Monday, May 16, 2011

Chatham looks to reconstruct his life in California

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

A celebratory graduation weekend in Missoula turned up an unfortunate bit of real world news from the Bay Area.

Clark City Press cover of Mile High, Mile Deep, featuring Chathams artwork
  • Clark City Press cover of Mile High, Mile Deep, featuring Chatham's artwork

Celebrated Montana landscape artist, publisher and restaurateur Russell Chatham told the San Francisco Chronicle that he's left Montana and returned to his home in West Marin in hopes of painting his way out of financial ruin.

"My sole possessions in this universe are 10 gray T-shirts and three pairs of overalls," says Chatham, according to reporter Sam Whiting, who adds that barter has become Chatham's favored means of commerce.

In short, Chatham made some bad investments in Livingston real estate. His artwork is still in high demand, but he hasn't painted in years and has no inventory to sell.

The restaurant's gone and he furloughed Clark City Press. He reopened his gallery (shuttered for years) to sell his lithography — and that land.

It's not the first time Chatham's hit a rough patch, but this blow is enough to have him leave Montana behind.

"I'm probably going to end up with foreclosures, and there's nothing I can do about it," he's quoted as saying. "I'm probably going to have to reconstruct my life down here."

The most telling example of Montana in his rear view: He's working on a memoir about fishing. But it's not about Montana's treasured waterways — it's about fishing the San Francisco Bay.

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment, a man wearing a cow costume steals 26 gallons of milk from a Wal-Mart store.

Curses, Foiled Again
The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department solved a 2004 murder case after homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd recognized the crime depicted in a tattoo on the chest of Anthony Garcia, 25. The 30-year department veteran had been at the scene of the liquor store slaying and remembered the details when he spotted Garcia’s elaborate tattoo while reviewing snapshots of gang members’ markings. Deputies arrested Garcia and put him in a cell with an undercover detective posing as suspect. Garcia soon began bragging about the liquor store killing, which the undercover detective dutifully recorded and played at Garcia’s trial. “Think about it,” Capt. Mike Parker said after Garcia’s conviction. “He tattooed his confession on his chest.” (Los Angeles Times)

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Friday, May 13, 2011

A sneak peek at Tom Brokaw's commencement speech

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

For the first time in recent memory, University of Montana graduates will hear from a celebrity commencement speaker during Saturday's festivities.

One of the most trusted names in news, Tom Brokaw, will take some time away from his Montana ranch to pass on sage advice to the Class of 2011.

Not surprisingly, this ain't Brokaw's first rodeo. He receives a good number of invitations from institutions of higher learning every year. And that means some of the same lines get recycled year in and year out. There's nothing wrong with that, of course — especially considering he gets high praise for each speech being short, funny and poignant. But for those who aren't fortunate enough to hear Brokaw on Saturday, or those who may not be of the clearest of mind after a week of keg stands finals, we've compiled what amounts to his greatest hits so you won't feel like you're missing out.

Cheap shot at Montana State
Chance he'll say it: 91%
From Fordham, circa 2009: "If I were giving these remarks at Columbia, I’d have to speak much more slowly and use shorter words for the class at Columbia."
From Dartmouth, circa 2005: "In recent years I've given commencement addresses or class day speeches at Penn, Harvard, and Yale and at those institutions...hear me those institutions I had to speak more slowly and use shorter words than I will here."
From Stanford, circa 2006: "In the last couple of years I've been a Class Day speaker at Harvard and Yale, and at those institutions I had to use shorter words and speak more slowly."

The real world is junior high
Chance he'll say it: 87%
From Emory, circa 2005: "Here is a secret that no one has told you: Real life is junior high."
From Iowa, circa 2010: "I have some surprising news for you...the best preparation for the real world is not the University of Iowa, or high school, or summer jobs. It turns out, the best preparation for the real world is junior high."
Fordham again: "I can speak with some experience when I say to you, and this may be a revelation, the real world was junior high."

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 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): The 16th-century English writer John Heywood was a prolific creator of epigrams. I know of at least 20 of his proverbs that are still invoked, including “Haste makes waste,” “Out of sight, out of mind,” “Look before you leap,” “Beggars shouldn’t be choosers,” “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and “Do you want to both eat your cake and have it, too?” I bring this up, Aries, because I suspect you’re in a Heywoodian phase of your long-term cycle. In the coming weeks, you’re likely to unearth a wealth of pithy insights and guiding principles that will serve you well into the future.

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Last chance to vote for Best of Missoula

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 7:00 AM

The Montana Legislature may have tried to eliminate Election Day voter registration, but the Indy would never think of such a thing.


Today, Wednesday, May 11, is the last chance to vote for this year's Best of Missoula.

You can vote online here, or fill out a hard copy ballot by turning to page five of this week's dead-tree issue of the Indy. Either way, make sure to weigh in on vital categories like Best Band, Best Bar Food (a new one this year), Best Martini and Best Category We Forgot.

Then, after you vote, make sure to mark your calendars for the annual Best of Missoula party on Thursday, July 7, at Caras Park. We'll announce the winners, listen to some live music and partake in a few drinks. But it wouldn't be the same unless you were there, too.

Got it? Cool. Now, go vote.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watch a prairie dog bury a snake alive

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Don't let the nice weather keep you from tonight's big lineup at the International Wildlife Film Festival.

You can catch Rise of the Black Wolf at the Wilma at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with Emmy-winning filmmaker Bob Landis. After the Q&A, watch the 50-minute "American Serengeti," which includes this confrontation between a team of prairie dogs and one hungry rattler:

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment, Facebook and infidelity, a patient robber, and a Philly company corners the erotic chat line market.

Curses, Foiled Again
Harold Luken, 45, walked into a New York City bank and reportedly yelled, “I am going to rob the bank. I have a gun, but I’m going to wait on line.” When his turn came, he repeated his intentions to the teller, adding, “First, I’m going to pass you a note.” Teller Sean Knudsen declined to hand over any money, however, so Luken asked for the balance in his own account. Knudsen again refused. “OK, I will go to Citibank,” Luken said. “I will rob them instead.” Police intercepted him en route. (New York Post)

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Michele Reinhart part of lawsuit filed against author Mortenson

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Two Montana residents filed a lawsuit yesterday against best-selling author, philanthropist and "60 Minutes" target Greg Mortenson. One of the residents is Missoula Rep. Michele Reinhart.

You can view a copy of the complaint here (PDF).

The AP reports:

The lawsuit by Michele Reinhart of Missoula and Jena Price of Great Falls claims Mortenson and CAI [his nonprofit, Central Asia Institute] committed fraud by inducing them to donate and buy his book.

They are asking a federal judge to certify their complaint as a class-action lawsuit that could potentially be joined by millions of people.

Mortenson was the subject of a "60 Minutes" expose last month that revealed alleged lies and embellishments in his best-selling books, including Three Cups of Tea. It also questioned how Mortenson runs his nonprofit's finances and whether it overstates how many schools its built in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock is already investigating Mortenson and CAI.

“It is apparent that the only way the children in Afghanistan and Pakistan are going to receive the schools promised to them is through this class action. Otherwise Mortenson and his organization will get away with this sham,” said attorney Alexander Blewett III in a statement. “We welcome the opportunity for Greg Mortenson to testify under oath as to the veracity of what he has said.”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2011 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): Imagine this scene, as described by Seattle-based video artist Michael Douglas. “Sometimes a tree falls down in a field of cows, and the cows walk over to it and stare at it. It used to be standing and now it’s on the ground. There’s something different in the field and the cows start to hang out around the tree and watch it like it’s television, attracted to the rupture in the order of things. They gather around it for months, even after they completely forget why they started doing it.” I think there’s a comparable scene going on in your life right now, Aries. People you care about are in a daze, seemingly hypnotized by a certain “rupture in the order of things” that took place some time ago. In my opinion, it’s your task to wake them up, gently if possible, and motivate them to move on.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Is Tester the Dems' last, best hope — or a sellout?

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2011 at 3:00 PM

That's the question raised by Newsweek in a new profile that, among other things, quotes Indy columnist George Ochenski.

The story, by Andrew Romano, starts like every profile of Sen. Jon Tester — on the farm, in the mud, with a mention of the senator's belly and flattop. But it quickly gets to Tester's challenge of sticking to his rural roots, navigating the national political scene and satisfying his grassroots liberal base — while taking on Republican Denny Rehberg in November 2012.

The nut of the story:

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