Last month, citizens Brad and Adina Roe filed suit against the City of Missoula over the City Council’s actions related to a boundary line relocation request at 636 Evans. On Sept. 7, the Roes filed another complaint, this one related to a boundary line adjustment at 316 E. Sussex Ave. In part, the Roes ask the court to determine that the conduct of City Council members Anne Kazmierczak, Lou Ann Crowley, Jerry Ballas, Myrt Charney, Bob Lovegrove, Jack Reidy, Clayton Floyd and Don Nicholson “constitutes a criminal offense.” The complaint was served to most defendants over the weekend and on Monday. While the authority to charge Council members with official misconduct—the alleged criminal offense—resides with the county attorney, says Roe Attorney Thomas Orr, he believes the complaint’s request has merit based on Council members’ disregard for the city attorney’s advice on how to process boundary line adjustment requests. “They’ve been advised by the city attorney that they’re violating the law,” says Orr. Missoula Chief Civil Deputy County Attorney Mike Sehestedt does not anticipate charging Council members with official misconduct: “There’s no chance,” he says, “ based on what is before us, of any kind of official misconduct charge being filed over this.” The most recent complaint also requests compensatory damages. “We estimate the damages in this case to exceed $300,000,” says Orr. Lost rent and loss of value to the property account for the estimate, he says. Council members served with the complaint are expected to respond individually within 20 days of the date they were served. Assuming, that is, they’re now listening to their attorneys.
The real fun of Hempfest isn’t drinking Bongwater Porter, or scoring a swirly glass pipe, or being that one girl spinning around in the flowy dress in front of the band—in the rain. No, the real fun of Hempfest 2004 is sitting in one chair, at one vendor’s booth, for 10 hours straight, watching the crowd weather the day—and the day weather the crowd. At 11 a.m., clear-eyed middle-school skaters cruise by in packs, parents show little kids hemp leashes for their dog, couples stroll by with ice cream cones. At a henna booth, one vendor idly decorates her fellow vendor’s foot. But sometime around the first rain drops, which is sometime around the time the beer taps start flowing, which is sometime, oh, let’s say a little after 4 p.m., the crowd adopts a collectively drippier feel. The air is wet—and it smells different, too. The kids are gone, save for the few whose parents have dressed them in dancing-bear T-shirts for the day while they man their own booths. The girls in the henna booth give up their trade to lounge around with a pair of shaggy visitors who huddle on their small rug, no doubt bubbling philosophy. A small boy named Sunshine weaves through a pack of guys in combat boots. A man guarding the beer garden says he comes from a lot of money, but not where he’s headed.
Ah, Hempfest. The price of admission: a $3 donation. Watching the crowd until you can’t see straight: priceless.