left it when you last used it. The “missing link” is missing only in the sense that no one recognizes it for what it is. The “unasked question” is beaming toward you from three directions. The “wounded talent” will be healed the moment you stop thinking of it as wounded and start regarding it as merely unripe.
There are plenty of outlets covering today's election, and we'll have George Ochenski's analysis in Thursday's paper, but if you're looking for real-time results now that the polls have closed, just click here.
The Secretary of State's website is pretty slick, easy to navigate and shows the results of every race in the state, complete with county-level data and district maps.
Despite concerns shared by county residents, the Missoula City Council last night approved an ordinance that will extend police authority to five miles outside city limits. The measure passed by an 8-4 vote.
For one, VOTE!
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and voters must bring their identification (voter registration card, driver's license, Costco card, etc.) with them to the polls. You can check your registration status and confirm your polling place at the county website. (Remember, some polling places changed due to last year's consolidation effort.)
If you're not registered, head to the Elections Center at the Missoula County Fairgrounds to register and receive a ballot.
If you're looking for a ride, note that Mountain Line is providing free transportation all day.
Missoulian editor Sherry Devlin blogged over the weekend about John Wooden (RIP), news organizations being inaccurate in a rush to report the news and, oh look, the Indy. Cool! The Missoulian never writes about us.
Specifically, Devlin takes issue with news organizations that rushed to eulogize Wooden on Thursday night, before the 99-year-old coaching legend died on Friday. She continues:
I see examples of such a rush to print every day, locally and in the larger world. Just this past week, the Missoula Independent went online with news that the Macy’s building had been sold to the University of Montana. Not true. UM has toured the building, is looking at possibilities associated with the building’s potential purchase and use, but has neither decided to buy the building nor bought the building.
One problem: We never reported that. Our blog post headline raised the question, "UM to buy Macy's building?" We also wrote, referencing Missoula City Councilman Bob Jaffe's listserv, that "UM is evaluating the possibility of using the historic structure to expand UM's Montana Museum of Art and Culture." We never reported the building was sold. We then spoke with Jim Foley at UM, who confirmed, "We have talked very briefly with the agents who are listed to sell it." If anything, we're guilty of letting a squishy sentence lead the blog post, but a weak sentence hardly constitutes a factual error or otherwise asserts the done deal Devlin mistakes.
Anyway, I posted a response to Devlin's blog this morning on the Missoulian's site, but it has yet to appear online. That was more than six hours ago. I called Devlin this afternoon to see when I could expect my response to appear online, as well as to ask what the deal was with her original post. She said the Indy's Twitter feed reported the sale. Again, not true. I explained our Twitter feed is generated directly from our blog, which never reported any such thing. Devlin said this was the first she'd heard of a problem, and said she'd take down the reference to the Indy immediately. I asked whether my response to her blog post or a correction would appear, and she reiterated that she took down any mention of the Indy, and left it at that. (A screen grab of her original post can be seen below.)
Devlin ends her original post with a righteous rant about the "great potential, and power" of the interwebs — "But only if news outlets hold fast to their journalistic principles of accuracy — of verifying stories before they are put into publication, be that publication on the Web or in print or over the airwaves. You as consumers should demand nothing less. We as journalists should commit ourselves to nothing less."
Right on! We couldn't agree more. As a consumer and journalist, I only wish Devlin had taken care to ensure her call for accuracy hit the mark.
In this week's installment: space trash, pornography while driving, and a Billings man who "mistakenly" killed a bald eagle because he thought it was a porcupine.
Curses, Foiled Again
Authorities investigating a bank robbery in St. Cloud, Minn., nabbed their suspect after officials at Mystic Lake Casino observed him depositing cash into slot machines in exchange for credit slips. “In effect, he was laundering his money through the casino,” police Sgt. Martin Sayre said. Casino officials became suspicious because Salamo Nam Rakotojoelinandrasana, 23, was exchanging bills covered with red dye, which the bank used to mark the stolen money.
When Kenneth Parkerson, 28, sneaked into the screened patio of a home in Coral Springs, Fla., carrying a video camera, he was confronted by homeowner Ireneusz Fajkis, a firefighter who also happens to be a mixed martial arts fighter. Fajkis chased the intruder, tackled him to the ground and beat him up before calling the police. “I picked the wrong house,” Parkerson reportedly told the hospital nurse who treated his wounds.
It seems everyone's trying to put the brakes on Montana's thriving medical marijuana industry—except the patients.
In May, 2,504 Montanans received medical marijuana cards from the state, by far the highest tally in any month since the Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2004.
After we hit up (take shelter in) all the usual galleries and shops displaying sometimes monstrous, often ecologically minded and morally provoking art, we’re going to step into the hallway behind El Cazador called the Hammond Arcade where we expect to see the Walking Art Show, an exhibit which runs from 5 to 8 PM and is put on by women from several local shops including Habitat Floral, Meghan Janea Designs, Green Door Photography and Shear Art Salon. The theme is "the circus," and the models will be dressed up in quirky attire as surreal as a Mad Hatter's tea party.
Speaking of quirky art, Michael deMeng will be showing his found art assemblage pieces and signing his book Dusty Diablos: Folklore, Iconography, Assemblage, Ole! at one of the newer venues, simply referred to as Studio/Gallery (1001 South 4th St at 4th & Oak). Winged demons and weathered doll faces abound. And for those of us who like to veer off the less traveled path (i.e., not just downtown) it's a nice adventure for the evening.
See you down the rabbit hole.
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