Tornado between Moccasin and Denton in central Montana in early June; photo taken by Roger Hill of Silver Lining Tours. More photos here.
Well, the situation in Missoula has now bubbled to the surface of national news, with Gwen Florio of The Missoulian interviewed on CNN on Wednesday:
From the Missoulian:
A U.S. Department of Justice investigation into how sexual assault cases are handled in Missoula will review 80 rape reports over the last three years, a federal prosecutor announced Tuesday.
Although University of Montana and city officials pledged their support, Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg denounced that action as an overreach by “the heavy hand of the federal government,” and insisted that his office has done nothing wrong.
Governor Brian Scheitzer has been making lots of headlines lately – first, he announced that he would be appearing on the David Letterman show on Wednesday, April 25th. Pretty cool – not often a governor appears on Letterman, let alone anyone from Montana. And since Letterman lives (part time) just up the road from Helena, it should make for a neat exchange/interview with lots of Montana goodness. Got my fingers crossed that Jag will make an appearance, too!
Schweitzer then showed up in Times Square in New York City this week, handing out little Billy Bowman stuffed goats, encouraging people to visit the Treasure State, and yes, posing with the Naked Cowboy. All politics aside – whether you voted for him or not – I think he did a great job promoting Montana as a tourist destination.
Then Schweitzer inserted himself into the Presidential race, telling the Daily Beast his thoughts about Mitt Romney: “…kinda ironic given that his family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico, but then he’d have to talk about his family coming from a polygamy commune in Mexico, given the gender discrepancy…I am not alleging by any stretch that Romney is a polygamist and approves of [the] polygamy lifestyle, but his father was born into [a] polygamy commune in Mexico.”
Your logic reminded me of the rhetorical line of attack rightwingers used against President Barack Obama through the past few years — declaring the president a Muslim because his father was born in Africa; as somehow damaged because he was raised by a single mother. We don’t choose our parents — or, in Mr. Romney’s case, our grandparents. Governor, you took a page right out of the right wing’s playbook. I don’t mean that as a compliment. Discussing Mr. Romney’s grandparents (or Mr. Obama’s father or mother) does nothing to advance the political conversation. It’s bunk, adding nothing to urgent policy questions concerning the economy, taxes, healthcare, war or the war in Afghanistan. Of course, you weren’t trying to help Americans understand the issues. You were attempting to damage Mr. Romney and add fuel to the so-called Republican war on women. I get it.
Here’s a fun rerun from 2004 – still pretty timely!
SIX THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT: MONTANA. Some samples from each of the Six Things:
1. No, we’re not all survivalist freaks. Plan a move — or even a visit — to Montana and the first, second and last question anyone will ask is if you’re off to become an anti-technology right-wing hermit/gun nut in a rundown log cabin somewhere
2. We’ve also got the country’s largest Superfund site, and it’s so big that to call it a “site” doesn’t do it justice.
3. Yes, Virginia, Montana does have a speed limit!
4. Think of Montana as your home away from home. If you’re rich, anyhow.
5. And so there remain, like the tingling of ghost limbs, residual rites of passage required of newbies, and these tend to revolve, Fear Factor-style, around the eating of nasties.
6. If Montana were to secede from the union to become its own sovereign nation (and don’t push us, man, we’ll do it), we would instantly become the world’s fourth-largest nuclear power.
You really need to read the whole thing.
One million people now call Montana home. The news was announced by Governor Brian Schweitzer on January 3rd, 2012.
“Montana is starting the new year off with a bang,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “People from all over the world recognize that Montana is the best place to start and grow a small business, raise a family and build a community.”
Experts with the Census and Economic Information Center (CEIC) at the Montana Department of Commerce estimate Montana hit the one million resident mark sometime between November and December, 2011. The milestone was met based on analysis of growth trends between the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Census counts, recent population estimates from the US Census Bureau, and estimates from two other independent projection firms.
Montana’s most recent Census “snapshot” taken on April 1, 2010, placed the number of Montana residents at 989,415. In comparison, the 2000 Census counted the number of Montana residents at 903,773. That’s an increase of 85,642 residents.
Census data shows the rate at which Montana’s population grew was faster during the middle of the last decade but has slowed in recent years.
Got an email from Nicole, who is looking for some “mystery shoppers” in several Montana communities, including Butte, Dillon, Great Falls, Hamilton, and Miles City.
I have no idea what kind of cash these gigs pay, but it sure can’t hurt to check it out. If you sign up to do it, it’d be cool to get an “after action” report from you to see how it went.
Here’s the link, and here’s the details:
If you are 21 years or older, have reliable transportation, good written communication skills, are able to focus on details and have full internet access at home or work, then you might be a perfect mystery shopper. Mystery Shopper Jobs are a great way to earn some extra cash, especially during the holidays!
BestMark is one of the nation’s largest customer experience measurement and mystery shopping companies. Their Fortune 500 clients represent some of the most innovative and successful customer-focused organizations in the world. BestMark has over 15,000 opportunities available each month in the U.S. and Canada ranging from restaurants, retail, automotive, casinos and many more!
You might be wondering what mystery shopping really is…it is used as a tool for companies to gather feedback from everyday individuals about their experiences, as customers, at establishments in their area. BestMark works with a variety of clients to customize their program to match the clients’ overall objectives and business practices.
They currently have over 140,000 mystery shoppers throughout the U.S., Canada, and parts of Puerto Rico. Their opportunities span across various industries suitable for men and women as well as college students looking for part-time jobs. They are currently looking for Mystery Shoppers in the Montana areas of Butte, Dillon, Great Falls, Hamilton, and Miles City.
If you’d like to Become a Shopper, and meet the aforementioned requirements, simply fill out the form on their site. There is no obligation or fee to apply. Once the application is submitted, it usually takes between 36-48 hours to be reviewed. If approved, the shopper will receive their log in information and will be able to search for mystery shopper jobs in their area.
BestMark and the mystery shopping industry in general has been featured on The Oprah Show, Tyra Banks Show, and Essence Magazine. They have an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau and a 15 year Membership with the MSPA.
Now that the Holidays are here, it’s a great time to become a Mystery Shopper and earn some extra money!
For questions, please email Nicole and email@example.com
My friend Kelly, who lives near Bozeman, has just launched something unique: a pet massage and wellness business. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have put much stock in such – but I’ve since learned that critters can benefit just as much as their two-legged companions from this kind of treatment and care.
If you live in or near Gallatin County and have a pet, you should definitely keep her in mind. Check out her site at TreatAnimalWellness.com.
Here’s her “intro” to explain how it came about:
One particular brown striped tabby cat named “Leon Chopper” led me to a place where I would realize my desire to advocate for animal wellness. Unknowingly, I had the good fortune to pluck the most unhealthy kitten from an adoptable lot at the local shelter—a kitten who would prove to be a much-loved companion and guiding spirit. Leon suffered from chronic cystitis, a condition with no known cure.
During his life, he endured surgeries and was prescribed traditional drug therapies to manage his condition. Eventually, he failed to respond to treatment and our veterinarian suggested the alternative modalities of acupuncture and massage therapy. To our delight and disbelief, he responded almost immediately and showed great improvement. I then began working with a holistic veterinarian, along with my regular vet to provide a him level of comfort and wellness he had not known for some time.
I believe that the mental and physical states are connected, and am most interested in exploring the mind and body connection through therapeutic touch as it relates to wellness and healing in animals.
December 5, 2011 | 1 Comment
Another “holy cow, Montana is amazing!” essay, this time from North Dakota! An excerpt:
The strange thing is that, freshly returned from a hectic professional journey, my main memories are not of Lewis and Clark, but of the magic of Montana. I love North Dakota with all of my heart and soul, and I try to be one of its principal cheerleaders, but the minute I clear Wibaux in the westbound lane I find myself muttering, “If there were only one state, it would have to be Montana.” I hate it that they look down on us (we got yet another lifetime dose), but no wonder they look down on us!
The whole of Montana just takes your breath away, over and over again, and in the end you cannot believe that one state can be allowed to contain so much that is unbelievably beautiful.
The author of the essay is Clay Jenkinson, who is the Theodore Roosevelt Center scholar at Dickinson State University, as well as Distinguished Scholar of the Humanities at Bismarck State College and director of the Dakota Institute.