Monday, August 31, 2009

Rehberg released; questions remain

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Rep. Denny Rehberg and staffer Kristin Smith were released from Kalispell Regional Medical Center today. But what about the Barkuses? And what about Dustin Frost? And does Rehberg's embarrassing Kazakhstan incident provide any insight into this story?

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Rehberg crash

Posted By on Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Not all of the questions regarding Thursday night's boat crash involving Rep. Rehberg and four others have been addressed, but some answers are trickling in.

John S. Adams posted the audio from Erik Iverson's latest press conference, so you can hear the details yourself here.

4&20 jumped on the fact that Rehberg, who suffered a broken ankle and a shiner, had a (legal) blood alcohol level (BAC) of "only .05." Plenty others are wondering about the BAC of state Sen. Greg Barkus, the owner and operator of the boat. Details on Barkus' condition — and his wife's — have not been released.

Details have been released of the condition of Rehberg's state director, 27-year-old UM grad Dustin Frost, and they're not sounding good. "The doctors are monitoring the pressure on his brain," said Iverson during his Saturday press conference. "He is stable and sedated, and doing as well as can be expected."

The fifth passenger was another Rehberg aide, Kristin Smith. Iverson said she suffered lacerations to her face and bruises, but is expected to be released from the hospital in a few days.

The accident is under investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Flathead County Sheriff's Office and the Montana Highway Patrol.

Friday, August 28, 2009

State of the University

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 2:30 PM

University of Montana President George Dennison delivered his State of the University address this morning in the Montana Theater. After a lengthy series of introductions to new faculty and staff, Dennison introduced general plans for his "reform and re-invention" agenda for the coming academic year.

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Week in Review: Cojones, Kennedy and Weed

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Both Sen. Tester and Sen. Baucus offer mixed signals about a public option in health care reform.

The Boston Phoenix begins speculation on who will replace Sen. Kennedy.

Hikers beware: International drug dealers are apparently taking to our national forests.

In media and economy news, papers continue to feel a pinch.

The big news among alt weeklies this week involved the bankruptcy court auction of Creative Loafing, the company that used to run stalwart alts in Chicago, D.C., Atlanta, Tampa and Charlotte. A New York-based hedge fund submitted the winning bid. The papers impacted by the sale are putting a positive spin on their new owners.

Speaking of alt weeklies, we hope to highlight some of the more compelling work from around the country on our blog. This week, that involves the Kennedy piece above, as well as how cancer may play a part in the fight for medical marijuana, a critical look at wind power, and a truly weird/controversial piece about "Zoophiles."

And, finally, Bob Jaffe's back to his weekly council updates. It didn't take him long to get back into the swing of things.

This morning before we got started I heard Hendrickson commenting to Wilkins about his quote in the paper on his statements at the Republican central committee forum. I threw in something about him becoming the new champion of the Republican party that wasn’t well received. He said something about at least not being too far on the left. I suppose that would be the left of labor unions and safety nets and the like. Jason got involved and then Dave had to break it up to get his committee started. All this before 8 AM while the coffee was still brewing. It’s good to be back.

He wasn't done, either. In regards to Councilmen Haines and Hendrickson desire to punt to experts on determining building height in the zoning rewrite, Jaffe writes:

...this is a policy decision and that is what we are elected for. If these guys don’t think they are qualified to make these decisions I’m not sure why they are running for office again.

I think the Missoulian's Keila Szpaller said it best over at Red Tape: "Cojones, please."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"With the Irish, laughter and sadness are never far apart"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:45 PM


Former U.S. Rep. Pat Williams sent out his thoughts on the late Sen. Kennedy this afternoon. We'd read the funny anecdote about Teddy at the Montana Fair in 1960, but didn't know that episode also connected to the Bay of Pigs.

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We can't escape Huey

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Guess who sat in on Ratdog's entire set last night at the Wilma?

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's not David Sedaris, but...

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 5:44 PM

President Obama took five books with him on vacation to Martha's Vineyard this week, including the latest from DC-based crime writer George Pelecanos. Why does that matter to Missoulians?


Pelecanos, who also wrote for HBO's "The Wire" (and, full disclosure, is a relative of mine), makes his first appearance at Montana's Festival of the Book in October. He and Dennis Lehane (of Mystic River fame) will appear, in part, for a tribute to the late Jim Crumley.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Total Fest press

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Over the years, Total Fest has slowly built up a reputation in pockets around the Northwest—Seattle and Portland, especially—and even in places on the East coast. The murmur has become a full-fledged buzz.


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Sullied soil

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 4:29 PM

This week the Indy investigates complaints of chemical contamination in Bitterroot Valley vegetable gardens. The Hamilton Farmers' Market and Victor-based nonprofit Sustainable Living Systems will host a meeting in the Hamilton library this Thursday at 7 p.m. to hear stories from local growers and gauge the extent of the problem.


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Total Fest: Finale

Posted By on Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Total Fest's finale last night was one to remember. For one thing, numerous bands and out-of-towners kept announcing how unique and fantastic Total Fest is, and reminded us not to take it for granted. Rather than feeling preachy, it actually did remind most of us how lucky we are. Warm and fuzzy.

  • Japanther

The night kicked off with a couple of solid gold bands including Goddammitboyhowdy, our local punk rock group originating from the Blackfeet Reservation, who sang songs filled with angst, humor and a refreshingly candid sarcasm. For the last song, several of their buddies hurdled onto the stage and sang gang vocals for the band and the dramatic, lighter-raising moment sent the audience into a dancing fury.

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