The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion


2010: January through December

24 December 2010

Twilight at the courthouse

Flathead County Courthouse

Every now and then, when I’m shooting with my big DSLRs and heavy lenses, someone asks for advice on photography. “What’s the best camera?” is the invariable question. My invariable answer: the best camera is the one that you use. For the modest panorama above, I used a $120 Nikon S3000 that’s the size of thick credit card, fits in my pocket, and is ready to go in just a few seconds.

Although of modest capability compared to digital single lens reflexes, the S3000 packs a 4X macro zoom lens, has a maximum ISO of 3200 (12,800 effective when exposure compensation is set to minus two), and has two advantages over a cell phone camera: it’s easier to operate and produces images with much higher technical quality. Cameras of this genre also are good choices in situations where a photographer shouldn’t call attention to himself.

Fog reveals effectiveness of dark skies shielding on commercial light fixtures

Dark Sky Lights at Kalispell Costco Thick fog at the Costco-Lowes center Thursday evening revealed the downward only light pattern produced by the dark sky shields on these light fixtures that aim their light at the ground, not the sky. These light, installed after Kalispell adopted a dark skies ordinance, are working as intended.

Again, I grabbed this shot with my S3000. If you look closely you’ll see this is a color image. Tip: set the ISO to 1600, turn off the flash, and set exposure compensation to minus one or two (I used minus 2) to avoid blowing out the highlights. The horizontal angle of view is approximately 65°, or the equivalent of a 28mm lens on a 35mm film camera.


20 December 2010

The realm of footnote-free political discourse

Over at the Flathead Beacon, Kellyn Brown has an excellent essay on the abysmal intellectual standards for Montana’s Voter Information Pamphlet that contains the arguments for and against ballot measures, plus the text of those measures.

I’ve always had two problems with the VIP. First, from the standpoint of graphical design, it’s reader unfriendly. Densely set sans serif type (Arial), not a good choice for body text, covers cheap paper. Second, it’s an exercise in footnote-free political discourse.

“Flipping through the most recent Voter Information Packet,” Kellyn writes, “there appears to be few limits as to what one can say about any given measure and even fewer attribution requirements.”

Nicely understated.

Guns, schools, and the limits of zero tolerance

Update. You’ll want to read Dave Skinner’s Got Warrant? at the Beacon.

Over at the Daily InterLake, Kristi Albertson is on her way to winning an award for her reporting on the saga of Demari DeRue, and guns not in school, but locked in the trunks of cars in the parking lots of local schools. Albertson’s latest story, Discipline methods vary for guns at school, explores the frequency of gun busts at schools in the Flathead, and how the automatic punishment feature of zero tolerance is circumvented by common sense.

Thus far, the DeRue incident has been treated as a gun rights issue, and there’s been a fair amount of special pleading to the effect that hunting is a special part of western and rural culture, and that therefore gun laws should not be as strict in communities such as Columbia Falls as in cities like Detroit. Only a few commentators, K.J. Hascall, writing in the Hungry Horse News, among them, have argued that guns do not belong in schools, and that the security measures are reasonable.

There’s not been much attention paid to the civil liberties issues raised by having contraband-sniffing dogs loosed on the schools in surprise searches. Later this week, I’ll have some observations on schools going to the dogs. Meanwhile, I’ll conclude this post with some observations on guns on campus.

Demari DeRue posed no threat to her teachers and classmates, but her driving her car around for several days with a high powered rifle locked in the trunk was not an act of conspicuous intelligence. Her rifle should have locked in a secure gunsafe at home, put there just as soon as she got home from hunting. And her parents should have made sure she did it. It was not a shining example of sound gun handling, but it was a good example of a teenager’s lapse in judgment.

I also take a dim view of taking a gun to school for any purpose, and that includes going hunting after school. That convenience for the student does not come close to outweighing the value of a firearms free campus. Moreover, after school, students should head for the library and get started on their homework instead of heading out to blow a hole in Bambi.



1 December 2010

English only tests for drivers?

Kalispell State Senator Bruce Tutvedt wants tests for drivers licenses to be conducted only in English. LC0352 requires that:

The knowledge test, road test, and skills test must be conducted in English.

Drivers must understand English language road signs, and it’s both fair and prudent to test for that understanding. But I think that understanding could be tested with tests administered in French or Spanish.



26 November 2010

A hereditary hunting aristocracy for Montana’s native born?

Yep — if Republican State Senator Greg Hinkle of Thompson Falls get his way. Hinkle has submitted a drafting request (LC0705) for a bill with the short title “Provide for a born-in-Montana big game combination license.”

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16 November 2010

Exotic mussels may have invaded Flathead Lake

Zebra mussel Zebra (left) and quagga mussels are aquatic invaders from the Ukraine that are hitchhiking their way across the United States on boats. Small but prolific, they reproduce by the billions, fouling pipes, piers, and propellers, generally wreaking havoc on ecosystems.

Now, they may be in Flathead Lake, reports Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks in a 15 November 2010 news release:

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14 November 2010

Secret political money has no place in a democracy

It’s not enough for some contributors to political campaigns and influence groups to have few restrictions on the amount that can be contributed. Some want to keep their contributions secret, and toward the end of October they filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn reporting requirement. The Billings Gazette has an excellent editorial on that issue today, and I recommend that everyone read it.



10 November 2010

Crime and not much punishment

Greg Barkus State Senator Greg Barkus has agreed to enter a plea of “no contest” to one count of felony criminal endangerment for running his boat into the rocks on Flathead Lake and seriously injuring himself and his passengers. If the judge agrees, Barkus will receive a 3-year suspended sentence, and pay the state $4,000 in restitution (probably for repairing the rocks into which he piled his boat). If he’s a good boy while on probation, the conviction will be expunged from his rap sheet (but not from the historical record).

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9 November 2010

Payday loans, recounts, and Left in the West

Payday loans. Montana’s payday loan industry is shutting down following the passage of I-164, which I supported. According to Jim Mann’s story in the Daily InterLake, the shutdown puts 800 people out of work…for now. I expect the payday guys to ask the legislature to overturn the initiative — and given the composition of the legislature, I think there’s a very good chance that a repeal bill of some sort will land on the governor’s desk.

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8 November 2010

Crime and punishment

The Barkus boat wreck saga appears to be concluding with a plea agreement, according to stories in the Beacon and InterLake. This is so surprise. Most of Barkus’ motions to suppress evidence and so forth were denied several weeks ago, which left him in the position of cutting the best deal he could given the evidence against him.

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7 November 2010

2010 Montana voter turnout lowest since at least 1980

Updated with easier to read graphs. In 2010, Montana’s voting eligible population turnout rate was 48.3 percent, the lowest turnout since at least 1980. Because more than 100,000 Montanas who were eligible to vote did not register to vote, the turnout rate of registered voters was considerably higher, 55.9 percent. Please see the charts below for more details.

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4 November 2010

More thoughts on the election

Republicans will control the 2011 legislature with a 68-32 majority in the house and a 28-22 majority in the senate, according to preliminary tallies. Those are working majorities, but not veto-proof majorities. Some will say this will force Republicans to compromise with Democratic governor Brian Schweitzer. They may be right. But it also makes possible an extremely dangerous scenario in which state government could be shut down for up to two years. I’ll explain how that could happen in another post.

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3 November 2010

Preliminary thoughts on the general election of 2010

My congratulations to yesterday’s winner in Flathead County, and my thanks to all the Democrats who stood for election in this deep red valley, fine men and women who knew they were bucking the odds but who also understand that democracy works best when the voters have a choice.

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2 November 2010

Flathead election contests to watch

Brenneman Billboard County commissioner. Incumbent Joe Brenneman has run an aggressive campaign, citing his solid record of accomplishments. He has significant Republican support. And so far he’s raised much more money than Pam Holmquist, his Republican challenger. Holmquist’s assets are Flathead County’s heavily Republican political demographics, and an ugly anti-incumbent mood amongst voters.

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1 November 2010

Flood of right-wing money threatens to overpower moderate and liberal voices

Money from the political right, as much as $3 million by some accounts, and much of it difficult or impossible to trace, is underwriting a barrage of epic dimensions of ugly attacks on Democrats in Montana’s legislative and Public Service Commission races. Montana Cowgirl has an excellent description of the situation, and I encourage you to read it.

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31 October 2010

This trickster gets no treat (and no mercy)

I was not pleased last night to find four of my copyrighted photographs of the 2008 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Kalispell displayed without my permission on a webpage entitled Baucus Drunk. I’ve filed a complaint with the ISP, and I will do what is necessary to have those photographs taken down. I’m very generous when asked permission to use my photographs. I’m exactly the opposite when I discovere that my copyright has been violated.


30 October 2010

MSU poll and the margin of error

A new Montana State University poll was released today. The sample size was small, so the margin of error is correspondingly high. What we really want to know, however, is the probability that Candidate A is ahead of Candidate B. For a good explanation of how that works, and a very easy-to-use and helpful table, see this by Kevin Drum.


29 October 2010

Ryan Zinke oped fails to endorse Derek Skees

Update, 30 October 2010. Zinke’s name appears in a pro-Skees advertisement in the Whitefish Pilot. It is therefore possible that his oped ed is nothing more than a “please vote” public service announcement. I’m leaving the post below unaltered, as even if it overreaches, it represents an ideal — that there are still decent Republicans who reject tea party extremes and Civil War revisionism.

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28 October 2010


My congratulations to Derek Skees and Ray Thompson for being profiled in a national magazine.

And my congratulations to Will Hammerquist for raising twice as much money as Skees.


27 October 2010

Street poster in infrared

No, it‘s not winter. It‘s how Meridian Road North and the bus kiosk in front of the post office appear when photographed by infrared light in the late afternoon.

The coming chaos if the Republicans win

As 2 November approaches, the most likely outcomes for Congress and the Montana Legislature are: (1) a Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, (2) a considerably diminished Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, (3) substantial, but not veto-proof, Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature, and (4) sharp, hard movement to the right for the Republicans, who are already a considerable distance from the center.

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Lavin has best voters guide ad

Democrats struggle to win elections in Flathead County despite fielding excellent candidates. In part, that’s because the county’s demographics favor Republicans. But I’m beginning to wonder whether timid advertising is another factor.

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26 October 2010

Derek Skees’s lowdown hit on dark sky ordinances Updated to include Skees’ response

Almost two decades ago, I wrote an essay, Bright Lights, Little Sky, lamenting the disappearance of dark skies in Montana, and with the darkness, the opportunity to stand beneath the Big Sky at midnight and reach out and touch the stars. I thought back to that essay after reading these paragraphs in a letter that HD-4 candidate Derek Skees sent to rural voters in his district last week:

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25 October 2010

Recommendations on ballot measures

Initiative 164. Support. The payday loan industry is a textbook example of usury in action. According to the initiative’s proponents, current Montana law allows lenders to charge annual interest rates of 650 percent for a 14-day loan, and 300 percent for a 30-day loan. I-164 would cap the rate at 36 percent, the rate currently set for military families.

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22 October 2010

Derek Skees and the southern connection

Rich Hanners at the Whitefish Pilot published an excellent story on Skees v. Hammerquist in HD-4. Oddly, no comments had been posted as of 1000 MDT despite the intensity of the contest and a prior history of partisans of the candidates posting on other websites. At the Flathead Beacon, more than 55 comments were posted on Dan Testa’s fine report on Skees v. Hammerquist before the comments were shut down because of violations of the commenting policy.

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20 October 2010

Proximity is not proof of agreement

Forty-two years ago, I spent a week in northern Wisconsin as a volunteer for Eugene McCarthy during his presidential primary campaign there. That same year, I attended a political rally at which George Wallace spoke, this time as a reporter for my college’s student newspaper.

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19 October 2010

It’s getting dirty in Whitefish

It’s getting ugly in Whitefish’s House District 4, where business friendly Democrat Will Hammerquist is squaring off against tea party Republican Derek Skees. Virtually all of the mud being slung is being slung at Hammerquist, who is running a clean campaign.

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10 October 2010

Montana’s members of Congress behaving unmeritoriously

Max Baucus, Dennis Rehberg, and Jon Tester all deserve a boot in the fanny for recent conduct and statements unbecoming.

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4 October 2010

Political beverages

What drinks are associated with political parties? Democrats tend to serve beer or cheap burgundy. I associate Republicans with scotch and brandy. But what do the teabaggers drink? White tea? White wine? White lightning? Black blood?


3 October 2010

The anatomy of a smear

Before examining American Dream Montana’s smear of Joe Brenneman, ask yourself this: have you ever met a farmer or rancher who thought property rights are silly?

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17 September 2010

1920: Women get the vote, Democrats get clobbered at the polls

Women voted in the election of 1920, but it didn’t do Democrats much good. Republicans won the White House and huge majorities in Congress. Montana not only elected a Republican governor, Joseph M. Dixon of Initiative 28 fame, but sent the largest majorities, Republican majorities, in modern Montana history to the Montana Legislature.

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16 September 2010

Montana Republican platform contains cracked planks

Montana Cowgirl continues her reporting on the teabagger assault on the Republican Party, mentioning some of the fringe planks in the Montana GOP’s platform and noting that Rep. Denny Rehberg, once thought the MTGOP’s leader, now claims he lacks the power to keep unsound planks out of his party’s lumberyard:

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11 September 2010

Mid-morning in Kalipsell, nine years ago

A Flathead County paving crew sat on my lawn on 11 September 2001, listening to a radio while waiting for another load of hot asphalt. I walked outside and waved. “Have you heard the news about the attacks in New York?” I asked. The foreman gravely nodded “yes,” then asked what I was doing with my camera. “Posterity,” I answered. He understood. The asphalt arrived, paving resumed. I returned to my computer and telephone, seeking news on a old friend who was working near the World Trade Center. For further thoughts, see 9/11: FDR v Bush 43.



8 September 2010

Montana Cowgirl bags another Tea Party Whacko

Montana Cowgirl almost has too much material to work with — teabaggers are popping up, and off, almost everywhere in Montana — but so far she’s doing a masterful job of reporting on Montana’s most angry, ill-informed, and off the bell curve candidates for political office. And she’s uncovered a great pink-o-gram to the voters from the wife of Tea Party poster boy Derek Skees, whom we introduced to you back in June.


Freezing public employee salaries is a lesser of evils

Over at the Flathead Beacon, Kellyn Brown has a perceptive analysis of the risks that Montana’s public employee unions run in seeking salary increases in hard times.

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20 July 2010

Where were the marching bands in the 3rd of July parade?

Flathead High School MIA That’s the question posed by Shirley Stubbs in her excellent letter in today’s Daily InterLake. We have two large high schools in Kalispell, Stubbs observes, high schools that frequently ask the voters to approve a bond or levy, yet when Independence Day arrives, neither high school band gives a toot about appearing in the parade.

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Welcome, Cowgirl —

You’ll notice some changes in the blogroll. Perhaps the most important is the addition of Montana Cowgirl, a Helena based blog of political gossip. It will inform and entertain you, and if you’re not a liberal, it probably will send you lunging for a double Old Crow and an extra blood pressure pill.


12 July 2010

Soccer: run fast, kick hard, and howl

I learned to kick soccer style 45 years ago — my “instructors” were college classmates from Iraq and Iran — but I never learned to love the game. It always struck me as unsophisticated and boring. That’s why I’m relieved that the World Cup is over and we can return our attention to the finest game ever invented: baseball. The all star game is tomorrow night, and however badly it is played, it will be infinitely more entertaining than the most exciting soccer match ever played.

Aficionados of soccer allege that the sport has grace, organization, and strategy, an allegation that speaks well of their imagination and poorly of their judgment. Actually, soccer is playground kickball without the innocence of youth, and most certainly is not an activity that advances civilization. It’s as primitive as hunting with a stone-tipped spear. Soccer players run fast, kick hard, lower their IQs with headers, and in the rare event that a goal is scored, raise their hands, throw back their heads, and run around the field howling like freshly castrated baboons. Their fans, hooligans all, get drunk and brawl following games.

It’s a game for knuckleheads. I prefer a game with knuckleballs.


30 June 2010

Don’t call this health insurance affordable

If you need further proof that President Obama and the Congress bungled health care legislation, and bungled it to what I consider a morally criminal extent, read Mike Dennison’s story on the Montana Affordable Health Care plan.

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28 June 2010

All aircraft should carry transponders that automatically report position

Yesterday, a single engine aircraft (Piper Arrow), took off from the Kalispell City Airport. It has not been heard from since. Unless something very odd or nefarious is occurring, the aircraft is down, and probably crashed.

A search is underway, but no one knows the pilot’s intentions, so the searchers are flying grid patterns, hoping to spot the Piper, or pieces thereof, or to detect a signal from the aircraft’s transponder. One hopes the aircraft is located rapidly and that its four passengers are found unhurt.

But this kind of wide area search should not be necessary. Global Positioning System technology has progressed to the point that all aircraft, from hang-gliders with chainsaw engines to Airbus 380s, could be equipped with a tracking transponder that sends the aircraft’s bearing, speed, altitude, and position, to a central receiver every few seconds. The point at which the transmission stopped would be the point at which the search began. In a case like this, that could save a tremendous amount of time.


17 June 2010

Meet HD-4’s tea party poster boy

He thinks Montana has the right to secede from the United States of America. Glenn Beck and Ron Paul are the most influential human beings in his life. He’ll say no to federal stimulus money, and yes to legislation empowering Montana to nullify federal health care laws. He turned off his television in 1998 (but I think he left his radio on). God, he reports, gave him the gift of a “great memory.” Jim Dupont and Ray Thompson are financial backers. Yet he considers himself to be dead center on the political spectrum.

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14 June 2010

Where Gopher won big, Gernant lost big

Primary Dot Plot

10 June 2010

Oppose the Swan Crest 100 footrace

Northwest from Sixmile Summit

North from the summit of Sixmile Mountain. The Alpine Trail does not traverse the next few miles.

Is competitive recreation compatible with designated or proposed wilderness? That’s the question arising from a proposal for a 100-mile-long footrace — the Swan Crest 100 — along the Swan Range east of Kalispell, beginning at Napa Point and ending at the bottom of Columbia Mountain. The Flathead National Forest is taking comments on the proposal, and needs to hear from you by June 18.

I’m familiar with the area. I’ve hiked every inch of the way from Napa Point (and points south) to Columbia Mountain, a lot of it more than once, including the gap in the Alpine Trail north of Sixmile Mountain. It’s a wonderful place for a hike, but no place for a footrace.

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10 June 2010

What accounts for the abysmal Democratic primary turnout?

Almost 640,000 Montana voters registered for the primary. And as we know from past elections, the state is pretty much split 50-50 along liberal-conservative lines. There were primary contests for Congress on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, yet twice as many Republicans as Democrats voted in the Congressional primary. The Democratic turnout was abysmal despite a whole month of opportunities to vote. What can account for this other than a weak sense of civic obligation and a loss of faith in the democratic process? I was taught that good citizens always vote, no matter how many or few are on the ballot. What were Montana’s Democrats taught that causes so many to not give a damn about voting?



9 June 2010, 0200 MDT

Gopher helped McDonald and hurt Gernant

Dennis McDonald won the Democratic nomination for Congress, receiving perhaps 40 percent of the vote (a lot of precincts are still out, but the trend is clear). That’s no surprise: McDonald had union support, always useful in a low turnout election.

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7 June 2010

Montana should hitch its future to Gernant’s rising star

I’m voting for Tyler Gernant tomorrow. He’s a young man with considerable intelligence and promise who the strongest — and the strongest by far — of the four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Montana’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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5 June 2010

Karen Longhart — A Neighbor’s Remembrance

Karen Longhart, friend, neighbor, mathematics educator extraordinaire, died on 1 June after a long, courageous battle with cancer. She was only 49, far too young to reach the end of life. Her husband, Fred, their friendly dog, Monty, and a large extended family survive her.

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3 June 2008

Flathead Memo endorses Joe Brenneman for County Commissioner

Endorsing Joe Brenneman for another term as a Flathead County Commissioner is an easy call. By temperament, experience, judgment, and accomplishment, he is by far the best choice for the job. It would be foolish to replace him with a tyro.

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7 May 2010

Baucus and Tester make love to Wall Street

Yesterday, Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester joined with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Wall Street Republicans in defeating the “break up the big banks” Brown-Kaufman amendment to the financial “reform” bill being debated in the U.S. Senate. Only one conclusion is possible: they prefer banks that are too big to fail, which means they support using dollars from Main Street to rescue nefarious derivatives traders on Wall Street.

Where do Democrats Dennis MacDonald, Tyler Gernant, Sam Rankin, and Melinda Gopher stand on Brown-Kaufman? Would they have voted for it, or against it? I will consider any attempt to avoid a clear answer as a tacit admission of a vote for Wall Street.


30 April 2009

“Not in our town” rally ends badly

Demostrators & Kalispell Police

Updated, 7 May 2006. Police officers did not exhibit a joyous disposition following an altercation at last evening’s rally outside the Flathead County library. The rally was organized by local human rights advocates who took umbrage at calls for white nationalists to settle in the Flathead. I’ll have more on this, and the civil liberties issues it raises tomorrow in the near future.


20 April 2010

Spring colors

Shooting star

Dodecatheon amethystinum (Amethyst Shooting Star). This is a small flower, not much larger than a man’s thumbnail, and they’re rife in the field of my next door neighbor, who graciously allows me to shoot his flora at will. For this, I used an APS-C DSLR and a 55mm f/2.8 manual focus micro lens, but many digital point-and-shoot cameras, Nikons especially, can do as well. The DSLR’s advantage is the large sensor and RAW format.


15 April 2010

Candidate in Democratic primary in Kalispell packs heat

Dane Clark

The fellow with the name tag on his shirt and the big iron on his hip is Dane Clark, candidate for the Democratic nomination for HD-8 in Kalispell. One might suppose he was among friends — after all, this was the Tea Party’s 15 April 2010 tax protest in downtown Kalispell — but Clark said that rumors of agent provocateurs bound on disrupting the festivities made packin’ heat prudent.

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13 April 2010

Planning critics 1, good government 0

At some point, I suspect we will learn that Flathead County is dumping Jeff Harris as planning director because he became controversial, and thus inconvenient and expensive. Whether or not Harris was doing a good job seems to be irrelevant. What his bosses wanted, and want, is a low profile planning director.

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1 April 2010

The case of the missing bylaws

Updated. Is the Flathead County Fair a rogue operation? That’s a legitimate question given this damning paragraph from Lynette Hintze’s story, Supporters want fair boss reinstated, in today’s InterLake:

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31 March 2010

Loren Kreck

Loren Kreck and Geoff HarveyUpdated. Loren Kreck, friend, fellow hiker and wilderness advocate, naturalist, cartoonist, and above all, humanitarian, died on 26 March 2010. He was 89. That’s Loren on the left, next to Geoff Harvey, admiring the Canadian Rockies in the distance while taking a break before finishing our climb of Mt. Thompson-Seton in the Whitefish Range.

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21 March 2010

Sunny day, sunny dispositions, darker messages

Tea Party protesters, Kalispell, MT

In Washington, D.C., rowdy tea party protestors roamed the halls of Congress, hurling racial slurs at members of Congress. But 2,000 miles to the northwest, in Kalispell, Montana, tea party protestors displayed a sunny disposition — and signs with darker messages — as they gathered for a wave-and-honk on both sides of Main Street on Saturday afternoon.

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10 February 2010

Chief Justice McGrath Should Not Dabble in Politics

Chief Justice MikeMcGrath I voted for Mike McGrath for chief justice of Montana’s supreme court. It was not a hard decision. But I’m beginning to wonder whether he enjoys politics too much to be suited for a position in which one’s credibility and perceived impartiality require avoiding involvement in matters that provide, to the average citizen, even the appearance of a conflict of interest or a lack of good judgment.

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19 January 2009

Martha Coakley should have worked as hard as Cheryl Steenson did

Martha Coakley Martha Coakley (that’s Martha on the right, smug instead of senatorial) is trailing in the polls and expected to lose to Republican Scott Brown. The more I learn about this election, the more I’m convinced that Coakley, as Jason Linkins astutely observes in today’s Huffington Post, is losing because she’s smug, lazy, and doesn’t know enough about baseball:

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13 January 2009

Curry says big campaign ad will run on 18 January

Tomorrow is the first day candidates can file for the 8 June primary in Montana. I’m betting that one of the first to submit his paperwork will be Chuck Curry, who is challenging incumbent Mike Meehan for the Republican nomination for sheriff of Flathead County. On his website, Curry promises he will be….

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12 January 2010

Tester’s wilderness bill: amend it, pass it, but don’t brag about it

That’s my position on Senator Jon Tester’s 84-page Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of 2009. Provided some fixes are made, the good will outweigh the bad, and the bill should become law.

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Pea soup fogs are perfect for green lasers

Pea soup fog northwest of Kalispell, MT

Technical information: 24mm f/2.8 lens on an APS-C DSLR. The horizontal field of view is 52.4 degrees. Ten seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 400. Each laser beam was switched on for 3 seconds.


Archives: April 2009 through December 2009