Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Labor leader alleges Muralt's Cafe owner pushed for gag order

Posted By on Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Less than a week after local landmark Muralt’s Café shut its doors, putting at least 15 waitresses, busboys and cooks out of work, a local labor union leader has alleged that café owner Walt Muralt threatened to withhold severance packages from outgoing employees if they speak ill of the establishment.

“Walt demanded they withhold anything negative,” says Mark Anderlik from UNITE HERE Local 427, which represents outgoing Muralt’s Café employees, many of whom also worked for All Events Catering, an affiliated company owned by Muralt.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: How trees affect crime rates, a study on ... wait for it ... hold on ... be patient ... waiting, and an attempt to build the world's tallest flagpole.

Curses, Foiled Again
When Walter Allen Jr. bought two Bentleys from a Houston car dealership for $458,000, he paid by signing over a $500,000 check issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. Managers at the dealership became suspicious because the Federal Reserve Bank usually uses wire transfers, not checks. They asked Allen to return later to pick up his cars, then alerted police, who confirmed the check was a fake and were waiting for Allen when he returned.

A man who was robbed at gunpoint outside a Subway store in Homestead, Pa., flagged down police and told them he recognized the suspect as having applied for a job at the Subway right before the robbery. “We checked with Subway, and they did have an application,” Homestead Police Chief J.A. DeSimone said. Using information from the form, police arrested Kris Johnson, 18.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Finnegan's wake: not just about James Joyce anymore

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

You thought it was over, but the mourning of Finnegan’s Family Restaurant isn’t done yet.

Missoula’s 24-hour family restaurant closed on Tuesday, Nov. 30, but you can still raise one more cup of coffee at a Finnegan’s funeral this Saturday and reminisce your heart out about the place at which plenty of Missoula folk either worked, wrote their thesis, ate pie and cheese fries, met their high school drama friends or ended up hung over on a Sunday morning. Or all of the above.

If by chance you can’t make this daylight funeral, well, you’re in luck. There will also be a midnight candle memorial service later in the night.

The memorial service hits the Finnegans parking lot at 700 E. Broadway Saturday, Dec. 4, from 11 AM to 1 PM. The candle light service starts at midnight.

Bergy gets promoted

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Just a few months after accepting a position as elite freestyle aerials assistant coach for the U.S. Ski Team, Missoula native and Olympic medalist Eric "Bergy" Bergoust has rocketed to the top. Head aerials coach Dmitriy Kavunov landed a gig with the Russian Ski Federation this fall and, according to an e-mail from Freestyle Program Director Todd Schirman, Bergy has stepped up to fill his shoes. KPAX led with the news yesterday. Bergy's new job as head coach will have him working with mogul skiers this spring out of the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York. His schedule will pretty much remain the same, though, keeping him away from home for all but one week a month in the summer.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daily Kos criticizes Tester, Baucus for "cowardice"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The top story on political news aggregator Daily Kos earlier today took something of a pot-shot at Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus over their lack of involvement on the issue of immigration reform. Specifically, Kos writer/publisher Markos Moulitsas Zúniga critiqued Tester and Baucus' lack of action on the Democrat-backed DREAM Act that seeks to offer citizenship to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children if they enroll in college or join the armed forces. In his eyes, apparently, Montana's delegation has caved to localized "wingnut hysteria" when it comes to the battle over DREAM or comprehensive immigration reform, the Republican alternative that would crack down on illegal immigration instead of making offers of citizenship.

Kos' argument stemmed from a recent Montana poll that focused primarily on Tester's potential weakness in the 2012 election. Should Tester back the DREAM Act in Congress, the poll indicated, conservatives would overwhelmingly vote against him. But, as the article points out, "they're not going to vote for him anyway. Moderates are the real battleground, and he comes out slightly ahead, at worse."

Earlier in November, Politico included Tester near the top of its Republican hit list for 2012. The Kos poll clearly shows that if Tester wants to get off that list, conservatives would prefer he back comprehensive immigration reform over DREAM.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Strohmaier to propose fines, jail for adults who host underage parties

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:00 PM


Missoula City Councilman Dave Strohmaier is again proposing an ordinance sure to raise eyebrows among civil libertarians. The two-term councilman says he plans on unveiling next week a citywide law that, if it passes, would empower law enforcement to fine adults who host events that involve underage drinking.

“I’m finalizing a draft right now,” says Strohmaier, who’s proposing a $500 fine for the first violation of the “social host ordinance.” Two-time offenders would be sentenced to two days in jail.

“I have that there to send a clear message,” he says.

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An ode to Finnegan's

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 12:35 PM

In my high school days, Finnegan’s restaurant was where you went to get away from the rest of the world. Drinking bottomless cups of coffee for hours on end might have mildly annoyed the wait staff, but in the end, even the most obnoxious of us were welcome at the 24-hour diner on East Broadway. If you played Magic or Dungeons & Dragons, you went to Finnegan’s. If you were a “Twin Peaks” fanatic, you went to Finnegan’s. If you wore black nail polish at all, you were there at Finnegan’s every night you could get out of the house.


Finnegan’s was the place you’d go to order four sides of bacon plus a bacon cheeseburger, and not feel ashamed. It’s where Hellgate High School thespian dorks (ie. me) went after opening night, flushed with teen energy from all that applause. It was where crushes developed and cryptic notes written on napkins were passed underneath the table. When R.E.M.’s Automatic For the People and The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa came out, it was at Finnegan’s where we got all wired on coffee and passed the headphones around to share in the new wealth of music.

Finnegan’s closed for good yesterday, Tuesday, Dec. 1 Nov. 30, after 23 years. It marks the passing of one of the last 24-hour diner's in town. R.I.P. Finnegan's.

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 9:00 AM

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): Physicist Stephen Hawking believes it would be dangerous to get in touch with extraterrestrial creatures. "If aliens visit us," he says, "the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans." Those who've studied the teeming evidence for UFOs would say that Hawking's warning is too late. Some mysterious non-human intelligence has been here for a long time, and the fact that we are still around proves they're no Spanish conquistadors. Aside from that, though, let's marvel at the stupidity of Hawking's lame advice. As any mildly wise person knows, exploring the unknown is not only an aid to our mental and spiritual health—it's a prerequisite. That'll be especially true for you Aries in the coming weeks.

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